pibobk
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Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm

Hi All
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)

I've found Linux, in it's differing forms, very difficult to master but Rpi I can manage. I wonder if it's possible to run multiple Pi's? Each one to cope with a limited number of apps, since a sole Pi seems limited in running multiple apps, but all accessible via one monitor?

Simples?

Regards.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:53 pm

Well... It is possible to create a cluster of Pis (also called a "bramble") but that won't help with what you want to do. Win10 runs on x86 hardware...Intel or AMD. The Pis use an ARM architecture. The two instructions sets are different. In addition, the Pi has no BIOS or UEFI, which the Win10 boot process would expect.

In short, yes Pis can be clustered. No, a cluster of Pis won't run Win10.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:57 pm

If you are referring to a cluster, then no. Windows is not a cluster oriented OS.

I you just want a different Pi computer for different things, web browsing on one, media center on another, then sure.


pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
I've found Linux, in it's differing forms, very difficult to master but Rpi I can manage.
Raspbian is Linux. Debian GNU/Linux, to be precise, optimized for the Raspberry Pi computers.

There's also a version of Debian for Windows PC with the Raspberry Pi Desktop. https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/. You can install it in place of Windows, or create a dual-boot system, or run it as a Live distro (from a USB drive), or run it in a VM. It will look and operate almost identically to Raspbian.

I usually recommend Linux Mint to Windows users looking to try out Linux, but if you are already used to Raspbian, then Debian with RPi Desktop will be an easier transition.
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pibobk
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:54 pm

Hi All.

Thanks for your replies.

Sorry, I didn't make it clear that I want to use a number of Pi's (3B+) exclusively and in no way connected to my W10 laptop and access them all, individually, via one monitor. The sum of the parts fulfilling my laptop roll.

I get the impression it's do-able - next question is how?

Regards

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:19 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:54 pm
Hi All.

Thanks for your replies.

Sorry, I didn't make it clear that I want to use a number of Pi's (3B+) exclusively and in no way connected to my W10 laptop and access them all, individually, via one monitor. The sum of the parts fulfilling my laptop roll.
If you just want a pile of Pis, each covering a specific use and no particular connections between them, then you'd want to get a KVM switch. That way, you have multiple, independent, systems but only one keyboard, one mouse, and one monitor.

Whether or not that will fulfill the role of your laptop will depend, at least in part, on what exactly you want the Pis to do.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:32 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Hi All
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)

I've found Linux, in it's differing forms, very difficult to master but Rpi I can manage. I wonder if it's possible to run multiple Pi's? Each one to cope with a limited number of apps, since a sole Pi seems limited in running multiple apps, but all accessible via one monitor?

Simples?

Regards.

I bought a ChromeOS ChromeBit to complement my Pi, it cost about the same.
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

pibobk
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:57 pm

Thanks W. H. Heydt for your reply re. KVM Switch.

Will any KVM connect or is there a specific type?

Regards

LTolledo
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:32 pm

To complement W. H. Heydt reply regarding the KVM this is what I use at the moment
EHD-610N.jpg
EHD-610N.jpg (44.24 KiB) Viewed 887 times
its currently connected to
1. This RPi3B+ (which is my main [W10 replacement] desktop)
2. RPi3B (alternate desktop unit)
3. PineA64+ (another alternate desktop, but used mainly as video player to add "BGM" while I do other stuff with RPi3B+ and/or RPi3B

the 4th port is for connecting to test units
am not using the HDMI port as I need separate monitors for each unit, but I've tested it and switching between ports is quite good.

also used RealVNC and SSH to access other RPis/other SBCs in the network

I too have used a number of RPis (of varying models) to replace most of what I do in W10.
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:07 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:57 pm
Thanks W. H. Heydt for your reply re. KVM Switch.

Will any KVM connect or is there a specific type?

Regards
Part of what I'm using is an Iogear MiniView. It's an HDMI, USB KVM. The reason I say "part..." is because using an active HDMI to VGA converter and a USB to PS/2 adapter, I feed its output to my older TrendNet TK-802R VGA and PS/2 KVM.

Starting from scratch, you want to avoid VGA KVM switches. Go with one with USB and either HDMI or DVI for the video. The one LTolledo showed above is an example.

mrreality13
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:09 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Hi All
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)

this is why i love linux,who are they to tell me HOW to use the equipment I pay for :roll:
remember ,never approach a computer thinking this will only take a minute
~~pi zero w and a 3b+

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:01 am

KVM switches can be pricey, and adding the cost of a bunch of Pi3B(+) computers with power supplies, micro SD cards, cables and whatever else you need could get expensive, while only providing mediocre performance. You should consider that a Chromebook might better serve your purpose. There are some very nice models available for under $300 that far outperform a Raspberry Pi for common tasks (web surfing, social media and streaming content consumption).

My Chromebook with 4GB of RAM can handle Chrome browser with a ton of tabs open and plays streaming media flawlessly. Web performance rivals my much more expensive Windows gaming laptop with significantly better hardware specs. And the Chromebook battery last a ridiculously long time (seriously, it lasts longer than my smart-phone). It also has the advantage of portability, and recent Chromebook models can also run Linux and Android software (in addition to Chrome apps).

I'm not trying to knock the Pi. I have a bunch of those myself. It can do a lot of things very well, and it can be used as a general purpose desktop computer, it's just not very good at it (for the things most people want to do). I know there are people here who have gone Pi-only, and if they're happy, I'm happy for them, but for me the limited RAM and performance is too much of a compromise.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:14 am

since a sole Pi seems limited in running multiple apps, but all accessible via one monitor?
I recently played with VNC, using the Pi on a Windows Box.
I was impressed, very usable.

My Windows machine is dual monitor, so it was easy to do.
Not sure of the limit of VNC windows and how many Pi's you can run this way.
This VNC methods will work with Linux too.
Can an Android tablet do VNC? Apple iPad?

Did a check on Chromebooks, down here in Oz not much cheaper than Win10 laptops.
Going to spend that sort of money I would grab a HDMI screen and make my own Pi laptop or just buy a Pi-Top.
I am past the stage of being told what OS I must use.

Pi's have got me to the stage I am now considering and have started writting my own OS.
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:56 am

Yea, RealVNC does work pretty well. I use that to access one of my Pi 3B+ computers with a dual monitor setup.
Win10_Raspbian_VNC_remote_desktop.jpg
Win10_Raspbian_VNC_remote_desktop.jpg (68.16 KiB) Viewed 743 times

Right screen is my laptop's built-in LCD connected to the PI using RealVNC Viewer (full screen). Left is my larger desktop monitor showing my Windows 10 desktop. And just for kicks the terminal is SSH connected to my headless Creeper Pi Minecraft SMP server. I can control any of the three computers by just moving the mouse between the two desktops or the terminal.

The main issue with RealVNC is a bit of lag. It's fine for normal OS or office type stuff, but gaming or media consumption is not the best experience (anything that requires real-time actions or high frame rates will suffer).

And yes, RealVNC Viewer is available for Android, iOS, Mac OS, Linux and even Chromebooks (there's a Chrome plugin/app).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
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hippy
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:45 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)
If it's 'ownership' or telemetary you are worried about, then why not remove Windows and install Linux instead ?

I am not convinced trying to use multiple Pi computers would be a better option.

MarkTF
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:07 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Hi All
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)

I've found Linux, in it's differing forms, very difficult to master but Rpi I can manage. I wonder if it's possible to run multiple Pi's?
It's possible to run a cluster with multiple RPis, but one would have to "master Linux" to do so. If you want to do a RPi cluster, have at it, but it's not going to be a full laptop replacement.

Also: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:16 pm

pibobk wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 pm
Hi All
Still very dissatisfied with MS W10 (I sometimes wonder who owns my laptop!)

I've found Linux, in it's differing forms, very difficult to master but Rpi I can manage. I wonder if it's possible to run multiple Pi's? Each one to cope with a limited number of apps, since a sole Pi seems limited in running multiple apps, but all accessible via one monitor?

Simples?

Regards.

Dual boot Windows 10 & Debian Stretch with Raspberry Pi Desktop Linux.....
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:27 pm

hippy wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:45 pm
If it's 'ownership' or telemetary you are worried about, then why not remove Windows and install Linux instead ?
Yup, this is what I suggested in my first reply to this thread.

For someone already used to Raspbian on the Pi, Debian with the Raspberry Pi Desktop will offer the same look, feel and basic operation on a Windows or Mac OS PC (although I still prefer Linux Mint myself).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:53 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:27 pm
hippy wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:45 pm
If it's 'ownership' or telemetary you are worried about, then why not remove Windows and install Linux instead ?
Yup, this is what I suggested in my first reply to this thread.

For someone already used to Raspbian on the Pi, Debian with the Raspberry Pi Desktop will offer the same look, feel and basic operation on a Windows or Mac OS PC (although I still prefer Linux Mint myself).

My preference is Xubuntu as prefer XFCE to LXDE Desktop...
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

Heater
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:01 pm

Goodness sake. If you want to take back ownership of your PC install Debian Linux or some such on it. Never mind dual boot.

If you are really tied to some software that will only run on Windows then you are likely doomed to not being able to take back ownership. It's up to you.

But in that case no amount of Pi will be able to help you.

pibobk
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi All.

Thank you all for your replies.

A number of you suggest loading Linux on my laptop.

This is a very sore point with me.

I have a everyday knowledge of computers - been on a few courses, hardware and software. I spent 2yrs on and off trying to master just getting the damn software to load to no avail. That's 3 versions on three different computers.... I won't bore you with the detail. Seriously disappointed.

Rpi is the only version of Linux that has loaded faultlessly !!!! I couldn't believe my luck when it worked first time - completely - wonderful. Hence my glee when Rpi worked since it gives me an avenue to get rid of this crap W10.

I will pursue the Chrome book suggestions - thanks for the tip.

Thank you all.

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rpdom
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:09 am

pibobk wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:06 pm
A number of you suggest loading Linux on my laptop.

This is a very sore point with me.

I have a everyday knowledge of computers - been on a few courses, hardware and software. I spent 2yrs on and off trying to master just getting the damn software to load to no avail. That's 3 versions on three different computers.... I won't bore you with the detail. Seriously disappointed.

Rpi is the only version of Linux that has loaded faultlessly !!!! I couldn't believe my luck when it worked first time - completely - wonderful. Hence my glee when Rpi worked since it gives me an avenue to get rid of this crap W10.
I've been using Linux on laptops since 2006. I found some had problems - especially with pre-installed versions, but mostly it has been good and got easier over the years.

I'm temporarily (until I can replace the laptop I lost) running the Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop system on an old slow laptop (a 4GB Celeron system is very slow when you are used to a 16GB i7!) and it's pretty good. Installation was easy. Download image. Write to USB stick. Boot laptop from USB (make sure laptop is set to BIOS boot, not UEFI), choose option to install. Wait a bit. All done bar a bit of tweaking of preferences. :-)

It's worth giving that image a try. You can run it from the USB stick without installing, just to see how it behaves with your laptop.

Heater
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:33 am

pibobk,
I spent 2yrs on and off trying to master just getting the damn software to load to no avail. That's 3 versions on three different computers.... I won't bore you with the detail. Seriously disappointed.
That is a very sad story. Perhaps you have been particularly unlucky with your laptops/PCs. Installing Debian, Ubuntu etc has been very straight forward for many years now. Don't give up. Perhaps you can find some Linux heads nearby that could help you out.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:50 am

Secure Boot
Typically you need to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS to get Linux up and running on a Windows PC. I believe there are some versions that support secure-boot, but I'm pretty sure Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop does not.

Disclaimers
* Writing an image to a USB flash drive will erase anything previously on it.
* Similarly, installing Linux with the use-entire-disk option will erase Windows and all prior data.
* Don't forget to back up any documents, pictures or whatever else you don't want to lose before proceeding.

Now on to the kick-Windows-to-the-curb party
Download Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop from here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/r ... i-desktop/
Download the Etcher image writing software from here: https://www.balena.io/etcher/

Use Etcher to write the .iso to an empty USB flash drive, and test boot that in your Windows PC (don't forget to disable secure boot). You can run it live without installing anything just to see if you like it. Then you have the option of installing it along side of Windows (dual-boot with a boot menu), or just replacing Windows and having Linux only.

To get your Windows PC to boot from USB there are usually several options. Often there is a hot-key to bring up a boot menu when the system is started (F12 is common, but not universal, check your manual). You can also hold left-shift while restarting Windows 10 and you'll get an options screen with something along the lines of Use Device, and from there you can select your USB drive to boot from.

When the USB drive boots you'll have several options which should be pretty self-explanatory. The Live options run directly from the USB drive and make no changes to your Windows drive. Persistence means that any changes you make are saved to the USB drive and will be available on next boot (no persistence means anything you create, edit or install will be gone when the system is rebooted).

When you are done testing the Live version, you can install it to your HDD/SSD. There are text or graphical installers. They do the same thing, but the graphical installer is more point and click. If you decide to install it along side of Windows (dual-boot) you first need to free up some room for Linux (shrink the Windows partition to make room for Linux), unless you have the option of installing it to a second drive.

If you just want to get rid of Windows altogether, then choose the Use Entire Disk option for the installation. This will re-partition and format the drive for Linux, which will erase Windows and everything else that was previously on it.

For more information
https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:24 am

I have only done it once, Linux Mint over Windows XP on oldish Laptop.
It just worked but I did test it on USB stick first ;)

I was hoping AROS (Icarus Desktop) was going to work on my desktop this weekend.
But first USB stick did not, so might have to try CDrom ISO next.

Most of my PI's and PC's don't need multi user OS's, so why have complex OS's I don't understand ?
Even thinking Thin Clients now ;)
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

ejolson
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Re: Multiple Pi's to replace W10

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:43 am

Gavinmc42 wrote: Most of my PI's and PC's don't need multi user OS's, so why have complex OS's I don't understand ?
Even though many personal computers such as the Pi are single user, the privilege separation between root, other processes and user is still useful from a security point of view. In particular, even though only one person is using the computer, there are many different services running which also use it.

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