During these 8 years since Armbian was created, we have become the go-to operating system for Arm-based single-board computers (SBC). The truth is, no other operating system can compete with us in terms of coverage and SBC support. Some distributions operate on some of the more popular single-board computers, but that’s about it. Armbian, on the other hand, supports more than one hundred! With mainline or as close to mainline as can be achieved, we unify this misunderstood ecosystem of these incredible little devices.
From science projects and retro gaming to real products like NAS’s, network security devices, and print servers, Armbian is out in the wild making a difference. Armbian makes it easy to proof-of-concept (PoC) a platform on one kind of SBC and then easily switch to another if different capabilities are needed. You just need to download a different image on our website or build one yourself and customize it.
For example, in a 2 week period, approximately 200,000 unique devices hit our apt repository just for Debian Jessie alone! We average 1800 visitors a day, hitting our download turnpike. That’s actual download links, not browsing the page.
The reality is that SBCs continue to sell because customers know Armbian is there.
Armbian started with a small, enthusiastic, and highly technical userbase. The forum used to run on an Odroid XU4, and now it keeps 4 dedicated x86 CPUs busy with an average of over 7000 daily visitors.
This is a lot for a small team of amazing and dedicated volunteers. Bugs, questions, ideas, conversations, disputes, and high expectations… We can’t keep up with the demand. We can’t filter the signal from the noise. We’ve created too many options and empowered too many people.
Our core base of contributors is relatively small, and most are working during their spare time. We’re struggling to address core issues these days, and triaging is difficult to impossible. Who can code when issues have to be reviewed, understood, and decided upon? Who can wrangle everything and turn our living codebase into a release? Who can talk to the testers and identify the bugs that matter?
We need your help! More than development help, we need:
We need skilled people solving our workflow challenges and bridging the gap between the community and the developers. We need a community of users and vendors that participate in the development and support process. The ratios are now too extreme.
What does this mean for the project?
We’re going to descope, and we’re going to do it soon. You can expect:
- Fewer desktops
- Fewer boards
- Fewer releases
- expect periodic builds and rolling updates to be the norm
Specifics will be announced in a few weeks.
We’ll choose what we want to work on. Perhaps device-specific fundraisers from the community take priority. Also, vendors can commission work if they desire.
We need funding.
The subscriptions on our forums are our only consistent source of income. We’re grateful for these contributions, but they barely cover our infrastructure costs.
Some vendors make occasional contributions, but the funding is not predictable, and there are no long-term commitments from any SBC vendor.
Tokens of Appreciation
Everyone knows that if the time put in by our team were actual billable hours, the costs would be astronomical. Fortunately for users, vendors, and integrators, the team doesn’t bill, but some appreciation is needed. We are creating revenue for many entities, and we need more recognition for that.
We need Help
The previous calls to action haven’t been sufficiently answered. As mentioned, we need true committed help to operate this project, interact with the community, and perform testing. We need new ways to incentivise help. Bounty programs, testing bonuses for releases, etc.
Do your part
Vote with your wallet
Shopping for an SBC? Is their logo on the “Project Friends” section of our page? Choose someone else and tell them why.
Donate professional talent and resources
Pro-bono professional services from experts in managing open-source organisations, non-profits, and fundraising would tremendously help.
Are you a product manager, project manager or scrum master? We need your help.
Are you an expert in community management, marketing, or public relations? We need your help.
Sponsor a device or project
Want to build your product with a device running Armbian? Talk to us before you start. We can work together. The capabilities of the Armbian Build System are incredible! It supports customisation out-of-the-box, and we’re experts.
Spread the word
Please help us find help! Please take Take it to the streets of the internet and shout!
Thank you to the users who are patient and understanding when we struggle. Thank you to those who say thanks. Thank you to those who are helping others in the community. Thank you to the friends, vendors, and sponsors who’ve given to us.
Thank you for being part of our story.
The Armbian Team