F.A.Q. | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which Allwinner H3 Boards are currently supported?
A: It should work on all H3 boards when set with proper script.bin(fex)/uboot. It has been tested and is known to support the following boards well:

  • Xunlong Orange Pi PC
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Plus 2E
  • Xunlong Orange Pi PC Plus
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Lite
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Zero Plus 2
  • FriendlyArm NanoPi M1
  • FriendlyArm NanoPi M1 Plus (built-in bluetooth not working)


  • For best experience on Xunlong Orange Pi Lite, use a high quality class 10 SDcard (iops is more important than sequential speeds)
  • Low ram means more swap
  • All H3 devices should be supported with minor tweaks to the fex file!
  • When using dd to write an image be sure to use 'conv=fdatasync' at the end of the line or run 'sync' before removing SDcard

We have included with the installer many of the common H3 fex files, however, you can put in place any fex you like fairly easy. Eventually we will try to document this in more detail for novice users. The image uses mainline u-boot which has a lot more functionality than stock, it allows you to mount the first parition and update the fex/kernel/ramdisk as needed instead of having to recompile everything. This means it should support almost any Allwinner H3 device with little to very little effort.

Q: What makes H3Droid different from the images provided by the vendor?
A: This image includes / supports:

  • Updated u-boot and fex with correct DRAM and CPU settings (Xunlong's images known to cause overheating or excessive throttling)
  • Google Play Store integrated (Xunlong doesn't provide Google Services at all with their images)
  • YouTube
  • Kodi (Compatible)
  • Root access to the system by SSH and ADB shell (As part of the installation process you will be asked to place your SSH key in the installation directory as h3droid.pub)
  • Using UsbModeSwitch.apk app which is provided, you can toggle OTG Gadget mode
  • English language set by default
  • Plenty of network chips supported (usb and sdio)
  • Custom recovery system. In the future will be used for installation of H3Droid onto eMMC. Press and hold power button during power on will boot rootfs from partition 6 (you can release it once you see changed leds)

Q: What hardware is supported by your Android image?
A: This image supports:

  • Common WiFi adapters - including those found built-on to the Orange Pi PC Plus and Orange Pi Plus 2E and USB dongles (examples: realtek: 8188cu, 8188eu, 8192cu, 8723, 8812au/8821au; atheros: ath9k, ath6k; ralink: rt2800usb compatibles (5370 tested))
  • Common Bluetooth adapters - Most CSR conforming dongles work (please report issues)
  • 100Mbit and Gigabit Network Adapaters found on H3 boards
  • HDMI and CVBS Displays
  • HDMI and Analog Audio Playback
  • common USB devices (kb/mouse/flash etc., if you have something that doesn't work, join us on IRC and report/ask)

Q: What is currently not supported by your Android image?
A: Some Bluetooth devices are not supported, while most dongles should work, some may still have problems (please be sure to report any issues!).
A: Poweroff (results in reboot, because of updated uboot).

Q: Am I going crazy or does the resolution seem to reset to 720p when I reboot?
A: Breathe easy friend, you are not crazy! This seems to be a bug which we have not yet figured out how to resolve. (Please note: as of 1.2.9+, you can now set the resolution permenently in H3resc)

Q: What is the UsbModeSwitch app used for?
A: This app is used to toggle the USB OTG mode on the micro usb port found on H3 devices. This allows the board to be connected to your computer and used as a mass storage device and provides access to Android via ABD shell.

Q: Is this Android image 'rootable' ?
A: Yes and no. Like ALL KitKat and later android releases, root access is complicated. Unfortunately the SDK used happens to use a secure kernel setup preventing remounting of /system as read/write to the Android interface (so root is not available/possible from Android interface). That said, root access via SSH and ABD shell which can be used for most things that would really require root (installing apps, remounting/modifying fs). We have already taken the liberty of installing Google Play Services for you to make use of the image easier. You can try rooting apps, but be aware that while some may work, they are controversial and might do more than you think (trojans/spyware). For most tasks requiring root, ssh or adb is sufficient.

Q: I am trying to use Netflix, Youtube or another streaming app and for some reason the video freezes up a few seconds in, whats up with that?
A: It appears this is a bug with the app when it detects a change in stream quality, usually in apps like Netflix rewinding the video 30 seconds should resolve this ( This was originally reported on OrangePi Forum ).

Q: I can not download Kodi from the Google Play store, it says it is incompatible, why?
A: Versions of Kodi after 16.4.82 require Android 5 and up and no longer support KitKat which we use for this image. Instead we recommend to install SPMC 16.4.82, download here.

Q: I am using H3 board with low memory (less than 1GB of ram) and having issues playing 1080p videos, what's wrong?
A: For 1.2.9+ please use h3resc and set 720p mode. For older releases this is a known bug, but there is a workaround:

From SSH or ADB Run (as root):

  1. gorw
  2. vi /system/build.prop
    Change line:

Q: For some reason when I attach miniterm to the UART on a board running H3Droid it doesn't work, why?
A: We've noticed that input doesn't work when using miniterm. Please use different terminal program instead, such as putty or 'screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200' for example.

Q: I installed Armbian from H3Resc but when I boot Armbian the screen is green, how can I fix this?
A: This is caused by us enabling DVI compatability in our fexes and in Armbian this casues black to appear green, you can fix this by modifying the following in the fex:

  1. In H3Resc choose option 24
  2. Find and change hdmi_cts_compatibility = 1 to hdmi_cts_compatibility = 0
  3. Save changes to fex
    Please Note; If you are using an DVI adapter with H3Droid this will cause it to no longer work until you revert these changes

Q: How to configure IR remote?
A: Follow the steps below:

  1. Load module: modprobe sunxi-ir-rx; rmmod sunxi-ir-rx; modprobe sunxi-ir-rx;
  2. Generate keys by running 'getevent' (note the codes and pressed keys, if no keys are generated, try different remote)
  3. Create keymap file in /system/usr/keylayout/sunxi-ir.kl
  4. Reload the module

Q: Can I use the camera provided by Xunlong on my Orange Pi board in H3Droid?
A: Yes, you can! To activate the modules needed for the camera you will want to login to the board as root via SSH/UART/ADB and you will want to run the following command:

echo "/sbin/busybox modprobe gc2035 ; /sbin/busybox modprobe vfe_v4l2" >> /data/rc.local
Once done, reboot to implement the drivers!

Q: What is a 'serial UART' connectior cable and how do I use it with H3Droid?
A: A serial UART cable can be attached to the UART connector on your H3 board to provide access to the boards serial console, which will provide you a root access to your device, the adapters are usually very cheap ($0.50-$3.00) and will allow you to connect to your board via a USB-to-serial interface.

You can read more about how to use a UART cable on our Blog!.
Just remember, "It's an extremely cheap but very helpful tool!"

Q: I have found a bug or security issue in H3droid, how should I get in touch with you?
A: Remember, this is work in progress, so there may be occasional issues! You can help by reporting bugs and concerns using our Feedback page.

Q: Do you have an IRC channel?
A: Yes, we do! You can come meet us in #H3droid on Freenode irc network ( chat.freenode.net:6697 / non-SSL: 6667 ) you can also Click Here

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