Orange Pi Lite (unpacking): Armbian (Wifi, french keyboard, HDMI/DVI) [Exclusive Guide]

12:31 pm January 6, 201712434

Orange Pi Lite is a small very economical card computer coming to compete with the Raspberry Pi Zero on which you can install many Linux distributions ( Armbian , Raspbian, Android…). It is not as compact as the Raspberry Pi Zero but it for 2 USB ports, WiFi or Ethernet (One model) connectivity and above can get it pretty quickly into direct from China . The Orange Pi Lite is a small computer card very well suited to projects of devices because of its small size, its low consumption, its GPIO and its WiFi connectivity. We can use it for example to make a surveillance camera (a next project). In is tutorial, we will prepare the SD card with a distribution Armbian tailored to its configuration.

the great strength of Orange Pi is to be able to decline its mini computers map based applications. The difference between the One Pi and Pi Lite connectivity. The Pi One offers a connection by Ethernet port while the Lite offers a WiFi connection. In the table below, you can compare these two models compared to the Raspberry Pi Zero. It’s actually the model that comes closest in terms of compactness and raw power. [


video output

Orange Pi Lite Orange Pi One Raspberry Pi Zero
orange pi lite h3 computer board orange pi one  raspberry pi zero
CPU H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7@1.2GHz H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7@1.2GHz Broadcom [email protected]
GPU [email protected] [email protected]
512 MB DDR3 512 MB DDR3 512 MB LPDDR2
USB 2.0 Ports 2 1 0
Port micro USB (OTG) 1 1 1
HDMI (HDCP) HDMI (HDCP) mini HDMI 1080 p 60
video input 1 x CSI *

Max [email protected]


1 x CSI *

Max [email protected]

Yes since v1.3
output Audio via HMDI HDMI not
input Audio microphone microphone not
WiFi YES NOT no, WiFi USB dongle or this montage
Ethernet NOT 10 /. 100M RJ45 no, USB adapter
Led status status power, status
GPIO 40 pins

compatible B +

40 pins

compatible B +

40 pins

+ / + B / 2B

power 5V , 3A max. 5V, 3A max. 5V via micro-USB port
Dimensions 69mm × 48mm x 17mm 69mm × 48mm x 17mm 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
weight 60g 36g

approximate price (port)

Aliexpress : €12 (env. 3,5€)

Banggood: €19.20 (-)

GearBest: €16.08 (-)

Aliexpress: €9.80 (env.3, €5)

Banggood: €17,90 (-)

GearBest: €15,15 (-)

difficult to obtain except in a pack

* connector not compatible with cameras for Raspberry Pi.

Orange Pi Lite (or One) is a bit less compact, but ultimately if we need to add WiFi or Ethernet to the Raspberry Pi Zero it is not obvious that the Zero WINS. Rated power, without having made benchmark, impossible to pronounce, but on paper the Orange is more powerful than Raspberry.

the top view of the map

 orange pi lite top dessus

view the bottom card. The CSI of the camera connector is located opposite of the SD card reader. There is also the second 256 MB of DDR3 Ram module. orange pi lite bottom dessous

sources of the images:

Orange Pi sent my cards in a small flexible cardboard box. The card is simply wrapped in a pocket of protection against electrostatic shocks. Shipping on Alipress are paying but against part we have a follow-up (and a priori insurance). I received my card in 2 weeks approximately (outside the Christmas period). At the same time I ordered a [email protected] as well as an 8 GB (class 10) SD card transformer.

orange pi lite deballage

as we have seen in the previous article, the Orange IP organization offers many distributions for my cards. It’s a good thing, but the proposed distributions are often quite heavy (they most often contain a graphical desktop). It’s very well if you are new to Linux, but if you want to keep control over the size of your system, the best is to go on Armbian who specialized in preparing images for the mini computers card under arm

can I use a Pi Raspnberry SD card?

NO, impossible, the architecture is completely different. To go to an OrangePi or Armbian image.

Armbian offers distributions suitable employment for almost all manufacturers of mini computer map. Armbian also offers an online d utility command (CLI) to “make” my own image. Except for needing a map very new or very specific, you should find your happiness at the Armbian site.

armbian page accueil

go to the download tab and then choose the type of microprocessor to filter cards

armbian filter processeur

finally go to the page that matches yours. In the case of this article, we will go over the Orange Pi Lite. Two distributions (in general) are proposed. The version incorporating a graphical desktop (Desktop) and a light version that for only the command prompt (Server version). If you are new to Linux, go for the Desktop version. If you have a project requiring no GUI (programming in Scratch, internet browsing…), opt for the Desktop version. On average, the image server weighs 300 MB and the Desktop 650 MB image.

armbian page download orange pi lite

the preparation of SD card is absolutely identical to that of a Raspberry. The easiest is to use etch I already presented this article in . After retrieving the image Armbian, unzip it there. Launch Etcher, specify the path to the image, the SD card then press Flash! There is to wait a few minutes as the operation unfolds.

etcher raspberry pi sd card jeedom

convertisseur hdmi dvi all Orange Pi patterns offers an HDMI HDCP output. For me, it was the first challenge. In fact, I’m using old Dell 24 monitor”that I connect normally to my Raspberry Pi 3 using a adapter HDMI / DVI . With the Raspberry Pi 3, it is plug and play, but for the Orange Pi, it doesn’t work, and regardless of the installed distribution. The only alternative is to connect the Orange Pi on a monitor or a fairly new TV. In my case, I used a video projector Optoma because the image was cropped on my television. Not easy to use the Terminal when it is not what is required. Complete the installation, we will see how to change the video configuration a little further.

now that the SD card is ready, connect the Orange Pi to a compatible display (a recent television) and insert the SD card into the reader. Connect a keyboard. Connect the power supply and press the small switch next to the Jack. A small green Led indicates the power. The first start is longer because it includes a configuration phase. At the end of the startupsee you on the login prompt. By default, the user is root and the password is 1234.

once identified, Armbian ask you to change the password of the root user. Change it, but remember that your keyboard is still configured in QWERTY!

then Armbian asks you the name of the primary user. If you have the habit of using a Raspberry, why not create a user pi also. You will then need to enter the password (attention to the QWERTY keyboard). A series of (optional) questions are then asked: full name, email…

after the creation of the user account, Armbian offers you to change video configuration. If you want to connect your Orange Pi on a DVI monitor, this is the time to properly configure the video output. Accept by pressing on ‘Y’.

depending on the Orange used IP video formats may be different. For the Lite here’s what it is possible to choose

it tells the command desired format.” In the explicit format, for example m 1280 × 1024 , or the number – 33 m . If you use a converter HDMI to DVI, this must be indicated with the parameter d , which gives for example
restart ( sudo reboot ) to take into account the configuration.

Note. Use the command h3disp at any time to change the video configuration.

after an update of the system with the command apt – get upgrade , it is likely that the display is reset. He’ll have to re – run the command h3disp with the option d to return to normal. To do this, pass by a SSH connection from another computer or smartphone

and Yes, it’s always the first thing to set up for us happy owners of QWERTY keyboards!

to change the keyboard, you must be logged in as root. If this isn’t the case, run

you will be asked for the root password (created in the previous step).

now run the following command

armbian clavier francais

go down the list and select Other. In the list that appears, place you on french then confirm.

armbian clavier francais

armbian configurer clavier francais

and then the type of used keyboard. Left everything default for most of the keyboards.

armbian clavier francais

armbian clavier francais

restart Orange Pi with sudo reboot to take into account the changes.

Orange Lite Pi does have a WiFi connection. This is the main difference with her sister (or brother like you want) that he for only one Ethernet port.

the configuration is really simple with the Armbian distribution. Open the file of configuration interface

and configure the connection like this. Don’t forget to uncomment the line allow-hotplug for the WiFi connection active at the start of the system.

Orange Pi Lite is very well suited for projects of connected objects, it will be not necessarily linked to a screen and a keyboard. Rather, it will be integrated in a project. To connect, nothing better than a secure SSH connection. Good news, with the Armbian distribution, once the WiFi is enabled, we can directly access its Orange from another computer by using any SSH client. To learn more about the SSH connection, I refer you to article .