Orange Pi Zero won't boot after kernel upgrade

I upgraded to v 152 then apt-get upgrade installed a new kernel. Didn’t boot after this. Nothing important on the device but any tips on how to get it going? These devices don’t have video out so you can’t plug in a monitor to see what’s happening.


Hi John,

Is this on 4.x kernel? If so, kernel updates are not recommend for this very reason (ARMbian class them as DEV/testing).

To recover to previous kernel, you’ll need the following from the DietPi image file:

  • /lib/firmware
  • /lib/modules
  • /boot/* (everything excluding dietpi.txt and the dietpi folder)

Then copy those to the SD card in same locations.

Hi Fourdee,

Yes it was a v4 kernel that came through usual updates. The same happened with my second OPiZero with Armbian and no problems there.

Thanks for the info on how to fix - I stuffed it up this time but can refer to these instructions next time.


Hi John,

We started putting 4.x DEV/TESTING image kernel packages on hold a while back, prevents any apt upgrades to them, although I believe the OPi Zero doesn’t have this set currently.

You can find out which packages need putting on hold with:

dpkg -l | grep '\-dev'

This is for OPi PC (H3):