Orange PI One Installation

I picked up an orange pi on ebay to experiment with. The smallest ones are really cheap (~$10) and have the only ports I need – Ethernet/RJ45 and a USB port. I just need to be able to ssh into the Orange Pi and then use it to program a Teensy MCU. It appears I should be able to do this though the Teensy loader is still questionable.

Unlike the Raspberry Pi, documentation and help is not as forth coming for the OPI. I wasted hours trying to figure out why my monitor was showing horrible colors (HDMI to DVI is not supported out of the box).

My primary instructions were the orange pi quick start.

This post is a very brief list of the steps I had to follow to get the OPI running. If you need hand-holding, you will be better off finding other instructions.

What You Will Need

  • Orange Pi One (the instructions probably work for other models, but that is the model I’ve tested them with).
  • Class 10 Micro SD card. I used 32GB, but 8GB is the minimum.
  • mini hub for keyboard + mouse (there is just one USB port).
  • keyboard
  • mouse
  • HDMI cable + HDMI monitor. DVI monitors will not work. I’ve included, at the end, how I got mine to work, but chances are you won’t be as lucky.
  • ethernet cable connected back to LAN
  • DC 5v power supply >= 2A. Note the 1.7mm jack which is a lot smaller than the 2.1mm jack I normally use. My power supply has a 1.7mm. If you only have a 2.1mm power supply, there are 2.1mm to 1.7mm jack converters available at amazon.

Prep the SD Card

  • Use SDFORMATTER to format the SD Card
  • Download the Raspbian O/S for OPI ONE from here.
  • This downloads as an .XZ file. This is compatible with 7Z files.
  • Extract the image from the .XZ file. Note that I had to use the extract button. Dragging the file to the desktop failed with an error.
  • Using Win32 Disk Imager, copy the image to the SD card

Prep the Hardware

  • Attach heat sink to OPI’s CPU
  • Put OPI into case. The case I have has a front that blocks all venting. I removed that cover.
  • Insert the SD card into the OPI
  • Connect all of the cables
  • Provide power to start the OPI

The login for raspbian is root and password is orangepi.

Dealing with DVI

From what I’ve been able to tell some DVI monitors won’t work at all, some will show totally screwed up colors. From what I can tell this seems to depend on if the monitor recognizes HDCP (and I could be totally wrong about that).

If your DVI monitor shows nothing, I don’t think this next procedure will work (and if your monitor shows nothing there’s really no way to actually do this procedure without first connecting to an HDMI monitor).

I used these resources to figure this out:


  • sudo su
  • cd ~
  • apt-get install libusb-1.0.0-dev
  • git clone
  • cd sunxi-tools
  • make tools
  • make install-tools (may be make tools is not needed when using this, but this is required to move tools into /usr/local/bin)
  • cd /boot
  • cp script.bin script.old # backup copy
  • bin2fex script.bin script.fex (got some warnings, mainly on comments)
  • now find [hdmi_para] section and add:
    • hdcp_enable = 0
    • hdmi_cts_compatibility = 1
  • save file
  • fex2bin script.fex script.bin
  • reboot

Next I will alter the operating system to follow my standard config (such as installing VNC). If I find any oddities in OPI vs RPI in this regard, I’ll report them next.

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1 Response to Orange PI One Installation

  1. Pingback: Orange Pi Setup / Use Issues | Big Dan the Blogging Man

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