Banana Pi - Raspberry Pi Upgraded
Given that I finally received my Banana Pi, it is time for a little review of the Chinese Raspberry Pi "competitor". Before I tell you about my first experiences with the board, let's have a quick look at its hardware specs and how they compare to the newly released Raspberry Model B +.
The first thing that sticks out is the Banana Pi's much faster dual-core, Cortex-A7-based Allwinner A20 system-on-chip running at 1GHz, which definitely beats the Raspberry's "well-known" 700MHz, ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2835 processor.
The Banana Pi is also equipped with 1GB of RAM and built-in Ethernet that can handle up to 1Gbps, which is approximately ten-times as fast as the Raspberry Pi's.
|Raspberry Pi Model B+|
Unfortunately the Banana uses a parallel camera interface, which means that your Raspberry Pi camera board won't connect to the Banana's CSI interface. Luckily, Lemaker is working on their own module.
OS & first runThe Banana Pi runs Lubuntu, Raspbian, Android, Fedora, Arch Linux, OpenSuse and Scratch. The image files can be downloaded here: http://www.lemaker.org/content-9-38-1.html
To write the image (in my case Raspbian) to a SD card, execute the following commands:
#to get the location of your card. /dev/sdb in my case sudo fdisk -l #to write the image sudo bs=4M dd if=/home/user/Documents/Raspbian_For_BananaPi_v3_1.img of=/dev/sdb
Default CredentialsNo need for a fancy HDMI monitor as ssh is enabled by default. Just connect the Pi via Ethernet and you are ready to go: the default credentials are userid: root, password: bananapi. To get the IP address of the Banana Pi, you can either access your router's control panel or perform a scan with nmap.
#to scan for all the devices on the network nmap -sn 192.168.0.1/24 #to connect ssh firstname.lastname@example.orgFirst thing you might want to do is to expand the file system and disable Desktop boot.
root@lemaker raspi-configSelect "Expand Filesystem" and reboot for the changes to take effect. The next thing I did was adding a new user, deleting the default bananapi user and disabling ssh access for the root user.
#to add a new user sudo adduser user #to add a user to the sudo group sudo adduser user sudo #logout and login with your new user #to delete the a user account sudo userdel bananapi # to disable root ssh login sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config # restart ssh sudo service ssh restartLook for "PermitRootLogin" in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and set it to no.
Setting Up Tight VNC ServerIf you are like me and using the BPi in headless mode, you might want to setup a VNC connection.
# install tightvncserver sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install tightvncserver -y # start the vnc server vncserver :1 -geometry 800x600 -depth 24 # now connect to the BPi with any VNC client. e.g. xtightvncviewer xtightvncviewer 192.168.0.20:1
|Banana Pi - Raspbian Desktop|