Zynthian Software

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1 Official ZynthianOS SD-Images

You can download the last official ZynthianOS SD-image, based on Raspberry Pi OS, from here:

Last Stable ZynthianOS (MD5-sum)

2 Unzipping

The file you download is a zip file that must be unzipped to get a .img file that can be 'burnt' to the micro-SD card used by the zynthian device (Raspberry Pi). This process differs depending on the operating system you use: windows, mac or linux.

3 Preparing the SD-card

Latest SD-card image weight around 8 GB compressed and around 14 GB unzipped. It includes all the software you need for your zynthian, properly configured for working out-the-box with the latest official kits. Completely ready to use. Plug and play!

After downloading and unzipping the SD-image, you have to write it to a suitable SD-card. You need a good-quality SD-card with a minimum size of 16GB. You can use a bigger one if you like.

You can use Etcher, a free software that works on Mac, Windows and Linux, to write the image into the SD-card. There is a really good manual for this at this link.

If you are a terminal guy, dd or pv will do the task. Don't forget to unmount the SD partition before burning and make a sync before extracting the card. Something like that:

umount /dev/sdc1
pv 2023-08-25-zynthianos-stable-2308.img > /dev/sdc


RBPi2 is not supported by recent zynthian SD-images. If you want to use a RBPi2, you may need to build your own SD-image.

4 First Boot

First boot could take some time. Don't be impatient and wait until you see the splash screen with the logo. If you have a recent kit (V3, V4 & V5) and the display remains black after 1 minute, please, re-check the instructions above and re-burn the SD-card again. If this still don't work, try with a different SD-card before reporting in the forum. For solving SD-card issues, it could be useful to check the RPi4 status LEDs.

Once you see the splash screen, it could take some minutes until the system is ready. You deserve a beer, or at less some some tea or coffee. When the first-boot process finishes, the zynthian will reboot and you will be in the main menu, ready to play.

5 Configuration instructions

Recent SD-images auto-detect latest official kits V3, V4 & V5. If you are using an older kit or a custom hardware, your first step after booting should be accessing the webconf and configuring your hardware.

  • For accessing the webconf tool, see here
  • Once logged-in, go to Hardware -> Kit and select your kit version or "Custom". Click on save button.
  • Then, if you have a custom hardware configuration, configure each device: Audio, Display, Wiring. Use "Dummies" if you don't use any encoder/switch. Don't forget to save your configuration after each step.
  • When everything is configured, you can reboot Zynthian using the System -> Reboot menu item

6 Build your own SD-image

If you like, you can build your own SD image following these instructions:

Building the SD Image using the Setup Script

Also, you would like to try the new docker-builder (thanks @guysoft!!):

Building Zynthian with Docker