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Armbian logo
armbian build framework

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Table of contents

What this project does?

  • Builds custom Linux optimized for single board computers(SBCs).
  • Including filesystem generation, low-level control software, kernel image compilation and bootloader compilation.
  • Provides a consistent user experience by keeping system standards across different platforms.

Getting started

Prepare your environment

  • x64 / aarch64 machine with at least 2GB of memory and ~35GB of disk space for a VM, container or native OS,
  • Ubuntu Jammy 22.04 x64 or aarch64 for native building or any Docker capable x64 / aarch64 Linux for containerised,
  • Superuser rights (configured sudo or root access).

Simply start with the build script

apt-get -y install git
git clone
cd build

Armbian logo

  • Interactive graphical interface.
  • The workspace will be prepared by installing the necessary dependencies and sources.
  • It guides the entire process until a kernel package or ready-to-use image of the SD card is created.

Build parameter examples

Show work in progress areas in interactive mode:

./ EXPERT="yes"

Run build framework inside Docker container:

./ docker

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

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

More information:

Compare with industry standards

Check similarity, 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


Armbian releases quarterly at the end of February, May, August, November. You are welcome to propose changes to our default images build list.

Project structure

├── cache                                Work / cache directory
   ├── rootfs                           Compressed vanilla Debian and Ubuntu rootfilesystem cache
   ├── sources                          Kernel, u-boot and various drivers sources. Mainly C code
   ├── toolchains                       External cross compilers from Linaro™ or ARM™
├── 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
├── lib                                  Main build framework libraries
├── 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
└── 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

🙌 Contribution

Please make sure to read the Contributing Guide before you write any code.




Thank you to all the people who already contributed Armbian!



Most of the project is sponsored with a work done by volunteer collaborators, while some part of the project costs are being covered by the industry. We would not be able to get this far without their help.

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