Armbian-config on Armbian, the equivalent of raspi-config for Raspbian

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Armbian version 5.27 introduces a configuration tool called armbian-config. This is almost the equivalent of raspi-config on Raspbian. Armbian can run on mini PCs with very different designs (Allwinner, freescale, actionsemi), the tool does not support the configuration of hardware devices (camera, GPIO, I2C …).

Attention. Some changes may result in the destruction of your operating system and the loss of your data. Make a backup of your data as well as a clone of your operating system. Preferably, test on a clone of your system. No support will be provided for this item.

What can be configured with armbian-config?

Open a Terminal or connect to SSH and then run the sudo armbian-config command. Check with the space bar Yes, I understand the risks, and then press the Enter key.

 armbian-config accepter

Install Armbian on a SATA drive, USB stick, eMMC memory

If you have purchased an Orange Pi with an eMMC memory (Orange Pi + 2e,) or a SATA connector, the Install menu lets you start the Armbian installation tool on a disk target. The tool is able to automatically detect the connected media (NAND or eMMC, SATA disk or USB key).

armbian-config install sata disk usb key

Wi-Fi connection

The WiFi command allows you to configure a connection to a WiFi network. This tool is much more convenient than manually configuring the connection.

WiFi Access Point (Hotspot)

It is possible to configure its mini-PC so that it can also serve as a WiFi access point. It is very practical to extend the range of its WiFi network for example. An external camera can be used as an access point to connected objects based on ESP8266 for example. Configuring hostapd is never easy. Here the utility takes care of everything. It starts by first checking that the hardware is compatible. The Orange Pi + 2e is not compatible, I could not test the configuration.

Updating the kernel and packages

The Hold function allows you to freeze the update of the kernel (system kernel) and packages.

Installing software

The Softy function makes it very easy to install useful software on a daily basis

  • Samba, a server that allows to exchange files on the local network with a Windows PC, MacOS or a Raspberry. Read this article to go further
  • CUPS, for printer sharing
  • TV headend, to transform the mini PC into a multimedia server
  • Syncthing, a multi-platform personal server
  • VPN server, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server,
  • Minidlna, allows to share on your network videos, music, images …
  • Pi hole, a pub blocker
  • Transmission, turns your mini-PC into a Torrent server
  • ISPConfig can transform your mini PC into a web server, very powerful mail

This is a good start, but it still lacks some important tools: VNC server for remote control (see this tutorial for how to do it) and probably the most important, retroPi to turn Orange into a retro gaming console ;-).

armbian-config softy samba cups tvheadend minidlna ispconfig vpn

Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools

Monitor is used to monitor several system parameters. For example, CPU load, frequency, temperature.

armbian-config monitoring cpu

It is possible to send a diagnostic report to the Armbian development team.

The Lowlevel option allows you to enable or disable low level messages on the console.

The Booting option is reserved for the most expert of you. It allows to modify the u-boot parameters (which manages the system boot).

armbian-config u-boot

The network option is used to modify the configuration file /etc/network/interfaces.

armbian-config network configuration

Startup Configuration

The Services option lets you choose which services are to be launched (or not) when the system starts.

armbian-config services demarrage

What is not yet supported

Some functions are still missing from the utility. For example, nothing about the management of the keyboard. You still need to continue using the dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration  command. The same applies to the configuration of the video output. You still need to use the h3disp command to choose the display resolution.

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Thanks for your reading

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