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Cheapest TV Box/SBC that can run Armbian?


ThatUnknownGuy
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Hey guys. I need around 10-20 SBC or TV Boxes that can run Armbian.
I only need Ethernet support, Wi-Fi and BT isn't required, but I'd like something stable that doesn't overheat.

I'll be running Docker on them, is that an issue on Armbian? This can be a deal breaker for me.
 

2GB/16GB boxes would be the best option if I can flash armbian to the EMMC in board, requiring no SD card to boot, thus minimizing costs.

I've seen that the Tanix TX3 Mini is stable and the 2GB/16GB unit is at around 25€, but this is a bit much.

I managed to buy some RK3318 2GB/16GB boxes in the past for 18€, but they're gone.

 

I've also seen the HK1 Mini, which uses the RK3299 SOC, but I can't find much info on it.

 

Thank you for your time! 

Edited by ThatUnknownGuy
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Armbian Linux community supported weekly builds download

1 hour ago, richardk said:

for the Neo & Neo2 I like the silver-metal NAS case, whch has a connector for a 12V power-supply and is made out of aluminium - so its the best against heat ;) 
https://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=93&product_id=222

 

only backdraws of the Neo are the H3-quadcore (non-64bit) and only 512MB of ram - maybe for docker not the best
but a very stable and cool system :)

Neo_NAS_case.jpg

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Thanks for both answers.

Yea I've seen that machine, sadly the specs are not enough.

I was looking for 1GB of RAM at least, that's why TV boxes make sense.. They're enclosed, good specs for the price and I can sell them later on for whatever reason.

 

I was looking at getting OrangePi One Plus, which has a new H6 and 1GB of RAM for around 24€, but for that price I can get a S905X3 box with 2GB of RAM.

 

 

Any other TV boxes that you recommend? From what I've read I should avoid Rockchip afaik, and Allwinner seems to have the best support around here, but (correct me if I'm wrong) most of the allwinner tv boxes can't be flashed to run from EMMC instead of sd card?

 

Also, if I want to restore the original firmware that was on the EMMC I can always do that right?

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1 hour ago, ThatUnknownGuy said:

but for that price I can get a S905X3 box with 2GB of RAM.

... and then throw this shit in the trash (for this kind of money, it will be outright trash). This chip is not supported. Most models have different problems and don't work as they should.

 

1 hour ago, ThatUnknownGuy said:

From what I've read I should avoid Rockchip afaik,

RK have good support, if you do not try to buy known junk from unknown sources.

 

1 hour ago, ThatUnknownGuy said:

Allwinner seems to have the best support around here, but (correct me if I'm wrong) most of the allwinner tv boxes can't be flashed to run from EMMC instead of sd card?

And here is an error, if you use proven models-the installation in eMMC works perfectly. And after installing Armbian or Libreelec in eMMC, you get the ability to run other systems from USB media (this applies to RK and AW).

 

1 hour ago, ThatUnknownGuy said:

Also, if I want to restore the original firmware that was on the EMMC I can always do that right?

Yes, if you make a full backup and save it before installing to eMMC.

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