One of the greatest problems in the area of single board computers (SBCs) is the lack of ready to use GNU/Linux distributions for tinkeres as well as the long-term support of these SBCs.
Of course some hardware manufacturers, such as Hardkernel and LeMaker, provide their own distribution for their customers. However, I still prefer community-driven projects, as they are not influenced by the hardware manufacturers' business decisions to declare a piece of hardware as obsolete once they throw a new SBC on the market.
TLDR: To make a long story short, I needed to reinstall a fresh GNU/Linux on my Odroid C1 SBC, so I can develop and test some user-space sensor drivers. And to keep things simple, I picked the Armbian distribution, which is based on Debian Jessie and the Linux Kernel 3.10.
Overall, the installation of Armbian on the Odroid C1 is not that difficult. The following steps summarize the installation procedure.
For downloading Armbian just use
wget and the
url shown below:
Unpack the Armbian archive
Next, extract the
7z file using the command
7za x -ojessie Debian_jessie_default.7z
Flash Armbian on the SD card
After that we need to flash the
img file on a sd card using
dd. In my
case the sd card is
/dev/mmcblk. If you're reusing a sd card you should
wipe first the sd card.
dd if=./jessie/Armbian_5.30_Odroidc1_Debian_jessie_default_3.10.104.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=4M status=progress sync
Once you have flashed your sd card you should not forget to issue the command
sync, otherwise any buffered data in memory is not written to the sd card!
Power on the Odroid
Now, it's time to plug the sd card into the SBC and to power on the SBC.
If everything is okay, then a blue LED on the Odroid C1 should start to blink.
If this is the case, we can move along and
ssh into the SBC.
Find out the IP address
For finding out the Odroid's IP address, we can leverage the handy program
nmap. The latter is a network CLI tool that allows us to scan hosts on a network.
The following output illustrates how the Odroid can be identified. As one can see,
the Odroid uses a network interface card that was produced by the company
nmap -nsP 10.0.0.0/24 ... Nmap scan report for 10.0.0.106 Host is up (0.00097s latency). MAC Address: 00:1E:06:C8:29:47 (Wibrain) ...
The default password of the
root user on Armbian system is
However, once you login, you will immediately be prompted to change
the root password as well as to create a non-root account.
In my opinion that is well done because some inexperienced users might use Armbian as the OS for their Internet of Thing (IoT) applications or projects.
Update the system
In a last step, we should update the system. For this we can use the
package manager like on any other Debian-based distribution. So, first we need
to update the package sources using
apt update, followed by
which upgrades already installed packages. Lastly, reboot the system.
apt update apt full-upgrade reboot