Zynthian Software

1 Official ZynthianOS SD-Images

You can download the stable ZynthianOS SD-image from here:

Stable ZynthianOS (MD5-sum)

The latest testing image, called Oram, is available here:

Testing ZynthianOS - Oram Bookworm 64 (MD5-sum)


The testing version contains new features and a lot of fixes but it's not totally finished, so it's not recommended for production work.

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 sync before extracting the card. With root privileges, run something like this:

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

or if you are a sudoer:

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


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