How to setup Orange PI Zero

A quick tutorial to setup Orange Pi Zero. Yes I got my Orange Pi Zero :). For the last couple of years I have been seeing the price of  hacker boards going lower and lower and the emergence of AllWinner chips made it drastically lower. There was a kickstarter campaign called CHIP selling a board for $9 but with a $29 shipping cost, so it wasn’t possible to call it a low cost board.

Enter Orange Pi Zero, you actually get a board for $6.99 in AliExpress, and only if you have patience to wait for 20 to 40 days. I decided to buy it from You can also buy it by clicking the link below. (It is a link with my affiliation code).


Lets start setting up the Orange Pi Zero. You need to have the following list, below links are part of my affiliate links.

and a Micro USB Cable


You need to have a Linux OS image to burn in to the SD card. You can either download the image or build you own image. Once you have your image ready then insert the micro SD card to your machine and burn it using Etcher. I downloaded an Armbian image and the below explanation is based on that, mostly of them apply to the self built image as well.

Orange Pi Zero Serial Connection

If you look at the Orange Pi Zero the serial interface pins lies next to the ethernet jack.



The RX an TX pins needs to be connected to the TX and RX pins of the USB Serial converter respectively, here the green pin is TX and white pin is RX of the converter.

Putty Setup

apt-get install putty

Powering the Orange Pi Zero

You can either use a micro USB cable and connect directly to the laptop or PC usb slot like how I did or you can use a dedicated USB power adapter scavenged from your smartphone set.

On powering the orange pi will boot up and will show up a login and upon giving the username and password it will prompt again for the new set of password and then it creates a  new user. As shown below.

The password as mentioned in the Armbian website is 1234, it may change in future so please refer to Armbian Orange Pi zero page for verification.

Wifi setup to setup wifi there are plenty of methods, but I choose the easiest on using nmtui. The Armbian image comes with pre-installed nmtui and its works like shown below.

That is all for now, we will next cover the Orange Pi Zero Interface board and other topics.

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