Right now, Blinka only supports the Odroid C2 (because that's the only board we've got for testing).

At any time after armbian is installed, it's easy to tell what board you have: simply cat /etc/armbian-release and look for BOARD_NAME

Install ARMbian on your Odroid C2

We're only going to be using armbian, other distros could be made to work but you'd probably need to figure out how to detect the platform since we rely on /etc/armbian-release existing. Using other operating systems and CircuitPython is your call, we cannot provide support for that.

Download and install the latest armbian, for example we're using https://www.armbian.com/odroid-c2/

There's some documentation to get started at https://docs.armbian.com/User-Guide_Getting-Started/

Blinka only supports ARMbian because that's the most stable OS we could find and it's easy to detect which board you have

Logging in

We've found the easiest way to connect is through a console cable, wired to the UART Serial port, and then on your computer, use a serial monitor at 115200 baud.

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Once powered correctly and with the right SD card you should get a login prompt

After logging in you may be asked to create a new username, we recommend pi - if our instructions end up adding gpio access for the pi user, you can copy and paste them.

Once installed, you may want to enable mdns so you can ssh [email protected]  instead of needing to know the IP address:

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

then reboot

Update Your Packages

Run the standard updates:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Python and set Python 3  to Default

There's a few ways to do this. Since Python 2 is no longer installed by default, we recommend something like this:

sudo apt-get install -y python3 git python3-pip
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python $(which python3) 2

This will make it so typing python runs python3.

Update Python Packages

sudo pip3 install --upgrade setuptools

Update all your Python 3 packages with

pip3 freeze - local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip3 install -U

and

sudo bash
pip3 freeze - local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip3 install -U

Install libgpiod

libgpiod is what we use for gpio toggling. To install run this command:

sudo apt-get install libgpiod2
pip3 install gpiod

After installation, you should be able to import gpiod from within Python 3:

Enable UART, I2C and SPI

A vast number of our CircuitPython drivers use UART, I2C and SPI for interfacing, so you'll want to get those enabled.

You only have to do this once per board, unfortunately by default all three interfaces are disabled!

Install the support software with:

sudo apt-get install -y python3-smbus python3-dev i2c-tools
sudo adduser pi i2c

The Odroid C2 does not have a hardware peripheral, but I2C is enabled by default, so if you run ls /dev/i2c*

You should see at least one i2c device.

Because the Odroid C2 is a newer board, currently /dev/ttyAML1 isn't working properly.

The UART Serial Port on the Odroid C2 is connected to /dev/ttyAML0. To enable the GPIO UART, edit /boot/armbianEnv.txt and add this line to the end.

overlays=uartA

After you have rebooted, verify that /dev/ttyAML1 is now enabled by typing: 

ls /dev/ttyA*
Even though the Odroid C2 has SPI, both of the hardware CS lines are in use, making it unavailable

Install Python Libraries

Now you're ready to install all the Python support.

Run the following command to install adafruit_blinka:

sudo pip3 install adafruit-blinka

The computer will install a few different libraries such as adafruit-pureio (our ioctl-only i2c library),  Adafruit-GPIO (for detecting your board) and of course adafruit-blinka.

That's pretty much it! You're now ready to test.

Create a new file called blinkatest.py with nano or your favorite text editor and put the following in:

import board
import digitalio
import busio

print("Hello blinka!")

# Try to great a Digital input
pin = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.D7)
print("Digital IO ok!")

# Try to create an I2C device
i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
print("I2C ok!")

# Try to create an SPI device
#spi = busio.SPI(board.SCLK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
#print("SPI ok!")

print("done!")

Save it and run at the command line with

sudo python3 blinkatest.py

You should see the following, indicating digital i/o, I2C and SPI all worked

This guide was first published on Jun 16, 2019. It was last updated on Jun 16, 2019.

This page (Initial Setup) was last updated on Aug 12, 2022.

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