This guide is designed for ROCK Pi 4 enthusiast. The purpose is to learn about the ROCK Pi 4 board as well as how to prepare and set up for basic use. The ROCK Pi 4 has two models, one called ROCK Pi 4 Model A and the other called ROCK Pi 4 Model B. When you get a board, you need to know what Pi model it is and which hardware version it is. The information is printed in the top side of the board. We will introduce the board information as much as possible.

What you need


  • ROCK Pi 4 main board
    • ROCK Pi 4 Model A or Model B
  • One of the Storage media below:
  • Power supply
    • The ROCK Pi 4 is powered by Type-C port and has a wide range of input voltage, from 9V to 21V. The Pi supports USB Type-C PD 2.0 with 9V/2A, 12V/2A, 15V/2A and 20V/2A. Besides, the Pi supports QC 3.0/2.0 with 9V/2A and 12V/1.5A.
    • The Type-C cable you using needs to support data communication. We call it USB Type-C charging data cable.
  • USB Keyboard and Mouse
    • With four USB-A connectors, ROCK Pi 4 can be equipped with a full sized keyboard and mouse.
  • Monitor and HDMI Cable
    • ROCK Pi 4 is equipped with a full sized HDMI connector. HDMI capable monitor is recommended.
    • HDMI EDID display data is used to determine the best display resolution. On monitors and TVs that support 1080p (or 4K) this resolution will be selected. If 1080p is not supported the next available resolution reported by EDID will be used. This selected mode will work with MOST but not all monitors/TVs.
  • USB to TTL serial cable
    • ROCK Pi 4 exports a dedicated serial console, which can access the low level debug message.
  • USB Male A to Male A cable
    • If you want write image on ROCK Pi 4 from USB OTG port or use fastboot/adb commands you need an USB Male A to Male A cable to connect ROCK Pi 4 and PC.


  • μSD Card Reader
    • For flashing the image into μSD Card or eMMC Module.
  • USB type A to type A cable
    • This is needed for fastboot/adb commands.
  • USB to TTL serial cable
    • This is needed for serial console.
  • Ethernet cable
    • ROCK Pi 4 supports Internet access via WIFI or Ethernet.
    • An Ethernet cable is used to connect your ROCK Pi 4 to a local network and the Internet.
  • Camera Module
    • ROCK Pi 4 supports camera function.
  • LCD Module
    • ROCK Pi 4 supports LCD display function.
  • Audio cable
    • Audio can be played through speaker or headphones using a standard 3.5mm jack.

Close look of ROCK Pi 4B

  • ROCK Pi 4B front view

ROCKPI4B Front View.png

  • ROCK Pi 4B front with an angle view

ROCKPI4B Angle View.png

  • ROCK Pi 4B back view

ROCKPI4B Back View.png


Model ROCK PI 4 Model A ROCK PI 4 Model B
Processor 64bits hexa core processor
Rockchip RK3399
Dual Cortex-72, frequency 1.8GHz with qual Cortex-A53, frequency 1.4GHz
Mali T860MP4 gpu, support OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1/3.2, Vulkan 1.0, Open CL 1.1 1.2, DX11.
Memory LPDDR4
64bit dual channel LPDDR4@3200Mb/s, 1GB/2GB/4GB optioal
Storage eMMC module (Optional industrial compatible high performance eMMC module, 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB available)
μSD card (μSD slot supports up to 128 GB μSD card)
M.2 SSD (M.2 connector supports up to 2T M2 NVME SSD)
Display HDMI 2.0 up to 4k@60
MIPI DSI 2 lanes via FPC connector
HDMI and MIPI DSI can work at the same time, support mirror mode or extend mode.
Audio 3.5mm jack with mic
HD codec that supports up to 24-bit/96KHz audio.
Camera MIPI CSI 2 lanes via FPC connector, support up to 800 MP camera.
Wireless None 802.11 ac wifi
Bluetooth 5.0
with on board antenna
USB USB 3.0 OTG X1, hardware switch for host/device switch, upper one
USB 3.0 HOST X1, dedicated USB 3.0 channel, lower one
Ethernet GbE LAN GbE LAN with Power over Ethernet (PoE) support
additional HAT is required for powering from PoE
IO 40-pin expansion header
2 x UART
2 x SPI bus
3 x I2C bus
1 x PCM/I2S
2 x PWM
1 x ADC
6 x GPIO
2 x 5V DC power in
2 x 3.3V DC power in
Others RTC
RTC battery connector for time backup(optional)
Power USB PD, support USB Type C PD 2.0, 9V/2A, 12V/2A, 15V/2A, 20V/2A.
Qualcomm® Quick ChargeTM: Supports QC 3.0/2.0 adapter, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
Size 85mm x 54mm

Starting the board for the first time

ROCK Pi 4 can be started with eMMC or μSD Card. Now, you are presented with two options when installing your new operating system onto your ROCK Pi 4.


  • When start system with eMMC

Insert eMMC Module into eMMC to μSD card converter board. Insert the converter board into μSD Card Reader, which connects to host computer. The picture below shows.
(add eMMC, eMMC to μSD Module and μSD Card Reader picture)

If you do not have an eMMC to μSD card converter board, you can also first install a linux system to a μSD Card and then use the running μSD System to install the desired system to the eMMC card with the eMMC card already inserted into the Rock PI 4. See Rockpi4/install/eMMC.

  • When start system with μSD Card

Insert the μSD Card into μSD Card Reader, which connects to host computer. The picture below shows.
(add μSD Card and μSD Card Reader picture)

Write Image

  • Download the flash tool, etcher, from Downloads. Choose the right version for your host operation system. Here we operate on host Ubuntu 16.04.
  • After unpacking the package, we run the tool by executing the command
$ ./etcher-etcher-electron-1.4.5-x86_64.AppImage

If you get an error message: "No polkit authentication agent found" you can try and start it with sudo, but do know that this is running the tool as root.

  • In the etcher window, click Select image.

Linux etcher select image.png

  • In the etcher window, click Select Drive.

Linux etcher select driver.png

  • In the etcher window, click Flash.

Linux etcher select flash button.png

  • In the etcher window, once it shows us Flash Complete! It is done and can be put into the RockPi.

Linux etcher show complete.png


  • Now insert system storage media into the socket on board.
    • Method of starting system with eMMC. The picture below shows.


    • Methods of starting system with μSD Card. The picture below shows.


  • Connect the ROCK Pi 4 to your display with the HDMI cable. Ensure that the source for the display is switched to the HDMI port you are using.
  • Connect the USB keyboard and mouse.
  • Connect the power supply to the ROCK Pi 4. The board will begin to immediately. (You might not see the boot sequence, on Ubuntu Server you will see the login prompt)

Wish you good luck!