Freedombone Blog / Freedombone on Odroid C4

The Odroid C4 is similar in specifications to a Raspberry Pi 4 and also a similar price. I've built some images for this, and having tested it out in my estimation it's not as good as either the Rock64 or Raspberry Pi 4. The main limitation is that there isn't any easy way to have it boot from one of the USB3 sockets, so that greatly limits the possible I/O bandwidth and hence usefulness as a server. It is possible to boot from an EMMC module which is sold separately, and you would also need an EMMC programmer device, which all adds to cost and complexity. EMMC would be better than microSD but not as good as a USB attached drive.

If you are enough of a techy then it may be possible to wrangle fstab so that you can put the rootfs onto a USB drive, and that would make this board useful as a server. But if you just want an easy life the Rock64 or Raspberry Pi 4 are much more straightforward to boot from USB.

Addendum

With only minor tweaks to rootdev within /boot/armbianEnv.txt it's possible to initially boot from the microSD card and then run the root file system on a USB drive. With an unremarkable USB3 drive it's then possible to obtain 127MB/s data rate, which is much faster than microSD which is typically in the range 20-50MB/s. Attaching an SSD via a SATA to USB3 adapter should be even better.

And so upon closer examination the Odroid C4 looks not too shabby. I have seen a boot issue in which rebooting the system is not always 100% reliable and sometimes you need to manually power cycle it. But apart from that performance will be better than a Raspberry Pi 4.

The Freedombone images have been updated to assume this two stage boot. So you need to clone the C4 image to both a microSD and a USB drive or SSD. This is similar to what the sata option does within the freedombone-image command.