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Build commands


Builds kernel and device tree (where applicable) and place it to the output/debs


./ kernel BOARD=nanopi-r5c BRANCH=edge 


Validate dts files and improve board & patch development overall

This option validates the dts/dtb file for the selected board against the device tree bindings, and outputs the validation logs to the user. It can be used when adding a new board, developing or improving a dts file.


./ dts-check BOARD=nanopi-r5c BRANCH=edge 


Outputs a one board per-line CSV inventory of boards.

Sets TARGETS_FILE to something that doesn’t exist, so the default-targets.yaml is used (so same list for everyone, save for userpatched-boards)


./ inventory-boards
Outputs /info/boards-inventory.csv


Builds only DTB, and output full preprocessed dts source

Outputs preprocessed DTS source for board in question to output/ also outputs same preprocessed DTS source, ran through dtc with input and output DTS formats for “normalized” comparisions


./ kernel-dtb BOARD=xxxxx BRANCH=edge


Prepares git, applies patches to git, and re-writes them back from git same as kernel, it does git archeology for mbox-less patches, etc.

  • uboot-patches-to-git alias is also added, but my guess is rewrite is more useful.
  • refactor a common config function for both kernel and uboot.


./ rewrite-uboot-patches BOARD=xxxx BRANCH=edge 


Generates output/info/git_sources.json file that will contain url, branch and commit hash combo.

The easiest way to generate file for all devices is to run ./ targets. Then at the time of release we will copy the output/info/git_sources.json file to config/sources/git_sources.json. Once the file is copied, the hash information from the file will be used to fetch resources for git repositories where branches are specified instead of tags or commits.


./ targets

Build options (DEPRECATED)

⚠ DO NOT USE! Obsolete documentation, new documentation in progress..

These parameters are meant to be applied to the ./ command. They are all optional. They can also be added to your build configuration file to save time. Default values are marked bold if applicable.

Main options

  • BUILD_ONLY (comma-separated list): defines what artifacts should be built. Default value is empty string - will build all artifacts. Changing this option can be useful to build partial artifacts only. - u-boot: build U-Boot - kernel: build Kernel - armbian-config: build Armbian config - armbian-zsh: build Armbian zsh - plymouth-theme-armbian: build Armbian Plymouth theme - armbian-firmware: build Armbian firmware - armbian-bsp: build Armbian board support package - chroot: build additional packages - bootstrap: build bootstrap package - default: build full OS image for flashing
  • KERNEL_CONFIGURE ( string or boolean ): - prebuilt: Use precompiled packages (only for maintained hardware) - yes: Automatically call kernel’s make menuconfig (add or remove modules or features) - no: Use provided kernel configuration provided by Armbian - leave empty to display selection dialog each time
  • CLEAN_LEVEL (comma-separated list): defines what should be cleaned. Default value is "make,debs" - clean sources and remove all packages. Changing this option can be useful when rebuilding images or building more than one image - make-atf = make clean for ATF, if it is built. - make-uboot = make clean for uboot, if it is built. - make-kernel = make clean for kernel, if it is built. very slow.
    important: “make” by itself has disabled, since Armbian knows how to handle Make timestamping now.
    - debs, alldebs = delete all packages in “./output/debs” - images = delete “./output/images” - cache = delete “./output/cache” - sources: delete cache/sources (all downloaded sources) - oldcache = remove old cached rootfs except for the newest 8 files - extras: delete additional packages for current release in output/debs/extra
  • REPOSITORY_INSTALL (comma-separated list): list of core packages which will be installed from repository - Available options: u-boot, kernel, bsp, armbian-bsp-cli,armbian-bsp-desktop,armbian-desktop,armbian-config, armbian-firmware - Set to “” to use packages one from local output or build if not available
  • KERNEL_KEEP_CONFIG ( yes | no ): - yes: use kernel config file from previous compilation for the same branch, device family and version - no: use default or user-provided config file
  • BUILD_MINIMAL ( yes | no ): - yes: build bare CLI image suitable for application deployment. This option is not compatible with BUILD_DESKTOP="yes" and BUILD_EXTERNAL="yes" - no: default CLI package selection
  • BUILD_DESKTOP ( yes | no ): - yes: build image with minimal desktop environment - no: build image with console interface only
  • EXTERNAL ( yes | no ): - yes: compile and install extra applications and firmware
  • BSPFREEZE ( yes | no ): - yes: freeze (from update) armbian packages when building images (U-Boot, kernel, DTB)
  • INSTALL_HEADERS ( no | yes ): - yes: install kernel headers
  • EXTERNAL_NEW ( no | prebuilt | compile ): - prebuilt: install extra applications from repository - compile: compile extra applications in chroot
  • CREATE_PATCHES ( yes | no ) ⚠ Warning: This option is deprecated and may be removed in future releases - use the new kernel-patch / uboot-patch / atf-patch CLI commands instead. - yes: prompt right before the compilation starts to make changes to the source code for both U-Boot and kernel. From these changes patch files will be created and placed in output directory. If you want these patches included in a normal run (without CREATE_PATCHES to say) these files need to be copied to the appropriate directories. Also see user provided patches.
  • BUILD_ALL ( yes | no | demo ): cycle through all available board and kernel configurations and make images for all combinations
  • CARD_DEVICE ( /dev/sdX ): set to the device of your SD card. The image will be burned and verified using Etcher for CLI.
  • EXT=rkdevflash to flash Rockchip images to eMMC either during image build or separately with flash CLI command (only works bare Linux, not Docker)
  • CRYPTROOT_ENABLE ( yes | no ): enable LUKS encrypted rootfs - CRYPTROOT_PASSPHRASE="MYSECRECTPASS" mandatory - CRYPTROOT_SSH_UNLOCK=yes Default: yes - CRYPTROOT_SSH_UNLOCK_PORT=2222 Default: 2022 - CRYPTROOT_PARAMETERS="custom cryptsetup options" Default: --pbkdf pbkdf2 (May not contain =; separate with spaces) - Note: This function might not work well with all distributions. Debian Buster and Stretch were tested. For building under Docker you have to use privileged mode which can be enable in userpatches/config-docker. - Warning: This feature was added as community contribution and mostly functional. Under some circumstances though the prompt will not be shown. Therefore it should be considered experimental. Check here and here - Hint: If you want to do the encryption part from scratch check out this forum post.

Hidden options to minimize user input for build automation

  • BOARD ( string ): set name of board manually to skip dialog prompt
  • BRANCH ( legacy | current | edge ): set kernel and U-Boot branch manually to skip dialog prompt; some options may not be available for all devices
  • RELEASE ( bullseye | bookworm | jammy ): set OS release manually to skip dialog prompt; use this option with KERNEL_ONLY=yes to create board support package
  • ARMBIAN_CACHE_ROOTFS_PATH ( string ): bind mount cache/rootfs to defined folder
  • ARMBIAN_CACHE_TOOLCHAIN_PATH ( string ): bind mount cache/toolchain path to defined folder

Hidden options for advanced users (default values are marked bold)

  • EXPERT ( yes | no ): Show development features and boards regardless of its status in interactive mode
  • USERPATCHES_PATH ( userpatches/ ): set alternate path for location of userpatches folder
  • USE_CCACHE ( yes | no ): use a C compiler cache to speed up the build process
  • PRIVATE_CCACHE ( yes | no ) use $DEST/ccache as ccache home directory
  • SKIP_EXTERNAL_TOOLCHAINS ( yes | no ) don’t download and use Linaro toolchains, by default placed in cache/toolchain (and configurable with ARMBIAN_CACHE_TOOLCHAIN_PATH)
  • PROGRESS_DISPLAY ( none | plain | dialog ): way to display output of verbose processes - compilation, packaging, debootstrap
  • PROGRESS_LOG_TO_FILE ( yes | no ): duplicate output, affected by previous option, to log files output/debug/*.log
  • NO_APT_CACHER ( yes | no ): disable usage of APT cache. Default yes in containers, but can be overridden
  • DISABLE_IPV6 ( true | false ): The distant future, the year Two-Thousand. Set false to allow Aria2c to use a modern ip protocol.
  • NO_HOST_RELEASE_CHECK ( yes | no ): overrides the check for a supported host system
  • USE_MAINLINE_GOOGLE_MIRROR ( yes | no ): use mirror for downloading mainline kernel sources, may be faster than depending on your location
  • USE_GITHUB_UBOOT_MIRROR ( yes | no ): use unofficial Github mirror for downloading mainline U-Boot sources, may be faster than depending on your location
  • SYNC_CLOCK ( yes | no ): sync system clock on builder before start image creation process
  • OFFLINE_WORK ( yes | no ): skip downloading and updating sources as well as time and host check. Set to “yes” and you can collect packages without accessing the internet
  • FORCE_USE_RAMDISK ( yes | no ): overrides autodetect for using tmpfs in new debootstrap and image creation process
  • FIXED_IMAGE_SIZE ( integer ): create image file of this size (in megabytes) instead of minimal
  • BOOTSIZE ( integer 96 ): set size (in megabytes) for separate /boot filesystem. Used if ROOTFS_TYPE set to non-ext4
  • COMPRESS_OUTPUTIMAGE (comma-separated list): create compressed archive with image file and GPG signature for redistribution - sha: generate SHA256 hash for image - gpg: sign image using gpg - 7z: compress image, hash and signature to 7z archive - gz: compress image only using gz format - xz: compress image only using xz format - yes: compatibility shorcut for sha,gpg,7z
  • IMAGE_XZ_COMPRESSION_RATIO ( 1 - 9 ) Images compression levels when using xz compressor. Beware of memory consumption when going higher
  • SEVENZIP ( yes | no ): create .7z archive with extreme compression ratio instead of .zip
  • BUILD_KSRC ( yes | no ): create kernel source packages while building…
  • INSTALL_KSRC ( yes | no ): … and pre-install these kernel sources on the image
  • ROOTFS_TYPE ( ext4 | f2fs | btrfs | nilfs2 | xfs | nfs ): create image with different root filesystems instead of default ext4. Requires setting FIXED_IMAGE_SIZE to something smaller than the size of your SD card for F2FS
  • BTRFS_COMPRESSION ( lzo | none | zlib | zstd ): when choosing ROOTFS_TYPE=btrfs select btrfs filesystem compression method and compression level. By default the compression is zlib.
    When selecting zstd or setting zlib compression level(zlib:[1-9]) user must ensure kernel version is >=4.14.x.
    When selecting zstd compression level (zstd:[1-15]) both the host and the target kernel version must be >=5.1.x since kernel started supporting zstd compression ratio only from 5.1 on.
    Note: The script does not check the legality of input variable (compression ratio). Input like zlib:1234 is legal to the script but illegal to the kernel. Beware that setting this option does affect image creation only (shrinking disk size) and will not adjust /etc/fstab so it is up to the user to later edit /etc/fstab if compression in daily operation is also wanted (beware of serious performance penalties with random IO patterns and heavy compression algorithms!).
  • FORCE_BOOTSCRIPT_UPDATE ( yes | no ): - yes: force bootscript to get updated during bsp package upgrade
  • NAMESERVER ( IPv4 address ): the DNS resolver used inside the build chroot. Does not affect the final image. Default:
  • DOWNLOAD_MIRROR ( china | bfsu ): select download mirror for toolchain and debian/ubuntu packages - china: use, it will be very fast thanks to Tsinghua University - bfsu: use, mirror of Beijing Foreign Studies University
    - leave empty to use official source
  • ARMBIAN_MIRROR (auto): override automated mirror selection, example ‘ARMBIAN_MIRROR=””’
  • MAINLINE_MIRROR ( google | tuna | bfsu ): select mainline mirror of linux-stable.git - google: use mirror provided by Google, the same as USE_MAINLINE_GOOGLE_MIRROR=yes - tuna: use mirror provided by Tsinghua University - bfsu: use mirror provided by Beijing Foreign Studies University which is similar to tuna - leave empty to use offical, may be very slow for mainland China users
  • UBOOT_MIRRORgithub | gitee : select mainline mirror of u-boot.git - github: use mirror provided by github, the same as USE_GITHUB_UBOOT_MIRROR=yes - gitee: use mirror provided by Gitee, a Chinese git services - leave empty to use offical, may be very slow for mainland China users
  • GITHUB_MIRROR ( fastgit | gitclone | cnpmjs ): select download mirror for GitHub hosted repository - fastgit: use mirror provided by - gitclone: use mirror provided by - cnpmjs: use mirror provided by - leave empty to connect directly to GitHub, may be very slow for mainland China users
  • REGIONAL_MIRROR ( china ): select mirrors based on regional setting, will not overwrite explicitly specified mirror option - china: MAINLINE_MIRROR=tuna, UBOOT_MIRROR=gitee, GITHUB_MIRROR=fastgit, DOWNLOAD_MIRROR=china - leave empty to use default settings
  • USE_TORRENT ( yes | no ): use torrent to download toolchains and rootfs
  • ROOT_FS_CREATE_ONLY ( yes | no ): set to yes to force local cache creation
  • EXTRAWIFI ( yes | no ): include several drivers for WiFi adapters
  • WIREGUARD ( yes | no ): include Wireguard for kernels before it got upstreamed to mainline. Will lose functionality soon.
  • AUFS ( yes | no ): Include support for AUFS
  • SKIP_BOOTSPLASH ( yes | no ): Use kernel bootsplash. Disable in case of troubles
  • CONSOLE_AUTOLOGIN ( yes | no ): Automatically login as root for local consoles. Disable if your security threat model requires.
  • EXT (fake-vcgencmd): execute extension during the build - fake-vcgencmd: include fake vcgencmd to monitor and control boards from Android
  • INCLUDE_HOME_DIR ( yes | no ): Include directories created inside /home in final image.