Playing around with an Orange Pi+ 2


  • The SATA interface is pretty useless without a special SATA split cable that i'll have to order off of AliExpress
  • The SATA interface is also not a real SATA interface, more like a slow USB-to-SATA interface (SATA 2.0 - via GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge ref) like Banana Pi (which uses A20 SoC).
  • Needs an adaptor with enough juice to be able to power the HDD (specially if they are USB powered). I'm using a 5V 3A adaptor.
  • I'm using a 3.5" old school HDD (2TB) in a SATA casing and it comes with it's own power adaptor and on/off switch.


  • Setup Git so i can write some code. Setup SSH keys for Github and Bitbucket
  • Setup NAS and share the files on Armbian over the network so that i can access easily files from other systems
  • Setup for running in headless mode (Enable SSH and remote connections, setup file sharing, automate torrent downloads etc.)
  • Catalogue the Orange Pi Plus 2 hardware details. (So that i don't have to keep checking and so that i still have these details if/when the board gets forgotten online)
  • set up static IP

Installing and Upgrading Armbian

Installation had already been done the last time i set it up. This time i booted straight into the Armbian desktop. I can't remember excatly why i chose Armbian over Debian/Ubuntu. Possibly because a reliable Ubuntu/Debian image for Orange Pi Plus 2 wasn't available at that time, or maybe because Armbian is supposed to have better support for ARM based devices.

I had also gone a step further and moved the OS from SD Card to built in eMMC storage (~16GB)

# python -mplatform

I updated the system with

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

As of this writing the latest Ubuntu LTS version is 20.04 (Focal Fossa) and Armbian Focal for Orange Pi+ 2 was released on 21-02-1.

The usual sudo apt dist-upgrade didn't work. What works is running sudo armbian-config and then going to System > Other (Switch to other kernels) and then selecting the latest.

Fake SATA?

Don't expect 6GB/sec. Expect a max ~30 MB/sec. The SATA is actually achieved with a USB2.0-to-SATA bridge, so you'd get USB 2.0 speeds. Apparently you get more speed if you connect it to one of the USB ports as compared to connecting it over the SATA port. On the USB port i got around 5-11 MB/s ..

Setting up a NAS

Run the following commands before and after connecting your hard drive to figure out which one you need to mount.

# get device UUIDs
sudo blkid

# find out partition names
cat /proc/partitions

setting up for NTFS and EXT4 drives

# install tools
sudo apt-get install fuse ntfs-3g

# create mount points
sudo mkdir /media/aamnah/NAS /media/aamnah/STUFF

# mount drive
sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /media/aamnah/NAS
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/aamnah/STUFF

share the drive over network

sudo apt install samba

sudo cp /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.bak
sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Edit smb.conf file

i tried to make the extrenal drive called NAS publicly accessible without having to provide a password, but it didn't work. some articles mentioned changing user to nobody and changing pemissions to 777 (actually change owner and perms for the drive itself), but that did nothing. kept getting the you do not have permission error..

path = /media/aamnah/NAS
public = yes
writable = yes
browsable = yes
read only = no
;guest ok = yes
;guest only = yes
;guest account = nobody
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777

what did work was providing force user = aamnah. (my username is aamnah on both devices) i am able to access from Windows and browse as well as create files inside this shared drive. it did not ask me for a password

path = /media/aamnah/NAS
writable = yes
public = yes
force user = aamnah

Access the drive from Windows

Open File Explorer. Right click on This PC in the sidebar and select Add a network location.


Access the drive from macOS

Files > Go >

Cmd + K is the shortcut.

Set up static IP

i configured one from the router but that didn't seem to work. Pi+ 2 rebooted with a different IP address than the one it was assigned. In the /etc/network/interfaces file eth0 was set to DHCP. I'm not sure if that is supposed to cause the router settings not take effect?

sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bak
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
# Ethernet adapter 0 - static
auto eth0
allow-hotplug eth0
#no-auto-down eth0
iface eth0 inet static


Please note that this site and the posts on it are, and will always be, a work in progress. If i waited for perfection, i’d never get anything done.