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R-Pi Questions
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R-Pi Questions

Hi all,
Does anyone use/ host a Raspberry Pi? What are its use-cases?
Do you co-locate (any suggestions in US - preferred) or host it with a provider or self-host it?
How much do you pay?

Never used a Pi and have been thinking to get one...

Thanks!

«13

Comments

  • tetechtetech Member

    I use them at home. One use case is I hook the GPIO pins into the alarm system so that it reports which zones are open/closed. Can also plug in a Conbee and use it as a home automation server. I had it running as a VPN server at one point.

    Some things I found: if power cuts out, the SD card got corrupted more often than not; and secondly the SD cards were wearing like crazy. Therefore I tend to make most of it read-only and overlay RAM storage (i.e. I use /etc/rwtab). For me this solved both the wear issue and avoids corruption.

    With this, running watchdog, etc. the reliability is very good. Fanless, so no moving parts. Uptimes easily exceed 2 years.

    Thanked by 3plumberg devp dev077
  • jarjar Member, Patron Provider

    Extremely cheap and low power device capable of running all of your self hosted personal stuff at home. Plex and Nextcloud are literally just tucked under the bed.

    Thanked by 2plumberg yoursunny
  • I connected the HDD to R-Pi4, installed Nextcloud and used it on my local network.

    Thanked by 2plumberg Talistech
  • @jar said:
    Extremely cheap and low power device capable of running all of your self hosted personal stuff at home. Plex and Nextcloud are literally just tucked under the bed.

    Same. I've got a number of arm boards e.g raspberry pi, odroid, orange pi, nano pi. All are great, my favs are odroid.

  • @tetech said:
    I use them at home. One use case is I hook the GPIO pins into the alarm system so that it reports which zones are open/closed. Can also plug in a Conbee and use it as a home automation server. I had it running as a VPN server at one point.

    Some things I found: if power cuts out, the SD card got corrupted more often than not; and secondly the SD cards were wearing like crazy. Therefore I tend to make most of it read-only and overlay RAM storage (i.e. I use /etc/rwtab). For me this solved both the wear issue and avoids corruption.

    With this, running watchdog, etc. the reliability is very good. Fanless, so no moving parts. Uptimes easily exceed 2 years.

    Thanks! So what is more durable for storage? I really thought sdcards were resilient... how about usb stick?

  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    @plumberg said:
    Hi all,
    Does anyone use/ host a Raspberry Pi? What are its use-cases?
    Do you co-locate (any suggestions in US - preferred) or host it with a provider or self-host it?
    How much do you pay?

    Never used a Pi and have been thinking to get one...

    Thanks!

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

  • LTnigerLTniger Member
    edited January 8

    In order to avoid sd card destruction, pull all logs into ramdisk. Turn off or offload swap into usb.

    For plex or nextcloud rpi is to weak to feel comfortable. Use dietpi for optimized experience on low resources.

  • @DataIdeas-Josh said:

    @plumberg said:
    Hi all,
    Does anyone use/ host a Raspberry Pi? What are its use-cases?
    Do you co-locate (any suggestions in US - preferred) or host it with a provider or self-host it?
    How much do you pay?

    Never used a Pi and have been thinking to get one...

    Thanks!

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

    Wow. That's awesome!
    Will check out.

  • oriendoriend Member

    Currently, using one at home for pi-hole and as a seedbox.

    Thanked by 1tjn
  • @DataIdeas-Josh said:

    @plumberg said:

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

    I am trying to understand - what 's the usecase for "Pi Zero"? Its got single core - 16gb space - thats it. For $2.5/ month one may end up with a more powerful kvm.

    Please don't take me wrong - I am trying to see what is so alluring for a RPI that offers kinda less performance compared to a LXC or KVM (in some special sales).

    Thanks!

  • FAT32FAT32 Administrator, Deal Compiler Extraordinaire

    I also have some questions regarding Rpi, should I get a large Micro SD so it has more free space "room", or should I get multiple small Micro SD so I can switch when the old one dies?

    Thanked by 1plumberg
  • @FAT32 said:
    I also have some questions regarding Rpi, should I get a large Micro SD so it has more free space "room", or should I get multiple small Micro SD so I can switch when the old one dies?

    Early Pi models had a reputation for eating through SD cards, and I experienced this with the v2 models. I've not had such issues with the Pi3 and Pi4 though. Just don't buy really cheap cards, they'll die sooner and likely be much slower too.

    What I did with the Pi1s on my local LAN in the end was to run everything over the network - the SD card just contained enough to connect and mount that, so was quick to replace (just dump the image on a new card).

    Thanked by 1FAT32
  • tetechtetech Member

    @plumberg said:

    @DataIdeas-Josh said:

    @plumberg said:

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

    I am trying to understand - what 's the usecase for "Pi Zero"? Its got single core - 16gb space - thats it. For $2.5/ month one may end up with a more powerful kvm.

    Please don't take me wrong - I am trying to see what is so alluring for a RPI that offers kinda less performance compared to a LXC or KVM (in some special sales).

    Thanks!

    Everyone might have their own views, but I'd say the main two reasons are dedication and privacy. With KVM, cores are fair share, can't abuse the IOPS etc., but a Pi is really a dedi that you can hammer if you want. Regarding privacy, it is pretty easy for someone to snapshot the RAM of a KVM, but (the theory goes) not so easy to do it on a non-virtualized platform.

    Thanked by 1plumberg
  • @tetech said:

    @plumberg said:

    @DataIdeas-Josh said:

    @plumberg said:

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

    I am trying to understand - what 's the usecase for "Pi Zero"? Its got single core - 16gb space - thats it. For $2.5/ month one may end up with a more powerful kvm.

    Please don't take me wrong - I am trying to see what is so alluring for a RPI that offers kinda less performance compared to a LXC or KVM (in some special sales).

    Thanks!

    Everyone might have their own views, but I'd say the main two reasons are dedication and privacy. With KVM, cores are fair share, can't abuse the IOPS etc., but a Pi is really a dedi that you can hammer if you want. Regarding privacy, it is pretty easy for someone to snapshot the RAM of a KVM, but (the theory goes) not so easy to do it on a non-virtualized platform.

    Sure _ I see that view. Kinda makes sense.
    But another pressing item is the single core w 512M RAM - I am not sure what one can use it for other than VPN?

  • @plumberg said:

    @tetech said:

    @plumberg said:

    @DataIdeas-Josh said:

    @plumberg said:

    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com
    We use SD Cards but also they are not the cheapest we can find.
    We been pretty lucky with the sandisk SD cards. Although we will either be moving to USB booting or more preferred network booting/storage.

    @Xrmaddness thank you for the shoutout.

    I am trying to understand - what 's the usecase for "Pi Zero"? Its got single core - 16gb space - thats it. For $2.5/ month one may end up with a more powerful kvm.

    Please don't take me wrong - I am trying to see what is so alluring for a RPI that offers kinda less performance compared to a LXC or KVM (in some special sales).

    Thanks!

    Everyone might have their own views, but I'd say the main two reasons are dedication and privacy. With KVM, cores are fair share, can't abuse the IOPS etc., but a Pi is really a dedi that you can hammer if you want. Regarding privacy, it is pretty easy for someone to snapshot the RAM of a KVM, but (the theory goes) not so easy to do it on a non-virtualized platform.

    Sure _ I see that view. Kinda makes sense.
    But another pressing item is the single core w 512M RAM - I am not sure what one can use it for other than VPN?

    DNS. MTA (assuming enough storage for the mail queues). Fuller mail offering if there is enough storage for what you need to store. Simple storage and HTTPS traffic. SOCKS relay. Bastion host. Novelty plaything.

    Nothing a cheap KVM can't equally do, of course. Aside from the privacy issue, it comes down to a choice between no noisy neighbours (apart from the network) and something that will likely be faster overall (just not predictably so).

    Thanked by 1plumberg
  • @DataIdeas-Josh said:
    We offer Raspberry Pi's as a service. https://RPiServers.com

    fwiw, I’ve had a Pi4 (+ 5TB 2.5” HDD) with DataIdeas for coming up over a year and a bit now, super happy with the offering and support.

    Thanked by 1DataIdeas-Josh
  • NanoG6NanoG6 Member

    Using it at home with Argon One M.2 case;

    Hosting wordpress blogs with docker + NGINX Proxy Manager, NextDNS, Wireguard, OpenVPN

    Thanked by 1DataIdeas-Josh
  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    Sure is a fancy case you got there @NanoG6 .
    You can do a lot with a RPi.

    @plumberg
    Even run a basic HTTP web server. Yeah is it going to power Amazon or even LET for that matter. No. A RPi Zero won't. But again its different in a way as its ARM and not your typical Intel or AMD system.

    @FAT32
    In your case a basic SD card would be recommended. Although with the RPi 3B+ and RPi 4 they can all be ran off of a USB drive.
    Heck I got a client running a RPi 4 off of a Samsung USB3 SSD.
    Also the RPi4 can now take advantage of the full 1Gbps NIC that is onboard.

    Concerning what @tetech and @MeAtExampleDotCom mention. The system is fully dedicated to you. You don't have to worry about neighbors sucking up all your precious CPU/ RAM.

    Thanked by 1FAT32
  • FAT32FAT32 Administrator, Deal Compiler Extraordinaire

    @DataIdeas-Josh said:
    In your case a basic SD card would be recommended. Although with the RPi 3B+ and RPi 4 they can all be ran off of a USB drive.
    Heck I got a client running a RPi 4 off of a Samsung USB3 SSD.
    Also the RPi4 can now take advantage of the full 1Gbps NIC that is onboard.

    I am even considering to just make the SD readonly, the problem I have is about whether using small vs large MicroSD might be more economically friendly. I dont need much space but just like other flash drives having more free space might make it last longer

  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    @FAT32 I've personally haven't seen any correlation between SD card size being a play on how long it lasts.
    Personally my recommendation is just get a good SD card and you generally won't have any issues.

    Thanked by 1FAT32
  • tuctuc Member

    I found RPi useful for robotics projects :)

  • edipedip Member

    @FAT32 said:
    I am even considering to just make the SD readonly, the problem I have is about whether using small vs large MicroSD might be more economically friendly. I dont need much space but just like other flash drives having more free space might make it last longer

    SD Cards (and USB sticks) are very vulnerable and will get corrupted easily, I destroyed a couple of those in time :).
    IMHO running OS from an SSD or even HDD is way durable.

    I'm running one on a 32GB mSata SSD and have a 1TB SSD attached for storage, and other one (remote at my sister's house for backups) is running on a 256GBSSD.

  • Got several ARM boards lying, but cannot install NextCloud (thanks to 100Mbps crappy local network :( )

  • FritzFritz Member
    edited January 10

    Maybe a silly question.

    Can we replace Rpi with Openwrt instead?

    With all the functions mentioned above.

  • @Fritz said: Can we replace Rpi with Openwrt instead?

    Do you mean this? https://openwrt.org/toh/raspberry_pi_foundation/raspberry_pi

  • edited January 10

    @DataIdeas-Josh said:
    @FAT32 I've personally haven't seen any correlation between SD card size being a play on how long it lasts.

    Depending on the card it can make a difference. Most, especially inexpensive ones, do not employ wear-levelling at all because for a lot of their use cases (i.e. not being an OS system drive) it basically doesn't matter, so if your system keeps writing to the same blocks the card is going to die relatively quickly as they'll always map to the same cells on the card. Better cards do have controllers that implement wear levelling, in this case you may find larger drives last longer as there are more cells to share the load around until they start to get full.

    There are some filesystems that produce much better wear levelling IO patterns, either by direct design or by “accident” due to using a log based approach. I don't think any of them are supported for booting though so you'd need a bit of jiggery-pokery to use one for your root filesystem (even with a separate /boot you may need to make your own initrd to include support for /).

    The same goes for USB sticks, they are often run by the same controllers with a USB adaptor added.

    @FAT32 said: I dont need much space but just like other flash drives having more free space might make it last longer

    One option with a larger card, if it doesn't wear level or you don't know whether it does or not, is to just partition off a smaller chunk to use, and occasionally move that to a different part of the drive using parted or similar as a poor-man's wear-levelling method.

    @FAT32 said: I am even considering to just make the SD readonly

    That will work nicely. It is essentially what I did when booting the rest over the network, there was no need to write to the SD card.

    You could also use that method to run from USB, taking care to note that USB sticks may not have wear levelling any more than SD cards do, though more recent Pis can boot from USB directly making the SD card unnecessary in this case.

    Another option is to shift stuff into RAM, requiring no extra drive and being faster (after the initial copy), assuming your intended use leaves enough RAM free for that and you don't care to persist anything not saved elsewhere when it restarts.

    Thanked by 1FAT32
  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    @FAT32 @MeAtExampleDotCom I did run across an OS DietPi that apparently runs on RAM and is a Debian fork.
    I have NOT tested it. Just something I had seen last night.

    Thanked by 1Xrmaddness
  • DietPi is great indeed. I use it on my Pi.

  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    @default said:
    DietPi is great indeed. I use it on my Pi.

    How do you like it compared to Raspbian?

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