Link search Menu Expand Document

norns: help

Between this page and the search bar above, you should be able to self-solve most norns troubles that you’d run into.

If you need additional help, we’re here for you! Please send an email to using this format:

  • What issue did you experience?
  • What steps are necessary to reproduce the issue?
  • What additional hardware was connected to norns at the time of the issue? This includes controllers, wifi dongles, external hubs, etc.
  • Please attach any output printed in maiden when the issue occurs

If you’re unable to supply concrete steps to reliably reproduce the issue, this will reduce our efficacy. Please understand if we point you to existing resources and ask you to verify additional info.

For support with specific scripts and libraries, please visit lines and search for the script’s thread.



replacing parts - norns standard


The norns screen is a Newhaven Display 2.7” Graphic OLED Module with Molex Connector. Every standard norns comes built with the white model (NHD-2.7-12864WDW3-M), though it may be swapped out for yellow (NHD-2.7-12864WDY3-M). Either can be ordered online from many electronic component distributors.

When installing, be sure to handle from the sides – wiping away debris or oil from the viewing area can cause damage, even with a microfiber cloth. For the least amount of frustration, also be sure to have an air blower nearby – dust can quickly accumulate in this process, which is easiest to remove with a quick shot of concentrated air.

wifi nub

In order to use hotspot functionality, please be sure to purchase a replacement WiFi adapter with the Ralink RT5370 chipset.


The charger that comes with norns is GEO151UB-6020 and its power specs are 2A / 5.25V. A direct replacement can be purchased from Adafruit. This brick is of very high quality and can use 110 or 240 VAC input, so it can be used outside of the US with a simple plug adapter.


Before you purchase a new battery, please consider that your norns may not be reporting battery performance accurately. To test, fully drain the battery and then charge it fully.

If performance does not improve, then a direct replacement can be purchased from Adafruit or by emailing for a replacement (20 USD, shipping included, only US or can be bundled with an existing international purchase).


If your encoders feel “jumpy”, you can verify that your encoders are in need of repair by performing this simple test:

  • navigate to the LEVELS page
  • turn a level all the way up and continue to turn the encoder
  • if the level jumps and does not remain at maximum, then you might want to replace that encoder

For in-depth testing, see this thread on lines.

We do not recommend at-home repair, as the encoders are extremely sensitive to heat and require quick, confident soldering. To arrange repair / replacement, please email with the following info:

  • your order number (if you purchased the unit from monome directly)
  • if you did not purchase from monome, please provide any details you have about the unit’s prior life
  • use a small screwdriver to remove the bottom plate and let us know if your board is either black or forest green

standard norns: CM3+

All standard norns units produced before 2021 have a Compute Module 3 (CM3), with 4gb of storage. A-stock units produced during and after 2021 (as well as a few 2021 b-stock units) have a Compute Module 3+ (CM3+), with 32gb of storage.

Every standard norns can run the CM3+ with 32gb of storage, by swapping the chip at home following the steps outlined below.

confirming Compute Module model

To confirm which chip your norns has installed, connect via SSH and execute pinout, which will return the name (and a cute illustration!) of your installed Compute Module:

If you do not have a CM3+ installed, the steps in the next section walk through the upgrade procedure (assuming you have a CM3+ chip handy).

CM3+ upgrade

There is no soldering needed, but you will have to disassemble your norns a bit. Please follow this tutorial video:

nb. if you are unable to use the screen Terminal commands shown in the video, you can expand your filesystem following the shield steps listed in the next section

wifi troubleshooting

standard norns

If you are not actively using the WiFi nub, it’s best not to keep it plugged in. It uses a lot of power, draining both battery and system resources.

If you are consistently unable to connect your norns to WiFi through the connection steps outlined here, please perform the following steps:

  1. Confirm that your router is broadcasting a 2.4GHz band – the WiFi nub does not support 5GHz.

  2. If your network name has any apostrophes, it might be interpretted as a prime, which would cause connection failure. Removing apostrophes from network names has helped resolve most issues with connectivity.

  3. Try getting very close to your WiFi router. Bad signal can make it seem nonfunctional.

  4. Plug the WiFi nub into a non-norns computer (laptop/desktop ; MacOS/Windows/Linux) and confirm that the nub functions as expected. If your nub is defective, please email for a replacement.

  5. If you are prompted to update the nub’s drivers, please do so. Even if there are no updates available, sometimes the simple task of searching for an update resolves connectivity issues. When this process completes, plug the nub back into norns.

  6. If norns is still unable to connect to WiFi, connect the power cable to your non-norns computer and follow the serial steps outlined here. Once you perform this serial login, try executing nmtui for a graphical interface of the WiFi utilities, which may have better luck connecting to a network:

  7. If you are still unable to connect, please email with the following information:

    • Whether your nub was able to successfully connect with a non-norns computer
    • Screenshots of the terminal screens in step 5
    • The name of your WiFi network
    • The make/model of your WiFi router
    • Your router config (WPA, WEP, etc)
    • Whether your router is set up as a mesh

norns shield

For the best overall performance, for both CPU and RF interference, we highly recommend disabling WiFi when you don’t need it.

If you are consistently unable to connect your shield to WiFi through the connection steps outlined here and you are sure your password is being entered correctly, please perform the following steps:

  1. If your network name has any apostrophes, it might be interpretted as a prime, which would cause connection failure. Removing apostrophes from network names has helped resolve most issues with connectivity.

  2. Try connecting shield to your router via ethernet and connecting to it from another computer via SSH.

  3. In Terminal, execute nmtui for a graphical interface of the WiFi utilities, which will provide more information about network connection issues:

  4. If you are still unable to connect, you might need to change your Pi’s country code. In Terminal, execute sudo raspi-config and enter Localisation Options to set your country.

  5. Beyond these steps, we recommend checking the journalctl file to see additional information about why your Pi is failing to connect. Execute journalctl --no-pager to see a full log.

If you’ve hit the end of this list without success, we recommend searching online for your specific router and confirming whether there’s any known configuration steps for your Pi model and your router. Network connectivity relies on the Pi itself, rather than the norns software stack.

boot-up troubleshooting

standard norns

If your norns does not seem to booting, it’s possible that either the Compute Module (CM3) is not seated correctly, or the screen ribbon is pressing against the CM3 when its fully assembled and shorting the chip.

Follow along with the dissassembly video here. Re-seating the CM3 will simply involve ejecting it (shown ~2:30 in the video), aligning it confidently, and placing it in again. As you reassemble the unit, before you screw the board back to the enclosure, check to see if it will power as expected – the board will be loosely tethered by the screen ribbon and the battery connector. If it boots, then you’ll need to ensure that the folds on the screen ribbon are tight – this should help reduce the pressure against the CM3. Just fold them a bit tighter and, as a final test, try screwing the board back to the enclosure to verify that the ribbon is no longer pushing the chip down.

norns shield

If your shield does not seem to be booting, the first thing to check is if the “startup tone” is occurring from your shield’s output. Connect headphones or a speaker to shield’s output (demarcated by the outward-facing arrow) and power it up – within 20 seconds or so, you should hear a sine-like tone which indicates the norns OS has been successfully loaded.

If you do not hear a startup tone, the norns OS is not booting. The best next step is re-flashing your SD card following these steps.

  • If you do not hear a startup tone after a successful re-flash, we recommend confirming that your Raspberry Pi is operational. The easiest way to do this is to remove the Pi from the shield, attach it to an HDMI monitor/TV, and power the Pi separately. If the Pi is operational, you’ll see a rainbow square on your monitor/TV.
    • If your Pi is operational, your shield might require repair/re-touching. See the next steps section below.
    • If your Pi is not operational, replacing the Pi should resolve the issue.
  • If you do hear a startup tone after a successful re-flash, but do not see any activity on the screen, the screen or the header might be a point of failure. See the next steps section below.

next steps

  • If you purchased a fully-built unit (no soldering) from monome, please email for service or replacement.
  • If you soldered the unit yourself, please post images of the board to this thread. Note that this is a community resource, so please be respectful of time and energy limitations.
  • If you purchased it from a third-party who soldered the components, please reach out to them for resolution.

grid connectivity troubleshooting

standard norns running on battery

When grid is plugged into a standard norns running on its internal battery (rather than off its power supply), the power draw to boot grid can overwhelm norns and result in a shutdown. This does not always occur and can be dependent on the current battery level, so the best practice for working with a grid + norns on battery is to boot norns with the grid plugged in.

grid not connecting

If you’ve recently received a new grid, you may find that scripts do not seem to be connecting to it.

To troubleshoot:

  • ensure your norns is up to date via SYSTEM > UPDATE (see wifi + files for more info)
  • many scripts assume that an artist only has access to one grid (versus many MIDI controllers), and automatically connect to the first slot under SYSTEM > DEVICES > GRID.
    • disconnect all grids
    • press K3 on slot 1, select none, press K3
    • press K3 on slot 2, select none, press K3
    • ..repeat for any slot that doesn’t say none
    • connect your new grid + it should populate slot 1!

audio input/output hardware specs


Standard norns has audio codec CS4270. In 2022, we revised the shield circuit to CS4271, due to global component shortage – more info here.

The codec is externally clocked with a crystal (for no jitter), and the sample rate is fixed at 48k.


The standard norns input jacks are configured for balanced or unbalanced. Input impedance is 10k.

The shield has only one stereo input.


The standard norns output jacks are configured for balanced or unbalanced. Output impedance is 590 ohm. Output from the codec is connected to the headphone driver as well.

The shield has only one stereo output. Revision 210330 outputs 1.75V peak-to-peak, which is roughly consumer line level.

Headphone driver

The standard norns headphone driver is a TPA6130A2. Volume is controlled via i2c with a simple protocol, so no driver is necessary. The i2c lines are connected to i2c0.

The shield does not have a separate headphone output.

norns shield noise troubleshooting

While the standard aluminum norns is a fully-isolated pro-audio device, norns shield has a necessarily different footprint and construction. As a consumer-level audio device, there are cases where the norns shield can experience interference from the underlying Pi unit, which creates noise in the audio lines.

Over the shield’s many iterations, we have worked to reduce these issues – revision 210330 improved audio isolation over the previous two releases (191106 and 200323), which 211028 (the latest model) retained.

If you experience noise on a 211028 unit, this is most likely the WiFi antenna on the Pi creating interference. To protect against this, each 211028 board was shipped with a white sticker covering the components in closest proximity to the Pi’s USB + Ethernet ports:

If you experience consistent noise, either visually represented on the in VU meter on the LEVELS screen or generally when listening to the shield’s output, disassemble the unit and check the state of this sticker.

If the sticker has been removed, or if it has worn down, or is just not effectively shielding against the strength of your Pi’s WiFi antenna, it can be replaced with a few layers of electrical tape.

Also, reassembling the unit with a little more looseness might also help – over-tightening the enclosure screws can contribute to unexpected noise + interference.

If there is still interference when WiFi is on and networking while monitoring is necessary, we recommend turning WiFi off (via SYSTEM > WIFI) and plugging directly into your router via the Pi’s Ethernet jack. This will completely bypass the Pi’s antenna and any related interference in the audio lines.

can I plug modular signals into norns directly?


norns (both standard and shield) has line-level inputs only – sending modular signals, which run very hot, through these inputs may result in damage. Please attenuate your modular signals before sending them into norns with an interface module like Intellijel’s Audio Interface.

how do I send MIDI to/from norns from/to another computer?

Since norns is a MIDI host and other computers are also MIDI hosts, norns is not able to send/receive MIDI to/from a DAW or computer directly over its USB charge port.

norns shield: can I use the Pi’s HDMI output to mirror the shield’s screen?


The norns OS is primarily developed for/on the standard norns hardware, which makes use of a compute module which has a smaller form factor than the traditional Pi board and does not have any of the additional I/O. This allows standard units to provide pro-audio I/O, a battery, and an overall roomier layout while maintaining a small footprint.

Avoiding the additional CPU headroom required to support external video output also allows us to optimize the capabilities of norns, to provide standard norns and shield users with the same foundational software experience.

battery readings

When you hit K2 on the SELECT / SYSTEM / SLEEP screen, you’ll be shown helpful system status information, including the current state of the battery at the bottom right corner:

  • if the mA reading is negative, this means power is being drawn
    • if you ever see a consistently negative reading while plugged into wall power, then the draw on the built-in USB hub is likely too high and you should use an externallty-powered hub
  • if the mA reading is positive, this means power is being supplied and the battery is charging up
  • on wall power, as the battery gets closer and closer to 100%, you may see the positive mA begin to reduce – this is normal / expected, as norns is ‘trickling’ charge in
  • at 100% battery, you’ll likely see 0mA, since norns does not need to draw any more power to charge the battery – this is a safety against overcharging and degrading your battery, so that if you leave your norns plugged into wall power for months, you’ll still have a working battery when you detach

‘Normal’ battery draw is difficult to define, as it depends on the script being used and the hardware connected to norns. Generally, without any additional hardware connected, a draining battery will display -400mA to -500mA and a charging battery will display 400mA to 600mA as it charges toward 100%.


‘available’ scripts do not appear in maiden

If you are not seeing any scripts populate under maiden’s available tab:

  • confirm both norns and your other computer are connected to the same wifi network
  • confirm that you are on the latest version of the core norns software
  • connect to maiden and confirm that the following files exist under data/sources: base.json and community.json
    • if they do not exist, or the files themselves are empty, import fresh copies of each
  • if the data/catalogs folder does not exist, create it
  • restart your device

Following the steps above should create the necessary circumstances for the community and base catalogs to populate.

gathering system logs

In the event of an inexplicable issue, norns can dump the output of its logging mechanism to a text file. Logs capture the current and previous boots, which includes matron, SuperCollider, and operating system messages. Navigate to SYSTEM > LOG and press K3 – this will create a file at dust/data/system.log which can then be copied via maiden or downloaded via SMB or SFTP.

This information can be extremely helpful for community script authors, since it will reliably present any script-level errors, which can be difficult to capture through maiden’s REPL window.

If you have a recurring issue which you believe is hardware or system failure, unrelated to any script, please include this file with your support request to

recovering from freezes

If you experience a freeze that you can’t recover from, there’s a special button combination which will gently restart the software.

  • First, press and hold K3

  • While K3 is held, press and hold K2

  • While K3 and K2 are held, press and hold K1

  • Hold all three keys down for 10 seconds

The order of the keypresses matters: K3 then add K2 then add K1

If multiple attempts of this combination fail, these options are last resorts:

  • standard norns have a little white button on the rear side which provides a hard reset

  • shields do not have a reset button, so the only option is to pull power

Use the brute-force approach only if you cannot recover using the suggested method

adding + updating scripts

maiden (the web-based editor built into norns) features a project manager to help facilitate project discovery, installation, and upgrades.

To add a script that isn’t hosted on maiden, you can fetch it using maiden’s REPL

If you are updating a project through maiden’s project manager that was not originally installed via the project manager, you will receive an error that the project cannot be found in the catalog. Please delete the previously installed version and reinstall through project manager, which establishes the necessary git files for future updates.

lines also has a dedicated Library for projects tagged norns. In each project’s thread, you’ll find in-depth conversation as well as performance examples and tutorials. Projects for norns are primarily built and maintained by the lines community, so any questions/trouble with a specific project should be directed to its thread.

clear a currently-running script

Press K1 to toggle from PLAY to HOME. Highlight SELECT and hold K1 – you’ll see CLEAR in the middle of the screen. Press K3 to clear the currently running script.

error messages


Supercollider fails to load if you have multiple copies of the same class, which are commonly contained in duplicate .sc files inside of dust (the parent folder for the projects installed on norns).

To typically solve this, connect via wifi and open maiden. Type ;restart into the maiden matron REPL at the bottom (the >> prompt).

This will restart the audio components and output their logs. If there’s a duplicate class an error message like the following will be shown:


In this example, the engine is duplicated in two projects: ack and we. Using maiden, you would expand each project’s lib folder to reveal the duplicated After you remove one of the offending engines, execute SYSTEM > RESTART from the norns menu.

If the issue persists or maiden does not report duplicate engines, please email Keep in mind that unless you’re familiar with Supercollider, do not tamper with its internal folder structure. All typical norns functionality can be handled through the maiden project manager or the dust folder.


This simply means there is an error in the script you’re trying to load.

Connect via wifi and open maiden to see the error message when you again try to load the script.

A common problem may be a missing engine. Check the output for something like:

### SCRIPT ERROR: missing Timber

In this example, the script requires Timber, so go find it in the Project Manager and install it. If you had just recently installed Timber, you need to restart your norns through SLEEP or entering ;restart in the matron REPL.


This indicates that something is wrong with SuperCollider, which could be due to various issues. First always just try rebooting via SYSTEM > SLEEP.

If you’re able to load maiden, there are two tabs in the main REPL area (above the >> prompt at the bottom of your screen). The first tab is for matron, the control program that runs scripts – the other is sc for SuperCollider. Click into the sc tab and type ;restart into the REPL. That should show you what is going on inside of SuperCollider.

  • You might have a duplicate engine.
  • You might be missing a required engine.
  • If this doesn’t help, you may need to re-flash your norns with a clean image (after backing up any of your data).
  • If this doesn’t fix it, there may be a hardware issue: e-mail


If a newly-renamed script throws a file not found error in maiden, it is likely because the system has not registered the name change – even though you see the new name in the UI. Perform a hard refresh on your browser (how?).

not an error: ‘ /home/we/dust/data//.pmap not read.'

This is not an error. We’re including it here because it often gets mistaken for one, as it can accompany other issues with a script load.

This message is only reporting that the script has never (successfully) been run before. It will go away once the norns system creates a default .pmap for that script, which happens the first time the script is cleanly exited.

deeper debugging

We’ll see errors from the running script print to maiden’s REPL. But since maiden only allows us to scroll back through a limited history and occasionally will suppress errors (for example if we’re developing a mod), that sometimes won’t be enough.

If we want to see a more encompassing realtime view of error messages from the running script, mods, and SuperCollider, we can log into our our norns directly via SSH and issue the following command:

journalctl -f

This will not only show the last few system messages (including errors), but it will update as new ones occur.

When we’re done, we can close the stream by hitting Ctrl+C. Be sure to also close the SSH connection to your norns by executing exit.

reboot via maiden

To perform a quick reboot of the entire norns stack (for instance, when installing a script with a synth engine), reboot SuperCollider then reboot matron.

To reboot matron, the Lua layer of norns, execute ;restart in the matron tab of the maiden REPL.
To reboot SuperCollider, the synthesis layer of norns, execute ;restart in the supercollider tab of the maiden REPL.


back up norns

All data that you create with norns – scripts you’ve downloaded or created, audio you’ve imported or recorded, MIDI mappings and presets, etc – is stored in a central location: dust.

via wifi

To access the dust folder from another computer on the same wifi network, follow the steps in the wifi + files: transfer docs.

To back up or restore your dust folder, follow the steps in the wifi + files: backup docs.

via usb

wifi is the most straightforward way to back up your norns. These instructions are provided for times when you are unable to connect norns to wifi (no dongle, no network, etc).

If you have a standard norns, connect it to a second computer via serial. If you have a shield, host a hotspot for it and connect it to a second computer via ssh. Then, insert a USB stick into norns.

  • Make sure the USB stick is detected with ls /media
    • you should see usb listed, in a different color
    • if you execute ls /media/usb, this should show the contents of the USB stick (if there are any)
  • Copy your dust folder with cp -r /home/we/dust /media/usb
    • if you run into a permission issue, try sudo cp -r /home/we/dust /media/usb
    • this will take time! upwards of 15 minutes.
  • Shutdown with sudo shutdown now

via sd card (shield only)

On Windows + MacOS, the norns partition on your SD card is unfortunately not accessible by simply inserting it into an SD card reader. We recommend using the wifi steps above.

For the adventurous, here are steps to surface the ext4 filesystem: Windows and MacOS.

fresh install

This process will install a clean working system.

WARNING: the disk will be completely erased. Be sure to first back up any data you have in dust.

Full images are not built for every release, so do not worry if the ‘latest’ full image is not the same as the current update – you will update from SYSTEM > UPDATE as part of the last step.

standard norns

The easiest method to flash the disk image is using either Etcher or the official Raspberry Pi Imager. They are available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. If Etcher or the Imager do not work for you, or if you prefer the command line, see this guide.

For a visual guide to the Imager, see this video from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

If you’d like a visual companion to the Etcher process, steps 2 and onward are also demonstrated in this video from monome.

If Etcher or the Imager do not work for you, or if you prefer to use the command line, see this guide.


  1. Install Etcher or the Imager. Download the norns disk image: get the standard image. It’ll download as a .tgz file – extract it onto your computer so you have a remaining .img file. Note that on Windows this may take two unzips – if one unzip returns a .tar file, run an additional unzip on the .tar to get the .img.
  2. Power norns down and remove the four bottom screws of the unit.
  3. To help simplify the process, please disconnect any other storage devices connected to your computer. Then, plug norns into your computer using its charge cable.
  4. You’ll see a switch through a notch in the norns circuit board. It’s currently on run – switch it to disk. The LED on the back of norns will turn white and remain on until the 6th step.
    • Be aware of the white reset button at the bottom of the unit when you place norns back down – if it keeps getting triggered, try placing the unit upright on its bottom edge.
  5. Run Etcher / Imager. If using Etcher, you can simply drag the disk image onto the + sign – if using Imager, click Choose OS and Use custom, then navigate to the disk image file. In Etcher, select the Compute Module as the target – in Imager, choose the device mounted as /Volumes/boot. Press Flash! / Write, enter your non-norns computer’s password, and wait for it to finish + validate.
    • If you do not see the Compute Module populate, or if it doesn’t initialize properly, try starting fresh by unplugging norns from your computer and restarting your computer. As silly as it sounds, a simple restart has resolved this type of issue in our workshop.
    • If you’re using a USB adapter or hub and you do not see the Compute Module populate or it doesn’t initialize properly, try removing the USB-A connector from the adapter and re-connecting it. If you’re on a USB-C Mac, we have seen connection issues when using hubs resolved by using Apple’s official USB-C-to-A adapter.
    • Try swapping the cable for a different one.
    • If you’re at this point and running MacOS with homebrew installed, try installing rpiboot using these command line instructions.
    • If you’re installing for the first time onto a fresh CM3+ using Windows, you’ll likely need to install the Raspberry Pi boot drivers and run rpiboot before you can image it. Follow these instructions on the Raspberry Pi site to make the new CM3+ show up as a USB mass storage device.
  6. Once the flash and validation are complete, disconnect USB. Flip the switch on the norns board back to run. Secure the bottom back onto the unit.
  7. Boot norns (if you completed the expansion, it will take a bit longer to start than normal), add your network and update via SYSTEM > UPDATE
    • If you perform SYSTEM > UPDATE and norns tells you it’s up to date., it is! We recommend this step for times when a disk image might not be compiled for an incremental update cycle.
  8. If you have a norns with a 32gb CM3+, you will need to expand the file storage, since the fresh install assumes the lowest capacity (4gb). This only needs to be done once, but it’s important after a fresh install – it lets the system know the capacity of your storage.
    • Connect via SSH through a terminal.
    • Execute: sudo raspi-config (or execute: sudo raspi-config --expand-rootfs; sudo shutdown -r now to skip to the last step without a GUI)
    • Navigate down to Advanced Options.
    • Select Expand Filesystem and select OK.
    • Navigate to Finish and if prompted to restart, select OK. Please note that this will power norns down fully, rather than restart it. That’s okay! If you were not presented with an option to restart, simply put norns to sleep after the expansion completes.
    • Please note: norns will take a few minutes to fully boot after the filesystem expansion
    • You can verify the expansion has taken place by pressing K2 on the SELECT / SYSTEM / SLEEP screen – disk should show around 26000M (26 gb).
  9. Consider changing the default password and address


Use Etcher or the official Raspberry Pi Imager to flash your SD card, using these shield-specific instructions. Be sure to use a high quality SD card – if you have any trouble, please try a different card.

If Etcher or the Imager do not work for you, or if you prefer to use the command line, see this guide.

After flashing your SD card, you’ll need to expand the filesystem:

  1. Open a terminal on a computer connected to the same network as your shield
  2. Execute: ssh we@norns.local
    Password: sleep
    • if you cannot connect to we@norns.local, try replacing norns.local with your shield’s IP address, discoverable by hitting K2 on the SELECT / SYSTEM / SLEEP screen
  3. Execute: sudo raspi-config (or execute: sudo raspi-config --expand-rootfs; sudo shutdown -r now to skip to the last step without a GUI)
  4. Navigate to Advanced Options and hit RETURN
  5. Select Expand Filesystem and hit RETURN
  6. Lots of activity will happen. When it’s done, power down and reboot. If you get any errors, reboot again.
  7. Connect norns to your network and update via SYSTEM > UPDATE
  8. Consider changing the default password and address

If you have previously connected to a shield (either by this same IP address or simply norns.local) in the past, you may see a warning that the ‘remote host identification has changed’. this is because the shield now has a new host key. The error will give you a filepath to your hosts file, but if you are on MacOS you can simply execute rm -f ~/.ssh/known_hosts in Terminal to erase the previous hosts file and start fresh.

expanding storage

standard norns

All new norns built since 2021 come with a CM3+ which offers 32gb of storage. Their full capacity is expanded in the workshop before their initial shipment, but if you’ve recently reinstalled the norns software on your device, you will need to expand the filesystem in order for the full 32gb to be available.

  • open a terminal on a computer connected to the same network as your norns
  • execute: ssh we@norns.local
    • if this doesn’t find your norns, you can also use ssh we@IP_ADDRESS_OF_SHIELD, eg. ssh we@
  • password: sleep (you will not see characters while typing, this is normal), press ENTER/RETURN
  • execute: sudo raspi-config (or execute: sudo raspi-config --expand-rootfs; sudo shutdown -r now to skip to the last step without a GUI)
  • navigate to Advanced Options and hit ENTER/RETURN
  • select Expand Filesystem and hit ENTER/RETURN
  • lots of activity will happen and you’ll be notified that the ‘root partition has been resized’. hit ENTER/RETURN on <Ok>
  • hit the right arrow twice to navigate to Finish and you’ll be asked to reboot – select <Yes> (note that norns will power down and will not reboot automatically)
  • turn your norns back on and you should ~26000M under disk when you hit K2 on the SELECT / SYSTEM / SLEEP screen


Since shield’s Raspberry Pi runs off of an SD card, which can cover a wide range of capacities, the software doesn’t know how much space it’s allowed to allocate for itself.

If you notice that shield doesn’t seem to see the entire capacity of your microSD card, this is normal! You’ll just need to let shield expand its filesystem:

  • open a terminal on a computer connected to the same network as your shield
  • execute: ssh we@norns.local
    • if this doesn’t find your shield, you can also use ssh we@IP_ADDRESS_OF_SHIELD, eg. ssh we@
  • password: sleep (you will not see characters while typing, this is normal), press ENTER/RETURN
  • execute: sudo raspi-config (or execute: sudo raspi-config --expand-rootfs; sudo shutdown -r now to skip to the last step without a GUI)
  • navigate to Advanced and hit ENTER/RETURN
  • select expand filesystem and hit ENTER/RETURN
  • lots of activity will happen. when it’s done, power down and reboot. if you get any errors, reboot again.
  • if you SSH back into norns and execute df -h, you’ll see the newly expanded capacity

removing logs

If your norns seems more full than it ought to be (check if there’s any larger-than-expected TAPE files first!), there’s a chance that the logging system has added superfluous files to your storage.

To confirm:

  • open a terminal on a computer connected to the same network as your norns
  • execute: ssh we@norns.local
    • if this doesn’t find your norns, you can also use ssh we@IP_ADDRESS_OF_SHIELD, eg. ssh we@
  • password: sleep (you will not see characters while typing, this is normal), press ENTER/RETURN
  • execute sudo du -h /var/log
  • if /var/log/journal is showing as larger than 20 megabytes, you can safely clean up the files inside by executing: sudo journalctl --vacuum-size=20M
  • execute sudo du -h /var/log to confirm the space has been reclaimed

taking a screenshot

Capturing a screenshot of your norns can be a helpful tool for creating illustrative documentation or sharing UI ideas.

With your norns powered-on and connected to the same wifi network as your computer, connect to maiden. Then, execute this line in maiden’s REPL (replacing "filename" with a unique string):


This will create a screenshot at dust/data/<script>/filename.png. If no script is loaded, screenshots will simply be saved to data. Then, use SMB or SFTP to connect to norns and download the PNGs.

Once downloaded, you might want to adjust the gamma to display the full range of screen levels. If you have ImageMagick installed on your computer, cd to the file’s location and execute:

magick convert <filename> -gamma 1.75  <filename>

Please note: the image generated by screen.export_screenshot is scaled up by 4 and includes a 64-pixel border. If you wish to create a screenshot which retains the exact dimensions of the norns screen, execute this line in maiden’s REPL (replacing "filepath" with a unique string, eg. "home/we/dust/data/my_script/screenshot.png"):


You can then use screen.display_png(filepath, x, y) to display the image on the norns screen.


buying used

While monome’s warranty only covers direct sales, we will still do everything we can to keep our devices out of landfills. We offer incredibly reasonable and quick repairs through our workshop (for norns, typically $90-125 USD + shipping) and guidance for any applicable at-home service. Just reach out to us by emailing with a description of the issue, including any photos or videos which would help us precisely identify the best course of action.

Please note that we cannot offer hardware support or repairs for norns shields which were not fabricated and assembled by monome or ‘fates’ devices. Please reach out to the seller for post-purchase support.

Before purchasing, be sure to confirm with the seller the storage capacity of the unit. Here are instructions for standard norns; shields have swappable SD cards.

When you receive your unit, we highly recommend starting with a fresh installation of the core software. This will help avoid poor initial experiences due to the previous owner’s software configurations.

From there:

  • connect norns to WiFi
  • perform a system update
  • once norns is connected to WiFi, use a browser on a computer connected to the same network to connect to maiden, which opens a communication channel between your computer and norns
  • access the project manager and you’ll see all the community scripts available for installation


  • Imported audio must be 48khz, bit depth is irrelevant.
  • Line noise while usb charge + audio input are both coming from the same laptop (ground loop) can be defeated with an isolator.
  • If a connected MIDI controller is not functioning as expected, it may be due to a known limitation in scripts that do not explicitly allow for MIDI control from channels other than channel 1. Either reassign your MIDI controller to channel 1 or insert this bit of code into a script.
  • All grid editions will work with norns, but some apps may be coded for varibright levels that your hardware may not support.
  • norns does not have built-in bluetooth + the OS is not currently designed to take advantage of bluetooth.