Orange Pi 3 LTS Setup Guide

The Orange Pi 3 LTS is a highly compact, open-source single-board computer equipped with dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. It can run Ubuntu, Android10, or Debian distributions.

The Orange Pi 3 LTS single-board computer.

Follow this guide to set up your Orange Pi 3 LTS to run viam-server.

Hardware requirements

  • Development machine: laptop or computer workstation
  • An Orange Pi 3 LTS
  • A 5V 3A power supply with a USB-C connector
  • A micro-SD card (TF card): Minimum of 8GB, 16GB recommended
  • SD card reader (recommended with USB-C connector)
  • A monitor: for display
  • HDMI cable: to connect Orange Pi to monitor display
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • USB-C to USB-A cables: to connect keyboard and mouse to USB hub or Orange Pi ports (recommended, hardware dependent)
  • USB hub with USB-A connector (recommended)

Power your Orange Pi 3 LTS

Before you power the board, you need to install an operating system.

  1. First, download an Orange Pi 3 LTS Ubuntu image to your development machine. We recommend ubuntu_jammy_desktop.
  2. Unzip the image.
  3. Insert the micro-SD card into the SD card reader and connect the reader to your development machine.
  4. Follow the Orange Pi guide to prepare your microSD card to flash the OS to your micro-SD card using balenaEtcher.
  5. Insert the micro-SD into the Orange Pi.

To power your Orange Pi 3 LTS, connect your power adapter to the LTS’s USB-C port. The LED should light up, which indicates that the board is powered.

To connect to a display, connect the HDMI cable to the Orange Pi’s HDMI port and the other end to your monitor. Then, connect your keyboard and mouse to the two USB-A ports on your Orange Pi. Alternatively, you can connect your peripherals to a USB hub and connect the USB hub to your Orange Pi’s USB-A port.

Once the Orange Pi successfully boots, you should be greeted with the Orange Pi desktop display. If you are prompted for a login password, note that the default password for Orange Pi devices is “orangepi”.

Establish a network connection

The Orange Pi 3 LTS comes equipped with a wireless network antenna. To connect to WiFi through the desktop, click on the WiFi icon in the top right of the monitor display, select your preferred network or hotspot, and enter the password.

Install viam-server

Launch the browser on your Orange Pi display by selecting Applications from the left-hand menu, then Internet, then Firefox Web Browser.

Also, launch the terminal by selecting Applications and Terminal. Complete the following instructions to install viam-server, noting that if you are prompted for a password in the terminal, the default password for Orange Pis is “orangepi”.

viam-server is distributed for Linux as an AppImage. The AppImage is a single, self-contained binary that runs on 64-bit Linux systems running the aarch64 or x86_64 architectures, with no need to install any dependencies.

To install viam-server :

  1. Go to the Viam app and add a new machine by providing a name in the New machine field and clicking Add machine. If this is your first time using the Viam app, you must create an account first.

    The ‘First Location’ page on the Viam app with a new machine name in the New machine field and the Add machine button next to the field highlighted.

  2. Navigate to the CONFIGURE tab and find your machine’s card. An alert will be present directing you to Set up your machine part. Click View setup instructions to open the setup instructions. Select Linux as your system’s OS, Aarch64 as your Linux architecture, and RDK as the RDK type.

  3. Follow the instructions listed to install viam-server on your Linux computer.

  4. Once you have followed the setup instructions, viam-server is installed and running. Wait for confirmation that your computer has successfully connected.

By default, viam-server will start automatically when your system boots, but you can change this behavior if desired.

Next steps

Configure an orangepi board as a component to integrate the GPIO pins of the single-board computer into your smart machine.


Visit the Orange Pi Forum for troubleshooting tips and tricks specific to the Orange Pi.