Armbian 21.08 for Arm boards ships with latest Linux 5.10 LTS

Armbian provides stable releases four times a year, and Armbian 21.08 has just been released offering minimal, server or XFCE, Cinnamon and Budgie desktop Linux 5.10 LTS images for Arm boards, as well as a build system to customize your own image.

If you’ve been using an Arm SBC that is NOT a Raspberry Pi board, you’ve probably been told to use Armbian, as the community is providing Debian and Ubuntu images for over 100 Arm boards that are either “Supported”, “WIP” (suitable for testing), or “CSC” (no official support, aka you’re on your own).

Armbian 21.08

Armbian 21.08 highlights (Note: EDGE are daily builds following daily builds of the Linux kernel and fresh packages from Debian sid, Ubuntu 21.04 “hirsute” or Ubuntu 21.10 “impish” userland):

  • Based on Linux 5.10.59 released on August 15, 2021
  • Minimal, server or XFCE, Cinnamon, and Budgie desktop
  • Fast automated language selection on the first run
  • Regular stable and daily beta & EDGE updates
  • CLI is powered with ZSH or BASH
  • Added automated kernel upgrade on EDGE 5.13.y kernels
  • Added mainline based SPI boot support for Odroid HC4
  • Added Qemu virtual Armbian builds
  • Added CSC images for Tinkerboard 2, Rock Pi N10
  • Added ZFS upgrade to v2.1
  • Improved Github Actions CI and CDN network
  • Added Cinnamon and Budgie desktop
  • Enabled 3D support wherever it’s possible and works reasonably well
  • Added Khadas VIM1-3 & Edge boards, Avnet Microzed
  • Enabled VPU support for Rockchip
  • Added legacy kernel support for Orange Pi Zero2, Nvidia Jetson
  • Declare Ubuntu Hirsute and Debian Bullseye packages as stable
  • Added Ubuntu Impish and Debian Sid as beta build targets
  • Added KDE plasma DE as a beta build target

There are some known issues as well. 3D graphics acceleration had to be disabled on Amlogic due to instability, Odroid C4/HC4 boot problem remains but will be fixed in the next version, and several desktop environments (Deepin, Enlightenment, Gnome, i3, KDE plasma, Mate, Xmonad) are not officially supported anymore, albeit still available in the build system, due to lack of space and maintenance.

If you’d like to install Armbian 21.08 on one of the supported boards, download one of  the relevant images, and flash it to a MicroSD card with Win32DiskImager, USBImager, or other tools.  If you want to upgrade from an existing Armbian installation just run the following commands:


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12 Replies to “Armbian 21.08 for Arm boards ships with latest Linux 5.10 LTS”

  1. I just went to check if I can upgrade to and I noticed the Pinebook Pro got dropped 🙁

    I kinda don’t understand the development cycle and how things are prioritized.

    last post from a year ago:

    “I expect first beta versions to be around in 1-2 months.”

    And then nothing happened… Which is fine of course. It’s a volunteer effort after all. But it’s just a bit confusing

    1. Supporting 3rd party business, competition and never satisfied users who just wants top quality for free is confusing? Pinebook Pro was not dropped – beta images exists since early days but they were not promoted to “Armbian support” due to many troubles at the time. R&D budget for this hardware was and still is exactly 0 USD per year, while costs to bring such hw up to mainline costs hard cash / year with a little of for maintaining it, unless volunteers picks them up and do the job in their spare time. There is some interest, but probably not enough. Overloaded crew can’t do much on top of that. Community (not) supported targets you can find here: It probably works well – at least the same as stock OS. In case not … sources are available.

      1. What’s needed is for users to understand the costs involved, in providing each SBC boards software support. You could do with posting the cost in time, effort etc for each supported SBC board. Even if the posted cost, is just a true cost representative of the amount of time, effort etc, donated by people to the software for each SBC board.

          1. Thank you for the link and explanation. I suggest confusion is coming from words chosen and the definitions used.

            Free time should be, their own time, as time and effort has costs.

            The software is given, released free, however support, development and documentation, costs time, effort, hardware and technical ability, which incurs costs.

            Only suggestions but I hope they help.

  2. After reading this article, i went to check on SBCs prices.

    G’Damm they are expensive.
    Even the cheapest Orange pizero is now 16 USD, almost twice as it use to be.
    Damn you chio shortage

  3. 3D graphics acceleration had to be disabled on Amlogic due to instability.

    Is there hardware accelerated video playback on any of the AML platforms?

    1. There is a general bad attitude towards AMLogic hardware. There is literally only one free OS which attempts to fully support AMLogic chipsets and that is CoreEelec which is a OS designed just to run Kodi, it is fully mature and stable because it uses the closed source Kernel that AMLogic releases.

      Any OS which uses a mainline kernel for AMLogic will only have partial support for most of the hardware features of the chip because it relies on reverse engineering of the hardware. Basic graphics drivers tend to work reasonably well at this stage and are mostly usable in a desktop environment such as Armbian. What will not work is hardware decoding of encoded video which means that for media playback such as kodi use it is a poor choice using anything but Coireelec which uses the closed source kernel.

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Khadas VIM4 SBC
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