User manual

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The Pandora.


The OpenPandora is a pocket sized computer which is a combination of a PC and a Gaming Console. OpenPandora has a D-Pad, Two analogue nubs, ABXY + Shoulder Buttons and a 43-button QWERTY keyboard. The OpenPandora is fast enough to run a full ARM based Operating System, access the internet, play games and do stuff productively if desired.

Quick Start Guide

If you just want a quick walkthrough on how things work (tl;dr) have a look here

Technical Specifications

  • 140 x 83.4 x 27.5mm, 335g (including battery)
  • "Clamshell" design
  • 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
  • Gaming controls:
    • Two analog controllers (nubs)
    • 8-way D-pad
    • A/B/X/Y and shoulder buttons for gaming.
  • 800x480 resolution LTPS lcd with resistive touch screen, 4.3" widescreen, 16.7 million colors, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 450:1 contrast ratio
  • Two SDHC slots
  • Headphone output up to 150mW/channel into 16 ohms, 99dB SNR (up to 24 bit/48KHz)
  • Internal microphone plus ability to connect external microphone through headset
  • TV Output (composite and S-Video)
  • USB 2.0 OTG port (1.5/12/480Mbps) with capability to charge device
  • USB 2.0 HOST port (480Mbps) capable of providing the full 500mA to attached devices (examples include USB memory, keyboard, mouse, 3G modem, GPS)
  • Two externally accessible UARTs and four PMW signals (for hardware hacking, robot control, debugging, etc.)
  • 4200mAh battery.
    • 10+ hours of battery life, depending on usage. For example, turning Wi-Fi or the screen off would give better battery life. (e.g. whilst listening to music via headphones)
  • 600MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3530 processor /1GHZ DM3730 Texas Instruments SoC
    • Can be clocked higher or lower by software designed for the device.
  • 256MB DDR-333 SDRAM (Pre-2012-units), 512MB DDR-333 SDRAM (units made in Germany, 2012)
  • 512MB NAND FLASH memory
  • IVA2+ audio and video processor using TI's DaVinci™ technology (430MHz C64x DSP)
  • ARM ® Cortex™-A8 superscalar microprocessor core
  • PowerVR SGX530 110MHz OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant 3D hardware
  • Wifi 802.11b/g (up to 18dBm output)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (3Mbps) (Class 2, + 4dBm)
  • Stereo line level inputs and outputs
  • Unbrickable design with integrated boot loader for safe code experimentation.
  • Power and hold switch useful for "instant on" and key lockout to aid in media player applications on the go.
  • Runs on the GNU/Linux Operating System (currently kernel 3.2.x and 2.6.x)

Box Contents

When you first open Pandora's box, a slew of demons and raging emotions may forcibly leave the box. This is normal. After that, you should find the following items:

  • The Pandora console
  • Stylus (located in stylus slot on the side of the Pandora)
  • Battery
  • Mains power adapter
  • Battery Case

Available separately:

  • TV-Out Cable - SDTV over composite or s-video
  • Carrying Case
  • Extra Battery

Safety Information

  • The OpenPandora should not be used by Children under the age of 3 due to potential choking hazards.
  • The OpenPandora's Battery should only be charged with supplied charger / Via USB or a suitable third party charger.
  • The OpenPandora should only be used in temperatures above -10°C (14°F) and below 40°C (104°F).

Warranty Information

Standard one year warranty applies to the OpenPandora.

  • User Neglect / Modifications are generally not covered by warranty.

First Time Use

Place the battery inside the battery compartment underneath the OpenPandora taking care to ensure the battery contacts and battery touch. Replace the battery cover and your OpenPandora will power up.


As this is your first time using the Battery it is recommended you fully charge your OpenPandora to 100% using the AC Adapter as this will calibrate and improve the lifetime of your battery. This process may take up to 4 hours. If you're not planning on using the OpenPandora whilst it is charging you should flip the power switch to the left (Low Power Mode) as it should decrease the charging time dramatically.

Once the OpenPandora has completed charging it will stop charging and begin discharging to protect the battery from damage.

You can find more useful information about charging on the Power Modes page.

First Boot

While you are charging your OpenPandora completing the first boot wizard is essential.

Steps Involved
  • Calibrate Touchscreen - This will ensure that the TouchScreen works perfectly.
  • Enter Full Name - This personalises your OpenPandora
  • Enter Short name - can be a fancy nickname or just your fullname in all lowercase
  • Enter Password - anything you like and you'll need to verify it
  • Choose a name for your OpenPandora - Give it a fancy name as this will be the network visible name.
  • Automatic Login - Entirely up to you. Preferably off if you don't want others to use your OpenPandora without your permission
  • GUI choice - Slimmed down basic GUI - Minimenu or full Linux OS - Xfce
  • TimeZone / Date and Time - Recommended you do set this correctly as it may cause problems down the track with certain applications.
  • CPU Clock Speed - Recommended that you set to Default unless a game / application is running slowly.
  • Advanced settings - Do not change until you are comfortable with the device.

Analog Nubs [1]

The OpenPandora nubs are designed to automatically calibrate when you turn your Pandora & Calibration is lost once the OpenPandora is switched off.

Calibrating the Touchscreen

The touchscreen in the OpenPandora may / may not be calibrated when you first get it. It is recommended you do run the Calibration Wizard in the first boot wizard alternatively if you clicked too fast you can run the calibration wizard by going to the Settings / Calibrate Touch Screen section in either GUIs

Basic Use

See the GUI page for more details on the user interfaces which can be used with the Pandora.

Mini Menu

Mini Menu is a quick and easy to use launcher created by OpenPandora's great friend Skeezix. Mini Menu is designed to be fully reskinnable.

Basic Navigation

The main grid of Mini Menu displays the available applications, category tabs, Date / Time, Battery life and a detail pane on the right.

When you copy a PND to SDCARDNAME/pandora/apps it will appear in its preset category.

Controls for Mini Menu:

  • D-Pad or touch screen can be used to select PNDs
  • Launch a PND by pressing 'Start', 'B' or touching the icon with the stylus or finger.
  • Press 'Y' for documentation if there is any available.
  • Left and Right shoulder triggers switch categories

Skinning guide in gp32x forum:

A mmskin.conf from February 2011:;a=blob;f=minimenu/skin/default/mmskin.conf;h=695888b3ae310d7ea04b4e682baed0c0c6fc4349;hb=98c1d081629ac9cbb3056b39097a3db968ce4055 (Skinning will not work without it)

Desktop style environment (Xfce)

On the Desktop

The desktop contains icons which have been found on SD Cards / in Firmware.

Pandora Menu & Task Bar

On the bottom left the Pandora menu contains all your applications sorted into the appropriate categories.

The task bar by default contains settings for Brightness and Sound, various enablers such as Wifi, Bluetooth and USB host, Network Connectivity, Battery life, Date / Time and various workspaces you can select.

  • If a window for an application is too big for the screen you can drag the window around by holding the left trigger and dragging with the stylus.
  • Changing your workspace is as easy as holding 'Start' & "Select' then using the D-Pad to switch
  • Killing an application is as simple as holding the Pandora button down for 5 seconds, selecting the application and clicking okay

Power modes

Pushing the power button to the left will turn the OpenPandora to low power mode for conserving battery which is similar to sleep mode on a computer but the Pandora can still run.

The Power modes page provides more information.

USB Peripherals

Connecting USB2 High Speed devices is possible using the standard USB connector or USB On The Go adapter. USB 1.1 devices will only work through a USB hub. See the USB compatibility list for more information

Forcing a Restart

Occasionally something will happen causing your Pandora to become unresponsive (to the point that even killing a program isn't possible). When this happens it is necessary to force your Pandora to restart. The easiest way to do this is by holding the Pandora button and moving the power switch to the right.

Operating System

Updating The OS

Updating the OS can be done via either full Reflash or the Upgrade Pandora OS Application which is found in the System Menu.

Reinstalling the OS

Sometimes things don't work out or you've broken something in the OS. You can reflash to default by getting the latest package from the forum and placing in the root of the SD Card then while booting the Pandora hold down the R Button. Reinstalling the OS can take up to 15 minutes


There is a relatively large number of games and applications available for your OpenPandora from the following sources:

  • OpenPandora Repo - Has over 1000 applications which are either free or at a very low cost. Applications do not contain DRM.
  • Open HandHelds - An older site which may not have the latest applications but you'll find a heap of applications that are archive worthy.
  • Angstrom Repository - Contains several applications for your Pandora. It is not really recommended that you use this unless you are an advanced user.

Installing applications is as simple as dragging them to the appropriate folders on your SD Card. These folders are:

  • <SD>/pandora/apps - Will appear both on Xfce Desktop & Pandora Menu (this is the 'both' option in PNDManager)
  • <SD>/pandora/desktop/ - If you want it to appear on Xfce Desktop
  • <SD>/pandora/menu/ - If you want it to appear in Pandora Menu

You can use PNDManager or PNDStore to download software from the repo and save it in the appropriate directory in one operation. PNDManager is recommended as the most user-friendly way of doing this.

Some applications will require additional data to work, this data will need to go into:

  • <SD>/pandora/appdata/applicationname

The application should generate the required appdata folder when launched.

Download the codec pack

Codecs are not bundled with the Pandora because there are different licensing laws in different countries.

Please understand that you need to take responsibility for any patent restrictions which apply in your country. The codec pack also includes a video player (not fully optimised to used the DSP yet)

Note: You must perform the previous step in order to do this one!

If you are not connected to WiFi, do this on another computer.

  1. Click the blue globe icon (3rd from left)
  2. Type into the address bar
  3. Click the Click here to download Community Codec Pack link for the codec pack
  4. Select save as
  5. Scroll the left hand list down, select the name of your SD card or mmcblkxxx if your card is not labeled.
  6. Double click on the pandora folder (right nub up once)
  7. Double click on the apps folder (right nub up once)
  8. Click save
  9. Wait for the download to finish
  10. Put the SD card in your pandora if done on a PC
  11. Press the pandora button in between the nubs (short press)
  12. Use the D-pad to scroll up to System then right, and down to Community Codec pack installer. Press enter
  13. Follow the prompts and enter your password when requested

Futher reading