Is anyone actually trying to use Raspbian for desktop use?


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by dliloch » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:10 pm
I'm using openbox .. but how do you configure the defaults on the menu??
I want to use netsurf .. did an export BROWSER=netsurf but had no effect...
thanks ..
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by SiriusHardware » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:47 am
Prior to the September 2012 build of Raspbian, my desktop 'test' application (surfing the web with Midori) was painfully slow, frankly unusable for any reaslistic purpose. Trying to type a post into this forum mean hitting a key and watching the letter appear up to a second later, FOR EACH LETTER, so that if I typed a five letter word quickly it would take up to five seconds for the word to appear.

However, with the release of the September 2012 build and 'turbo mode' along with various other fixes performance improved enormously, and Midori is now absolutely usable and I quite often go surfing the web on it - comes in handy when I'm programming something on my main PC and I need to have a web-based help page or other document up where I can see it at the same time.

The worst limitations now are those of Linux, not the Pi, such as no proper implementation of Flash.

If / when we have accelerated 'X', the Pi will finally fly at last.
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by Heater » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:42 am
SiriusHardware,
The worst limitations now are those of Linux, not the Pi, such as no proper implementation of Flash.

This is not correct.
1) I view FLASH content on by Linux PC every day. It works fine.
2) The fact that FLASH dev tools arn't available for Linux is not a limitation of Linux but rather Adobe.
3) The fact that FLASH may not be avalable for the Pi or any other ARM processor is not a limitation of Linux or the Pi. It is a limitation of Adobe.

Also note that Adobe has announced, almost a year ago, that they will no longer support FLASH on mobile devices. The Pi is essentially a mobile device so FLASH is a dead end in the future of mobile phones, tablets, enbedded systems and the Pi.
Adobe has also said it wants to move over to HTML 5. So agin FLASH is a dead end on the PC as well.

All in all FLASH is not worth thinking about. FLASH is a good text book case study of why you should not invest your development efforts into closed source, single vendor, non-standards compliant languages, platforms or oerating systems.
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by Metatronin » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:05 am
Honestly, I have not really had any flash related problems so far. Sure, I have to load xbmc to use youtube or facebook, but other than those two sites I haven't had too much trouble. There are also a few flash plugins(?) in the synaptic package manager. They won't do flash games or stream movies but it works fine for navigation at web sites that use it for that.
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by dliloch » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:44 pm
hello,
@346337 raspian 3.2.27
I am running headless .. so I figured openbox would be less overhead than
lxde.. I got it to run but pcmanfm does not work with network shares.. no problem
with it under Lxde and tightvncserver .. anyone have any ideas?
thanks..
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by dan3008 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:04 am
I know noones commented for a few days, But I found this thread intresting. I'm working on a project to make the pi into a low cost homework computer for school children :D

Glad to see it makes a useable desktop :D
mahjongg wrote:Wishful thinking is a bitch isn't it. :lol:
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by SiriusHardware » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:23 am
Just to follow up on this, I've had a 512MB Pi for a few weeks now but waited for the latest image which changes the way the memory split is handled (basically, you tell it how much of the memory you want the GPU to have and it gives the rest to the Pi as system memory - very neat).

I've allocated 64MB to the GPU leaving the rest to the system and Midori (my performance benchmark) is now noticeably slicker than it was after the September 2012 (turbo) image, then running on my 256MB Pi - scrolling up and down a website page was still quite clunky then with perhaps about 4-5 screen updates a second, but it is now much more fluid, barely sticky at all. So to my eyes at least, the extra RAM makes an appreciable difference to desktop operation.
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by SiriusHardware » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:38 am
Heater wrote:SiriusHardware,
The worst limitations now are those of Linux, not the Pi, such as no proper implementation of Flash.

This is not correct.
1) I view FLASH content on by Linux PC every day. It works fine.
2) The fact that FLASH dev tools arn't available for Linux is not a limitation of Linux but rather Adobe.
3) The fact that FLASH may not be avalable for the Pi or any other ARM processor is not a limitation of Linux or the Pi. It is a limitation of Adobe.

Also note that Adobe has announced, almost a year ago, that they will no longer support FLASH on mobile devices. The Pi is essentially a mobile device so FLASH is a dead end in the future of mobile phones, tablets, enbedded systems and the Pi.
Adobe has also said it wants to move over to HTML 5. So agin FLASH is a dead end on the PC as well.

All in all FLASH is not worth thinking about. FLASH is a good text book case study of why you should not invest your development efforts into closed source, single vendor, non-standards compliant languages, platforms or oerating systems.


I have fallen foul of this distinction before, so to clarify: The unavailability of Adobe Flash on the Pi is the fault of Adobe, not of Linux. However, Flash is alive and well and powering websites everywhere - one prominent example of a useful website powered extensively by Flash is the BBC website, so for the time being, Flash needs to be dealt with whether it was originally a good idea or not, until such time as it finally withers.

Which could take a very long time.

You mentioned that you can access Flash content on your Linux PC - is that using a third party bolt-on, or using Adobe Flash for Linux? I remember going to Adobe's website and noticing that there was a Linux Flash, but it seemed specific to a particular distro (Probably Ubuntu, I can't remember). I run a Debian (Squeeze) PC myself but haven't yet got Flash working on it.
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by bud-pnq » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:27 am
Well until September raspbian image came out and 512mb ram upgrade it was not usable as desktop. Logging into gmail took two minutes with midori. But as a headless server it was sweet stuff already. Now its fine for desktop. Cheers guys, this device's os is still in development and its going to get better and better and faster and faster.
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by Metatronin » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:43 am
The BBC website works fine on iceweasel. Once the page loads it can all be navigated. The flash stuff all works too, with the main storys scrolling at the top ect... What browser do you use?
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by Cloudcentric » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:59 am
Flash does work if Gnash is installed from the repositories, though as already stated I still feel until better Video Drivers are released it is best to use for Programming etcetera..

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash
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by SiriusHardware » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:11 pm
Metatronin wrote:The BBC website works fine on iceweasel. Once the page loads it can all be navigated. The flash stuff all works too, with the main storys scrolling at the top ect... What browser do you use?


On the Pi, just Midori. It wouldn't have occurred to me to use a mainstream browser like Iceweasel/Firefox on the Pi until we get hardware-accelerated X... but maybe you weren't talking about the Pi in this instance?
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by itimpi » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:17 pm
I find that IceWeasel seems to run better on the Pi than Midori, so it is definitely worth trying. I use FireFox under Slackware on my x86 box so it is nice to have the same browser in both environments.
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by Metatronin » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:40 pm
I'm using iceweasel on the pi. Once the pages load they resond quite well. I'm also running at 900Mhz after a long period of running at 800Mhz checking the stability and heat(haven't broke 55C even when steaming video for 48 hours).

Video and music work fine for me too. I have XBMC installed in Raspbian, and just load it up while in X. haven't had any slowdown or problems running it that way yet. I'm on a 128/128 ram split too so I assume the 512mb version is even better(mine is still waiting to ship, just have two 256mb versions atm).

I'm hoping they switch out LXDE for Wayland as an excellerated desktop. It's not really that bothersome though.
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by teeth_03 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:29 am
*bump*

Just looking for updates on your Raspberry-Pi-As-A-Desktop-Replacement experiences

I havent done much Desktop esque with either of mine, mainly because I need another SD card to mess around on.
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by steev » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:55 am
I sometimes use my Pi for web browsing while playing games on my PS3 (The PS3 can't browse the web and play games at the same time).
It's not the fastest thing in the world, but a lot faster now than it was on day 1 I think. Overall pretty usable.

Main issue for me is scrolling performance on some of the heavier sites; I hope that wayland will improve this.
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by teeth_03 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:03 am
lol...

so exactly a year and a day after the last time I bumped this thread, I decided to do it again

Anyone have any luck using their Pi as a Desktop (web browsing, playing music/videos,etc etc)?
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by fruitoftheloom » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:52 am
teeth_03 wrote:lol...

so exactly a year and a day after the last time I bumped this thread, I decided to do it again

Anyone have any luck using their Pi as a Desktop (web browsing, playing music/videos,etc etc)?


Well it is cerainly better, especially using a B+ (overclocked ), though could never replace a desktop / laptop, and was never designed to be....

There is better software to work around shortcomings, ie

June 2014 Raspbian Wheezy
Minimal Kiosk Browser
Web (epiphany) Browser Beta ( plays some HTML5 video content) http://www.raspberrypi.org/web-browser-beta

Maynatd Beta Wayland / Weston looks promising....
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by gkreidl » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:04 am
It depends on what you are doing on your "Desktop"; that may be very different between users. If the use is mainly "web browsing and watching video, listening to audio" you can as well use an Android tablet; that's not real Desktop use in my view, it's more a consumer's view.

About 80% of what I'm doing on my Desktop computer (or what the computer is doing in background), can also be done on my RPi in decent speed, some things even better (video). But you have to find the right software; don't expect "modern" bloatware to work as it does on more powerful desktop computers.
Minimal Kiosk Browser
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Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer
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by teeth_03 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:47 am
If it had the ability to run Chrome well, it could be a poor man's Chrome Box, but I'm going to be under the assumption it can't.

I need to find some time to play around with the Pi, I might get a B+ at some point.
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by fruitoftheloom » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:50 pm
teeth_03 wrote:If it had the ability to run Chrome well, it could be a poor man's Chrome Box, but I'm going to be under the assumption it can't.

I need to find some time to play around with the Pi, I might get a B+ at some point.


There is no current build of Google Chrome or Chromium compatible with ARMHF

Their is the Web (Epiphany) Web Browser Beta but not as feature rich http://www.raspberrypi.org/web-browser-beta

Yes it is better to actually to undertake your own test as eveyones usage is different ! :)

An Android TV Stick is another alternative for a cheap device, to partially replace a desktop at under $60.00
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by gkreidl » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:51 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:An Android TV Stick is another alternative for a cheap device, to partially replace a desktop at under $60.00


Did you ever use Android with a mouse? It's a pain ,..
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by dliloch » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:09 pm
I have the banana-pi .. and it is an adequate and usable desktop .. $52 from alibaba .. but that is about it .. you can't really do all the wonderful projects that you see on raspberrypi.org .. it appears as if there is only one real "expert" .. on their forums ..so if you want to create and make stick to the raspberry pi .. although that being said I am using the eiphany browser to compose this message under the rasp model B+ with no overclock and it is quite usable for me..so I guess I do use the raspi pi for occasional desktop use ..
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by fruitoftheloom » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:12 pm
gkreidl wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:An Android TV Stick is another alternative for a cheap device, to partially replace a desktop at under $60.00


Did you ever use Android with a mouse? It's a pain ,..


Yep it is a bit weird in 4.0 and 4.2, may be improved in 4.4 ?

Also when an App is not landscape tablet compatable, you have to stand the TV on its side for portrait veiwing !
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by teeth_03 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:22 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
teeth_03 wrote:If it had the ability to run Chrome well, it could be a poor man's Chrome Box, but I'm going to be under the assumption it can't.

I need to find some time to play around with the Pi, I might get a B+ at some point.


There is no current build of Google Chrome or Chromium compatible with ARMHF

Their is the Web (Epiphany) Web Browser Beta but not as feature rich http://www.raspberrypi.org/web-browser-beta

Yes it is better to actually to undertake your own test as eveyones usage is different ! :)

An Android TV Stick is another alternative for a cheap device, to partially replace a desktop at under $60.00


Looks like somone tried to port Chromium anyway viewtopic.php?f=63&t=11800 , never tried it however

oh, and the CPU in the Samsung Chromebook I'm typing on has some kind of a newer ARM architecture I do believe, I'm sure has few relations to the Pi's however
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