LeMaker BananaPi

Technical data

CPU: Allwinner A20 (ARM Cortex-A7 dual-core, 1GHz, Mali400MP2 GPU)
Storage: 1 SD card slot, 1x SATA II
1x GigaBit LAN
2x USB 2.0
1x OTG micro USB


Hardware Random Number Generator

The Banana Pi comes with an onboard Hardware Random Number Generator (HWRNG) and a crypto-chip which accelerates some algorithms. See (Details).

Currently, IPFire neither recognizes nor uses them.

Heart Beat

There is a green LED on the Banana Pi, which is blinking as soon as the kernel is loaded. This feature is called Heart Beat and is known from the official Banana Pi operating system, Bananian.

Power Supply

Banana Pi boards are very sensitive to voltage of power supply. If the supply voltage is less than 5.00 V, or the cable causes too much loss, then IPFire might boot, but USB-Ethernet adapters, in particular, are likely to malfunction.

How to install IPFire on Banana Pi

Download the latest armv6l IPFire image, unpack the Image to a (Micro)SD Card:

xzcat ipfire-2.27.2gb-ext4.armv6l-full-core164.img.xz > /dev/mmcblk? 
#   (or /dev/sd? depends on you cardreader)

Mount the root filesystem (3 Partition) and go to usr/share/u-boot/banana_pi folder and run:

dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/mmcblk? bs=1K seek=8

Mount the boot filesystem (1 Partition) and edit uENV.txt:


and set SERIAL-CONSOLE to OFF if you want to use HDMI/KEYBOARD instead of serial console.

Prepare the serial console

The serial console mode requires an USB-GPIO-Adaptor, which is available on the internet or at your local electronics store.

Then connect the following pins to the adequate input/output plugs at the adaptor:

Pin at the Banana Pi To be plugged in for function
J12/P02 3,3V (not 5V!)
J11/P02 TX
J11/P01 RX
J12/P08 GND

Please have a look at the product documentation for further information on this topic, including the location of the correct pins at the Banana Pi.

After switching on the Banana Pi, it can be accessed by using a serial connection (baud: 115200) to it.

ExtraHD may readily be assigned to partitions on a SATA device.

How to install IPFire on SATA device for Banana Pi

Take care with polarity of power cable for SATA device - it differs from that of some other ARM boards
Note that a microSD card will still be required to boot Banana Pi

Unpack the armv6l image to microSD card, then configure, as described above.
Unpack the same image to the SATA device.

Deconfigure 1 partition on the SATA device, by reformatting it
mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1

Deconfigure 3 partition on the microSD card, by changing its UUID
tune2fs -U random /dev/mmcblk0p3

Install microSD card and SATA device to Banana Pi, power up and configure IPFire.

After IPFire has been installed, the deconfigured partitions may be utilised as ExtraHD

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Older Revisions • March 25, 2022 at 11:16 pm • Rodney Peters