Most appropriate olimex cards to deploy an debian educative version in schools ?

Started by Ucino, August 17, 2017, 05:05:06 PM

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I'm trying to make a dynamic for a school project.

One of the goals of this project is to provide an open source OS for children on an open hardware nano computer, to try to deploy it in French schools (6 years to 10 years). The children could have an OS computer, and made maker things (3D printing on open hardware printers, snap! openscad, smartcar, toys IoT...). If this project success, this could be also deployed in other context  if economic model can be found (holidays center for children, at home for the children...).

I have benchmarked cards for this and initially choose the Orange Pi Win plus.

However i have problems with it :

- I can't display it with hdmi to vga on some resolution screens,

- it is not well supported by Armbian ( )

I would like to evaluate now the possibility to use Olimex cards.

Why i choose olimex and not others, it's because of the Olimex strategy about open source and open hardware that seems really different, more "true/real/complete" than the others ( ).

Someone could tell me if a/some cards correspond to the needs of the project ?

Here are the actual identified needs :

- open source / open hardware

- 4 USB 2.0 or 3.0 (for keyboard, mouse, USB sound and the last for uploading code in arduino, nodemcu, wemos...)
- Be able to run nicely openscad 2015 and blender, inkscape (so more RAM will be better, powerfull CPU and GPU compatibility are certainly important).

- ethernet, wifi and bluetooth (wifi & bluetooth can be modular in order to reuse it later on other cards for futur updgrade)

- can display on a lot of vga old screen

- can use camera

- can use an solution for easy customize an OS (armbian, yoctoproject ?). We will try to made on it, an open source OS for schools with a nice community, and there is already schools in France that use it. PrimTux is made with debian. We have started the discussion on orange win pi on and I'm interested to try to evaluate the Olimex cards way.

- low cost (<60€ ?)

- provide also an alternative for SD card for storage of the OS (i appreciate on orange pi win plus that we can add emmc storage, and it seems that Olimex also provide this on some cards, in order to not destroy quickly the SD cards).

- can avoid the maximum use of non open source sofware/firmware, and have a good compatibility with open source OS.

One of the way to make real the project could be making an crowfunding, and the guys will have an open sofware OS for children and open hardware nano computer (to help the possibility to make an custom version of PrimTux for this open hardware card, and documentation, elearning, mooc contents. There is already a PrimTux version in development with raspberry pi, but it seems that raspberry pi is not open hardware).

Is there, and if yes, wich is/are the cards that seems to respond to the needs of the project ?

If there is a possibility to find a nice Olimex cards that match with the project, some one will be interested  to help us to make the project real ? (If yes, if we made an crowdfunding, we can reserve part of money for this).

Thanks a lot for your attention,

Best regards


Did you get an answer?

Perhaps the A64 board, but we have not heard if they might offer a maxed ram version. (3GB). Probably if you can order a minimum quantity, they can do it.

A64 is liked by linuix sunni, so will have excellent support.

Probably better to email them directly, as i do not think they look at this forum at all



Thanks a lot for your reply, and sorry for the delay. Yes I emailed them directly and they have replied.

One of the problem of A64 is that actually it's difficult to use it with VGA screen, and there is a lot of vga screen in schools.

So the armbian community told me to use H3 soc, and for the moment Olimex did not sell H3 SBC :/


Looks like you want too many things all at the same time.

Some might be rather out of date (such as VGA).

If you could compromise then you might have more choice,



Yes you're totally right, VGA is a big limitation. But as the goal of the project is to make it easy accessible for schools, and to reuse old material, I'm trying to keep this constraint of VGA.

If it will be possible to offer a solution for schools with VGA and so with H3 soc, maybe later we can try to offer A64 solution for the schools that have hdmi screens.


Quote from: Ucino on December 08, 2017, 03:30:54 AMIf it will be possible to offer a solution for schools with VGA and so with H3 soc, maybe later we can try to offer A64 solution for the schools that have hdmi screens.

 Would be great if you offered A64 solution for the schools. But in the case of Olimex, this is strictly open source and open hardware and strictly a hobby, so many choose a longer path but more economical and universal.


How about using something older such as the A20 that works well with VGA (at least on a board from a different OEM i have)? There is even a connector from Olimex for this board, and I am sure they would be able to solder it on board if you ordered larger quantity. Also, the A20 can handle up to 2G of RAM.