k-pi
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 pm
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:40 pm

Having recently 'discovered' how useful the Pi3 can be as a basic desktop system, I was wondering who else is using them as a desktop computer.

Which operating system do you use?

Do you use microSD cards or do you use USB drives, & if so, what kind?
(HDD, SSD, Pendrive, SD/SDHC card in a USB adapter, etc.)

What type of screen do you use?
(Regular desktop monitor, a TV, etc.)

How do you use yours?
(Internet browsing, music player, film viewing, etc.)

k-pi
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 pm
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:41 pm

I own two RPi3, & connect to VGA & HDMI monitors, &/or TV.
My main use of them is web browsing & playing music.

I have a Raspbian installation (without the heavy programming applications) as my main system, running from a 32GB pendrive.

(I also have NetBSD/16GB microSD card - PiCore/4GB pendrive - Raspbian Lite/4GB pendrive - OpenBSD/4GB pendrive.)

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Okay...this is going to get a bit complicated...

Unless otherwise noted, everything is running Raspbian Stretch.

I have a Pi3B being a "desktop" machine for my 9-year-old grandson. It uses a 16GB SD card, a Logitech K-120 keyboard, and a Logitech Marbleman trackball. For a monitor it has a 19" 1280x1024 LCD display, with DVI input. He uses it for web browsing, MinecraftPi, and Scratch.

I run convention registration (ConReg) for a regional gaming convention. The databases, programs, and files are held on a pair of Cubieboards running Raspbian Wheezy (I'm planning to upgrade to Pi3Bs running Strecth when I have the energy to get everything set up). They use 60GB SSDs for mass storage. Video is handled by connecting them to a KVM switch and on to my main desktop monitor (Viewsonic VA2702w) at home. At the con, the KVM output goes to a 24" 1920x1200 moniior. There is also (in both cases) a Marbleman trackball and a Unicomp keyboard. At the con, membership entry is handled by volunteers and they are set up with Pi2Bs, K120 keyboards, mice, and 19" 1280x1024 monitors. All the "workstations" are running Raspbian and will be on Stretch by the next con (Feb. 2018). I typically have 5 systems up and running during the busy times at the con.

The is almost always a Pi of some sort by my desk connected through the KVM switch for puttering around with...programming, testing, duplicating something else for development, and so on.

The one fixed, always on, Pi is the alarm clock. It's a Pi2B with a DAC+ HAT and an RPF 7" touchscreen displaying dclock output and a terminal window with audio streaming metadata. That one really isn't used as a "desktop" machine, though it has the requisite parts so that it could be.

I also have Pi2B attached to a 7" screen, an RTC and a WiFi dongle running Raspbian Stretch together with a minikeyboard and mouse that serves a portable system to take notes at meetings and the like. That gets powered by a 10.4Ah "powerbank".

There is a Pi3B+314GB PiDrive that I keep some data on and bring up as needed. It gets used mostly with LibreOffice and GIMP.

The other Pis I use, whether always on (Pi0-based NTP server) or as needed (Pi0W "name badge") aren't used as anything like a desktop system.

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HawaiianPi
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:43 pm

I find the Pi3 too slow to use as a primary computer, but I do have one on my desk as a secondary computer.

This was my setup until that Acer monitor died. Now I'm using an old Samsung SyncMaster 940BW.
Image
That's a MagicForce compact mechanical keyboard with Gateron Black (firm/linear) switches.

I have also since switched my Pi3 from SD card to SSD using an X850 storage expansion card.
Image
Which now resides in a stacking case with another SBC on top of it.

And I have another Pi3 in a Flirc aluminum case I use as a Minecraft server.

Both of My Pi3 computers are running Raspbian Stretch.

We have a few other Pi computers that are used mostly for non-desktop stuff (original model-B, Pi2, Pi3 and some Pi Zero models).
My password is the last 8 digits of Pi.

supra
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:21 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:54 am

@HawaiianPi. Do u stored debian stretch on 128gb to run it instead of micro sd card?

wolbert
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:12 am

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:51 am

I use my Pi3 as a secondary computer for not so demanding tasks.

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HawaiianPi
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Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:52 am

supra wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:54 am
@HawaiianPi. Do u stored debian stretch on 128gb to run it instead of micro sd card?
Yes. When I got the SSD I used the built-in SD Card Copier utility to clone my SD card to the SSD, then I set the OTP bit for USB booting, and I was able to boot from the SSD with no SD card. However, I found pure USB boot to be unreliable (restarts and shutdowns frequently failed), so I put in a FAT32 formatted SD card and copied the contents of /boot to it, then I edited /etc/fstab to use the SD card as /boot, but it still loads and runs the main OS from the SSD.

The SSD is faster than SD cards, but you won't see the huge improvement you'd see on a computer with native SATA. The maximum speed of the SSD is limited by the Pi's USB 2.0, but it's still a noticeable improvement over any of my SD cards.
My password is the last 8 digits of Pi.

supra
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:21 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:35 pm

@HawaiianPi. Thank you very much. I'm going to but one. Probably, next yrs.

rainer.brito
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:55 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:49 pm

Nice post!

I've been using a pi3 as my main computer for almost a year. What really makes me happy about it is the Pi "limitation". I have to face it as a friend and not as a slave (as always we demand "power and speed" from our machines). It is a companion, something with I can count and try to produce the best possible results.

With my Pi I have to undestand it, consider his limitations and get the best it can offer -- in the same way it may get the best I can afford.
It is tiny, cheap, clean and open: I can see the board, I can "investigate it. It is a democratic piece of hardware: I am a brazilian and I live in one of the poorest areas of northeast of the country (semiarid region). Technology is not a FACT in my state, nor in my country. I teach Social Anthropology at a Federal University and 90% of my students have never seen a real computer in their lives and maybe 1% of them have a computer in home (relatives or parents).

With this little friend, everyday computing is possible and another way of dealing with technology -- taking it as a friend not as a slave -- opens up.



I could add also that having Pi as a friend makes me feel better about our future: when the machines will rise and my Pi will tell the machine commanders that "it is okay, he didn't treat me as a slave, but as a friend. Don't wipe him out dear machine sister-brothers!" :lol:


So, I use a Raspbian with a Raspbian Desktop, a 32gb SD card (Sandisk), a mouse/keyboard combo (USB) and a Dell P1917s monitor (5:4). Actually I got a NAS (an old MyCloud), so I do all my backup thought Wi-Fi to my NAS (NSF). I run the system from SD card and I do not have much complains about its speed. It's preety quick for me.
I am pretty happy with it. It allow me to do all my job and have some fun with nice (and old -- old games are great!) games.

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HawaiianPi
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Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:13 am

supra wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:35 pm
@HawaiianPi. Thank you very much. I'm going to but one. Probably, next yrs.
A much less expensive way to go SSD would be to get a standard 2.5 inch drive and a generic SATA to USB cable (or just get an external SSD). The small form factor mSATA SSD and Pi specific adapter board I'm using probably cost 1.5 to 2X more, but I do like how small the whole thing is.
REVIEW: X850 mSATA SSD storage expansion board

A quick search of Amazon (USA) found a few 128GB 2.5" SATA SSD options for under $50, and several SATA-USB cables (and even enclosures) for less than $10. That would be less than $60, while I paid $65 just for the mSATA SSD (and another $26 for the adapter board).
My password is the last 8 digits of Pi.

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Imperf3kt
Posts: 394
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:42 pm

My Pi is used as a portable media device.
While still being developed, my aim is to have a dedicated system for running and creating Ren'Py games.

While I don't intend to go commercial with it, I do intend to release full schematics and build instructions once complete.

It runs Raspbian Stretch full for now and relies heavily on the VC4 driver.
Currently I make use of a UHS 1 class10 Sandisk microSD card or an equivalent Lexar microSD card with supposed random read speeds of 633x.
All of my cards are 32Gb

It has a built in 5" resistive touch screen but also has full access to the HDMI port for connecting to an external monitor.

Image

The cables aren't necessary, but are optional.

My biggest concern right now is what to do about a keyboard as it is required and a software keyboard is not an option.
Bluetooth keyboards are great, but hardly portable...

I could have a flexible keyboard printed which a person can pull out and it unrolls from inside the case, but thats an expense / difficulty I want to avoid, especially since I intend to make this project replicatable.
Not to mention there's not exactly ample room inside the case... I still need to add the battery, amplifier and speaker/s somehow.
Image
Pi3b - 'normal use' temperature (25% CPU load) 76℃, ambient 21℃

k-pi
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 pm
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey, UK.

Re: Raspberry Pi3B desktop systems

Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Maybe a mini wifi/bluetooth keyboard.

(I have an Ideapro - it's a rechargeable mini.)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wireless-Keybo ... B01KVBUEXU

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