mccpi
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:16 am

Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:26 am

Hi,

Hopefully monday I will receive my first Raspberry Pi: A Pi Zero W.

My first "use case" will be a setup as a "in my backpack"-computer, to which I can connect
via WLAN with my tablet -- enhancing the possibilities of my tablet dramatically. :)

Since the Pi Zero has a single core SOC with 1GHz it will be not THAT fast as the biggest PI.
And secondly: I dont want to buy a 1TByte SD-card... ;)))

Therefore I am looking for an OS image (Linux of course), which has a light desktop (openbox for example)
and is not "fully equipped" with software, which I will not use.

Or in other words: I am looking for the "command line version" of a graphical user interface.
The hardware should be fully supported.

Installing missing software in userland is completly ok -- deinstallation often leaves debris and hybris behind... ;)

What is recommended to use in this case?

Thank you very much in advance for any help!

Cheers!
Meino

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B.Goode
Posts: 8987
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:25 am

Welcome to the Raspberry Pi forums.
I am looking for an OS image (Linux of course), which has a light desktop ... I am looking for the "command line version" of a graphical user interface.
Unless you have specific reasons not to, the answer to the question "What Operating System" is always "try Raspbian first."

Raspbian is the Operating System recommended and supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It always supports the current/latest Hardware - and all previous versions of hardware.

Raspbian Lite comes without a Desktop GUI - it is ambiguous whether or not you require a desktop, so you could add one if needed.

Depending on your need to store large quantities of data, no Raspberry Pi needs a microSD card greater than 8/16Gb.

If experience with Raspbian teaches you it is not appropriate for your needs you will have gained first hand criteria to use as a basis for choosing an alternative.

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Imperf3kt
Posts: 2968
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:27 am

I'd suggest Raspbian Lite.
You'll need at least 4Gb of space for it.

Its the same as Raspbian full minus the GUI and a few other programs.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

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HawaiianPi
Posts: 4859
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:40 am

Start with Raspbian Lite, which is the small command line version of Raspbian Linux, then add whatever GUI you want (if you want a GUI). The Raspberry Pi Desktop can be added with sudo apt install raspberrypi-ui-mods, and it's pretty lightweight. There will be a lot of stuff in the menu that isn't actually installed, because the menu is pre-configured for the full Desktop version, but that's simple to edit.

And you can't buy a 1TB micro SD card, because they don't exist (if you see them for sale, I guarantee you they are fake). It's highly unlikely you'd need that much storage for a Pi Zero anyway. Not too mention, micro SD cards larger than 128GB get quite expensive.

The Lite version of Raspbian can fit on a 4GB card, but that won't leave much space if you plan on installing a GUI and storing any significant amount of data. The Desktop version of Raspbian will require at least an 8GB card (with plenty of free space left). I mostly buy 32GB cards now, as they seem to be the sweet spot of price, performance and storage. If I need more storage than that, I run my Pi from an SSD.

What do you want to do with the Pi that you think will enhance your tablet use?
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?

btidey
Posts: 1625
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:46 am

My preference is to start the other way round.

Install normal raspbian then uninstall the stuff you don't want. That way you get the normal desktop and all the normal utilities.

E.g.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get remove --purge wolfram-engine scratch minecraft-pi sonic-pi dillo gpicview oracle-java8-jdk openjdk-7-jre oracle-java7-jdk openjdk-8-jre
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

mccpi
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:16 am

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:23 am

Hi all,

thanks for all the response to my question.

My question targeted more towards what Raspbian image to install (which is answered).
I had no other Linux distro on my mind...

The 1TByte sdcard was a joke on my side...sorry if I had spend quite some confusion.

Where can I get a description of the physical capabilities of the GPIOs of the Pi Zero (pull up/down resistor
values, max. current out, max. voltage out, residual capacity etc...) ?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Cheers!
Meino

hippy
Posts: 6230
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:35 am

mccpi wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:26 am
Since the Pi Zero has a single core SOC with 1GHz it will be not THAT fast as the biggest PI.

I am looking for an OS image (Linux of course), which has a light desktop (openbox for example) and is not "fully equipped" with software, which I will not use.
IMO the Zero W isn't that sluggish even with its default GUI desktop. I would say try it before deciding against it.

I would also suggest NOOBS ( or PINN ) would be the best place to start, then you can try out various Operating Systems easily.

If you settle on Raspbian - which would be my recommendation - I would suggest installing the full version to a 16GB or 32GB card, then remove what you don't want. You can take out the bigger stuff you know you won't need immediately and remove other stuff more leisurely if you wish.

You don't have to get it right first time. You can always start from scratch again if you think you haven't made the right initial choice.
Last edited by hippy on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

markkuk
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:02 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Pi Zero W: What image fit best

Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:37 am

mccpi wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:23 am
Where can I get a description of the physical capabilities of the GPIOs of the Pi Zero (pull up/down resistor
values, max. current out, max. voltage out, residual capacity etc...) ?
https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

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