Introduction: Orange Pi PC - Get Started!

Orange Pi PC is a low budget development board created by Shenzhen Xunlong Software Co. as a Opensource Project. You'll have access to the PCB and Schematic Projects accessing http://orangepi.org

In this instructable I'll show you how to make a simple setup with all you need to start using Orange Pi PC.

First of all you'll need an Orange Pi PC board. You can buy one from the official page on AliExpress.

And you will need:

  • Energy adaptor 5V/2A
  • 2.SD-Card (I've used a 8GB Class 4, but if you have a better/greater SD-Card, feel free to use it).
  • HDMI Cable
  • A USB keyboard (mouse optional but recommended if you'll use the GUI)
  • A Linux or Windows host computer - I'll cover the Linux way to do this

So, let's start!

Step 1: Prepare Your SD-Card

You'll need some files to do the service.

First of all the OS image. I'll pick the Lubuntu 14.04 image that is far more stable than other OSes available, both from the official page and from loboris page (loboris is a developer from Orange Pi Community highly involved on preparing OS images for Orange Pi boards).

You can have the official images from here and loboris images from here.

  • Plug your SD-Card in the host.
  • Open a terminal and discover what is the "address" of your SD-Card using the command: fdisk -l (maybe you'll need to execute this command as sudo or su).

A possible output is (it is in portuguese because I'm brazilian =D ):

Disco /dev/sdc: 7,2 GiB, 7742685184 bytes, 15122432 setores
Unidades: setor de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Tamanho de setor (lógico/físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Tamanho E/S (mínimo/ótimo): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Tipo de rótulo do disco: dos Identificador do disco: 0x2b1c25d6

Dispositivo Inicializar Início Fim Setores Tamanho Id Tipo

/dev/sdc1 40960 124927 83968 41M 83 Linux

/dev/sdc2 124928 15121408 14996481 7,2G 83 Linux

So, the address for the SD-Card is /dev/sdc.

  • Unmount partitions of the SD-Card using: umount /dev/sdc* (change * to the numbers shown on fdisk output)
  • Decompress the image executing: unxz Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiPC_v0_8_0_.img.xz
  • Flash the image to SD-Card executing: dd bs=1M if=Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiPC_v0_8_0_.img iflag=fullblock | pv | dd bs=1M of=/dev/sdc oflag=direct - it'll take a time to conclude
  • Execute sync to assure flushing all data to SD-Card
  • Plug off and plug in again your SD-Card, and now you'll see two partitions (a smaller one to boot files and the bigger one is the root system)
  • Untar the file using: tar -zxf scriptbin_kernel.tar.gz
  • Enter the new directory and copy the files script.bin.OPI-PC_720p60 and uImage_OPI-2 to the boot partition of SD-Card
  • Now exclude uImage and script.bin files from boot partition and rename script.bin.OPI-PC_720p60 to script.bin and uImage_OPI-2 to uImage
  • Eject the SD-Card

Now you have a ready-to-go SD-Card with Lubuntu installed for Orange Pi PC!

Step 2: Connect Cables and SD-Card

  • Plug your SD-Card on the SD socket below the board
  • Plug your USB keyboard on one of the USB ports
  • Plug your ethernet cable and connect it to a router or your internet provider device
  • Plug the HDMI cable and connect it to your monitor or TV
  • And finally, plug the power cable and let's see what happens!

Step 3: We're Almost There...

Wait for the boot process (it can take a long time in the first time, so have patience).

As soon it concludes, a login screen is showed. As I connected just the keyboard, and I'm not a great fan of GUI (I'm not using it for entertainment, so feel free to connect a USB Mouse and check the interface), I'll just type Ctrl+Alt+F1 and change to a plain terminal login screen.

The user and password for this image is orangepi. Change the password or add a new user executing adduser and passwd.

Update the system with: sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade.

Step 4: Enjoy!

And now you have a functional Orange Pi PC.

More infos and reviews on my personal blog: CoreHacking http://corehacking.com

Hope you enjoy it and keep hacking! =D

Comments

author
RodrigoF83 (author)2017-05-19

Como faço pelo windows essa gravação do sistema no cartão?

Eu baixei o sd formatter e o win32 disk imagem mas tentei uma vez e nao gravou o sistema.



Contém uma

author
CarlosP268 (author)2017-03-23

I bought an adjustable power supply for my Opi, but it does not have a 5v output, only 4.5v and 6v, can I use one of these outputs to support my Opi Lite?

author
VikT1 (author)2016-03-27

Orange Pi PC for me just the typicial cheap shi1t = wasted money just gave me headaches...

I was able to burn and use the lubuntu image, but nothing else, now I'm trying the 5th micro SD card to burn the G0D D4MN Android on it, but no success first it was failing to format the cards with a micro sd to sd adapter, now I got an usb mico sd adapter, it can format but burning always fails with all the 5 different micro sd cards.

If you'd like to avoid headaches and time and money wasting do NOT ANY BUY ORANGE PI

author
PaulF55 (author)VikT12017-03-06

I have my orange pi pc running RetrOrangepi for a games system and it never gave a problem.You have to add the roms but simple enough with armbain desktop to access roms from a usb drive.

author
CarraN (author)VikT12016-03-30

I agree. Doesn't boot with android, ubuntu or whatever. I learn on some forum that some pieces work and some other not, I don't know why...

author
ehsan2022002 (author)CarraN2016-11-29

i boot armbian so easy

power to 5v 2A and for display i plug to HDMI to VGA convertor , just use 1$ USB SD card hardware (ram reader) windows detect SD ScanDisk 16gb class 10 micro SD then use rufus-2.8 software and locate

Armbian_5.20_Orangepione_Debian_jessie_3.4.112_desktop , yes this is DD image , and after burn plug micro SD to Orang PI and boots, ask me for user pass , root and 1234

author
DavidA33 (author)VikT12016-03-30

Don't panic. I had a very frustrating time getting started too, but now that I know how to do it, the OPi PC offers a great value. You will need the following:

* Good 5v/2A power supply with 4mm x 1.7mm DC barrel jack (same as used on Sony PSP)
* 8GB or larger Class 10 or better microSD card
* Ethernet cable and connection
* Recommended: HDMI cable and monitor
* Recommended: USB keyboard and mouse
* Optional: USB-to-TTL-Serial adapter

I'll describe these in more detail below:

POWER
SUPPLY: The Orange Pi requires a 5V/2A good quality power supply. The
power input is a 4mm x 1.7mm DC barrel jack (same as Sony PSP and many
other devices). You cannot power it through a microUSB cable like a
Raspberry Pi; you have to power it through the DC power jack. I made
the mistake of buying a really cheap after-market power supply meant for
the Sony PSP and had lots of trouble because the power supply was too
noisy; others have had similar problems. Get a good power supply like LoveRPi 2A MicroUSB LED Power Supply Adapter Charger with Click On/Off Switch Adapter to 4.0mm x 1.7mm Barrel Plug just the adapter (LoveRPi 8" MicroUSB to 4.0mm x 1.7mm Adapter with Click Button Power Switch for Banana Pi M2 and Orange Pi One/PC/Plus/Plus 2 or use a USB-to-4mm adapter cable (and a good USB 5v/2A supply).

MICRO-SD
CARD: There are a zillion Linux (and Android and other OS)
distributions for the Orange Pi, but many of them are hard to install or
missing important capabilities. I spent a lot of time sorting through
them and ultimately installed ARMbian Linux (Debian Jessie Server) from
here:[...] using Rufus (here: [...]) onto a Samsung EVO 16GB Class 10
micro-SD card Samsung 16GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDHC Card with Adapter up to 48MB/s (MB-MP16DA/AM).
I plugged in the uSD card, Ethernet, HDMI monitor, USB keyboard, and
power, and my Pi was up and running (fast)! There was lots of space
left over on the 16GB card; even an 8GB card would leave plenty, but try
to avoid slow cards (e.g. don't use Class 6). ARMbian is a great
distribution that is pre-configured for the OPi PC; everything worked
out of the box; my network connection came right up using DHCP and I
could ssh into the OPi.

USER INTERFACE: The intended user
interface is an HDMI monitor and a USB keyboard (and mouse if you are
installing the desktop/GUI version). If you are technically inclined,
the other thing that's very useful is a USB-to-TTL-serial cable so you
can access the serial console (something like this:[...]). 115200bps, 8,
N, 1, Pin 1 on the 3-pin header is ground. Accessing the serial
console lets you see what's happening very early in the boot process;
when booting is complete, you can login there as well. A tiny USB
serial console is a lot smaller to carry in your laptop bag than a
monitor and keyboard.

OTHER USEFUL TOOLS: You may also find SDFormatter (here: [...]) useful for erasing/reformatting SD cards.

COOLING:
ARMbian runs the CPU pretty cool; it rarely got more than slightly warm
to the touch. However as I was experimenting with different linux
distributions, some would get the SoC very hot very quickly.
Self-adhesive heat sinks are very inexpensive and probably worth adding,
at least one on the H3 SoC.

CONNECTING TO PROJECTS: If you plan
to connect your OrangePi to some custom electronics, WiringPi has been
ported to the OrangePi (see here:[...]) and I was able to have it
blinking LEDs within a couple of minutes. If you need them,
instructions are here: [...]

If you follow the steps I mentioned above, you should be up and running quickly. Good luck and have fun!

author
igrewold (author)2017-02-02

Thanks a lot dude, great work. Actually, it has become easier than ever to put an OS on Orange Pi (OPi), just follow these simple steps:

1. You MUST download Armbian image file for your OPi model, forget about all the other OSes they are not well configured for OPi, some of them will even BURN you OPi SoC(CPU/GPU)!

https://www.armbian.com/download/

2. Get Etcher, that is the easiest way to put OPi OS (Armbian or any other) on the uSD card. It supports Windows/Mac/Linux. If on Windows make sure after installation you right click on its icon and choose "run as admin" IF NEEDED.

https://etcher.io/

3. Use Etcher to put Armbian image on uSD while it is doing its work read a little bit in Armbian site about how to use it, set it up.

4. Support Armbian by DONATIONs or whatever you feel appropriate, even a thank you is a good support.

5. RPI Mag https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/issues/ has good ideas,tutorials and projects, maybe you wanna check it out and see how you can do that on OPi.

6. Learn a little Linux if you are not familiar with it.

Good luck

author
r_jeff_m (author)igrewold2017-02-26

Exactly what I did... Worked great!

author
miah77 (author)2015-10-31

Your link to the page for purchasing the orange pi leads to a page not found error. Very informative ible otherwise.

author
miah77 (author)miah772015-10-31

Nevermind. The link works. oops

author
igrewold (author)miah772017-02-02

http://www.banggood.com/search/orange-pi.html

author
Douglas GiovaniO (author)2016-11-03

Olá Amigo! Gostaria de saber se o dispositivo funciona bem, ou é muito instável e alguns programas não funcionam? O que vc pode dizer? O intuito de eu adquirir é fazer dele uma estação de trabalho. É possível usar um microfone usb junto dele? Qual a sua opinião? Obrigado

author
Fleder (author)2016-05-04

Has someone managed Retropie / Emulationstation to run on an Orange Pi PC yet?

author
gldndragon77 (author)Fleder2016-08-25

Yup.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1131759626884432/

author
Fleder (author)gldndragon772016-08-26

Found it a while ago, but thanks!

author
pfmelamed (author)2016-07-18

Thanks for the post...

I have a 16GB Sd when I create the SD from the img. the fdisk give me only 4GB

how to resize the SD thanks

author
JohnG402 (author)2016-06-15

These instructions work correctly for the Fedora 22 image as well. Even if it seems like your operating system is working correctly, you will need to create the correct script.bin and uImage file as directed. In particular, the Fedora 22 image is bad. The Ethernet port doesn't work. Also, you should remove uImage-* and script.bin.* for simplicity. This is all you need:

drwxr-xr-x 2 jgotts jgotts 2048 Jun 15 16:20 .
drwxr-x---+ 4 root root 80 Jun 15 16:18 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 jgotts jgotts 36428 Jun 15 16:19 script.bin
-rw-r--r-- 1 jgotts jgotts 10916088 Jun 15 16:09 uImage

Additionally, I recommend copying the entire lib directory tree to your operating system, whether Ubuntu or Fedora. You can try without it first.

author
thegrendel (author)2016-05-11

This, and other model Orange Pis seem to be a bit fussy about which wifi dongles they support out of the box. The ones with a Realtek chipset (8192) seem to work.

author
BenW110 (author)2016-04-14

Thank you so much, I've spent the whole day trying to get this thing to work and finally found this, now it's working no problems and I'm saved the headache of trying to return the damn thing.

Honestly this is so straightforward and just worked immediately.

author
theobsessivehomesteader (author)2015-12-27

if you want an orange pi that is shipped from the usa .. visit MakersOnAcres.com/shop
they ship them from Kansas. plus they have free shipping. if you order from aliexpress you have to wait for it to come from Hong Kong

author
AcmeUK (author)2015-12-17

Have a look at DietPI for Kodi :- http://fuzon.co.uk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5#p5

author
radznjason2011 (author)2015-10-31

Thought I'd add some if the issues from my experience with the orange pi pc. I'd welcome anyone adding links to work instructions resolving any of these issues.

1) I know of know working installations with Kodi on linux on the opi pc.

2) Hardware video acceleration doesn't seem to work.

3) You have to change one of the configuration files for this to work with a dvi to hdmi converter..

4) If you use the wrong script.bin file it will appear as if some of your hardware isn't support such as some of the usb ports or ethernet.

5) If you install android and it doesn't boot, try reformatting the sd card in windows and hen install android again.

author
trymonx (author)radznjason20112015-11-01

Thanks for the comments! =D

I would add a detail about the 5 item -
too work out of the box, Android images need to be flashed using
Phoenix card tools for some reason. Indeed no video hardware acceleration is available
to Android.

author

Forgot a couple.

6) The orangepi forum can be VERY slow. The half joke is that they are running the forum on an orange pi.

7) There are several posts on the orange pi forum claiming that you need a class 10 sd card.especially for the android images. However, this isn't true. I have several class 4 cards that do just fine. Class 10 should be better but not necessary. I thought it was, too at first because I had a lot of cards which would work. I reformatted them in windows and they all work regardless of class or manufacturer. YMMV but try reformatting from windows if you have issues.

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-10-31

Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard about this microcontroller yet.