NixOS on ARM/Orange Pi Zero2 H616

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Orange Pi Zero2 (H616)
An Orange Pi Zero Plus2 (H5).
Manufacturer Xunlong / Orange Pi
Architecture AArch64
Bootloader Upstream u-boot[1]
Maintainer Ein-shved


Upstream unstable NixOS AArch64 image will boot on the Orange Pi Zero2 (H616), using the proper upstream u-boot.

The limited support of allwiner H616 soc was introduced to the Linux upstream kernel since 6.0 version, see periphery for details.

Board-specific installation notes

Fastest way

First follow the generic installation steps to get the installer image on an SD card.

U-Boot needs to be copied to specific sectors on the microSD card with dd. Download u-boot for the board, and copy it to the correct location with (again, replace /dev/sdX with the correct path to the SD card device):

sudo dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdX bs=1024 seek=8

Then, install using the installation and configuration steps.

Better way

To get the more useful output from board better to build image with kernel which supports more periphery (like USB). See periphery.

Serial console

The default console configuration from sd-image-aarch64 works out of the box.


Connected at 1Gbps mode.


Current newest numerated kernel version 6.1 does not contains full H616 sock support. At least some regulators and USB blocks are missing in DTS. But they are available in master branch.

Here is flake with which an image with better periphery support (at least - USB) may be build.

  description = "Build image for OrangePi Zero 2";
  inputs = {
    nixpkgs.url = github:nixos/nixpkgs/nixos-22.11;
  outputs = { self, nixpkgs }: let
    system = "aarch64-linux";

    #Build manipulation
    stateVersion = "22.11";   # NixOS Version
    useUnstableKernel = true; # Set to false to use mainline kernel
    compressImage = true;     # Set to false to disable image compressing

    pkgs = nixpkgs.legacyPackages.x86_64-linux.pkgsCross.aarch64-multiplatform;

    # Build unstable kernel
    kernel =
      with pkgs;
      with lib;
      buildLinux rec {
        kernelPatches = [
        src = fetchGit {
          url = git://;
          rev = "8395ae05cb5a2e31d36106e8c85efa11cda849be";
        version = "6.1.0";
        modDirVersion = version;
        extraMeta.branch = versions.majorMinor version;

    # Boot related configuration
    bootConfig = let
      bootloaderPackage = pkgs.ubootOrangePiZero2;
      bootloaderSubpath = "/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin";
      # Disable ZFS support to prevent problems with fresh kernels.
      filesystems = pkgs.lib.mkForce [ "btrfs" "reiserfs" "vfat" "f2fs" "xfs"
                                       "ntfs" "cifs" /* "zfs" */ "ext4" "vfat"
    in {
      system.stateVersion = stateVersion;
      boot.kernelPackages = if useUnstableKernel
        then pkgs.linuxPackagesFor kernel
        else pkgs.linuxPackages_latest;
      boot.supportedFilesystems = filesystems;
      boot.initrd.supportedFilesystems = filesystems;
      sdImage = {
        postBuildCommands = ''
          # Emplace bootloader to specific place in firmware file
          dd if=${bootloaderPackage}${bootloaderSubpath} of=$img    \
            bs=8 seek=1024                                          \
            conv=notrunc # prevent truncation of image
        inherit compressImage;

    # NixOS configuration
    nixosSystem = nixpkgs.lib.nixosSystem rec {
      inherit system;
      modules = [
        # Default aarch64 SOC System
        # Minimal configuration
        { config = bootConfig; }
        # Put your configuration here. e.g. ./configuration.nix
  in {
    inherit system;
    # Run nix build .#images.orangePiZero2 to build image.
    images = {
      orangePiZero2 =;
Note: Be careful with such firmware - the unstable kernel version may be harmfull


The suggested master kernel supports only the onboard usb ports (not sure about USB type-C). If you want to use extension board or D+/D- pins, you need to add dts overlay to enable ehci and ohci ports. Just enable them all, putting this to configuration:

      hardware.deviceTree = {
        enable = true;
        filter = "sun50i-h616-orangepi-zero2.dtb";
        overlays = [
            name = "sun50i-h616-orangepi-zero2.dtb";
            dtsText = ''

              / {
                compatible = "xunlong,orangepi-zero2", "allwinner,sun50i-h616";

              &ehci0 {
                status = "okay";

              &ehci1 {
                status = "okay";

              &ehci2 {
                status = "okay";

              &ehci3 {
                status = "okay";

              &ohci0 {
                status = "okay";

              &ohci1 {
                status = "okay";

              &ohci2 {
                status = "okay";

              &ohci3 {
                status = "okay";


According to SOC dts, Wi-Fi does not supported yet in mainline.


According to SOC dts, HDMI does not supported yet in mainline.