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Super Zaxxon is currently the official operating system for the Pandora based on Ångström Linux|Gnu. Super Zaxxon is a version upgrade system with frequent system-wide small releases. Compatibility is ensured as a basis of Super Zaxxon. Packages, often relying on their own environment, are self-contained within the PND format and available on a PND repo separate from the system packages.

Offline full installation

  • For either method, you need a Pandora and an SD card.
  • Remember that your Pandora will turn on as soon as a charger is connected. It's also not possible to completely power down a Pandora that's connected to an external power supply.
  • Even while charging, a Pandora can be rebooted, either by software (for example, during the installation process below), or with the reboot hotkey: Hold the Pandora button on the keyboard, and flick the power switch to the right.
  • Do not connect an external power supply while the battery is removed.

To NAND - internal storage

This replaces the original Super Zaxxon installation which came with your Pandora.

When the operating system is (re-)installed, all personal files and settings stored on internal flash are DELETED (your PND applications and all data on your SD cards will not be touched). Your Pandora will revert to its default settings and show the first boot wizard on bootup.

Reflashing CAN solve some problems, but it's not the magical tool that can fix everything. You should always try to find another solution. Before reflashing, try the upgrade path below. You can get help at the Support Section at the boards.

  1. You will need an SD card formatted with the FAT32 filesystem (default on Windows).
  2. Download the latest full-flash operating system zip.
  3. Extract the contents of the operating system zip file to the root (top level) directory of the SD card.
  4. Make sure your Pandora is turned off (remove the battery in case it crashes or doesn't turn off by using normal means).
  5. Insert the SD card into your Pandora's first slot (the one on the left, which is closer to the headphone jack).
  6. Press and hold the right shoulder button ('R'), then turn the power on (if you removed the battery, insert it while holding 'R').
  7. A text menu should appear on screen. Switch to "boot from SD1" using the D-pad, and select this entry with either the 'B' or 'X' controller button.
  8. Wait for the flash process to finish. Connect a charger to be sure the battery doesn't run out while flashing. Press enter when asked to do so. This might take up to 15 minutes, so be sure to wait for it to finish.
  9. If you use an external power supply, the device will reboot. Otherwise, it should turn off - in this case press power (without holding 'R') to turn it back on.
  10. The Pandora should then start its first boot process which might take up to 15 minutes. Be sure to wait for it to finish, otherwise firmware corruption might happen. The installation process will show some warnings, which can be safely ignored.
  11. When everything is set up, you will be guided through the first boot wizard.

To SD-card - external storage

It is also possible to boot Super Zaxxon from an SD card without modifying the NAND installation. This option offers more space than is available in the NAND, and you can test changes to the OS without risking breaking the internal installation. You will need an SD card that works correctly with Linux file systems on the Pandora (see SD compatibility list).

This option uses the tar.bz2 version of the OS.

With GUI-tool

If you have an existing installation of Super Zaxxon you can use the GUI-driven tool sd_installer.pnd by David Boucher to install to an SD card. You need the downloaded Super Zaxxon tarball, the sd_installer.pnd and a suitable SD card.

Done Manually

You can extract the tar.bz2 version of the Pandora image onto an SD card and boot off it directly. The simplest layout is to format the card with a single EXT2 partition. Create a boot.txt / autoboot.txt in the root of the SD card to pass parameters to u-boot. An example for the boot.txt / autoboot.txt to boot from /boot/uImage-3 on the (EXT2) first partition of your SD Card would be:

setenv bootargs root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rw rootwait vram=6272K omapfb.vram=0:3000K mmc_core.removable=0
ext2load mmc 0 0x80300000 /boot/uImage-3
bootm 0x80300000

Do not use the 2.6 kernel - the first boot will fail and corrupt the OS.

For advanced options, such as using other file systems or more than one partition, see Boot setup.

The card must be inserted in the left slot to boot from it. If boot.txt is used, hold down the R-trigger when powering on the Pandora and select the SD card from the boot menu. If autoboot.txt is used, the SD will be booted automatically when the Pandora is powered on.

Be sure to edit /etc/fstab on the SD card and delete the reference to the /boot partition on the NAND. Otherwise, running an OS update on the SD card might overwrite the kernel on the NAND with the wrong version. It originally looks like this:

# The /boot kernel volume on the OpenPandora NAND.
ubi1:boot            /boot                ubifs      defaults              0  0

Upgrade - distribution upgrade

Only upgrade the parts that need upgrading. Versions after Super Zaxxon 1.52 come with an online operating system update utility: Just select System -> Upgrade Pandora OS from the Pandora menu to download the latest system packages (needs working internet connection).

Online - install from a system in use to a drive that isnt

The UBIFS-Version can be used to flash the whole firmware to the Pandora.


It is also possible to do an install while the system is running. Grab the ubifs image and install that from nand to SD-card or vice versa. This is an advanced option.

The sourcecode for the programs included in the images can be found in the sources-directory, including licenses for each single one of them. The kernel and u-boot sourcecode as well as some other Pandora specific sourcecode can be found on http://git.openpandora.org/ Advanced users can get raw firmware images and rootfs (for SD Card bootup) as well as older versions here.

Compile build from source code


This the the OpenEmbedded repository containing recipes for all kinds of stuff.

Head Content
op.openembedded.next .next with Pandora specific changes
org.openembedded.dev .dev without any changes
op.openembedded.dev .dev with Pandora specific changes
op_unstable Something unstable I'm guessing


This is a Pandora specific OpenEmbedded overlay containing recipes only used on the Pandora.

Head Content


This contains scripts to set up bitbake, and the above OpenEmbedded repositories.

Environment setup

git clone git://git.openpandora.org/pandora-oe-environment.git pandora-firmware
cd pandora-firmware
source ./op-env-oe.sh

Building Yars' Revenge W.I.P. (Also called .next). Query aTc or DJWillis until you get a response.

The following instructions will allow you to build the current .next image.

Remember that your building the tip of the experimental tree and not everything even remotely works. Best for people who want to hack and help get it into shape. Do not expect anything remotely good enough to run on your Pandora for real

It is suggested that you use Debian or a Debian chroot.

In addition to the base Debian install you will need:

autoconf automake build-essential coreutils diffstat diffstat texi2html gawk chrpath docbook-utils fdisk gawk gcc git git-core gnome-doc-utils groff help2man libc6-dev-i386 libsdl1.2-dev liburi-perl make mercurial python-pysqlite2 qemu-arm-static scrollkeeper subversion texi2html texinfo unzip util-linux x11-xserver-utils

git clone git://github.com/openpandora/openpandora-oe-environment.git
cd openpandora-oe-environment
./openpandora-setup.sh config

This will install a number of git repositories containing the build tools and recipes:

  • bitbake
  • openembedded-core
  • meta-openembedded
  • meta-angstrom
  • meta-texasinstruments
  • meta-openpandora
  • The basic hardware layer that works with OpenEmbedded and can be used in most OpenEmbedded distributions (Angstrom, Yocto, SHR etc.). That hardware layer also needs meta-texasinstruments (the scripts will bring that in, the Angstrom ones or ours).


  • The vendor (i.e. openpandora) specific stuff, scripts, tweaks, image files, task files (i.e. what to install and order) and some recipes for things like libpnd.

From time to time you will want to update and fetch the changes to the base and openpandora recipes. e.g. those report on #openpandora by CIA-57

. ~/.oe/environment-openpandora
cd <INSTALLDIR>/openpandora-oe-environment
./openpandora-setup.sh update

There are a number of recipes for build images in openpandora-oe-environment/metadata/meta-openpandora-vendor/recipes-core/images :

  • pandora-core-image no desktop or X11
  • pandora-xfce-image XFCE desktop environment
  • systemd-pndwip-image
. ~/.oe/environment-openpandora
cd <INSTALLDIR>/openpandora-oe-environment/build
bitbake systemd-core-image

This will download required sources and package dependancies, depending on the state of updatesm, build packages and produc an image.

The preferred method for sending patches for meta-openpandora and meta-openpandora-vendor is to create a fork in github apply you changes and send pull requests to OpenPandora Firmware mailing list: firmware-dev@openpandora.org (subscribe)

Kernel status

The first firmware release was based on a heavily patched linux-2.6.27-omap1 kernel. linux-omap used to be OMAP community kernel fork, nowadays its code was either merged to mainline or dropped. Further OMAP development continues on mainline kernels, linux-omap tree is mainly used to queue developed code to mainline.

Current firmware releases are based on 3.x kernel series.

Driver support in 3.x series is more or less complete, however not all parts are merged to mainline kernel due to various reasons.

Merged code (already in mainline as of 3.4)

  • board support (enables UART, I2C, SPI, RTC, MMC{1,2,3}, NAND, OTG, EHCI, gpio-keys, leds-gpio, keypad, touchscreen, regulators)
  • sound: ALSA ASoC machine driver
  • bq27500 fuel gauge
  • LCD panel driver
  • wl1251 WiFi driver glue (portions only in 2.6.37)
  • charging (partial only, 2.6.37)
  • wl1251 complete powerdown/suspend using runtime_pm (2.6.38).
  • backlight driver (3.4)

This doesn't list various bugfix patches to get above working :)

Not merged

now in openpandora.org GIT (mainline merge status in brackets)

  • nubs (aka vsense, needs rework for mainline)
  • keypad fn handling (not allowed in mainline)
  • PWM LEDs (needs rework)
  • Overclocking support
  • some charging bits (too many hacks)
  • various random hacks that benefit pandora but may harm other devices, hence mainline incompatible

OpenPandora.org git structure

Support for various kernels is available in pandora-XX branches or tags, XX corresponds to last part of kernel version number. 2.6.27 is an exception, it's in pandora-27-omap1 branch.

Branches based on pre-release -rc kernels will be often rebased. This means you can't do 'git pull' on them, use 'git fetch; git reset --hard origin/pandora-XX' instead. Warning: this will destroy all your changes (even if they are commited), backup them first!

Configuring newer kernels

When compiling mainline kernel, use

make omap2plus_defconfig

for openpandora.org kernels you can use omap3_pandora_defconfig

make omap3_pandora_defconfig

after either of those are run, you can tune the configuration for your needs:

make menuconfig

Now you should be able to build a working kernel. More info available at Kernel build instructions.

Pandora Firmware Governance

The Pandora device is an open ecology --

The official firmware is open source and open to patches from the public; to maintain high quality firmware releases a process needs to exist -- audit trails need to be kept to ensure licensing is clear, testing has to be ensured to keep quality high, and our standard practice for submission made clear so it is easy and swift to submit your work.

Help us sort it out :) This process itself is open source -- as the ecosystem expands our model will change with it; if you are seeing problems, then contact one of the maintainers, mailing list, or the community at large and All of which are part of the Team

The firmware is all of the software that is supplied with a device, so does include the applications which are provided as standard. It is all open source (meaning that OpenPandora provides the source code, often as a requirement of the GNU GPL). A small quantity of the firmware is provided as binary files, which OpenPandora may not be at liberty to disclose the full details of. An example of closed source firmware is for the analogue nubs, which are shipped with small micro-controllers pre-programmed by the nub manufacturer. Only some of the hardware designs and occasional binary blobs like the WiFi driver are currently not open source; the rest of the firmware stack is open source (predominantly GPL with some LGPL).

Replacing the Firmware (Un-bricking)

Rather than patch the firmware, the firmware may be replaced wholesale with a freshly downloaded firmware. This ought to be regarded as a last resort in the case of problems, there is almost certainly a simpler way to fix most problems.

The process for reinstalling the firmware is as follows: [1] , otherwise firmware corruption might happen again.

In case of emergency, there is an older version here (Version: 2010-05-01-Zaxxon)

Debugging broken firmware

[2] will help you in case booting normally breaks. That way you can provide debugging info to source what went wrong instead of just re-installing.

Reporting bugs

Please do make sure that you are using the latest official firmware and hotfix. You can find it in the official support section of the website. Reports made against older versions might be invalid since the issues were already fixed.

If the bug does still exist in the latest released version, please follow these steps when reporting it in the official bug tracker. You will need to register an account in the tracker. Once you are logged into the account, just click on Add new task to see a form where you can provide the information required to assign and solve the bugs. Below is an explanation of what you should enter where.

Stuff that belongs there

  • Bugs that happen with the default operating system on the Pandora.
  • Things missing in the default operating system on the Pandora.
  • Bugs and issues with the codec pack.

What does not belong in the official tracker

  • Bugs with other .pnd files like eg emulators, games or other applications that are not part of the main OS.
  • Features missing in other progs.

Issue attributes explained

Here is the list of things you should keep in mind and mention in your bug report or feature request to make sure that it can be solved. Please do also make sure to react on comments that are left in the report, since the people that feel responsible for solving the issues might need more information that only you can provide.

This should be a really short summary of the issue at hand, as clean as possible. Something like eg ABC does not work is not good, better write ABC crashes when sounds are played.
Drop Down Boxes
This area on the left side is used to provide some general information that makes it easier for devs to assign the reports to the correct people for fixing things. They are often useful in fixing the report in the end, too.
Task Type
Just select it from the drop down box. If you want to report a bug, make it Bug Report, if it is a missing feature, select Feature Request. You should only select To Do (Reminder) if you are one of the devs to leave a note for yourself.
Category Core
Everything that belongs to the basic systems like the kernel and the drivers. The real core that lies beneath.
Category Application
Meant for all the programs on top of the basis core. This eg. includes problems in minimenu, Pandora specific XFCE, pidgin, ... Basically you should ask yourself if your issue might be kernel/driver related, if it is not, select this one.
Can only be changed by bug tracker admins (aka "official pandora devs").
Operating System
Select the "series" of the operating system on the pandora here. The first firmware series is called Zaxxon.
How important do you estimate this bug/issue? It should only be marked critical if it is a real security breach or something breaking *everything*. Often the default low is fine, since the values can be adjusted later on by bug tracker admins.
Can only be changed by bug tracker admins (aka "official pandora devs").
Reported Version
Please select which version state your pandora has in the release that you selected under Operating System. Basically list the latest hotfix that you installed.
Due in Version
Can only be changed by bug tracker admins (aka "official pandora devs").
A neat, large field with lots of space for all the details that you can provide. Yes, in general a case of "the more, the better" applies here. Here is a list of things that you should mention in the report:
Detailed description of the *exact* problem you see. Please do include some log output, if you have it available.
How often does the issue occur? Is it reproducible? If it is, please provide detailed steps to do so.
Actual Results
What happened after you performed the steps you listed under "Reproducibility"?
Expected Results
What should have happened?
Additional Information
Please do list any additional information, like for example the *exact* version of your OS (or the application). This is especially important if you were not able to select the exact version in the Reported Version drop down field. If you have any log output or patches, please do attach those as files to the report. If the file size would be too big, just compress them.

Syntax in the Flyspray issue tracker

Internal reference to other issues

To refer to another issue use the syntax FS#N where N is the issue number you want to refer to, i.e. FS#123. The parser then automatically renders this as a link to the other issue (HTML href attribute), and shows the issue's title in the mouseover info (HTML title attribute).

Submission Workflow

The general workflow for submitting a patch is something like this:

  1. Clone the appropriate section of the GIT repository - GIT is http://git.openpandora.org/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi
  2. Apply changes and have fun
  3. Document and pass test cases
  4. Contact the maintainer of the subdomain the patch falls within - by mailing list above, or perhaps by PM in the forums, or email; for example, post first to the mailing list. In a pinch for libpnd submissions talk to skeezix, or notaz regarding kernel changes. But talk to the mailing list first, to keep discussion logged and centralized; if a backup neds to step up, the post history will already be there, right?
  5. If the maintainer is unavailable, contact the backups as listed above; they will know how to contact the champion, or can make the submission call themselves.
  6. If the maintainer and backups are not available, contact EvilDragon as release maintainer

Submission Standards

Submission are welcome! Historically the firmware has been built by a very small team, but that team size limits the number of changes that can be managed and developed simultaneously. If you've the skills and motivation to help, feel free to join the fray!

Patches have a few requirements; failing these requirements will cause your patch to be overlooked!

  • Clearly documented -- what is this patch for?
  • Clearly tested -- a list of test cases and test results -- the onus is on the submitter to test and prove testing; the committers have limited time and many people talking to them
  • Proper format -- unix line ending, not dos line endings :)

Submitting patches

It's best to send formal GIT-generated patch so that you get proper credit for your work and to make applying the patch easier. You can also add 'Signed-off-by' line ('-s' on 'git commit' will do it for you), which has the same meaning as for mainline Linux.

So basic workflow would be:

<make changes>
git config --global user.name "My Name"
git config --global user.email "myname@domain.com"
git add <changed files>
git commit
git format-patch -o /somewhere/ -1

Then create a new feature request in bugtracker and attach the generated file(s), or send them to the mailing list, or post them on the forums, whatever is more convenient to you.

Updating Super Zaxxon

Updating graphics drivers

guided tour de blog by eki

Community Codec Package - for Pandora OS, Release 2010-05

Installation of non-free codecs is highly discouraged. Consider instead free counterparts like opus, ogg vorbis and Flac for audio. webM, ogg theora for video or equivalent.

Due to licensing issues, licensed codecs like MP3 or MPEG-Video can not be distributed freely. They are optionally available in the Codec Package. The package will install Gnome-MPlayer as well as a lot of audio / video-plugins and enables NTFS-support. To install it, simply download the .PND-Package and place it into either the /pandora/menu or /pandora/desktop - Folder on your SD-Card. Simply start it and follow the on-screen instructions. You can remove the .PND-Package from the card once it has been installed.

Legal Notice

Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

Click here to download Community Codec Pack

The Codec Package enables NTFS-Support and installs packages

Older versions of Ångstrom

In case you need them, you can download older firmware relases here.

SuperZaxxon1.50 can be upgraded to 1.52 without reinstallation by downloading and running the Pandora SuperZaxxon updater PND.

Zaxxon (Old version)

The original Zaxxon firmware has been updated with a number of Hotfixes. Since then, a newer firmware called Super Zaxxon has been released.

Warning: If you do not have Zaxxon installed (boot screen says SuperZaxxon or something else), do not attempt to install any of these hotfixes, doing so will break the system.

In general it's possible to apply hotfixes to any lower firmware versions without installing all previous hotfixes.

Hotfix 6

Bugs and solutions

In general, the latest information about bugs will be on the official bugtracker; that is also the best place to go report a bug.

PNDs won't run

So you can start Xfce, but you can no longer run any programs or switch to Minimenu since you upgraded to HF6?

This can easily be solved without a reflash.

valhalla This problem is because of version 1.0-r58.5 of the pandora-scripts package that includes some files that it should not have included and conflicts with the new version of pandora-libpnd. That version is installed at least in HF5rc2.
  1. Open a terminal in the location where you put your HF6 update PND. In the default file browser, you can do this by right-clicking in the folder where the PND is, and selecting "open terminal here". For example, if you put it on your desktop (/pandora/desktop), the text in the terminal to the left of your cursor should look something like username-openpandora:/media/pandora/mmcblk0p1/pandora/desktop$
  2. Type in sudo mkdir /mnt/pnd and press "enter". If it asks you for your password, type in what you use to log in to your Pandora, then press "enter".
  3. Type in sudo mount -o loop HF6-Updater.pnd /mnt/pnd and press "enter"
  4. Now we'll go to the packages directory in the PND and reinstall a couple of packages. Type in cd /mnt/pnd/packages/other/ and press "enter"
  5. Type in sudo opkg install pandora-libpnd_1.0-r56.5_armv7a.ipk and press "enter"
  6. Type in sudo opkg install pandora-skel_1.0-r9.5_omap3-pandora.ipk and press "enter"
  7. To unmount the PND, type in sudo umount /mnt/pnd and press "enter". If it says it can't unmount it, just restart your Pandora.
  8. That's it, your Pandora should work again!

Beta versions

Hotfix 5

  • Information and discussion: OP GP32X (2011-03-04)

Beta versions

Hotfix 4

  • Information and discussion: OP GP32X (2010-08-31)

Beta versions

Hotfix 3

Beta versions

Hotfix 2

Beta version

Hotfix 1

Original OS

  • You can download the very first release of the Pandora's Zaxxon OS from here (2010-05-01)