What You’ll Need to Get Started Pine64

 

You will need the following to get started with using your Pine A64 or A64+ board:

Windows / Linux PC or MAC with a SD Card Reader connected to the Internet
Power Supply (PSU) and a micro usb cable. Please make sure to use a PSU rated at +5V @2A and a micro USB cable that is at least 26 AWG thick.
MicroSD card (8GB or higher capacity) rated ‘class 10’ or better.
HDMI cable (unless you wish to run headless/ without a monitor). N.B. Android and Remix OS support 720p and 1080p, while Linux supports a wider range of resolutions.
Input device(s) such as: keyboard, mouse, remote, pointer, etc,.
Step by Step Instructions

Caution!

Please handle the Pine A64 or A64+ with care. Always hold the board by the edges and make sure to wear an antistatic wrist strap when handling the Pine A64 (+). Touching components on the front and back of the board can result in an ESD discharge that may damage your board. Avoid placing the board on materials such as carpets, plastics or other surfaces prone to electrostatic build-up.

Begin by imaging the OS of your choice

You will require a quality microSD card (8GB or greater; class 10 or faster). There are many substandard and counterfeit cards in circulation and even reputable vendors may unknowingly sell counterfeit microSD cards. Cards that do not meet the criteria outlined above are known to cause a variety of issues including, but not limited to, complete boot failure. There are ways of testing microSD cards prior to installing the operating system to make sure they are appropriate for use with your board. The main utility for checking microSD cards is H2testw 1.4; yet another alternative is F3.

Please refer to the relevant section below for instructions on how to image your microSD card:

Imaging microSD on Windows 7/8/8.1/10
Imaging microSD on Apple OSX
Having successfully imaged your microSD card, insert it into the microSD slot located at the bottom left of the board / to the left of the USB 2.0 sockets.

Plug in the HDMI Cable, Ethernet Cable and Peripherals

Unless you are planning on running your Pine A64 (+) headless (without a monitor / as a server), you should plug in all necessary peripherals, including the HDMI and Ethernet cable, prior to powering on the board. Do note, depending on which OS image you are using, some peripherals may or may not work. N.B. Some HDMI→DVI/ VGA converters may not work in conjunction with your monitor or TV.

Apply Power to Your Board

Once you have imaged your microSD and plugged everything in, you are ready to apply power to the Pine A64(+) board. You’ll need a good quality 5 Volt, 2 Amp PSU. Using a good quality PSU and micro USB cable is very important as failing to meet the required specifications may prevent the board from booting correctly. A marginally higher PSU Voltage is acceptable (for instance, 5.1 volts – due to the nature of the micro usb connection, a 5.1v supply can help protect slightly against voltage drops which can cause undesirable results). However, a significantly higher voltage of 7 Volts or more will damage the Pine A64(+) board and may render it inoperative.

If you are using a separate micro USB cable with your PSU, make sure that the cable has a low resistance rating. Cables with high resistance will cause improper function and the unit may not boot at all or only partially. The thicker the internal cabling, the better i.e. AWG (American Wire Gauge) 20 is better than AWG 28. In General, power-only microUSB cables come with red colour USB header.

Having completed the steps outlined above the Pine A64(+) board will begin to boot. The red onboard LED light indicates power on status. The LED will not blink during boot up and the colour of the LED stays solid. The colour does not change to signify an error.

Imaging microSD on Windows 7/8/8.1/10

You will need the following utilities to get started with imaging the OS of your choice onto your microSD card:

A compression Utility (used to unarchive the OS image). We recommend you use 7zip.
A disk image utility (used to ‘burn’ the .img to your SD card). We recommend you use either the Win32Imager or Etcher utility.
Optional

Phoenix Card image utility (used ONLY for phoenix card images). You can download it from here.
Downloading and extracting OS image(s)

You can find all curated OS images here. There are two type of Android and Remix images available. Images designated ‘DD’ need to be imaged using Etcher or Win32imager, whilst images labelled ‘Phoenix Card Image’ require the Phoenix Card utility.

Having downloaded the required OS image proceed to use 7zip to unarchive it by right-clicking the archive, and sellecting ‘Extract All’. Upon completion, note the destination of where the .img file was extracted (‘Downloads’ folder by default). Once the process has completed, you can proceed to imaging the .img file.

Imagining the microSD card (DD)

Insert your microSD card into your laptop/USB card reader. You may require a SD → microSD converter, as most laptops and desktops only feature a full-size SD card reader. Once the microSD card is plugged into your computer, make sure to take note of the drive it has been assigned (the drive is assigned a letter, e.g. ‘F:’). You will need to remember the ‘letter’ it has been assigned when imaging the OS.
Launch Win32diskImager.exe or etcher.exe. You will be presented with a field titled ‘path’ and a drop down menu labeled ‘device’. Click the ‘path’, navigate to and select the OS image you extracted from the archive earlier. Next, from the drop-down menu select the drive your microSD has been assigned. N.B. Pay close attention to the selected drive (remember your letter) – the imaging process will format the selected drive. If you choose the wrong drive all your data will be lost.
Having chosen the desired OS image and the correct driver press ‘write’. Once the image has been written to your microSD card you will receive a pop-up notification. Be sure to close the application and to eject/remove your SD card safely from Windows.
Imaging using Phoenix Card

On Windows, you can also use Phoenix Card. The Phoenix Card utility works ONLY with images designated as ‘Phoenix Card’ in the downloads section. To use Phoenix Card follow these steps:

Insert your microSD card into your laptop/USB card reader. You may require a SD → microSD converter, as most laptops and desktops only feature a full-size SD card reader. Once the microSD card is plugged into your computer, make sure to take note of the drive it has been assigned (the drive is assigned a letter, e.g. ‘F:’). You will need to remember the ‘letter’ it has been assigned when imaging the OS.
Launch phoenixcard.exe. You will be presented with a ‘disk’ drop-down menu and a field denoted as ‘Img File’. Click on ‘Img File’ and navigate to and select the OS image have downloaded and unarchived. Next, make sure to select the disk that your microSD card has been assigned. N.B. Pay close attention to the selected drive (remember your letter) – the imaging process will format the selected drive. If you choose the wrong drive all your data will be lost.
Make sure to select ‘Startup!’ from the ‘Write mode’ window and click Burn. Once the image has been written to your microSD card you will receive a confirmation in the ‘option’ window. Be sure to close the application and to eject/remove your SD card safely from Windows.
Imaging microSD on Apple OSX

You will need the following utilities to get started with imaging the OS of your choice onto your microSD card:

A compression Utility (used to unarchive the OS image). We recommend you use 7Zip.
A disk image utility (used to ‘burn’ the .img to your SD card in GUI). We recommend you use ApplePi Baker or Etcher.
N.B. Phoenix Card utility and images are NOT available on Apple OSX.

Downloading and extracting OS image(s)

You can find all curated OS images here. On OSX you can only use images designated as ‘DD’.

Having downloaded the required OS image proceed to use 7zip to unarchive it by double clicking the archive, and selecting ‘Extract All’. Upon completion, note the destination where the .img file was extracted (‘Downloads’ folder by default). Once the process has completed, you can proceed to imaging the .img file.

Imagining the microSD card (GUI)

Insert your microSD card into your Mac laptop/USB card reader. You may require a SD → microSD converter, as Apple’s laptops and desktops only feature a full-size SD card reader. Once the microSD card is plugged into your computer it should appear in Finder / on your desktop.
Launch Apple-Pi Baker or the etcher utility. Upon startup the application it will ask for your password. When the application launches you will be presented with a field titled ‘IMG file’ and a path of the mounted microSD card (it will look something like this: ‘/dev/diskX 32.0Gb SD card’). Click the ‘IMG file’ button, navigate to and select the OS image you extracted from the archive earlier. Next, select the microSD from the window. N.B. Pay close attention to the selected drive – the imaging process will format the selected drive. If you choose the wrong drive all your data will be lost.
Having chosen the desired OS image and the correct driver press ‘Restore Backup’. Once the image has been written to your microSD card you will receive a pop-up notification. Be sure to close the application and to eject/remove your SD card safely from your Mac.
Imaging from Terminal

N.B. If you are not comfortable using the terminal, please use the GUI method outlined above instead.

Insert your microSD card into your Mac laptop/USB card reader. You may require a SD → microSD converter, as Apple’s laptops and desktops only feature a full-size SD card reader. Once the microSD card is plugged into your computer it should appear in Finder / on your desktop.
Open up your terminal and navigate to the directory where you unarchived your OS image.
Before you start writing to the card, you will have to identify your microSD card. Type: diskutil list and note the output. The disk number should match the size of your SD card and will likely be using ‘Fdisk_partition_scheme’. Having identified the disk number execute the following commands (substitute diskX for your disk and name of image for pine64-image-name.img):
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskX sudo dd if=pine64-image-name.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1M

Wait patiently for the process to complete. Be sure to eject/remove your SD card safely from your Mac.
Troubleshooting

There is a number of things that can prevent the Pine A64(+) board from booting up properly. The most common culprits of a failed boot are (to find out more click here):

Subpar or counterfeit microSD card
Subpar Power Supply
High resistance (thin) or a very long microUSB cable
Failed imaging of the microSD card (refer to the respective ‘imaging microSD card section)
Make sure to have the newest version of the OS image your are running. On Linux, you can update the kernel and uboot using scripts located in the following directory: /usr/local/sbin

To navigate to the directory type (in terminal): cd /usr/local/sbin

You list all the available scripts by typing (in terminal): ls

To run the script required update script run the following command: sudo ./update_script.sh (substitute the relevant update script for update_script)

Supported Screen Resolutions

The pine supports a number of video resolutions under Linux, however RemixOS and Android images currently only support 720p and 1080p. Linux supports a wider range of resolutions (see all resolutions supported on Linux here). If the native resolution of your monitor or TV is not compatible with the Pine A64(+) then you will be unable to get a video to work with your screen.

Troubleshooting Step by Step

Follow these steps to determine the cause of your problem:

Check your PSU and microUSB cable ratings
Download and image a base image of Linux
Plug in Power and Ethernet into your Board
Watch Ethernet port LED activity
Check your router for Pine A64(+) IP
Attempt to ssh into the Pine A64(+) from your computer
If your PSU and microUSB meet the criteria, and you have correctly followed the instructions to image your card and power on the board, but you are not seeing any LED activity and cannot ssh into your Pine A64(+) then either the imaging process failed (possibly due to a subpar microSD) OR the PSU / microUSB cable is/are faulty.

If your PSU and microUSB meet the criteria, and you have correctly imaged the OS to your card and power on the board and your can ssh into your Pine A64(+) but get no video feed, then it’s likely that the native resolution of your monitor/TV is not supported.

If neither of the abovementioned scenarios fits the problem you are facing please consult this thread (thanks to Ghost for compiling the list): http://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=680

If you cannot find a solution to your problem you can submit a ticket at: https://support.pine64.org/

Curated Pine A64 (A64+) OS Images

Using 8GB class 10 microSD card
8GB microSD.jpg

Setup Steps:
Download the preferred OS image from below OS links and extract the img file from the archive using 7-Zip
Use Etcher (Linux/Windows/Mac), Win32 Disk Imager or Linux dd command to write the img to a SD card
Insert the SD card into Pine A64 board and boot it up
Debian Linux Jessie with Mate GUI Image [20160701] by lenny.raposo with Longsleep kernel
Logo debian.jpg

DD image (for 8GB and above SD Card):
Lenny’s Debian Support thread on Pine64 forum
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent Download
MD5 (Zip file): 2356BC9C50AADEF2CFB9D7BEAA23B35A
File Size: 1.70GB
Up to date on longsleep uboot, kernel and fixes
Suitable for 512MB/1GB/2GB PineA64 Board
Login with
username: debian
password: debian
Execute resize_rootfs.sh script to resize the root partition in order to fully utilize the SD Card
Ubuntu Linux Image [20160530] based on Longsleep build, updated by Pine64
Logo ubuntu.jpg

Thanks to longsleep works, the Linux build progress rapidly, This is a build based on longsleep works and may not have all bell and whistles from longsleep and Sunxi community. For latest build, you can create one and following this thread
Suitable for 1GB/2GB Pine A64+ Board, not suitable for 512MB Pine A64 Board due to system memory constrain
DD image (for 8GB and above SD Card):
Direct download from pine64.org
MD5 (Zip file) : 261E440C324BAAC3B74CDB326DE98A20
File Size: 2.37GB
Included Mate Desktop, Firebox Browser, Thunderbird Email, and LibreOffice Suite.
Login with
username: ubuntu
password: ubuntu
Execute resize_rootfs.sh script to resize the root partition in order to fully utilize the SD Card
Android 5.1.1 Image Release 20160711 [v1.2.6]
Logo android lollipop.jpg

The Android build suitable for 1GB/2GB Pine A64+ Board, not advise to run on 512MB Pine A64 Board due to system memory constraint
Rootable build, online update (OTA) only work when the build still not root.
Set default HDMI output to 720P, video setting supports both 720P and 1080P
Add Ethernet Network setting.
Update GMS software package to 5.1r4
Set UVC USB camera as front camera and 5M Pixel camera module as real camera
DD images:
For 8GB microSD Card
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent Download
MD5 (Zip file): 974C60C618A2F65657DDE9B1798812AB
File Size: 646MB
For 16GB microSD Card
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent Download
MD5 (Zip file): FAA48E4261451C1F54094AB6C253E76C
File Size: 655MB
For 32GB microSD Card
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent Download
MD5 (Zip file): D46671B0FCE1B3572103E2615A494C78
File Size: 682MB
For 64GB microSD Card
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent Download
MD5 (Zip file): C7453B4E84B145ED46FA927702FB97A3
File Size: 707MB
Remix OS 2.0 Image Release 20160718
Logo remix.jpg

Suitable for 2GB Pine A64+ Board, can runs on 1GB Pine A64+ Board with performance lagging, not suitable for 512MB Pine A64 Board
Add Remix apps market
Video setting supports both 720P and 1080P
Supports video screen scaling function
New MAC address assignment method, tags to board and SoC unique ID.
Support UVC USB camera as front camera
Known issues:
Not yet support 5M Pixel camera module as real camera
Even the HDMI output can set to 720P, but during boot up time, the boot logo stil maintain as 1080P.
DD image (for 8GB microSD Card):
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent download
MD5 (Zip file): AE2256F46FAB2C9F8B9556FCB5995B3B
File Size: 997MB
DD image (for 16GB microSD Card):
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent download
MD5 (Zip file): 71587B7F7D86F39CD0874800C0491EA0
File Size: 1.02GB
DD image (for 32GB microSD Card):
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent download
MD5 (Zip file): 0DAEC86248A7448B8D4F41B4DAEB9D6B
File Size: 1.05GB
DD image (for 64GB microSD Card):
Direct download from pine64.org
Torrent download
MD5 (Zip file): 6578237CB249DDE5A86A6D06D6793804
File Size: 1.08GB
Accessories Step by Step Guides

Wifi/Bluetooth module:

Step by Step Installation Guide
Acrylic Open Enclosure:

Step by Step Installation Guide
7″ LCD Touch Screen Panel:

Step by Step Installation Guide
Real Time Clock (RTC) battery holder (AAA battery type):

Step by Step Installation Guide
Real Time Clock (RTC) battery holder (CR-2032 Coin Cell battery type):

Step by Step Installation Guide
SoC Specification

Based on Allwinner A64
Allwinner A64.jpg

CPU Architecture

Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 Processor@1152Mhz
A power-efficient ARM v8 architecture
64 and 32bit execution states for scalable high performance
Support NEON Advanced SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) instruction for acceleration of media and signal processing function
Support Large Physical Address Extensions(LPAE)
VFPv4 Floating Point Unit
32KB L1 Instruction cache and 32KB L1 Data cache
512KB L2 cache
GPU Architecture

ARM Mali400MP2 Dual-core GPU
Support OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1 standard
System Memory

Main Memory Option: 512KB, 1GB and 2GB.
Storage Memory: No build in Flash memory, fully base on bootable microSD Card or USB attached storage.
Board Features

Video

HDMI 1.4a (Type A – full)
Audio

3.5mm stereo earphone/microphone plug
Network

10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet(Pine A64+ version), 10/100Mbps Ethernet(Pine A64 version)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.0 (optional)
Storage

microSD – bootable, support SDHC and SDXC, storage up to 256GB
USB – 2 USB2.0 Host port
Expansion Ports

DSI – Display Serial Interface, 4 lanes MiPi, up to 1080P
CSI – CMOS Camera Interface up to 5 mega pixel
TP – Touch Panel Port, SPI with interrupt
RTC – Real Time Clock Battery Connector
VBAT – Lithium Battery Connector with temperature sensor input
Wifi/BT Module Header – SDIO 3.0 and UART
2×20 pins “Pi2” GPIO Header
2×17 pins “Euler” GPIO Header
2×5 pins “EXP” Console Header
Power Usage

Input Power: DC 5V @ 2A, 3.7V Li-Ion battery connector, microUSB connector, Euler connector
Power Consumption: 2.5W
Software/Image Download

Pine A64 Software/Image Download
Board Dimension

133mm x 80mm x 19mm
Pine A64 Board information

Pine A64 Connector Layout @courtesy of norm24
Pine A64 Heat Sink Location @courtesy of norm24
Pine A64 Connector List
Pine A64 Pi-2/Eular/Ext Bus/Wifi Bus Connector Pin Assignment (Updated 15/Feb/2016)
Pine A64 PCB dimension
Board Model Comparison
Pine A64 Board Schematic:
Pine A64 512MB Rev B Board Schematic
Pine A64+ 1GB Rev B Board Schematic
Pine A64+ 2GB Rev C Board Schematic
Datasheet

Allwinner A64 SoC information:
Allwinner A64 SoC Brief Introduction
Allwinner A64 SoC Data Sheet V1.1 (Official Released Version)
Allwinner A64 SoC User Manual V1.0 (Official Release Version)
X-Powers AXP803 PMU (Power Management Unit) information:
AXP803 PMIC Datasheet
5MPixel CMOS Camera module information:
Pine64 YL-PINE64-4EC 5M Pixel CMOS Image Sensor Module (Description in Chinese)
S5K4EC 5MP CMOS Image Sensor SoC Module Datasheet
S5K4EC 5MP CMOS Image Sensor SoC Chip Datasheet
S5K4EC 5MP CMOS Image Sensor Driver Source Code in C language
Early version Camera module information:
Bonsen Kexin V118-A64-GC2145-HM5065 CMOS Image Sensor Module
HiMax 5MP CMOS Image Sensor SoC
LCD Touch Screen Panel information:
7.0″ 1200×600 TFT-LCD Panel Specification
Touch Panel Specification
GOODiX GT911 5-Point Capacitive Touch Controller Datasheet
Lithium Battery information:
8000mAH Lithium Battery Specification
Ethernet PHY information:
Realtek RTL8211 10/100/1000M Ethernet Transceiver for Pine A64+ Board
Realtek RTL8201 10/100M Ethernet Transceiver for Pine A64 Board
Wifi/BT module information:
Realtek RTL8723BS WiFi with BT SDIO
Enclosure information:
Playbox Enclosure 3D file
ABS Enclosure 3D file
Connector information:
2.0mm PH Type connector specification use in Lithium Battery (VBAT) port and RTC Battery port
0.5mm Pitch cover type FPC connector specification use in DSI port, TP port and CSI port
Pine A64 POT

Pine A64 Peripheral On Top (POT) and Related Devices
WiFi Remote I2c Quick Start Guide
Related Information

How to Create MicroSD Card Android Image for Pine A64
Pine A64 Remote Control Mapping
Other Resources in the Net

Linux Sunxi Wiki page on Pine A64
Collection of scripts to set up a minimal Ubuntu 14.04.3 / Debian 8 Jessie root filesystem Contributed By Uli Middelberg
Linux Image created by Andre Przywara
Pine A64 with HypriotOS by Dieter and Govinda
H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives
F3 – an alternative to h2testw
Benchmarking The Low-Cost PINE 64+ ARM Single Board Computer by Michael Larabel
Pine64 Linux build scripts, tools and instructions by Longsleep
Pine64 Linux image by Longsleep
A series of Youtube video on PineA64 Developers Board by Michael Larson
Pine64 Quick Start Guide (with Gotchas)
Shrinking images on Linux by FrozenCow

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