Radxa’s Rock Pi 4 board can run Debian, Ubuntu or Android. In this tutorial, we’ll show how to configure the computer for Debian.



  • Rock Pi 4 SE
  • Micro SD card
  • USB cable
  • screen+keyboard+mouse
  • Computer


Install OS

First of all, we need to install an application that will allow us to flash the OS on the SD card inserted in your computer. You can install Balena Etcher (don’t forget to choose your computer’s operating system).

We’re going to download an OS image to flash onto your SD card. You can download any OS image you like (Debian , Android, Ubuntu , etc.).

After installing balenaEtcher, launch the application and flash your OS to your SD card. This may take some time:

Once the OS has been installed, insert the SD card into the Rock Pi 4 SE and connect a display with an HDMI cable, as well as a mouse and keyboard to the USB ports.

The default identifiers are :

  • login : rock
  • password: rock

To change your password, enter the command in a terminal:



Screen configuration

If you have a problem with the display on the HDMI screen, you can use the xrandr command.

To detect screens


To change the resolution

xrandr --output HDMI-1 --auto


xrandr --output HDMI-1 --mode 1280x720

Or to overcome the overscan problem

xrandr --output HDMI-1 --transform 0.8,0,-35,0,0.8,-19,0,0,1


Configure keyboard

In Applications>Settings>Keyboard, add and modify the layout. Move the desired layout up the list of priorities. The change will take effect after the board is restarted.

N.B.: If the layout is not modified after restart, don’t hesitate to delete unused layouts.

To test layouts on the command line :

setxkbmap fr

To check and modify the layout of the default keyboard, you can open and modify the /etc/default/keyboard file.

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard


Connect to Wifi

To activate WiFi on your Rock Pi 4, you can open a terminal and enter the following command lines:

  • To access the superuser :
 sudo su
  • To activate or switch off WIFI :
nmcli radio wifi on
nmcli radio wifi off
  • To scan available WIFI networks :
nmcli dev wifi
  • To connect to your WIFI network (replace wifi_name with the name of your network and wifi_password with its password) :
 nmcli dev wifi connect "wifi_name" password "wifi_password"
  • To view the connection status, use the ip command (similar to ifconfig) :
ip addr

These parameters will be saved in the following file:

Read the system log :

When you encounter a problem, it’s a good idea to check the system messages:


You can pass a character string as an argument to filter what is displayed:

journalctl -u error

N.B.: If the Wifi connection does not work, check the ssid and password parameters in the .nmconnection file. The connection may be too weak. In this case, you can always connect your Rock Pi 4 card to the network with an Ethernet cable connected to your Box.


Setting a fixed IP address

To configure a fixed IP address, you can modify the connection file corresponding to the .nmconnection network (replace AranaCorp with the required ssid)

sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections /AranaCorp.nmconnection

Ctrl+X then Y to save changes and restart your RockPi

N.B.: You can configure two IP addresses by leaving the method=auto parameter.


Debian Update

Once the Internet connection has been established, don’t hesitate to update your Debian installation.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade


Remote connection with NoMachine

You can connect remotely to the RockPi desktop using NoMachine. To install it, download the Debian package (.deb) from the NoMachine ARM download page.

sudo dpkg -i nomachine_*_arm64.deb

You can then connect from another computer using the IP address given by

ip addr

Installing a Python IDE

One of the basic languages used on Linux is Python. You can install the Thonny IDE very simply using the command

sudo apt install thonny


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?