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Armbian Linux Build Framework

Artifacts generation

Table of contents

What does this project do?

  • Builds custom kernel, image or a distribution optimized for low-resource hardware,
  • Include filesystem generation, low-level control software, kernel image and bootloader compilation,
  • Provides a consistent user experience by keeping system standards across different platforms.

Getting started

Basic requirements

  • x86_64 or aarch64 machine with at least 2GB of memory and ~35GB of disk space for a virtual machine, WSL2, container or bare metal installation
  • Ubuntu Jammy 22.04.x amd64 or aarch64 for native building or any Docker capable amd64 / aarch64 Linux for containerised
  • Superuser rights (configured sudo or root access).
  • Make sure all your system components are up-to-date. Outdated Docker binaries, for example, can cause trouble.

Start with the build script

apt-get -y install git
git clone --depth=1 --branch=main
cd build

Armbian logo

  • Interactive graphical interface.
  • Prepares the workspace by installing the necessary dependencies and sources.
  • It guides the entire process and creates a kernel package or a ready-to-use SD card image.

Build parameter examples

Show work-in-progress areas in interactive mode:

./ EXPERT="yes"

Build minimal CLI Armbian Jammy image for Orangepi Zero. Use current kernel and write image to the SD card:

./ \
BOARD=orangepizero \
BRANCH=current \
RELEASE=jammy \

More information:

Download prebuilt images

Compared with industry standards

Expand Check similarities, advantages and disadvantages compared with leading industry standard build software.
Function Armbian Yocto Buildroot
Target general purpose embedded embedded / IOT
U-boot and kernel compiled from sources compiled from sources compiled from sources
Board support maintenance   complete outside outside
Root file system Debian or Ubuntu based custom custom
Package manager APT any none
Configurability limited large large
Initramfs support yes yes yes
Getting started quick very slow slow
Cross compilation yes yes yes

Project structure

├── cache                                Work / cache directory
│   ├── aptcache                         Packages
│   ├── ccache                           C/C++ compiler
│   ├── docker                           Docker last pull
│   ├── git-bare                         Minimal Git
│   ├── git-bundles                      Full Git
│   ├── initrd                           Ram disk
│   ├── memoize                          Git status
│   ├── patch                            Kernel drivers patch
│   ├── pip                              Python
│   ├── rootfs                           Compressed userspaces
│   ├── sources                          Kernel, u-boot and other sources
│   ├── tools                            Additional tools like ORAS
│   └── utility
├── config                               Packages repository configurations
│   ├── targets.conf                     Board build target configuration
│   ├── boards                           Board configurations
│   ├── bootenv                          Initial boot loaders environments per family
│   ├── bootscripts                      Initial Boot loaders scripts per family
│   ├── cli                              CLI packages configurations per distribution
│   ├── desktop                          Desktop packages configurations per distribution
│   ├── distributions                    Distributions settings
│   ├── kernel                           Kernel build configurations per family
│   ├── sources                          Kernel and u-boot sources locations and scripts
│   ├── templates                        User configuration templates which populate userpatches
│   └── torrents                         External compiler and rootfs cache torrents
├── extensions                           Extend build system with specific functionality
├── lib                                  Main build framework libraries
│   ├── functions
│   │   ├── artifacts
│   │   ├── bsp
│   │   ├── cli
│   │   ├── compilation
│   │   ├── configuration
│   │   ├── general
│   │   ├── host
│   │   ├── image
│   │   ├── logging
│   │   ├── main
│   │   └── rootfs
│   └── tools
├── output                               Build artifact
│   └── deb                              Deb packages
│   └── images                           Bootable images - RAW or compressed
│   └── debug                            Patch and build logs
│   └── config                           Kernel configuration export location
│   └── patch                            Created patches location
├── packages                             Support scripts, binary blobs, packages
│   ├── blobs                            Wallpapers, various configs, closed source bootloaders
│   ├── bsp-cli                          Automatically added to armbian-bsp-cli package
│   ├── bsp-desktop                      Automatically added to armbian-bsp-desktopo package
│   ├── bsp                              Scripts and configs overlay for rootfs
│   └── extras-buildpkgs                 Optional compilation and packaging engine
├── patch                                Collection of patches
│   ├── atf                              ARM trusted firmware
│   ├── kernel                           Linux kernel patches
|   |   └── family-branch                Per kernel family and branch
│   ├── misc                             Linux kernel packaging patches
│   └── u-boot                           Universal boot loader patches
|       ├── u-boot-board                 For specific board
|       └── u-boot-family                For entire kernel family
├── tools                                Tools for dealing with kernel patches and configs
└── userpatches                          User: configuration patching area
    ├── lib.config                       User: framework common config/override file
    ├── config-default.conf              User: default user config file
    ├──               User: script will execute just before closing the image
    ├── atf                              User: ARM trusted firmware
    ├── kernel                           User: Linux kernel per kernel family
    ├── misc                             User: various
    └── u-boot                           User: universal boot loader patches


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Free support:

Find free support via general project search engine, documentation, community forums or IRC/Discord. Remember that our awesome community members mainly provide this in a best-effort manner, so there are no guaranteed solutions.



Thank you to all the people who already contributed to Armbian!


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Star History

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This software is published under the GPL-2.0 License license.