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Rock5/5b/getting started

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Revision as of 23:16, 1 February 2023 by Potter-91 (Talk | contribs)

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    ROCK 5 >  ROCK 5 Model B >  Getting started

Getting Started

This guide is designed for ROCK 5B enthusiast. The purpose is to learn about ROCK 5B as well as how to prepare and set up for basic use. When you get a board, you need to know what model it is and which hardware version it is. The information is printed in the top side of the board. We will introduce the board information as much as possible.

Close look of ROCK 5B

  • ROCK 5B front view


  • ROCK 5B front with an angle view


  • ROCK 5B back view


For the detailed hardware description and pinout, please refer ROCK 5B hardware page.


What you need


  • ROCK 5B main board
  • One of the Storage media below:
    • microSD, larger than 8GB
    • eMMC module, larger than 8GB
  • Power supply
    • The ROCK 5B is powered by Type-C port and has a wide range of input voltage, from 5V to 21V. ROCK 5B supports USB Type-C PD 2.0 with 9V/2A, 12V/2A, 15V/2A and 20V/2A.
    • The Type-C cable you using needs to support data communication. We call it USB Type-C charging data cable.
  • USB Keyboard and Mouse
    • With four USB-A connectors, ROCK 5B can be equipped with a full sized keyboard and mouse.
  • Monitor and HDMI Cable
    • ROCK 5B is equipped with a full sized HDMI connector. HDMI capable monitor is recommended.
    • HDMI EDID display data is used to determine the best display resolution. On monitors and TVs that support 1080p (or 4K/8K) this resolution will be selected. If 1080p is not supported the next available resolution reported by EDID will be used. This selected mode will work with MOST but not all monitors/TVs.
  • USB to TTL serial cable
    • ROCK 5B exports a dedicated serial console for CPU, which can access the low level debug message.
  • USB type A to type C cable
    • If you want to write image on ROCK 5B from USB OTG port or use fastboot/adb commands you need an USB type A to type C cable to connect ROCK 5B and PC.


  • microSD Card Reader
    • For flashing the image to the microSD Card
  • Ethernet cable
    • ROCK 5B supports internet access via Ethernet.
    • An Ethernet cable is used to connect your ROCK 5B to a local network and the Internet.
  • USB type A to type C cable
    • This is needed for fastboot/adb commands and the maskrom mode for advanced flashing.
  • USB to TTL serial cable
    • This is needed for serial console.
  • Camera Module
    • ROCK 5B supports camera function.
  • LCD Module
    • ROCK 5B supports LCD display function.
  • Audio cable
    • Audio can be played through speaker or headphones using a standard 3.5mm jack.

Starting the board for the first time

ROCK 5B can be started with eMMC Module or μSD Card. Now, you are presented with three options when installing your new operating system onto your ROCK 5B.


  • When starting system with eMMC Module

(Option a) Insert the eMMC Module into ROCK Pi eMMC USB Reader. Then plug the ROCK Pi eMMC USB Reader into host PC.

(Option b) Insert eMMC Module into eMMC to μSD card converter board. Insert the converter board into μSD Card Reader. Then plug the Card Reader into host PC.

  • When starting system with μSD Card

(Option c) Insert the μSD Card into μSD Card Reader. Then plug the Card Reader into host PC.

Write Image

  • Download the official Ubuntu/Debian system image from Downloads.
  • Download the flash tool, etcher, from Downloads. Choose the right version for your host operation system. Here we operate on host Ubuntu 20.04.
  • After unpacking the package, we run the tool by double-clicking BalenaEtcher icon.

If you get an error message: "No polkit authentication agent found" you can try and start it with sudo, but do know that this is running the tool as root.

  • In the etcher window, click Select image.


  • In the etcher window, click Select Drive.


  • In the etcher window, click Flash.


  • In the etcher window, once it shows us Flash Complete! It is done and can be put into the RockPi.


3. Boot the board

  • Now insert the system storage media, μSD Card or eMMC Module into the socket on the board.
  • (Optional) Use the USB to TTL serial cable to setup a connection between PC and ROCK 5B board. See Serial Console.
  • Power on ROCK 5B by adapter with type C port.
  • ROCK 5B will boot with the green power LED on. And after a while, another blue LED starts blinking.

4. Access from the Host PC/Laptop

Option 1: HDMI monitor and Mouse

You would see Desktop on HDMI monitor.

Option 2: Serial console

Check Serial Console

Option 3: SSH

SSH server is enabled on port 22 of ROCK 5B default image.

Please use angryip to find your board IP address.

To access ROCK 5B by SSH, try

ping rock-5b.local
ssh rock@rock-5b.local

or if your router/network doesn't support Local Domain, you need to check your network/router administrator page and look for the ROCK 5B ip address.

ping ip-of-device
ssh rock@ip-of-device

Note: You can also get the IP of ROCK 5B from option 1 if you can not access network administrator page.

5.Network state

  • Look at network configure:
$ sudo ifconfig
  • Test network:
$ ping -c 5

6.WIFI Connection

Check WIFI Connection.


Check BT.


ROCK 5B has Power LED and User LED.

  • Power LED

The power LED is green. It is always on when ROCK 5B is connected to any power source.

  • User LED

The user LED is blue. By default, its blink status shows the running kernel.


ROCK 5B has one 40-pin expansion headers. Each pin is distinguished by color, more information click ROCK 5B GPIO.

Development for GPIO. ROCK 5B supports libmraa GPIO library, click here to get more information.

Next Step