Preparing the SD Card

Picking the Right Card

Now that you've selected a system image, you'll need to write it to a high-performance SD card at least 2GB in size. Picking the right card can be tricky as the so-called "Speed Class" (e.g. Class 10, UHS-1) is only indicative of sequential read/write performance - a meaningful measure in still and video camera applications, but not so for tiny Linux computers. Recently, new "Application Performance Class" standards have been introduced that rate cards based on the number of I/O operations they can perform per second, but few cards that meet the requirements for classes 'A1' and 'A2' are marked as such.

Thankfully, some curious individuals have performed independent testing on widely-available SD cards and shared their findings online. As of December, 2017, Samsung's 32GB EVO+ branded card is the top performer, besting even their higher-capacity cards.

Decompressing the Image

To keep the size down while maintaining broad compatibility, system images are compressed as zip archives. Remember to extract the system image bearing a .img file extension before moving on.

Writing the Image

Those who demand slick visuals from their block-copying applications are encouraged to try the Etcher application, available on Windows, macOS and Linux. Simply select the Shedbuilt .img file as the source and SD card as the destination and you'll be on your way.

Old Linux hands who confident in their ability not to confuse similarly-named parameters or fat-finger device enumerations may of course use dd:

sudo dd if=shedbuilt-amano-12-orangepi-one.img of=/dev/mmcblk0