I looked at the recent Linux distributions available from OrangePi.org. I was not impressed with the Raspian server image found on the site, but I could be wrong of course. As they say, your mileage may vary.
Table of Contents
- Available Distributions from OrangePi.org
- Installing Raspian Server
- Enabling WiFi
Why not try a Linux distribution among thoes offered by Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO., Limited? They can be found on the Resources/Downloads page about half way down in the Orange Pi Zero section.
The two most recent Linux distributions are
ubuntu Core updated: 2017-08-18 OrangePi_zero_UbuntuCore_1604_V0_0_1.rar Version: 0.8.0 Release date: 2016-11-24 Release notes: username(root/orangepi), password(orangepi) Raspbian Server updated: 2017-05-05 Raspbian_server_For_zero_H2+_V0_1 Version: 0.8.0 Release date: 2016-11-24 Release notes: username(root/orangepi), password(orangepi)
A cursory look at Ubuntu Core persuaded me to
avoid this distribution at this time. Among other things, it seems that a
video connection and a TTL serial connection are needed to set up the device
before being able to open an
ssh session. Installation of
packages is done through a new model: snaps obtained from stores. From my
cursory examination of the Ubuntu Core site, you can setup a store
but that involves another layer of complication.
The image is a file of Raspian Server named
in an xz archive named
which is itself in the downloaded archive
Raspbian_server_For_zero_H2+_V0_1.rar found at this URL. I suggest going to the download page
in case a newer version becomes available.
Needless to say, the image will have to be extracted to burn to the SD card. Etcher can handle images in zip archives but nothing so complicated as the double compression performed by OrangePi.org. For details on using the application, see Installation of Armbian in the first post in this series.
An Ethernet connection must be used to setup the WiFi connection. By
default, the Ethernet interface will obtain a dynamic IP address from the
dhcp server on the LAN. In my case is showed up at
192.168.0.133 which had already been used for another device
ssh service enabled.
So it appears that is Raspian 8.0, basically Debian 8.0 jessie with version 3.4.39 of the Linux kernel. It is not the latest version available for the Raspberry Pi which is Raspian 9.0 based on Debian 9 stretch.
Here is what I found about the Ethernet and WiFi interfaces. If both are enabled and their default configuration is not changed, then they work. If static IP addresses are given to both, then they both work, provided the Ethernet connection is used. Finally, it is possible to have a static IP address with the WiFi interface as long as the Ethernet interface uses a dynamic IP address. In that case, it is not necessary to use the Ethernet interface.
Modifying the network is done with Net manaager
as in Armbian. However,
is not present, so I used
ip to get information about the
ifconfigis usually installed in the
/sbindirectory and that the latter may not have been part of the
PATHenvironment variable. The command echo $PATH will display the current search path. I no longer have this image on an SD card to check.
ifconfig is indeed in
(or elsewhere for that matter), it is a relatively simple matter to
add that directory to the search path:
Use Network Manager to manage (duh!) the interfaces.
In the main menu of
tui for Text User Interface I suppose) select
Edit a connection then press
To set a static IP address for the WiFi interface and to enable it edit the Wi-Fi connection making sure to select the correct wireless network in the displayed list.
I then selected the type of
Personal and entered the network password.
The WI-FI section can be hidden (
<Hide>) while the
IPv4 CONFIGURATION section can be shown (
You must change the IPv4 configuration to
and enter the desired IP address. Here I entered
/24 corresponds to a network mask of 24 bits:
255.255.255.0. Not shown in the image, the gateway was set to
192.168.1.1 while no DNS servers were added.
I left the Ethernet connection unchanged. In other words, it will obtain a dynamic IP address form the DHCP server on the network router. Finally to restart the network I use the following command
Finally, I used
nmtui to change the name of the host that is
Installing Raspian Server image from OrangePi.org did help me understand a bit better the limitations of the OPiZ network interfaces.
However, I did not discern any real benefit over the DietPi offering for the OPiz. Indeed trying to install some packages it became obvious that this distribution from OrangePi.org was rather sparse.
I decided to revert to the DietPi distribution.