Banana Pi images? + FEEDBACK

Hi All

Banana Pi M3

TLDR: Anyone made an image that works?! Can I have it? :slight_smile: I mean, FULLY working, wlan, bluetooth, sata, usb, NIC, everything!

First off, quickly realizing I should have just purchased an Odroid, or another Rpi, or ANYTHING else Not a good start - if you want to share my PAIN, read on! If not, I dont blame you

So, I must have downloaded all the images possible for this thing - a quick search brought me here, where it seems all their official images are broken for one reason or another, and that most people are making their own images/OS from scratch.

I’ll get right to the question, as I feel this may be a longer post than expected! Is there a community created image for the M3 that WORKS?!

I dont want to have to create my own from scratch, its a pain in the ass. I just want it to work like my other SBC’s - Download image, put it on SD card, see an OS and start using it for my desired application! Is it that difficult to do?! OK, so my knowledge of Linux building isnt good. I have mostly Windows background with a couple of side projects with SBC’s/RPi’s.

Now with the feedback: So here are the last 4 days, on and off - my experiences Started with an official Debien Jessie image. Wrote it to the SD card (Samsung Class 10 16GB) with Win32DiskImager (like I always have done) It wouldnt generate an md5 hash - which didnt matter anyway, since there wasnt one for the download It didnt work. BPi gave me a red light, and it sat there for 10 mins without a signal. I suspected power, because my mouse and keyboard gave me a blank screen with no red LED - so from then on, nothing but a power cable (via USB) and a HDMI connected monitor is connected I then spent a good while swapping out monitors, HDMI cables, SD card (a samsung 32GB Class 10, that definitely works in my RPi2) power cables, dedicated and USB powered - even going up to 5V/3Amps at one point (started with a 5V/2A as usual)

I then gave up on the image, and got myself another few to try. In no particular order. Various Debian distros, Kali-Linux, Android, Kodi and more. Any of the images available on the official site I found didnt work, and just gave me the same blank screen and red LED At this stage, I found a thread somewhere about ‘PhoenixCard’ - an alternative disk image writer. So I tried that too. The thing couldnt load its own button labels, so I had no idea what I was clicking! It crashed a lot too So I was thinking it may be a faulty board? Until I found two Android images (I forget which one, theres been so many!) One of them was a 720p option, while the other was a 1080p. I got them both

The 720p one gave me the usual red light and no signal.

The 1080p image gave me a red light… and then a green and blue I was overjoyed on seeing the blue and yellow Banana Pi logo on my screen!

Finally! an image that does someth… oh… uhm… its stuck here? 5 mins later. Rebooted by itself. Left it another 5 mins, and it does the same Never ending loop for an hour

Finally, last night, I ordered an Odroid and left this piece of trash on my desk ready to be a paperweight

Unless! Someone can point me in the direction of a working image I can write with Win32DiskImager - not this PhoenixCard shite that doesnt load up the button labels or tell you what its doing before crashing your machine

I have no other way to write a card, and dont particularly feel like running up a linux VM to use that to write a card either.

TL;DR- dont bother buying this until they can fix their images - unless you like screwing around for a while creating your own kernel/boot/services/whatever else goes into making a workable system

There exists none and your experiences sound also like the usual power problems if you have a M3 from the 1st production batch that used the insanely crappy Micro USB (not able to reliably power this board).

Search through the forums, there exist unofficial OS images for M3 that work somehow (eg. for headless/server use) but don’t expect a fully working OS image that soon. Unfortunately the development efforts here seem only to focus on ‘Team BPi’ management staff (producing countless crappy OS images that might interchange bootloader/kernel to boot on any of the many incompatible Bananas) but not on users.

TL;DR: You bought a device with many hardware flaws and without software/support at all.

Thanks for your reply

Really disappointing

Thanks for your reply - I wont be recommending these boards to ANYONE after this experience.

Hopefully my Odroid thats in the post will do a better job, the community for that is MUCH bigger and better

Odroid XU4 yes, while Odroid C2 is also unstable and buggy. But things are at least slowly improving …

Got an Odroid C2 It will be used as a HTPC with the source files on a local network via NIC - support for this via OPENELEC(or variants) and Kodi are all good as far as I can tell :slight_smile:

Im still looking for a board that will give me stability to run my home automation products on

Than for any A20 board, best mainline support, stable. Check Olimex Lime 20, all what others have + battery backup for 2.5inch sata drive.

Goot luck with Kodi on C2 :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, I belong to the bunch of the fuc*ed up people since I decided to buy the BPI-M3. All that has been told it’s sadly true. Poor and approximate software support for this single computer card, that after all got a nice hardware endowement. And I don’t go on with comments cause it’s definitely wasted time. I live in China and I sadly have to coexist with this kind of mentality so opened and flexible. I didn’t try all the distros, but ubuntu mate is definitely unusable, more than 8Gb of stuff, most of that garbage. Android is not stable at all and randomly crashes or resets by itself. Maybe the debian distro is the one that more or less seems to be “reliable” even if it starts by default at 720p (not a big issue) and wifi, like the ubuntu mate doesn’t work. Ok even for this there’s a work around, but there’s nothing out of the box working definitely. Problem of the power? Problem of overheating? Well even with a 2.5A power supply and metal die on the 8core processor, the music is the same. System getting unstable after a while. And i have to say that my model doesn’t have the microusb power connector, but a jack type. By the way, fool me I did not read this thread before, I would have saved some money. Now, I will make a reason of it. Someone are using BPI-M3 as paperweight, but maybe I will try give a last chance to use it as small webserver or kinda torrent downloader… I don’t know.

I got my Odriod today, and ive had literally 45 mins to get an image on the SD card and boot it up.

Im currently able to boot into debian mate and use it. So, i decided to go straight for the Kodi image. Its currently waiting for me to start the initial setup.

To recap, thats 50 mins to put on two images, debian to test, and Kodi as a perm solution.

This is how you do it. Take note BPI team. take note

As for my BPi, I think i may put it on ebay and get rid of it while its still ‘worth’ the money. Id definitely recommend anyone else in my position to do the same!

Additional… it has taken me 5 mins to setup my Kodi install. WLAN USB is working straight away! couldnt be happier… Its a cheap ebay special WLAN USB Id never expect to work… but it did. If you want further detaisl, I can probe and provide.

Additional additional. Now streaming a 4K blue ray rip (25GB MKV full 4K DTS audio to my TV) and only after an hour of setup!

do it, bin (or ebay) your Banana and get an Odriod (or Rpi - I cant knock it)

Edit: spelling, Additional

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Oh crap :frowning: I’m in the blank screen, red led camp too. Dammit.