Giga_Pi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:59 am

I genuinely *do* know.

Anyway, maybe the version of raspbian I'm using is a little broken. Who knows...
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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Giga_Pi wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:59 am
I genuinely *do* know.

Anyway, maybe the version of raspbian I'm using is a little broken. Who knows...
Mine was pretty much vanilla Raspbian + extra packages I installed when needed. And I just didn't pay attention to what I was installing. Sorry :)

Giga_Pi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:26 pm

'Tis fine.
As soon as the DM smiles, you know it's too late...

Giga_Pi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:29 pm

For those who want to know, gnome3 is working on my Pi4, as well as cinnamon. I haven't been able to try the proper graphical performance, as my Pi4 currently has to overscan at the moment.

They are both "usable". I've been able to steam link using KDE Plasma, Gnome, and cinnamon.

Edit: Just realised this is potentially derailing the topic. Apologise.
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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:17 pm

Another app ticked off (app I am using quite a lot these days)
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 am

Any trick to getting FreeCAD 19 working, that version is very new?

I have been busy with BuildRoot making Linux Kernel/OS's for Pi0-1's and SiFive boards.
Making kernels has now been ticked off my list.

By the time USB boot drives are working on PI4's there will be a lot of software that just works.
Going to need a TB drive or two?

The Flatpack method might be useful for installing apps between different Linux distributions.
How many of these work on Pi4's?
https://www.flatpak.org/

If only there was a tracking system for those uSD cards that going flying and missing.
So far lost a 16Gb, a 32Gb and a 64GB :oops:
Kind of embrassing when a Desktop computer OS falls between the floor board cracks, never used to happen in the old days.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

RossDv8
Posts: 244
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:01 am

I'm still 'experimenting' with doing as much ordinary day to day stuff as possible with the Pi 4, and just had to use my Celeron powered BRIX BACE3150 with 8GB RAM and an SSD, to do some printing.
What I noticed immediately on booting the raspberry Pi again was:

How quickly the Pi boots ready to work - regardless of whether the BRIX is running Kubuntu or XFCE, the Pi is, well I guess you understand what I mean. It is faster than my laptop resumes from standby when I open the lid.

How much more quickly Chromium works, whether I open pages or access new ones. I would like to blame my bookmarks on the Brix, but I imported that bookmark file to tbe Pi, so I can't.

LibreOffice on the Pi opens to the point where I can begin typing in 6 to 7 seconds. On the Pi it is 3 to 4 seconds. (I just swapped HDMI inputs to check). I can live with 7 seconds.

The on screen fonts on the Pi 4 are incredible on the 55 inch UHD TV. On the same TV on the Brix, even using similar fonts and with anti-aliasing, they are not as crisp. Someone in Pi-Land went to a lot of trouble making the fonts readable.

I find myself spending far too much time 'enjoying' using the Pi, than just 'having to' use a computer. My firewall is a bit of a pain and I have to shut it off to print to the Brix, but honestly, lately the Pi 4 ishas proved perfectly capable of all my 'day to day' stuff including even my imagemagick processing, and actually better in some respects than my other computers at a lot of other stuff.

So much more capable than the Pi 3B+ which was almost there, but not quite. :D
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:53 am

I am throwing stuff at Pi4's that are serious Development apps.
If they break I can rebuild the OS, so no big deal.
On a normal PC I tend to be more protective and conservative.
I am finding Pi4's are better than a Desktop because there is a lower risk of bricking and less cost involved?

Learning faster because I try more stuff?
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Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

RossDv8
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:56 pm

I'm running mine off a Samsung EVO plus 128GB microSD card. With the price now down to AUD $35 per card I can use the card copying utility to clone my working card to the other one and swap them say weekly, which means providing I am a good boy and back up my actual work (cough, cough) I only ever risk losing whatever I was to stupid to back up, and any new programs I installed since the last time I cloned the SD.

While the non-cached read/write speeds on the microSD are a little slower than the SSD the cached speeds are almost the same. And for daily use if you are not transferring gigglebites of data at a time, it is barely an issue.

While writing this post I copied a 2.1GB file from the microSD card to the SSD (cheap eBay USB 3 to SATA cable plugged into a non-powered USB3 hub in the Pi 4 USB 3 port). It took 63 seconds.

I copied a 1GB file the other way from the SSD to the 128GB microSD, and it also took 63 seconds. So half the speed. But I have desktop computers that don;t do any better :-)

For something that almost fits in a Marlboro cigarette packet, WOW !! But now I'm wondering if I should grab a cheap and nasty microSD to use to boot into the old SSD (used to be on the Pi 3B+). The more I use the Pi daily, the less excuse I have to boot any of the other half dozen or so computers in here. It's mostly only to either print something, or to run the automatic cleaning routine Linux runs on all my inkjets at boot, particularly the dye sublimation printers...
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ejolson
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:42 am

RossDv8 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:56 pm
I'm running mine off a Samsung EVO plus 128GB microSD card. With the price now down to AUD $35 per card I can use the card copying utility to clone my working card to the other one and swap them say weekly, which means providing I am a good boy and back up my actual work (cough, cough) I only ever risk losing whatever I was to stupid to back up, and any new programs I installed since the last time I cloned the SD.
Any read error while cloning would leave you with two corrupted cards. Wouldn't you need to rotate at least three cards for cloning to work as a backup?

RossDv8
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:13 am

I agree - rotating three cards might prevent that, But I have a complete backup of the /home/pi directory to an SSD regularly, and if I ever kill two SDs it is a simple matter to image a new one and copy the Pi directory across from the new one. But I've been lucky over the years with computers including my Pis. If I cloned an SD, while everything seemed normal, by the time I had a card that was obviously physically faulty, the backup had been cloned before the fault was manifest.

I don;t think I can copy a physically corrupted 'card' by cloning, only the data. And if the card won;t boot, for example, that might suggest physical corruption and a need to swap to the backup card (which might have been made when the source card WAS booting). Data corruption is a different animal and it is likely to be data I haven't used in a while that I could copy corrupt over good.
However that can happen in ordinary backups even on commercial scale - which is why many of us oldies have at least a few drives with week old and month old backups on them.

So a boot corruption simply means flashing a card and copying user stuff. User data corruption is always a risk -t hat's what we hate to lose.

I hope this makes more sense than my previous reply.

EDIT:
An update a couple of weeks later. I have been so pleased with the way the Pi 4 runs most ordinary tasks that I went ahead and set up the SSD and replaced the 128GB Samsung EVO Plus microSD with a spare small Sandisk microSD as a boot disk to fire up the SSD.
Immediately, the lag/freeze problems when scrolling Chromium pages was gone and more or less everything runs as quickly or more quickly than on my Celeron Brix,

The only thing missing for day to day work is printing. The Raspberry Pi 4 is ready to work before the Brix has even finished booting. It is also faster in ALL operations than my laptops. And once it is set up properly, I don't have anything that can touch the Pi 4 for multimedia video and/or audio - except the built in Netflix app in my smart Tv (Video is as good on the TV, but Audio is far better on the Pi 4 running the Logitech speakers)

Unless I have to print something these days I rarely even bother turning the desktop systems on.

I'll be curious to see what the next iteration of the Pi brings, but for now, I'm glad I didn;t waste money on a new desktop computer, or on a 'Pi Competitor'
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mob-i-l
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:31 am

Raspbian Buster (most updated) sometimes locks the keyboard and mouse and the screen freezes when I have Facebook in a tab in Chromium together with say 9 other tabs. I cannot switch to Linux console using Ctrl+Alt+F1. In order to reboot I must login from another computer and do sudo reboot. Then often it takes 10 minutes to reboot. Before I thought it had hang during reboot and pulled the plug, but I recently discovered that it reboots after a very long time (10 min).

I think that if the Facebook code is to complex for Chromium to handle it should give an error message ─ not lock the GUI and keyboard.

Alt + Fn+SysRq REISUB might work in this situation using the Raspberry Pi Keyboard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key.

I use a Raspberry Pi 4 B with 4 GB RAM of which 256 MB is GPU RAM.
Last edited by mob-i-l on Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RossDv8
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:18 am

I think that if the Facebook code is to complex for Chromium to handle it should give an error message ─ not lock the GUI and keyboard.
I think the problem with Facebook code is not Chromium itself. It is caused mostly by the amount of traffic as Facebook processes the gathering of information and advertising. Facebook looks at everything it can, and runs complex algorithms to try to match information about your posts, and the posts of everyone who is 'connected' to your Facebook account, including likes, comments and such, then uses that to try to make a few cents on each possible transaction.

This results in a LOT of online overhead, and slows browsers. These days Chromium often has an ad-blocker like ublock origin or adblock, built into it, and Facebook is always trying to find a way to bypass the latest ad blockers. This slows Chromium and most other browsers considerably, especially on a small computer like the Pi.

Google, YouTube and a lot of other sites are the same. It is amazing that as the Web has grown since I was first writing html in about 1989, and the connections to the net have gone from a few kb/s to many mb/s, we are waiting longer and longer for some web pages to load. To the extent that I have not bothered to open Facebook on any of the dozen or so computers I can see around this room, in about a month!

The problem might not be Chromium, OR the Pi. It is probably just caused by Facebook server algorithms taking too long to work across the network and some smaller computers...
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:29 am

Facebook can bring regular laptop to a crawl.

[Mod edited out some FB bashing]

You did not state what those other 8 chrome tabs may be, modern web pages can be huge memory and processor hogs. Clearly you are loading your system too much. Don't do that and it will work much better.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

bjtheone
Posts: 463
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:03 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:29 am
Facebook can bring regular laptop to a crawl.

[Mod edited out some FB bashing]

You did not state what those other 8 chrome tabs may be, modern web pages can be huge memory and processor hogs. Clearly you are loading your system too much. Don't do that and it will work much better.
I agree with you in concept, but in practice it has not been an issue for me. I do not user Facebook. I don't go to the website, it is not loaded as an app on any of my devices. However, I do go to lots of other websites, that auto update, with vast tracks of annoying advertising and stuff. While I do have the advertising blocked for most sites, I have sane sites whitelisted and have info sites that I actually care about what they are constantly refreshing. Pi 4 happily runs day after day with the browser open. it certainly consumes an absurd amount of ram from a programmers should program better point of view, but it does not impact the usability of the Pi. I am wondering what other things folks are running when they have performance issues. Can you point to an example of a "modern web page" other than the abomination that is Facebook, that cause issues?

My use case is chromium with spotify playing in the background, youtube videos, a couple of info sites, along with my other "always on apps" (xchat, calibre, a couple terminals, a file manager, and some open spreadsheets). It runs just fine, and when I monitor it swap is not having issues. My system typically runs with around 3 - 3.5 GB of RAM consumed.

Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm

@moderator,

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?

The despicable behavior of FB deserves to be pointed out at every opportunity.

Young users of the Pi deserve being made aware of how internet giants abuse us. Isn't such computer literacy education part of the mission of the Pi Foundation?

@bjtheone
Can you point to an example of a "modern web page" other than the abomination that is Facebook, that cause issues?
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jdb
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
@moderator,

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?

The despicable behavior of FB deserves to be pointed out at every opportunity.

Young users of the Pi deserve being made aware of how internet giants abuse us. Isn't such computer literacy education part of the mission of the Pi Foundation?
Not me that did the edit, but in general bashing companies for being "evil" is tiresome and in this particular situation detracts from the thread. You just end up with a dogpile of "{$FAANG COMPANY} is baaaaaad!!!1" posts and inevitably one will be libelous.

That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop as win7 is about to go the way of the dodo (and my current laptop is from when I joined RPTL). Dear God this is a vomit-inducing experience that makes my skin crawl - first thing I did was to iterate over every single setting that parsed as "leak arbitrary data over the network connection to a third party" and disable it. 30-odd pages later I thought I got them all, but I was subsequently playing whack-a-mole with every single program ("""app""") I installed that either a) wanted an online account b) wanted to gather analytics c) didn't ask about either but had a buried setting that needed disabling. The bloody start bar search feature STILL retrieves (read:keylogs) search terms from the internet despite group policy edits. Next step will be to install an egress-filtering firewall app and defaulting everything to deny.

It's certainly cemented my belief that I need to compartmentalise computing usage at home - a Pi 4 is going to be the machine I do anything handling PII on (banking, communicating with people I know IRL, most browsing) and the to-be-purchased Ryzen win10 box is going to be a glorified gaming appliance.

Unfortunately the desktop experience of a Pi 4 for most people is going to be modulated by "how fast chromium runs", which is why we're expending quite a bit of effort on optimising that.
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:21 pm

jdb,

I do appreciate the desire to keep the forum free of flame wars. On the other hand I believe these issues are serious and worthy of discussion. An obvious place to discuss them is on a somewhat technical forum where the audience is more likely capable of understanding what is going on. So it's disturbing that such comments get censored so easily.
That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop..
Oh dear. As my colleague and I have discussed many times it seems that almost all software one takes into use today, from Win 10 to Android etc, has a million options that are always defaulted to the opposite of what any sane human would choose if they were asked. Presumably the intention is that the majority of people don't go digging for all those options or are not totally aware of what they are even if they do.

This is not done by accident. It is actually malicious. Which brings us back to the first point above.

What are we, as responsible and aware humans going to do about it? Just suck it up as "normal" or fix it?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

fanoush
Posts: 508
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:26 pm

For windows 10 check Winaero Tweaker, it can disable or tune many annoying features. Each tweak is also documented what it does to registry so you can do it by hand if you wish. This is first thing I install in each new win10 vm to keep some sanity.

cruster
Posts: 120
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:36 pm

That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop as win7 is about to go the way of the dodo (and my current laptop is from when I joined RPTL). Dear God this is a vomit-inducing experience that makes my skin crawl - first thing I did was to iterate over every single setting that parsed as "leak arbitrary data over the network connection to a third party" and disable it. 30-odd pages later I thought I got them all, but I was subsequently playing whack-a-mole with every single program ("""app""") I installed that either a) wanted an online account b) wanted to gather analytics c) didn't ask about either but had a buried setting that needed disabling. The bloody start bar search feature STILL retrieves (read:keylogs) search terms from the internet despite group policy edits. Next step will be to install an egress-filtering firewall app and defaulting everything to deny.

It's certainly cemented my belief that I need to compartmentalise computing usage at home - a Pi 4 is going to be the machine I do anything handling PII on (banking, communicating with people I know IRL, most browsing) and the to-be-purchased Ryzen win10 box is going to be a glorified gaming appliance.

Unfortunately the desktop experience of a Pi 4 for most people is going to be modulated by "how fast chromium runs", which is why we're expending quite a bit of effort on optimising that.
Pi-Hole

RossDv8
Posts: 244
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:15 pm

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?
I apologise if my prior post led to some 'Facebook Bashing'. I didn;t get to see what was said, and I didn;t mean to create drama.
It is just my experience that Facebook, Google and its Android and Chrome derivatives and a few other companies seem to clog the Internet with garbage so they can make truckloads of cash from us as users.

And I might have been venting my frustration that this impacts on the performance of products like the Pi, because the web is so integral to our computing these days..
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bjtheone
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:21 am

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.

ejolson
Posts: 4452
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:50 am

bjtheone wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:21 am
Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.
I get exactly 30fps in power-saving mode on an android mobile with specifications

Code: Select all

CPU   Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU   Adreno 505
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?

Heater
Posts: 14683
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:53 am

@bjtheone,
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.
Ah, thanks for the feedback.

6fps is about what I was getting with my Samsung J1 phone from 2015. I recently bought a Nokia 7 phone that turns in 60fps in Chrome but only 30fps in Firefox.

@ejolson
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?
Hard to say. That V8 engine simulator must also be making heavy use of Javascript. Which I suspect accounts for much of the difference between Firefox and Chrome on my phone.

Then Raspbian is constrained to 32 bit operation which is not ideal for Javascript.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:38 am

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
I'm averaging 8 fps (7 to 9 fps, but sitting at 8 most of the time).
  • Pi 4B4 v1.1 in Flirc case
  • Raspbian Buster with 64-bit kernel (4.19.75-v8+) on SanDisk Ultra A1 32GB
  • Older official 5.1V/2.5A micro USB PSU with USB-C adapter
  • 1080p monitor on HDMI-0
Other than arm_64bit=1 in config.txt the system is default Raspbian.

My Win10 laptop, Chromebook and Android phone seem to be v-sync limited, as they all run at the refresh rate of their screens (60, 60 and 90).

ejolson wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:50 am
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?
My 3B+ running Stretch gets a whopping 0 fps (might register a few frames per minute, if the demo could measure that).
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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