Armbian OS – Installation

Steps to image your SD Card/USB stick from a Windows PC

  • Armbain OS from here
  • Win32DiskImager from here
1) Download the Armbian OS files and Win32DiskImager.

2) Unzip/Extract with Armbain image file (Use WinRAR or 7Zip).
3) Install Win32DiskImager.
4) Insert your micro SD card or USB Stick into your PC.
5) Run Win32DiskImager as an Administrator.
6) In Win32DiskImager, click the folder Icon and select your Armbian Image file.
7) Check the Device field is pointing at your SD card/USB stick you just inserted and click the Write button.
8) Wait about 5 minutes while the SD card/USB is imaged. (takes about 2 minutes at USB 3 speed).

The MeCool M8S PRO w and other Amlogic boards are often set to boot from external media first, however if yours isn’t there is a simple process to change this behaviour, read this article here.

For systems based on Rockchip ARM processor or something else, you will need to research the  Armbian forums for changing the boot process. I will update this article in future to cover other systems boot procedures.

The MeCool M8S PRO w I’m using doesn’t require any changes to the boot config files, but for many boxes you will need to edit the uEnv.ini and extlinux.conf file on the SD card/USB stick, to choose a different DTB file. DTB files are effectively for choosing what hardware drivers are needed when loading the OS. For a detailed guide on changing these files, please read this article here.

First boot of Armbian

Place the SD card or into your  box’s SD card slot, plug in a monitor, keyboard, mouse and if required, network cable to your switch/router and then the power.

Your box should now boot the Armbian OS text based setup, prompting you to type in the Username and Password (default are root and 1234). After this is done, it will ask you once again to type in the root password and change the root password to something else more secure.

After this you will need to create a user account, other than the root account. I created a user called openhab with a password. For the “Name” I called it openhab, ignore the other questions, leaving them blank and when asked if this is correct, say Y and press enter. 

If your box doesnt boot to the Armbian text setup and you have an Amlogic based chipset, read the section on Amlogic Boot.

You will see references throughout these guides to  openhab, this is just the account I created. You can use any name you like

After completing the above, your box should now load the Armbian GUI, requesting the password of the user account you created. Once logged in and you will now be at the Armbian desktop.

OPTIONAL – In the Armbian configuration, you can perform various settings. the above video shows how to:

  • Change the machine name.
  • Perform all your updates.
  • Setup Remote Access/Control from Windows.

Armbian Tech Guides

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