Raspberry Pi 4 gets Armbian test images, DietPi 7.9 released

Ubuntu and Debian images built by Armbian got popular because of the sad state of affairs of most single board computers. But since Raspberry Pi boards are rather well-supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and community, plus part of it is closed-source, there’s been little motivation by the Armbian community to work on it, and that means there’s no official support for Raspberry Pi.

But some Armbian test images have just been released for Raspberry Pi 4, specifically Ubuntu 22.04 “Jammy Jellyfish” images with a CLI (headless) version, and two desktop variants with Cinnamon and XFCE desktop environments which you can download on their server(s). Separately, DietPi 7.9 lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian has also been released with various improvements.

Raspberry Pi 4 Armbian DietPi 7.9

The good news about Armbian images for Raspberry Pi is that they exist, but the less good news is that those are still “test images”, and the popular board is not yet an officially supported Armbian SBC. 9to5linux quickly tested Armbian nightly builds on Raspberry Pi 4, and found most features to work, except audio. There’s still no maintainer for the Raspberry Pi 4 images, and if you’d like to get involved you can apply to become the official maintainer for Raspberry Pi Armbian images. If nobody volunteers, support will be dropped from Armbian.

DietPi has been around at least since 2015 to provide lightweight Debian images for Raspberry Pi boards, but also other models such as ODROID, Radxa, and Pine64 single board computers. The latest DietPi 7.9 adds password protection for DietPi-Dashboard, multi-backup archives for DietPi-Backup, enhanced Apache PHP setup (php-fpm support), as well as better GPU accelerated video playback on Raspberry Pi, among other changes. DietPi supports Debian Buster, Stretch, and BullsEye Debian, but DietPi 7.9 will be the latest release for Debian 9 “Buster” that was first outed in 2017. A more detailed changelog can be found in the announcement.

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33 Comments
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ClownWorld
ClownWorld
5 months ago

Armbian on a Raspberry Pi? Have the heretics taken over the cathedral?

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

Maybe the most funny part is that this happens at the same time those Armbian guys want to drop ‘support’ for ~50 boards since they’re too overwhelmed. It took them just years to eventually get that quantity destroys quality after adding SBC after SBC to the build system. And then this 🙂 The other funny thing: what separated Armbian in the past from other ‘distros’ was low-level stuff and some love for details (kernel/driver stuff, tuning settings). Here it’s quite the opposite: it’s just Ubuntu for RPi 4 (including ThreadX from RPi Trading Ltd. and fortunately also their wireless firmware… Read more »

MichaIng
5 months ago

My impression always was that major aim of Armbian is (at some point became) to get all SBCs running with mainline kernel, which is the only way that makes it possible to support such a large number of SBCs without becoming overwhelmed. Means, when moreless unmodified upstream Linux runs on RPi 4, it shouldn’t cause that much extra work. But the devil may be in the details. I see the potential long term benefit that upstream Linux gets better support for Raspberry Pi in general, driven also by issues/requests sent by Armbian/users, and the other way round RPi Foundation may… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> major aim of Armbian …never has been defined. The most important contributor to Armbian ever (Mikhail) tried to discuss this with ‘Armbian owner’ just like me over and over again but to no avail. He retired earlier than me. Wrt comparison Armbian vs. DietPi the main point (at least for me) is: can you trust the OS image? The Armbian build system allows you to build your own image from scratch so you only have to trust Debian/Ubuntu ‘staff’ and those involved in Linux Kernel. In theory. In practice Igor always gets in your way and uses his role… Read more »

back2future
back2future
5 months ago

While scripts are not updated automatically for different SBCs on an automated build system, there’s a drawback compared to conventional x64?
Diversity will increase with new risc-v boards and manual (human) interaction is needed for adjusting all hardware for consumer OS.
Big companies will adjust this for (their?) customers and consumers can decide, what companies they like at publicly informed moment(s).
Thanks for the work for improvement for the people.
Let’s hear the wise folks for rpi5 OS enhancements and/or standardization?

Great civilizations know that supportive mood is support to health.
See this planet and know it’s now not then.

Igor
5 months ago

> tried to discuss this Your opinion was and still is valuable, but if we couldn’t get on a common grounds … It takes a lot of persistency, waiting, organisation and perhaps we didn’t find that together in right order to make it happen. That’s life. I never deliberately blocked you, Michail or anyone. But you should and could easily block me if I was doing wrong. You always had this power. In fact you never lost it. You just decided to not help since we deliberately refuse your ideas(?), because we have different perspectives (which is actually a good… Read more »

Peter
Peter
5 months ago

Here we go with 10.000 EUR per thing again. It become really pathetic to read this stand on every occasion! Why don’t you just shutdown the operation or at least the forum. And then there will be no more user requests and you could do whatever you like with the project (to be your playground). I though projects like this are oriented toward users. Seems not.

Igor
5 months ago

And then there will be no more user requests Yeah right. There are hundreds of abuse attempts on Github as well. On email, everywhere. Shutting down forum won’t help. I though projects like this are oriented toward users. Seems not. It is. You are welcome to step up and serve them. We have no capacity: https://forum.armbian.com/staffapplications/ There are too many with too expensive questions. Some are projects for 100.000 EUR (to not use your favorite number). But it doesn’t matter. They don’t even think money is required for development. Free software is developed for free. Especially software developed on demand,… Read more »

Peter
Peter
5 months ago

I think you are far away from reality.

I don’t use Armbian and I hope I never will. I don’t like sw with such toxic attitude and environment. That’s why I have no intention for any help. But I do free work almost daily somewhere else. That’s why I understand projects like this.

Igor
5 months ago

I think you are far away from reality. Everyone has its own reality and we can’t expect ours will match. Equally distant could be your reality from the “right” reality, don’t you agree? That’s why I have no intention for any help.  You don’t help me but random people that happens to hang around our forums. You are among those very few, that contribute. Helping people is nice and good things, but it has limits. Which is, in our circumstances, very easy to cross. You are perhaps not there yet and I hope you never will be. But if you… Read more »

Peter
Peter
5 months ago

And who are the clients? The one who are quiet and just use Armbian and doesn’t need anything else (because everything they need works for them) or someone who do ask? My opinion is that you just don’t like this second group. Or maybe only who pay in advance.

And you usually saying how time is valuable: Why do you need to write such a long novels like in this thread. It is waste of time.

Igor
5 months ago

And who are the clients? I have a few clients that helps paying the bill so we can have this party. Supporting random people from the internet is not included. If you have downloaded software you also made a contract. You are from the FOSS community. You should know very well, what kind of contracts are between users and creators. You don’t get any client status by downloading software with GPL license. Or maybe only who pay in advance. When “clients” thinks that only they and their time matters, you know how you will deal with them. If you will… Read more »

Peter
Peter
5 months ago

Reading all such discussions still gives me the impression that you don’t know what you want. Simple as that.

willy
willy
5 months ago

Igor, Thomas, it’s very interesting for me to read your discussion, because I’m seeing some reciprocal misunderstanding that seems to stem from overlooking some parts that I’ve been dealing with for a now two decades without really choosing it, like most of us in the FOSS world. In my situation, my activities evolved to the point where 100% of my work time is spent on it and a respectable company was built around the project, to still pay a tens or two of opensource developers to make the project continue to progress, to follow evolving standards and user needs, and… Read more »

ClownWorld
ClownWorld
5 months ago

I feel your frustrations Thomas, especially with the high quality work you had contributed. Some of the decision making processes were quite frankly insane. I also seem to remember many people in the past being shot down in flames and treated like idiots for merely suggesting that the RPI 4 would be a good way to expand Armbian’s user base, contributors and supporters. The general attitude was that RPI users were too stupid to deal with back then I love the Armbian project and it has many great people. Igor works very hard and goes above and beyond in terms… Read more »

lanefu
lanefu
5 months ago

≥ I have also tried to help in the past in a much smaller way than you. I donated VM’s and bandwidth on for distribution mirrors and test builds / CI but they barely got used. I tried to donate 3-4 months project manager time from staff at my company and she didnt get a response from the team. There was too much interest in chasing buzzwords than defining strategy and getting things done so in the end I walked away

Yep I remember. It was very generous, sadly we proved to not be ready at the time.

lanefu
lanefu
5 months ago

Where it fell down for me was the inability to create a coherent strategy and stick to it. The failure to concentrate on what could be done with the resources available and to continually over reach caused severe degradation in the quality of “stable” images over time. It doesnt matter how great your project management system is if your board doesnt boot back up after a kernel update Absolutely our biggest pain point. The design of the new “support” model is intended to improve the situation based on a few simple tenants: * Reduce scope everywhere * A named individual… Read more »

Igor
5 months ago

Where it fell down for me was the inability to create a coherent strategy and stick to it.  Due to very limited resources and fact that we pay for you and not the vice versa, speed of R&D is as is. I am pretty sure we have different views on what quality control is and how to achieve it. Old school dying technique is to stay in the past as long as possible and only tackle bugs. Other, more prestige and effective way is to develop QA team and techniques and stay in a bit more recent times. Especially for… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> The general attitude was that RPI users were too stupid

Nope. At least not for me. It was about overwhelming support efforts.

Users that were trained to rely on crappy scripts will get angry (if there’s no user called ‘pi’ living in ‘/home/pi and those other ‘hard coded’ stupidities’ the RPi world is full of).

back2future
back2future
5 months ago

three pages, each expertise for difference in perspective
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/average-iq-by-country
https://www-laenderdaten-info.translate.goog/iq-nach-laendern.php?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=de
https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence
Conclusion? If we don’t hear peoples problems, we won’t find a suitable solution for all?
It depends a lot, where world wide users are from and what’s their possibilities, thus discussion on support gets more diverse view points.
It’s about education and that’s responsibility from societies more advanced providing possibilities (that’s not about forced, stupid assimilation, having power doesn’t mean being educated, AFAIL).

Igor
5 months ago

According to your comments on CNX. you seems to only use Raspberry Pi? 🙂 Perhaps you start to support it, because nobody around Armbian still has no interest to do that. This way you will get opportunity to understand what Armbian does today and change things on better. It might surprise you. There is no need to be nostalgic about things which were absolutely correct but made wrong. We still do the same, just better, we all have learned a lot and we still do mistakes. Yes, we were always on the edge with a board count and focusing too… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
5 months ago

Pretty sure you can’t overvolt (dangerously anyway) any of the rpi models. If you think 1,06V is any dangerous voltage for the latest pi models (like the rpi4) you obviously don’t know much about hardware. 1.06V for 28nm based chip is nothing. Yes, it’s hot (but that’s due to insufficient cooling when no heatsink is installed) but it’s far from killing the chip. You need a lot more voltage for that and as far as rpi’s are concerned, you can’t do that in software anyway.

ClownWorld
ClownWorld
5 months ago

You can though its not easy and not something likely to happen by accident. I was seeing how high I could push an overclock on the Pi4 and had 8 units to play with because the silicon lottery isnt always fair and you get good and bad SoC’s

With force_turbo and over_voltage=10, one of my units died completely. Yes I know that these settings voids the warranty but I wasnt bothered if a couple died, I just wanted to see how far I could push them

Benjamin Hojnik
5 months ago

I think someone messed up an april fools joke somewhere 🙂

StephanStS
5 months ago

DietPi also deals with Native PCs and Virtual Machines (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox). So you are able to have the same environment on total different platforms. A VMware system is setup on a PC within < 5 min, without SD card flashing etc., this speed can e.g. be used very good for quick tests.
Also running a lightweight VM with X11 to run your favourite tools on a Windows PC is a nice option.

Sander
Sander
5 months ago

As Canonical provides a Ubuntu image for Raspi4 (https://ubuntu.com/download/raspberry-pi) … what is the advantage of Armbian providing one too? Tweaking?

Igor
5 months ago

Armbian is a build system first. Second. It mixes best of embedded and server / desktop technology. We are coming from low level world avoiding what most of distributions out there do – provide different wallpaper / outlook to make a new distribution and focus on sales. We add magnitude more. https://docs.armbian.com/Release_Changelog/ Yes, we also create bugs because of that and some people have issues with that, but does nothing to change that. In case of Ubuntu, we add tweaks, yes, but also remove Canonical proprietary things by default. Since the day 1. All builds can be easily re-assembled on… Read more »

Sander
Sander
5 months ago

OK, thanks for clarifcation

Sander
Sander
5 months ago

I hope the Armbian people will provide Ubuntu / Debian images for upcoming RISC-V SBCs. I trust Armbian much more than a random Chinese suppliers with their fork-and-forget Linux images … and their Chinese documentation … via Telegram. Da Horror!

Igor
5 months ago

I am long enough in this business and on the world to understand many dark aspects of open source development. Which you would probably need to look into before going into – “please give me more”, “I need more” … tl;dr; Trust and credibility is our main asset. Yes. But that doesn’t cover expenses and damages users create. Every single day. Supporting their endless consumer appetite, business needs or pleasure costs. Real money, while users covers virtually nothing, they don’t even try to help. Most of them demands! “Its free, so I came here for free service” attitude. (mos) Vendors… Read more »

Sander
Sander
5 months ago

Igor, FYI: a few times, I’ve made financial donations to Armbian. And I’m an open source developer myself, including user questions (and yes, ignoring & blocking nasty users). So I guess your comment is a bit misplaced towards me?

Igor
5 months ago

your comment is a bit misplaced towards me? Most if not all in my comments is general observation. Not personal, but it might sound this way because of my imperfect English communication. I am not native and will never be. No matter how hard I try. I am grateful for users donations, but the harsh reality is that basic critical kernel development (for all Linux distributions out there) can’t be covered from this. In fact we can only cover some basic infrastructure costs and not a single hour of development or support per year. We add the rest and business… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
5 months ago

So you have a great product and a great business model. But if only, it wasn’t for the damned customers.

You cannot fix that kind of thinking.

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