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What's your use of Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a series of very affordable credit card-sized single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom.

As it is described in this awesome GitHub repo, the sky is the limit when it comes to the projects and the use cases of it, it all basically boils down to your creativity and needs.

As of June 2020, the most advanced version is Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, offering up to 8GB of RAM, USB-3 ports, Dual Micro HDMI ports (supporting 2k and 4k displays) and other superior features.

Do you already own some? What is/would be your use of Raspberry Pi?

Discussion (58)

louislow profile image
Louis Low • Edited on

I use Raspberry Pi for crafting simple appliances such as:

  • WiFi Router + Switches, I do not use any ready-made opensource router firmware, I simply configure the whole Linux Debian with added packages such as ipfilter, dnsmasq, etc. That's the simple network firmware I did.

  • Torrent TV Box, build with NodeJS, I manage the downloads via a web-based interface from any devices connected to the same network, some times over the Terminal.

  • Power Management, It's for controlling and monitoring my home power consumption, I can set which appliances have exceeded the threshold limit and turn it off remotely, I use external advanced PLC module to managing it more effectively.

  • Rogue-Calibre, this creation is to prevent too much high-frequency WiFi active at midnight while I sleep. It paralyzed the WiFi routers surrounding my house within the radius I set.

Raspberry Pi is for entry-level, I would like to see a post that discussing other advanced FPGA or SoC such as Parallella, Arty, NVIDIA Jetson, etc. I have a different story for them.

kalatalabnik profile image
Michal Klabník

Could you share some details about Power Management? Thx

aadiandroid profile image

I have Raspberry Pi 2 which I use as a ad blocker using Pihole and as a wireless print server for my old USB printer

siddhantvirus profile image

That's exactly what I do with my Pi Zero W as well :D

madza profile image
Madza Author

Hahah 😃😃 Yeah, as I said, you can find the use case for it for virtually anything 😃😃

yoursunny profile image
Junxiao Shi

Pi 4B 2GB: main desktop running Ubuntu MATE 20.04, hooked onto a VGA monitor via VGA666 adapter.
Light web browsing in Firefox, light code editing in Pluma (compiling on remote machines), participation in Google Code Jam and similar (compiling locally if I use Python or C, otherwise remote).

Pi 3B: previous desktop, now inactive.

Pi Zero W with camera: home surveillance.
I never got it working fully: no motion detection or recording, but I can connect to it and watch.
I made a slick GPU accelerated contour detection though

Pi Zero W with small touchscreen: inactive.

madza profile image
Madza Author

Have you often run into RAM limits (w/ 2GB vers), or is it enough for your use? 👀

yoursunny profile image
Junxiao Shi

2GB is enough for 3 browser tabs (Slack or Facebook or Gmail can open one at a time; other two are simpler pages like Python docs) and 10 files open in Pluma. VS Code struggles so I stopped using it on this desktop.
I have 2GB swap partition, using a spinning drive taken from a 2005 laptop.

Both 3B and 4B-2GB were hackathon prizes. If I'm to choose, I'll want the 4GB. 8GB would be overkill in comparison to this CPU.

jreinhold profile image
Jeppe Reinhold

I'm working on a Raspberry Pi Zero with an amp HAT to take a pair of old speakers and converting them to smart speakers. First, just make them available as a Spotify device, and maybe later I'll build a multiroom setup.

sameureka profile image
Sam Dennon

Are you going to use the balenaSound setup? I have one on our pool deck and one in the garage. Not as slick as sonos but way cheaper!! 😊

jreinhold profile image
Jeppe Reinhold

I'm actually planning on using raspotify which seems like the simplest approach. :) It doesn't allow me to Cast to it with the Chromecast protocol, but that's next step ;)

couchcamote profile image

Have you heard Raspotify before?

jreinhold profile image
Jeppe Reinhold

Yes! That is actually what I'm planning on using actually. :)

aidanrb profile image
Aidan Bennett • Edited on

I wrote a Python script to log some stuff to a Discord channel, added it as a PAM module, and opened SSH on port 22 to the internet. It's quite entertaining.

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

While I still only own a 1B? Collecting dust.

When I get my hands on some 4B's and the other materials I need to prototype (and time to actually work on said prototypes)? Products for the two most important things in life: Coffee and orgasms.

crash7 profile image

I have two 1B collecting dust. I feel like I need to buy a 4B but I'm afraid it will collect dust like the others 😂

coffe3 profile image
Seven Morris

Turn that 4B into a dusterbot for the 1Bs.

unfor19 profile image
Meir Gabay

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (4GB) - Using it as a Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian).

Recently, I've tried to install Anbox + Google Play on it, but it didn't work well, crashed too many times so I gave up. I guess it will remain a Plex Media Server for the rest of its life

downey profile image
Tim Downey

Raspberry Pi Kubernetes Cluster

I have seven Raspberry Pi 3s running as part of a Kubernetes cluster with an eighth one being used as a gateway/router that connects to my network and exposes the connection to the others.

It's kind of difficult to find ARM-based Docker images for a lot of popular software to run on it and the Raspberry Pi 3s only have 1gb of RAM so they don't have much to spare. It was a good learning experience, though!

I have a few 4gb Raspberry Pi 4s with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HATs that would allow me to make a really clean looking and more powerful cluster... but I haven't found the time to do so. 😅

madza profile image
Madza Author

Nice one 👍😉

cirrus profile image
OnFileNotWanted • Edited on

I use an old model b with 512 mb ram, it runs archlinux-arm, i use it as mpd server, webserver (lighttpd) IRC supybot, bitlbee and the obligatory tmux session, cheap to run so always on 24/7, also uses cron to post random tech stuff to twiter via some scripts i have written using xstartlet. makes a fine home server.

madza profile image
Madza Author

Good job on it 😎 I need to get one too, I guess it was fun to build it 🤩

cirrus profile image

yes fun is one word, however in the early days of 'alarm' frustrating was the more apt adjective.

_garybell profile image
Gary Bell

I have an 8GB 4B which I use for PiHole plus backing my NAS up to the cloud . It also posts drive info about itself and my NAS to my Pi3 where I have a crude and ugly dashboard telling me about space use.

My Pi3 also connects to the NAS, but syncs the data to an external hard drive.

rhamdeew profile image

I have one Raspberry Pi 3B+ and I bought it to try this platform. As a result, rpi worked for about a year in the office as a music stream server. I installed Raspbian with DE and periodically connected via VNC for playlist switching.

Then for a while I used the rpi as a bluetooth adapter in my car. I installed balena-sound and connected the power supply from the vehicle's on-board. Yes, it is overkill - running docker-containers inside full-featured computer only for converting bluetooth to aux =)
I later replaced it with hardware bluetooth->aux adapter for 5$.

Currently my RPI is idle.

avisagie profile image

Pi1A: "traffic light" telling a 3yr old when it's time to get up and when to stay put in her bed.
Pi2B: bread proofer. Basically a thermometer and lightbulb to control temperature in a box to let sourdough rise consistently. Accessible via ssh over the Internet.
Pi3B: home server.

adrianstoica666 profile image
Adrian Stoica

I created the following projects for development and testing:
-Four-node Kubernetes cluster computing with 3 Raspberry Pi 4 4GB controlled by Raspberry Pi 4 8GB running K3s on RaspberryPiOS
-Five-node Docker Swarm cluster computing with 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros and a ClusterHAT controlled by Raspberry Pi 3B+ running Docker Swarm on RaspberryPiOS

mitchellclong profile image
Moe Long

I have a lot of Raspberry Pi boards: 2 x Raspberry Pi 4 boards (8GB and 4GB) 1 x Raspberry Pi 3 B+, 1 x Raspberry Pi 2, 1 x Raspberry Pi 0W.

I have two Pis set up as retro gaming consoles: A Pi 4 in the NESPi case, and a Pi Zero W in a Gameboy case for a portable retro gaming console.

Aside from that, I use my other Pi 4 for a basic Linux desktop. And my older Pis are used for stuff like a smart home hub with, ad-blocker with Pi Hole, 3D print server using Octoprint, and a VPN server. Have a Pi Plex server I made for my uncle too, ripped his small DVD collection to digitize it, put it on a flash drive, and spun up a Pi NAS.

endieposts profile image

I have a Pi 3B running the obligatory Pihole, a Pi 4 as a Jenkins server (running on Java 11 but compiling Java 14 apps, which was no cakewalk to set up!), another Pi 3B running InfluxDb to capture actuator metrics from Spring Boot apps, a launch day, eight (?) year old, original Pi Model B running Media wiki for documentation (although using a mySql instance running on my NAS box) and a Pi 4 running LibreElec that my wife uses as a media server.

All but the LibreElec one are in a couple of rack mounts.

tylerlwsmith profile image
Tyler Smith

I use mine for a couple of things:

  1. I wrote a small Node app that records my Twitter followers vs my friend's Twitter followers daily. I launched it in May because I was gonna try to beat his follower count and I wanted to track my progress. Since then, he's gained something like 400 followers and I've gained 4.

  2. WordPress's WP-Cron doesn't run at an exact time because it'll only fire when WordPress actually receives a request, so any time I need one of my WordPress sites to run a regular job, I set up a cron job on my PI to curl the homepage of the WordPress site.

These need a persistent connection to the Internet to be sure they run everyday, but I'd feel silly throwing such trivial apps on a Digital Ocean droplet. The Pi is perfect for this.

bassonrichard profile image
Richard Basson
  • 4x Raspberry pi cluster that I use to teat out apps that I write so I don’t accidentally get a huge cloud provider bill.

  • Media client for my tv to stream some downloaded movies.

  • Pi-hole , I use this as a ad block for the tv / phones and dns filter to block some requests.

  • I got one hooked up to my amp so I can play some music through it without connecting my phone directly to the amp when I have a parties.

Ons thing that I still wanna do is setup a nas server with one so I don’t have to copy files between devices and I can access my files from any device.

staceybellerose profile image
Stacey Adams • Edited on

I have a few Pis around my home office.

  • The first is an original model B: an ISS tracker, complete with LEDs that light up when it's overhead.
  • Another original model B is a private git server, for code repos that I don't want hosted anywhere else, and as a backup for my public repos.
  • I've got a model 3B that I've turned into an arcade console, complete with custom joystick case. I went this route rather than building a cabinet so that I can plug it in to my 43-inch 4K TV.
  • Another model 3B is a Cardboard version of a Google Home box.
  • I'm in the middle of setting up a model 3A to act as a NAS server to host my 8TB external drive.
  • I plan on turning a Zero W into an animated name tag, with the addition of a three-color ePaper display and USB power bank.
  • My 4B-4GB card is set up as a desktop environment for simple code development. It will probably also control my 3D printer.

Finally, I have a few Zero W boards that I give away at hackathons. I think I'll turn one of them into a PiHole.

simonprickett profile image
Simon Prickett 🇪🇺

I've done a load of projects... try starting here

madza profile image
Madza Author

That was an interesting read 😉
Thanks for documenting your journey 👍

marcoah profile image
Marco Antonio

I have a Raspberry Pi 2 B + which I use for a small web server with a couple of Laravel applications. At some point I used it with Asterisk with my own VoIP system.
At this moment he is taking dust in a corner hoping that I will find some work for him

madza profile image
Madza Author

You never know when the necessity arises 😉 And in urgent situations it could be a life-saver 👍

shadowtime2000 profile image

All I have created is a web server which serves the live feed of the raspberry pi camera.

madza profile image
Madza Author • Edited on

Tbh, I didn't know they made separate components as well 😉
Came across it while sourcing info for the discussion intro 👍

natespring profile image
Nate Spring

I use my Raspberry Pi to host my Discord bot 24/7. The bot serves memes and pulls Onion news articles for my work colleagues.

nieuwepixels profile image
Nieuwe Pixels

A Pi2 and Pi3 running as local webservers. Working quite nicely.

pazyp profile image
Andrew Pazikas

PiHole for blocking ads & trackers

ben profile image
Ben Halpern
madza profile image
Madza Author

This is awesome, way to go! 🔥🔥

webscrapingx profile image
RedAndGreen Web Scraping

I run Scrapy on mine for web scraping!

silentkernel profile image
Ludovic Frank

I have two of them

  • One for Pi-hole
  • Other one for home bridge and remote wake on LAN my computer (via ssh)
agneevx profile image
Agneev Mukherjee

Home media server + smart home management mostly.

afaliagas profile image
Apostol Faliagas
  • Pi 4 with 8 GB ram: as secondary desktop running Ubuntu 20.04 classic (GNOME) for arm development.
  • Pi 3: TV box for netflix, running LibreELEC+KODI.
alxtrnr profile image
Alex Turner

Using a 3b + with a Pi Hat and two 1TB external HD for a Nextcloud install.

anibalardid profile image

I have rpi 3b+ . And I use it as arcade.

tlenexkoyotl profile image
Rashīd Tlenexkoyotl • Edited on

As an IoT device at the company I work for. RasPi is used to extract data from modbus meters and then you can put it anywhere you want through the web.

railto profile image
Mark Railton

I have 2 currently. One is a 2b that I use with an ADS-B usb stick that feeds flight tracking data to The other is a 3b that’s currently running PiHole for adblocking, dns and dhcp.

valeriavg profile image

I've got my Pi4 as a present just recently.
So far I played a song on a piezo buzzer and made RGB LED rainbow dance :-)

But I'm really interested in making a magic mirror with it.

szech profile image
Adrian C

magic mirror is great!

i set mine up to display world clock, hour-by-hour weather forecast from, pollen count and the local buses and metro status.

the pi runs chromium as a kiosk, and connects to the node.js backend which runs elsewhere in docker. i was too lazy to put it in a mirror tho, its just a bare screen.

umarov profile image
Muzafar Umarov

Unifi controller
Wireguard VPN

I want to change it to make it a node in the kubernetes cluster I have running on my NAS and run all the things above in kubernetes

yoursunny profile image
Junxiao Shi

Pluma can handle more tabs, but I don't need more than 10 open files.
Firefox consumes much more memory than Pluma.

cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

1) Cluster of eight Pi 3B I've been using for a while.
2) Cluster of eight Pi 4B I just recently set up.

Using them for parallel genetic algorithm research.