FriendlyARM NanoPi

Note: ARMWorks ( is having a week long sale with some 7″ ARM11 6410 systems at nearly half price.

I have been able to experiment with the new NanoPi from FriendlyARM. This is a Samsing S3C2451 400 MHz ARM that can run Debian (Jessie as of Aug 2) and use all the FriendlyARM LCDs. It has ‘Pi’ in the name because the double row 0.1″ header is Raspberry Pi compatible. But, the NanoPi also has WiFi and Bluetooth. Plus, the MicroUSB is recognized as Ethernet by Ubuntu or Fedora and you can SSH into the NanoPi to set up your WiFi connection and do anything else you would do with SSH. The NanoPi is half the size of an RPi at 30x75mm and much lower power usage.


Anyway, I was able to very easily with just a few commands, prepare a uSD with the bootloader (u-boot) and Debian Jessie. I connected the USB and the board started up. SSH worked fine and with two commands I had set up my WiFi and restarted the service. I pinged a few places without problems and I had a FriednlyARM P43 4.3″ LCD attached and all looked good.  SSH worked just as easily on Fedora 20 and the MicroUSB was recognized as an Ethernet gadget.

FriendlyARM has gone full Open Source on the software and there is work to do. The camera driver is not finished and I’m sure there are plenty of projects to use the GPIO and make sure it can drive various Pi expansion boards. If you are a driver/kernel/application tuner, check out the Github repos and dive in. WiFi camera with a decent battery sounds like a good project for me.

I had to send my samples out to developers and as soon as I get more I’ll do a power test and a test with a LiPo battery and a muRata DC/DC converter while WiFI is running. These 3 pin devices are like a TO-220 package and will provide 5V at 1.5A 90% efficiency. Digikey has them. There are cheaper eBay solutions bit none this small and simple and in volume these are $3.70.

Next, the FriendlyARM Matrix sensor and driver add-ons usable with NanoPi, Raspberry Pi, and basically all the FriednlyARM boards with GPIO.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hey, I’m having trouble SSHing into the NanoPi…

    dmesg | tail returns:

    [ 354.770859] usb 3-1.2: Product: FriendlyARM Gadget v2.4
    [ 354.770862] usb 3-1.2: Manufacturer: Linux 4.1.2-FriendlyARM with s3c-hsudc
    [ 354.773552] cdc_acm 3-1.2:2.0: This device cannot do calls on its own. It is not a modem.
    [ 354.773636] cdc_acm 3-1.2:2.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
    [ 354.775534] cdc_ether 3-1.2:2.2 usb0: register ‘cdc_ether’ at usb-0000:00:1a.0-1.2, CDC Ethernet Device, 26:4e:37:4f:82:b9
    [ 354.853436] cdc_ether 3-1.2:2.2 usb0: kevent 12 may have been dropped
    [ 354.866528] cdc_ether 3-1.2:2.2 usb0: kevent 12 may have been dropped
    [ 354.866854] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): usb0: link is not ready
    [ 360.882901] usb 3-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 6
    [ 360.885592] cdc_ether 3-1.2:2.2 usb0: unregister ‘cdc_ether’ usb-0000:00:1a.0-1.2, CDC Ethernet Device

    ifconfig usb0 returns:
    root@kali:~# ifconfig usb0
    usb0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 02:39:1f:6b:9a:1e
    inet6 addr: fe80::39:1fff:fe6b:9a1e/64 Scope:Link
    RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

    do you have any suggestions for conneceting over SSH? I followed the NanoPi wiki and sshing into root@ is not working…

    helps! :shock:

    • It has worked for me on Fedora and Ubuntu but failed like your on Debian. I don’t have an explanation yet. It also behaved like that a few times on Ubuntu then began working reliably even when I used a different NanoPi board each time.

      I noticed that there can be a pretty long delay after boot before the device is recognized. What is you system/setup?

      • Hey. thanks for the reply!

        I am running Debian on an Intel core i3 laptop…

        I am thinking I should try switcing to Ubuntu and see how it goes.

        Also, thanks for fixing up the stl file! :razz:


        • So I tried again on Ubuntu… I’m running into the same issue, however, I am noticing that the NanoPi keeps attempting to connect over Ethernet from the pop-up notification in Ubuntu. It seems to connect and then promptly disconnect and repeat the process.

          • Have you tried SSH from root? I should say I was able to do:

            sudo ssh root@ (doesn’t help if the link is not working)

            But I also did dmesg | tail until it said usb0: Link is ready.

          • Ahh… this must be the issue. No matter what I do it keeps saying usb0: link is not ready

          • I think there are a couple bugs in the Jessie build. Too bad the Wheezy is not in a differently named archive. They guys in China just replaced it with Jessie. (We need a version control Czar and will have one shortly.) They will be checking on it today. I have not checked the repo. The Wheezy uSD setup might be there and it worked on all bu Debian.

  2. also… can you post stl file for your case? :razz:

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