Norns: help

@tehn perhaps can confirm, but AFAIK: using SYSTEM > UPDATE requires an internet connection. that would be good to fix first if possible. wired USB->ethernet adapter is an option.

whatever process you used there (i assume it was via thumb drive and the serial shell? please confirm this), you should be able to repeat the same steps with the 190422 update, even if you can’t get the norns online.

[edit]: woops; for the benefit of future readers, i was wrong about this. i forgot that pre-2.0, the SYSTEM > UPDATE command would attempt to search the filesystem for downloaded update files.

it is important to perform a clean update one way or another, as there are changes to the executables and not just the lua files. from shell, you should be able to see if completes.

once you have a current system, i would recommend simply deleting / moving everything in ~/dust/code and starting over with just the newest version of the scripts you want (from the Library section and the norns tag) note each script’s requirements, if any. you do not necessarily need to install we, but it should not hurt to do so as long as you get the latest version of everything.


I have done this and everything seems to be working ok, I have the “we” scripts all in place. I’m going to start adding scripts I’m interested in and then I’ll look into trying to get it updated/connected to the internet.

we perhaps need to further clarify the update instructions here, please let me know what is unclear:

this goes for help here in general. the docs attempt to be thorough and are the work of many people helping here. please help further by letting us know what needs elaboration. lots of help and debugging happens here that doesn’t make it back into the docs, so we need to identify repeat issues.

@ecfike if your network is giving you trouble (ie please let me know how it is not working) there are ways to attempt a manual connect by connecting via serial and running nmtui. also, wifi is not built-in, you have to use the included wifi dongle (i know this sounds like a patronizing suggestion, but it’s happened several times) :slight_smile:

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I put the file onto a hard drive and connected it to the norns. I have had a bit of difficulty understanding what serial shell is. Perhaps that is where the problem lies.

The docs page seems a bit lacking for someone who has never used SSH or a serial connection. Perhaps linking to a guide there would be helpful?

I thought there was an SSH how-to somewhere here on lines, but my search-fu is failing me.

@ecfike Take a look at the top post in the Norns Tutorial post and look for the link for terminal window where it says “To install new projects(SSH)” that video can help explain how to start using the Terminal. Then you can use the commands the tutorial post mentions to connect to your norns via SSH.

The “serial shell” is using the terminal but connecting to norns via the USB-UART. This is a bit much to explain, but it gives you the same terminal command line access as using SSH, but using a hard-wire connection instead of wifi.

Here’s some youtube videos which might help?

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I followed the instructions here. It told me to install the previous update, which I did. However, I had already updated to that version successfully. I went through with it, however, and all seems to be well. Is it recommended that I repeat the same process, only replacing the .tgz with the most recent update?

if you’re on 190405 (as told in the fail thread) you can then simply use SYSTEM > UPDATE to automatically update (it is painless).

but, you need to get your network working. can you describe what is not working for your network?

Alright. So I have my USB nub connected to the norns. I go to “Add”, select my network, enter the password, and select “Ok”. After a second or two, the display will go back to the previous screen. It says:

STATUS: unavailable

Nothing happens after that.

try going to CONNECT and see if there are previous networks in there, try that.

is your network WPA or WEP? what’s the router itself? have you tried moving closer to it?

try using putty to serial login, then type nmtui for a graphical interface which may have better luck.

Ok so, the issue has been identified.


When inputting the password into the norns, I failed to realize that there was an entire different alphabet off-screen for lowercase. It’s all good, I put in the password with the correct characters and the update ran all fine and dandy.

If I could make a recommendation, however, perhaps there could be a notice in the manual alerting people to make sure they take note of the case-sensitivity of their password and the alternate keyboard? Or maybe make a character at the beginning of the alphabet to toggle between uppercase and lowercase, to make things more intuitive? Idk, it was probably dumb of me to not think of this sooner, but I feel like it could be helpful to at least point that out somewhere. Thank you!


I got my Norns last week, and had the same problem with FM7. Norns works fine after removing the script, but does this mean that FM7 doesn’t work anymore?

FM7 still works. Just make sure that you have the current version, and that dust/code/we/lib doesn’t contain an Engine_FM7 file. The problem is that the FM7 lib used to live in we, now it lives in the project folder. It can’t be in both places, or norns will complain.

I have been having some trouble using Norns trough the wifi nub and a hotspot.
Connection will switch on and off randomly, pain if transferring audio files.
Any reason not to use a ethernet usb dongle (like the apple one)
I just set it up and its running reliable and at ethernet speed for transferring files.

nope, that’s a great option

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Sorry if this has been asked before. Is norns friendly to powered usb hubs? Could i increase the number of usb devices connected to norns with a usb hub?
I have thought of a midi merger and then roland um one as a work around.


yes a powered USB hub will work fine

curious to hear what you’re doing!

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Would it be acceptable to use a bus powered hub rather than a wall powered one with norns charging, or is that putting too much strain on the norns battery? I’m thinking of typically using norns with the included WiFi nub, Grid, Arc, Qunexus, Midi Fighter Twister and Seville Soft Midi host to host.

sounds a little excessive

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Hi Tehn,

Thanks for the reply and info.

I have the studio wired up trough a bome Bomebox.

The bomebox is connected to a usb hub and i can make midi connections between different computers using the bomebox as a kind of data hub.

I can use wifi or ethernet for midi data; I have the computers synced with Ableton link trough Ethernet and im thinking of being able to control norns from different devices of the studio, specially since there can be midi assignments im thinking of midi mapping controls and creating some lemur templates (via osc or midi)

Lots of options!

Thanks :slight_smile:

you definitely need a powered hub. the norns battery is not huge and does not deliver high capacity current, especially if you’re using most of that current for CPU.

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