Hardkernel ODROID XU4 Review

Software Compatibility

ODROID-XU4 Review @ Mikronauts.com

(click on image for larger version)

For all tests and benchmarks, I used the latest Ubuntu 15.04 from Hardkernel, which I updated with:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

What can I say?

The ODROID-XU4 felt more like a “real” full-size desktop computer than an ARM single board computer.

It is quite snappy in operation, and it feels faster than a lot of x86 desktops I’ve used.

Common Applications

I was pleasantly surprised to find some of my favourite software was already installed:

  • joe – tiny text editor for terminal mode
  • libreoffice – excellent office suite
  • chromium – Google’s excellent web browser

I then tried to install the other applications I normally use on Linux:

  • sudo apt-get install gimp
  • sudo apt-get install scrot
  • sudo apt-get install gedit
  • sudo apt-get install xrdp
  • sudo apt-get install remmina

They all installed and ran immediately, without any issues.

I also installed Parallax’s SimpleIDE  (development tool for the Parallax P8X32A eight core microcontroller) – it installed just fine using Raspberry Pi instructions.

The programming utility (propeller-load) does have to be re-configured for /dev/ttySAC0 and the reset signal to GPIO#174.

Hardware Compatibility

UPDATE: ODROID XU4 Shifter Shield Review is now available – with hardware compatibility, wiringPi etc tests

The ODROID-XU4, by itself, is totally incompatible with Raspberry Pi expansion boards / plates / hats / shields (pick your favourite name) add-on’s.


1) the GPIO headers use 1.8V I/O low voltage signaling (Raspberry Pi and Pi add-ons, which uses 3.3V I/O)

2) the GPIO headers consist of a 30 pin (2×15 2.0mm pitch) and a 12 pin (2×6 2.0mm pitch) male connectors

Fortunately, Hardkernel made a ODROID XU4 Shifter Shield to provide a large degree of Raspberry Pi style 26 & 40 pin GPIO compatibility – and more.

Even better – Odroid released a port of wiringPi for the XU4 just a few days ago, in time for my XU4 Shifter Shield testing!

Here is the ODROID-XU4 Shifter Shield:

ODROID-XU4 Review @ Mikronauts.com

(click on image for larger version)

The XU4 Shifter Shield is a must-have add on for electronics experiments and I/O expansion.

The Shifter Shield  level shifts the 1.8V GPIO to either 3v3 or 5V – you simply select the desired I/O voltage using the slide switch shown on top of the image above.

As you can see, all the 2.54mm pitch GPIO’s are clearly labeled, and there is also a small but very handy prototyping area.

When set for 3v3, the XU4 Shifter is intended to be compatible with the 40 pin Odroid C1 GPIO connector, which is compatible with 36 out of the 40 pins on the Raspberry Pi GPIO connector.

The only differences are pins towards the end of the 40 pin connector for 1.8V out, two ADC outputs, and a PowerOn signal (pins 35, 37, 38, and 40)

I am currently testing the XU4 Shifter Shield, and will be publishing a review of it shortly.

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