CoreELEC for Banana Pi

These instructions explain how to install and boot CoreELEC on Banana Pi SBC's from µSD Card by use of a Windows PC. The instructions can easily be adapted for other Operating Systems.

These Single Board Computers come without an Operating System pre-installed.
Prior to installing CoreELEC, the Android firmware has to be flashed to the SBC.
Instructions how to flash the firmware are included in this document.

Supported Devices

  • BPI-M5
  • BPI-M2 Pro

Requirements

  • PC with Microsoft Windows
  • Android mbox variant ui image (release 2021-05-20, Android 9.0 kernel 4.9.113)
  • AML USB Burning Tool v 2.2.3.3
  • Jackpal Terminal for Android
  • USB A-Male to Micro B Charger Cable
  • USB Remote Controller (ex: MX3 Air Mouse) or other USB controlling device (keyboard, mouse)
  • USB Flash Drive (for file transfer)
  • µSD Card (for CoreELEC)
  • Memory Card Reader

Preparation

CoreELEC will refuse to boot without the Android bootloader present.

Please ensure Android firmware is installed prior to proceeding.

Firmware

CoreELEC

  • Visit the CoreELEC website
  • Select a version to download
  • The Download Helper will pop up
  • Select Skip that and just show me all download options
  • Download the generic image (CoreELEC-Amlogic-ng.arm-xxx-Generic.img.gz)
  • Write the downloaded image to a μSD Card
  • Copy the device tree from the device tree folder on the µSD card to the root of the µSD Card
  • Rename the device tree dtb to dtb.img
Device Edition DTB SoC
BPI-M2 Pro 2G sm1_s905x3_bananapi_m2pro.dtb S905X3
BPI-M5 4G sm1_s905x3_bananapi_m5.dtb S905X3

Flashing the firmware

  • Extract the BPI-M5 firmware archive
  • Start Amlogic USB Burning Tool
  • Import aml_upgrade_package.img (file / import image)
  • Ensure only 'erase flash“ and “erase bootloader” are checked and “normal erase” is selected
  • Press start
  • Connect the SBC with the USB A-Male to Micro B Charger Cable to an available USB slot on the PC

Upon successful completion

  • Press stop
  • Disconnect USB Charger Cable from PC

First boot

  • Insert Remote Controller USB Adapter
  • Reconnect USB Charger Cable to PC USB slot
  • The SBC should boot into Android

Install CoreELEC

Once booted into Android:

  • Insert USB Flash drive with Jackpal Terminal Emulator apk
  • Insert µSD Card with CoreELEC
  • Install Jackpal terminal with apk installer (under Android aps)
  • Start Jackpal terminal
  • Type reboot update in the terminal and hit the enter key
  • The SBC should restart from µSD Card and start expanding the storage partition

Allow for the CoreELEC pre-installation script to finish.

Install CoreELEC to eMMc

For situations where it is desirable to run CoreELEC in dual boot with Android or as a stand-alone JeOS:

Reboot to Android

In dual boot mode: to return to Android, choose reboot from eMMc from the power menu.

Device Support

For support unrelated to CoreELEC, please refer to the Banana Pi User Support Forums.

Notes

The above instructions also can be used to create a bootable USB Flash Drive.