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#Test: Orange Pi Plus 2e: unpacking and installing Armbian on eMMC memory • DIY Projects
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#Test: Orange Pi Plus 2e: unpacking and installing Armbian on eMMC memory

orange pi pc plus 2e plus2e

The Orange Pi Plus 2e (also Orange Pi+ 2e) is a computer board built around the SoC Allwinner H3. The H3 is a Cortex-A7@1.6GHz quad-core microprocessor capable of delivering a 4K (H.265 / HEVC) image using the Mali400MP2@600MHz graphics chip (compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0). Compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 which became the reference of the domain, the Orange Pi Plus 2e comes with 2GB Ram DDR3 (shared with the GPU) as well as a 16GB Samsung KLMAG2GEND-B031 eMMC module that equips many smartphones, Tablet and smartTV. Faster, more economical and energy efficient, eMMC memory is also more reliable than SD boards usually used to operate the system. The Pi + 2e approximates the raw performance of the Odroid C2 at a much lower price (the eMMC module must be purchased separately).

Unpacking Orange Pi Plus 2e

Like all models in the Orange Pi familly, it is recommended to use a 5V – 2A power supply.

OrangePi+ 2e is found on the main online commerce sites

Technical characteristics

(1) Not compatible with the camera of Raspberry PI. It is necessary to use the camera 2MP sold by Orange Pi, which limits the interest of the connector.

(2) Raspberry Pi B + compatible connector. The connector is rotated 180° from the Raspberry Pi!

Prepare an SD board with Armbian

OrangePi makes available on its site images of different Linux systems (Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, Android …). Returns are not always positive on the forum. I advise you to install the Armbian distribution already presented several times.

You can retrieve the Armbian image adapted to the Orange Pi Plus 2e here.

You can also build your own image from Linux sources by following this tutorial. This is what we will do in this tutorial.

Prepare your SD board with Etcher as usual on Windows, macOS or Linux.

DVI compatible video configuration

Hdmi dvi converter for the entire Orange PI family, you may experience a display problem on a DVI or VGA monitor if you are using an HDMI / DVI or HDMI / VGA converter. Connect the Orange Pi+ 2e to a TV using an HDMI cable. After creating the user account, Armbian suggests you change the video configuration. Accept by pressing ‘Y’.

Here are the different available. Choose a format compatible with your monitor.

480i	use "-m 480i" or "-m 0"
576i	use "-m 576i" or "-m 1"
480p	use "-m 480p" or "-m 2"
576p	use "-m 576p" or "-m 3"
720p50	use "-m 720p50" or "-m 4"
720p60	use "-m 720p60" or "-m 5"
1080i50	use "-m 1080i50" or "-m 6"
1080i60	use "-m 1080i60" or "-m 7"
1080p24	use "-m 1080p24" or "-m 8"
1080p50	use "-m 1080p50" or "-m 9"
1080p60	use "-m 1080p60" or "-m 10"
1080p25	use "-m 1080p25" or "-m 11"
1080p30	use "-m 1080p30" or "-m 12"
1080p24_3d	use "-m 1080p24_3d" or "-m 13"
720p50_3d	use "-m 720p50_3d" or "-m 14"
720p60_3d	use "-m 720p60_3d" or "-m 15"
1080p24_3d	use "-m 1080p24_3d" or "-m 23"
720p50_3d	use "-m 720p50_3d" or "-m 24"
720p60_3d	use "-m 720p60_3d" or "-m 25"
1080p25	use "-m 1080p25" or "-m 26"
1080p30	use "-m 1080p30" or "-m 27"
4kp30	use "-m 4kp30" or "-m 28"
4kp25	use "-m 4kp25" or "-m 29"
800x480	use "-m 800x480" or "-m 31"
1024x768	use "-m 1024x768" or "-m 32"
1280x1024	use "-m 1280x1024" or "-m 33"
1360x768	use "-m 1360x768" or "-m 34"
1440x900	use "-m 1440x900" or "-m 35"
1680x1050	use "-m 1680x1050" or "-m 36"

The desired format is indicated to the control. Either in the explicit format, for example -m 1280×1024, or by the number – m 33. If you are using an HDMI to DVI converter, you have to specify it with the -d parameter, which gives for example

h3disp -m 33 -d

Restart (sudo reboot) to take the configuration into account.

Note. Use the h3disp command at any time to change the video configuration.
After updating the system with the apt-get upgrade command, the display is likely to be reset. It will be necessary to re-run the command h3disp with the -d option to return to normal. To do this, go through an SSH connection from another computer or smartphone

Installing Armbian on the eMMC

The big advantage of the Orange Pi Plus 2e is therefore its eMMC memory of 16GB. The module is soldered on the board unlike the Odroid C2 which made the choice of a connector allowing to choose different capacities. We can not change the capacity but it is not a big problem, Linux being an economical system in place. The SD board slot remaining available, or will be able to use a large capacity SD board for file storage. On the other hand the Orange Pi Plus 2e does not offer any SATA connector to connect a external hard drive faster, it will be satisfied with USB 2.0. If you need a SATA connector, you should opt for Orange Pi Plus or Plus2

Start on Armbian on the SD board

To install Armbian on the eMMC memory, start Armbian on the SD board as usual. For this tutorial, I used the image built in the previous tutorial.

After booting, open a Terminal and run this command and answer a few questions

sudo nand-sata-install



Select filesystem

Fast format

About 36 minutes to complete the installation.

Installation is complete. Turn off the Orange, remove the SD board from the drive, and turn on the Orange, which will now boot into the eMMC.

Armbian on eMMC

Once restarted, you will find the system and all your old files on the SD board.


The Orange Pi Plus 2e is a credible alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3. The price / performance ratio is very good. The 2GB of RAM and the eMMC module of 16GB is a plus compared to the Raspberry Pi 3. Small regret however, the bluetooth is not part (as on the whole Orange Pi range for that matter). This is a bit of a shame because the Pi Plus 2e is well suited for building a small multimedia server and installing OpenElec for example. You will need to add a Bluetooth dongle to enjoy a wireless keyboard. The GPIO is identical (and compatible) to that of the Raspberry Pi but the library (WiringOP) requires to adapt the programs developed for the Raspberry.

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