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Frequently Asked Questions for Atomic Pi
Updated 10/25/2023

Questions?    Order online or call (408) 330-5599

 User Forum    Reddit     User's Guide


Frequently Asked Questions  


How do I get started?
How do I log in?
How do I get into the BIOS?
How can I view the default password without HDMI?
Is HDMI audio supported?
Where can I download the camera kernel patch?
What is the root password?
Is there a User's Guide?
What peripheral ICs are included?
What 5V power supplies do you suggest?
Do I need 12V also?
How do I switch back to the GUI from a terminal?
Can I reinstall the default OS?
What files does DLI provide in the AtomicPi Image?
What is the physical size?
How do I install another operating system?
How can I determine the installed Atomic Pi version?
What are the processor board specifications?
Can you release the processor board schematics?
How's the GPIO mapped? Full Atom GPIO listing Quick GPIO List
What are the large breakout board schematics? Gerbers BOM
Have image files for processor board?  Image files for large breakout board?
Baby breakout board schematic?
What's the difference between the baby and full-size breakout?
What's the power I/O connector pinout?
Crash on GPU start or when USB hub is attached!
What are the mating JST connector part numbers?
What's the Genesys SD Card Interface chip spec?
Where's the Wired Ethernet Chip Datasheet?
Where's the WiFi Chip Datasheet?
How can I setup WiFi?
Where's the Intel Atom x5 Datasheet?  Vol 1 Vol 2  Updates  Atom  Abbreviated Spec
Where's the Bosch sensor data?  Sensortech GitHub Site  Adafruit Sensortech Info
Where's the Bluetooth Interface datasheet?
Where's the debug port?
What's the XMOS Digital Audio Processor?
Where can I order an XMOS JTAG programmer?
How can I build an xTAG3 programming cable?
How can I reset the XMOS and enable the I2S MIC inputs?
TI Class-D Audio Amp
I2S Microphone Support  Adafruit Mic InvenSense Mic
Have thermal test reports?  Imaging   Temp/Humid
Have SolidWorks models?  STEP  SLDPRT 
Board outline in PDF format? 
Sample Enclosure Design for 3d printing  Top.stl  Bottom.stl
Suggested Power Supplies & Connectors?
Where can I find the AMP Mate&Lock power connector?
What are the mating connectors for the CPU card?
What antennae do you recommend?
What does the future hold for the Atomic Pi or similar products?
*nix Serial Port Tips
HDMI Audio Tips

User Forum    Reddit

Q:   How do I log in?

A:    When you boot into the GUI, it will be in the center of the screen in recent versions. In all versions, you can use CTL-ALT-F2 to open a window. Log in with user: atomicpi and the secure default password shown on the screen.  If no password is displayed use atomicpi/atomicpi

Q:   How do get into BIOS?

A:    Press Del or tab key at the AAeon BIOS Splash screen   This brings up the familiar AMI-type BIOS display and then you can press Esc or Del to get in.
Alternatively, if using a mouse and you're fast enough you can move the cursor to the 'Setup button' in the upper-right corner of the screen and left-click that, but that method can be a bit clunky on a wireless keyboard or touchpad.

Q:   If I don't have an HDMI monitor, how can I see the password?  Where's the debug port?


A:    The password is also available via the 3.3V TTL serial debug port via the connector marked CN10 UART. Pinout is 1=TXD, 2=RXD, 3=GND

If you have a large breakout board, use the serial-USB debug port marked CN1 DEBUG USB. Otherwise, a 3.3V TTL to USB cable to CN10 will work fine. The board comes up at 115,200 baud.

Linux can be reconfigured to use other ports for debug.. Jumpers JP1 and JP2 should be set towards the CH340 marking to enable the TTL-USB converter.

Q:   Is HDMI audio supported?

A:    Yes, HDMI is the primary default  audio output device.  A secondary system based on
the XMOS audio processor is also available.  The XMOS drives a class-D stereo power amplifier. Need to change defaults? Check:
 sudo apt install -y pavucontrol

Q:   What is the physical size?

A:    The CPU and breakout board measure 5.985 x 4.755 x 1.980" including the breakout board, excluding the rubber feet.

Q:   What is the root password?

A:   There's none (root can't log in).

To create an externded sudo session:
sudo -i
sudo bash

If you need root pasword, set one up yourself, e.g.
sudo passwd root

Normally, people log in as regular users and use sudo/super/whatever to temporarily gain root privileges. This is better from an audit perspective. We understand that some desktop apps might still ask for the root password., but the vast majority can be made to use sudo.

There is no current reason to have a root password in the first place (if only an extremely long one written on a sheet of paper tucked away somewhere for a case where the OS is so broken that it denies all logins except for root). On the Atomic Pi, the  password for root is not set in Ubuntu which leaves root login is disabled by default. The user account created during Ubuntu installation (atomicpi) is associated with all sudo capabilities.

If you do create a root password, then later decide to again disable it, use the following command in terminal.
sudo passwd -dl root

Q:   Can I get the default OS installation, so that I may reinstall it?

A:   Yes! We have some full and bare-bones images available here. These are not installers, but stand alone images.

Credentials:   User: atomicpi   Password: atomicpi

Boot from a USB or uSD card and use dd to copy the image. Use BIOS settings to change the boot order.
Example: # dd if=/where/you/put/the/image.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1024k oflag=dsync status=progress

Q; How can I reset the XMOS processor?



Reset xMOS audio processor
echo 349 > /sys/class/gpio/export
echo out > /sys/class/gpio/gpio349/direction
echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio349/value
echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio349/value

Set MIC input MUX low to select ext. mic
echo 341 > /sys/class/gpio/export
echo out > /sys/class/gpio/gpio341/direction
echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio341/value

Q:   How do I install another operating system?


A:    You can install a new OS via USB or SD card or LAN. Use BIOS settings to change the boot order.

Q:   Do I need 12V also?

A:   The only reason to supply 12V is if you want to run the class-D audio amp at its full power 2x5W. The amp will produce about 1.5W/ channel running on 5V.   Most people use HDMI audio out. In that case the amp power can be left off to save energy.  Take the ~750mA current drain into account when selecting a power supply.

Q:   How can I determine the version I'm running?

A:    To determine the AtomicPi Version, open a terminal window and type atomicpi-version

Q:   What antennae do you recommend?

A:    Selection depends on your needs. has a good variety.  You can choose single or dual-band WiFi antennae, omni, directional or yagi antennae will work fine. Polarized antennae are available. U.FL to RP-SMA adapter cables are handy and inexpensive. The Mediatek WiFi chip supports 2-antenna diversity. No antenna is needed for very short range operation (a few feet).

Q:   What peripheral chips are included?

A:    In the default configuration, the SBC includes these peripherals not found most other Pi's

On the USB peripheral bus

The Genesys SD Card Interface

The XMOS Digital Audio Processor

the Bluetooth Interface

On the I2C peripheral bus

Bosch BNO055 sensor

On the XMOS serial digital audio bus

TI Class-D Audio Amp

Four I2S  microphone input connections from the XMOS

On the I2C peripheral bus


You can also request a custom board configuration, ie more eMMC, or no BN0055.  Custom configurations are time consuming, so an OEM minimum order quantity will apply.  Sorry, we do not sell the BN055 separately. We do not ship APi with more than 2GB RAM.  Check the AAEON UP Board if you need more RAM.


Q:   What is the anticipated design lifetime and what follow-on projects do you plan?

A:  The APi has been shipping since December 2018, and we anticipate the design will last through early 2020.  The special purchase of Bosch components was a one-time deal, so the price of the APi is sure to increase gradually as that supply is depleted.  The AAEON UP board should be considered for follow-on designs.  We are updating the popular PLC design to be more like the APi.  We do not have a release date for the PLC2.  We are also evaluating  the Allwinner H6 for future designs that require more than 2GB RAM.. Stay tuned.

Q:   What is the difference between the large breakout board and the "baby breakout" board?

A:  The "whole enchilada" is a big breakout board with large screw terminal I/O, prototype area, USB<->TTL debug, etc.  It's intended for use as a development platform. V2 large breakout schematic

The "baby breakout" is really just the 26 pin connector and a 2.5mm barrel connector for more convenient power input. Small breakout schematic.



If we haven't answered your questions, please check the forum or email  We're glad to help.