Armbian based

This page will guide you through the steps to get your Armbian based SBC prepared for mainsail.

We strongly recommend that you use a high-quality SD card of class "A1" (or better) from a reputable manufacturer such as Sandisk, Kingston or Samsung. Low end cards might fail pretty quickly in this kind of application.



Of course you need an SDCard reader of some kind and Balena Etcher.

  • Download and install the latest Balena Etcher. There are versions available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

  • Insert the SD card into your card reader.

  • Obviously a copy of MainsailOS image according to you SBC (download latest release)

  • A proper Texteditor of your choice, like Notepad++ or Visual Studio Code. At least any other Texteditor with the capability to set LF line endings will do the job.

Which image should I choose?

We typically add the SBC type to the image name. For example a MainsailOS for the Orange Pi 4 LTS is named '2023-03-18-MainsailOS-1.1.0-armbian-orangepi4lts.img.xz'.

As you can see it is a combination of release date, version, SBC-Family and SBC-model description.

<release date>-MainsailOS-<version number>-<family>-<sbc>.img.xz

This applies to all our images and is kinda naming convention.

Flashing MainsailOS

Remember all data existing on your SD Card will be lost!

Please launch your installed Balena Etcher and you will be presented with the main screen.

Flash from file

Click on Flash from file button and navigate to the location of your previously downloaded image.

Refrain from unpacking the image archive! Balena etcher will do that for you!

After this step is done it should look like this example

Select target

Please select your SD card. Be sure to choose the right one, as the data on your chosen location will later be completely erased.

Select the desired target by clicking the appropriate checkbox and then click on the Select button

Flashing the image

Hit the Flash button to start the process.

Now you will see progress as shown in the images below. After a successful flash, it will validate the written data. Depending on your SD Card / SD Card reader speed, this may take a while.

Flash was successful

Initial network setup

If you want to use a wired connection you can skip the Steps below and continue reading First Boot.

To set up the WiFi connection on your SBC, we added a file called network_config.txt.template in the FAT boot partition. This partition should be visible/access able via your Linux/Mac/Windows PC. (This file/service is based on the armbian_first_run.txt service.)

Changing Wifi credentials is possible due to this file on every reboot, but it will override your previous setup!

Now open your file manager and navigate to the FAT formatted partition. Copy and rename network_config.txt.template to network_config.txt.

Open the network_config.txt with your Texteditor.

Please read the comments in this file, everything is well explained there! We will not go deeper here to save space.

After you modify the file to your needs, please save and safely remove your SDCard. Now insert the SDCard in your SBC and boot up the device.

Some OS internals will do an initial setup on the first boot, so it may take a while before the device shows up in your Wifi. Please be patient, do not interrupt this procedure under any circumstances! You have to repeat all steps if interrupted!

Login credentials

The default credentials for our Orange Pi OS and Armbian based images are:

Username: pi
Password: armbian

We highly recommend changing the password after the first login via ssh!!!

Finished 🎉

Remove safely the SD card from your card reader and continue with First Boot.

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