FRESH BOOT: How to Setup RetrOrange Pi : RetroPie 4.1 + Armbian (Debian 8) SD Image

Ok, so you’ve just opened your Orange Pi and put together any heat sinks or hardware type things involved. Great.

Step 1.1 would be to get your flash card loaded with an operating system.

Booting straight into the Orange Pi without an SD card inserted to the SD slot will bring you to the custom Android Rom (flashed to the eMMC memory chip) made by the Orange Pi developers. Not good is this.

As far as I can tell barely anything on the stock system actually works (at least on my Orange Pi+ 2e). Perhaps this is because I hit update when prompted I’m not sure. Either way I don’t care to use the stock system so… without further rambling…

I will be setting up the SD card from a Windows 10 machine.

SIDE NOTE – Make sure you have a decent 5V 2A DC Power supply for the Orange Pi. If at any point your system just hangs when turning on the Orange Pi, this is probably the reason. Some chargers don’t have quite enough juice for the board to work properly and the micro USB port doesn’t supply power for most models of the Orange Pi. Strongly suggest purchasing one from wherever you ordered the board in the first place.

Get all the things (below).

Let’s do this.

  • Make sure you have at least an 8gb SD card ready and plugged into your computer then open SD Card Formatter. Set the options as in the cap below. (Hit Option Setting and switch Format Size Adjustment to ‘ON’, easypeasy)


  • Extract your hot new download of the RetrOrangePi.tar.gz image using 7-zip or other archiving soft.
  • Open up Win32 Disk Imager and write the Image to SD (doublepeasy)


  • Twiddle thumbs for a moment until the image has been written to the card.
  • Load that sucker into the SD slot on the Orange Pi and plug in the power supply.

If all went as followed you should successfully be greeted with the RetrOrange Pi loading screen (and what a pretty one it is)


followed by the Emulation Station (the frontend for RetroPie) controller configuration –


The input configuration here will configure the controls for operating Emulation Station ONLY (and not the emulators within). So…

At this point in time I would ONLY BOTHER TO INPUT KEYBOARD CONTROLS into that screen, as you’ll need the buttons to work the first time around or you’ll go insane trying to use a (for the time being) buggy controller. You can add inputs later from the main menu if you want to add a controller yourself, but it’s best to stick with keyboard first to avoid possible bugs right off the bat.

I will outline the full set up of gamepads / controllers in new posts.

Once the controls have been set you can bring up the Menu –> Apps, which gives you the options to boot into Armbian (Desktop OS) or OpenElec (Kodi).


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