Alternatives to the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3

I don’t know if anyone has got Zythian working on one of the RPi alternatives? For example the Banana Pi M3 or the ODROID-XU4?

Both have Octa-core CPUs and 2GB of RAM. So possibly better performance with some of the sound engines. Looks like the Banana Pi M3 has the same kind of expansion pins as the standard RPi - not sure about the ODroid. But neither of them is too costly, and with no successor to the RPi 3 on the horizon yet, could these be made to work without too much effort?

They are much the same size too, so fitting them in cases should not be too difficult.

I may be getting an Odroid soon, just for experimenting with. Don’t know if there are any DACs like the HiFiBerry that would fit though…

Just a thought


Sean Keogh

Hi @keoghs

there is a HiFi shield for the Odroid out:

My problems with ODroid and Co. is that they may have a not as stable Linux-OS as the Raspi. My other problem is: I have no time for testing :wink:

But perhaps this would be nice to try. If it works there should be much more power for generating noise. The problem maybe a noisy fan for the octa-cores…

Regards, Holger

They do a version with a passive heatsink. Also, there is a quad core, also with 2GB RAM and running at 1.5Ghz. But I take your point about the O/S. Thanks for the reply.


Sean Keogh

Have you bought one of the two by now and made your first tests? I am considering buying a XU4 as well.


I have an odroid C2 on order. Just a quad core, but 1.5GHz and 2GB RAM. And it looks to be the same form factor as a standard RPi 3, sames ports in the same positions. I am going to try a direct swap over and see how it works in my Zynthian. If it is no good I will be using it to upgrade my Kodi box, (currently an RPi 3) as Libreelec is available for the C2. They are currently out of stock of the XU4 with the passive heatsink.

I will report back.

Additionally I am considering a PiSound card. They don’t have drivers yet, but they are open source.

So should this be the project 2018? ODROID C2, PiSound? :slight_smile:

Hi @mheidt !

Reading this topic reminded me of this other topic here:

I think at the end of that topic @opteig1 succeeded. Sadly it was not added to the git hub as @jofemodo suggested in that topic.

But the Tinkerboard is nice hardware with good availability and an affordable price tag.

Guten Rutsch!

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Is there anybody who got zynthian working on a non raspbian and could still do some tests? I like to see a 1GB sf2 working. Raspbi3 doesn’t.

Tried on Orange pi pc

Didnt work

What exactly didn’t work?

Odroid C2 arrived. The XU4 is based on the Arm V7 core, and so is eight cores but only 32-bit, by the way, the C2 is quad core, but Arm V8 cores and thus 64-bit.

Physically fits the case, but you lose the 3.5mm audio out, as the C2 doesn’t have one. 40-way connector is also in the same place and the hi-fi berry card mounts ok. But it will not boot the standard Zynthian build from the micro-sd card. You just get a white screen.

I am going to download the C2 version of Debian ( and see what I can do with it. The C2 is supported by libreelec and other common RPi distributions, so I am hoping it won’t be too difficult to get it working.

If I make any progress, I will let you know.

Oh well, that did not last long. That distro is no longer supported. I’ll see what else I can find.

i ordered one as well, which should arrive the next days…you are not alone :slightly_smiling_face:
What about dietpi?

Seems like there are other issues. Apparently Hardkernel, the makers of odroid, have not released any drivers for V4 of the Linux kernel. All of the available distros are running a V3 kernel.

And it will need to be a C2-specific kernel because of the slightly different hardware - different graphics chip, for example. As and when I get time, I will investigate further.

Does the Zynthian image use a real-time kernel, by the way? As that is another potential issue.

I don’t expect the image to work. We need to get a decent distro and run some scripts. Don’t know which yet, but there is something @jofemodo can point us to.
and then we have to fork it, so that we can make the changes. I don’t expect the scripts to be running either :slight_smile:
My first goal will be getting a fluidsynth up and check, if a 1GB sf2 can be loaded.
My second goal will be getting a waveshare32 running.
And if I fail, it will be kodi-box :slight_smile:

But if not I have to think of a soundcard.
I talked to the PiSound guys. The drivers won’t work but they are open source.
They react quickly on chat on their page and i have the feeling, that they won’t mind if someone is pushing the driver compilation for odroid c2.
What soundcard are you planning to use?
I like the PiSound because of Audio IN.

So actually I don’t need the zynthian-izing scripts before the soundcard is up and running…

Hmmm… there is a Hifi audio card for the C2:

Maybe it is easier to use this one instead of driver programing (Ok - no audio inputs…)?

Regards, Holger

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I know, but I want Audio IN :slight_smile:
But it all depends on my waveshare32 experience. If it works, I have to evaluate my options.

I did some testing. Unfortunately, I might have gotten a defect one.
In the end 5 different kodi images yield to random crashes.
But I could test a vanilla jessie distro and dietpi.
Later is great. But my waveshare32 didn’t work.
So I take this as a sign, return it and buy a raspi3 and Audioinjector Zero instead.

I tried installing in my orange pi

Installed a orange version of rasbian… The followed the install script on this forum

It downloaded the script. And then started installing and compiling etc

Was getting file space errors… I didn’t know how to change the partition sizes

I put the orange in the draw for later use

try dietpi. They have orange pi images as well