1.5. Prepare SD card

1.5.1. Download and install the SD card image

The next procedure will create a clean SD card image.

  1. Download the Red Pitaya SD card image:

RedPitaya OS 2.0:


This version of the ecosystem includes a build for all boards. Boards currently supported:

  • STEMlab 125-10

  • STEMlab 125-14

  • STEMlab 125-14-Z7020

  • STEMlab 125-14 4-Input

  • SDRlab 122-16 (Currently not supported)

  • SIGNALlab 250-12

Unfify ecosystem now includes master/slave functionality for streaming.


If you have a very old Red Pitaya (STEMlab 125-14) and the UNIFIED OS does not work for you, please send us the picture of the board (MAC address), so that we can add the address range to the system.


To run the C applications please use one of the following combinations of OS and ecosystem:
  • UNIFIED OS and 2023.1 release of the GitHub ecosystem

  • Any other OS version and the 2022.2 release of the GitHub ecosystem

STEMlab 125-14 & STEMlab 125-10:

STEMlab 125-14 (SLAVE board):

STEMlab 125-14-Z7020:

STEMlab 125-14 4-Input:

SDRlab 122-16:

SIGNALlab 250-12:

  1. Unzip the SD card image.

  2. Write the image onto an SD card. Instructions are available for various operating systems:

  1. Insert the SD card into the Red Pitaya.



This video shows how to identify your Red Pitaya model and write a memory card. Windows

  1. Insert the SD card into your PC or SD card reader.

  2. Download Balena Ethcer and install it.

  3. Open the newly installed Balena Etcher application.

  4. Under Flash from file select an unzipped Red Pitaya image file.

  5. Under Select target choose the drive letter of the SD card. Balena Etcher will only show you external drives.



    Balena Etcher will only show you external drives, but please be careful to select the correct drive if you have multiple cards or USBs plugged into your computer. If you choose the wrong one, you risk erasing data from the selected drive. You can easily see the drive letter (for example, E:) by looking in the left column of Windows Explorer.

  6. When you click Flash the computer will prompt you to allow the operation. Click yes and wait for the flashing and validation to be completed.

  7. Close Balena Etcher.

    ../../_images/SDcard_Win_BalEtc_FlashComplete.png Linux


You can also use Balena Ethcer on Linux and macOS. Instructions are under Windows section. Ubuntu using Image Writer

  1. Right-click on the extracted SD card image and select Open With > Disk Image Writer.


    Context menu


    Select tool dialog

  1. In the Restore Disk Image window, select your SD card in the Destination pull-down menu. Be careful to select the correct device; use the size for orientation (for example, a 16 GB SD card).


    Select drive dialog

  2. You will be asked to confirm your choice and enter a password. Additional dialog windows will again show the selected destination drive. Take the opportunity to reconsider whether you chose the right device. Command line


Please note that the use of the dd tool can overwrite any partition of your machine. If you specify the wrong device in the instructions below, you could delete your primary Linux partition. Please be careful.

  1. Insert the SD card into your PC or SD card reader.

  2. Open the terminal and check the available disks with df -h. Our SD card is 16 GB. It is named /dev/sdx and divided into two partitions, /dev/sdx1 and /dev/sdx2. The drive mounted at / is your main drive. Be careful not to use it.

    $ df -h
    Filesystem       Size  Used   Avail  Use%  Mounted on
    /dev/sdx1        118M   27M     92M   23%  /media/somebody/CAD5-1E3D
    /dev/sdx2       15.9G 1013M   15.8G   33%  /media/somebody/7b2d3ba8-95ed-4bf4-bd67-eb52fe65df55
  3. Unmount all SD card partitions with umount /dev/sdxN (make sure you replace N with the right numbers).

    $ sudo umount /dev/sdx1 /dev/sdx2
  4. Write the image onto the SD card with the following command. Replace the red_pitaya_image_file.img with the name of the unzipped Red Pitaya SD Card Image and replace /dev/device_name with the path to the SD card.

    $ sudo dd bs=1M if=red_pitaya_image_file.img of=/dev/device_name
  5. Wait until the process has finished. macOS


You can also use Balena Ethcer on Linux and macOS. Instructions are under Windows section. Using ApplePi-Baker

  1. Insert the SD card into your PC or SD card reader.

  2. Download ApplePi-Baker. Direct link:

  3. Click on ApplePi-Baker icon, then click Open in order to run it.

  4. Drag and drop ApplePi-Baker for installation.

  5. Enter your admin password and click OK.

  6. Select the SD card drive. This can be recognised by the size of the card, which is 16 GB.

  7. Select the Red Pitaya OS image file.

  8. It’s coffee time. The application will show you the estimated time for accomplishment.

  9. When the operation is finished, the status will change to idle.

    ../../_images/SDcard_macOS_ApplePi-Baker_quit.png Command line

  1. Insert the SD card into your PC or SD card reader.

  2. Click cmd + space, type Disk Utility into the search box and press enter. From the menu, select your SD card and click on the Erase button (be careful not to delete your disk!).

  3. Click cmd + space, then enter cd into the Terminal. Then type cd Desktop and press enter once more.

  4. Unmount the partition so that you will be able to overwrite the disk. Type diskutil list into the Terminal and press enter. This will show you the list of all memory devices.


    Unmount with: diskutil UnmountDisk /dev/diskn (insert the number n of your disk correctly!)

  5. Type: sudo dd bs=1m if=path_of_your_image.img of=/dev/rdiskn (Remember to replace n with the number that you noted before!) (notice that there is a letter r in front of the disk name, use that as well!)

  6. Type in your password and wait a few minutes for the image to be written.

  7. When the image is written, type: diskutil eject /dev/diskn and press enter.

  8. Safely eject the SD card.

1.5.2. Background

A Red Pitaya SD card contains two partitions:

  1. 128 MB FAT contains the ecosystem:

    • boot files: FSBL, FPGA images, U-Boot, Linux kernel

    • Red Pitaya API libraries and header files

    • Red Pitaya web applications, scripts, tools

    • customized Nginx web server

  2. ~4 GB Ext4 contains the OS:

    • Ubuntu/Debian OS

    • various libraries

    • network setup customization

    • systemd services customization

Most of Red Pitaya’s source code translates into the ecosystem. Therefore, it is updated more often. The OS is changed less frequently.


You can find older and development Red Pitaya OS images and Ecosystem zipfiles on our download server.


A list of new features, bugfixes, and known bugs for each Red Pitaya release can be found in our CHANGELOG.

1.5.3. Manual upgrade

Instead of writing the whole SD card image, it is possible to upgrade only the ecosystem.

A manual upgrade allows you to fix a corrupted SD card image (if only the FAT partition is corrupted) or to install older, newer, or custom ecosystem zip files.

  1. Download a zip file from our download server.

  2. Insert the SD card into the card reader.

  3. Delete all files from the FAT partition. Use Shift + Delete to avoid placing files into the trash bin on the same partition.

  4. Extract the ecosystem zip file contents onto the now empty partition.

If you wish to keep wireless settings, skip deleting the next files:

  • wpa_supplicant.conf

  • hostapd.conf

1.5.4. Resize file system

When recording an image to a flash card of any size, we get sections of the file system of 4 GB in size. In order to increase the available free space, you need to execute the following script:

root@rp-f03dee:~# /opt/redpitaya/sbin/resize.sh

After the script is completed, the system will ask you to restart your Red Pitaya. If everything is done correctly, the system will start with an increased space size. This can be checked with the following command:

root@rp-f03dee:~# df -h


If the file system size has not changed, you can try to manually run the command:

root@rp-f03dee:~# sudo resize2fs /dev/mmcblk0p2