martinf87
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:47 am

Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:40 pm

Hi,

I have a leftover RPi 1 Model B with 512MB of RAM.

I would like to run it for web browsing. I mostly need Wikipedia browsing, actually. No fancy WebGL or supercool sites with effects needed.

However, I do need the browser to be "decent" w.r.t. layout, being recognized as WebKit or something-compatible.

I tried Raspbian Buster with Chromium, Midori and Epiphany - none can even reach the Wikipedia home page. Too low on resources probably.
Dillo is just wayy to lightweight a browser. Wikipedia does not even recognize it and turns on mobile browsing. I don't want that.

I tried Kweb, and this one works. Pffew. This is great, but I feel it's struggling a bit.

Raspbian Buster, once booted, has 100MB of RAM left. I can't even sudo apt-get update/upgrade. I get a E: defective paquets error (any idea why?)
512MB of RAM is not much, but I could try to improve the situation.

Would you have any distro/browser recommendation? Kweb is really kiosk mode (no Desktop GUI) with a minimal OS would be great.

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rin67630
Posts: 738
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:01 pm

You must have something broken in your installation.
I have here a PiZW which has the same processor and memory as a Pi1 which runs Raspbian Buster and it uses only 96MB of 432MB available.

With Chromium displaying the Wikipedia page Raspberry Pi the memory grows to 201MB.
The page is rendered 100% OK, but it takes minutes to load.

You ought to open the task manager aln look what eats away your memory.

Anyhow you can't decently browse a current Internet with such a weak config.
Last edited by rin67630 on Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

ejolson
Posts: 4018
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:10 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:01 pm
.
I have here a Pi3ZW
I want a Pi 3ZW as well, where did you get it?

My experience is that NetSurf works surprisingly well with Wikipedia and takes a fraction the memory of a standard WebKit-based browser.

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davidcoton
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Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:12 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:01 pm
I have here a Pi3ZW ...
A WHAT? :!:
Are you testing something pre-release?
Why would RPT/F introduce a new model with such an ancient SOC?
:lol:
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ejolson
Posts: 4018
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:42 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:12 pm
rin67630 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:01 pm
I have here a Pi3ZW ...
A WHAT? :!:
Are you testing something pre-release?
Why would RPT/F introduce a new model with such an ancient SOC?
:lol:
I would assume it's a Cortex-A52 design given the 3ZW designation--maybe a single core in a new package that allows the same 512MB memory-stacking trick used on present Zero models.

Where can I get one for some prerelease Wikipedia webpage testing?

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davidcoton
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Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:07 pm

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:42 pm
I would assume it's a Cortex-A52 design given the 3ZW designation
Nope...
rin67630 wrote:same SOC and memory as a Pi1
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Moonmarch
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:34 am

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:56 am

The special effects you see on websites would be either java script or HTLM5 not that I know anything about web standards there is a old web browser that I use on a RPI0W not talking about Netsurf which I would say is the fastest lightweight web browser you can use on older, slow single core computers the latest web browsers are designed to use multiple CPU cores you can use rekonq a web browser that is still in the Raspbian Buster repository the web browser can be confusing to use at first as you are using the web browser you will see the web browser is still effective at loading web pages in a short amount of time you can install rekonq using this command in the terminal:

Code: Select all

sudo apt install rekonq
Even if you are using a lightweight web browser your computer can still freeze, because the RPI1 does not have enough RAM you can increase how much RAM is available on your computer if you increase the swap file size the computer uses the default swap size is 100 MB you should increase the swap size to at least 1 GB which means your SD card will have to reserve 1 GB of storage for swap file.

fruitoftheloom
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Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:30 am

martinf87 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:40 pm
Hi,

I have a leftover RPi 1 Model B with 512MB of RAM.

I would like to run it for web browsing. I mostly need Wikipedia browsing, actually. No fancy WebGL or supercool sites with effects needed.

However, I do need the browser to be "decent" w.r.t. layout, being recognized as WebKit or something-compatible.

I tried Raspbian Buster with Chromium, Midori and Epiphany - none can even reach the Wikipedia home page. Too low on resources probably.
Dillo is just wayy to lightweight a browser. Wikipedia does not even recognize it and turns on mobile browsing. I don't want that.

I tried Kweb, and this one works. Pffew. This is great, but I feel it's struggling a bit.

Raspbian Buster, once booted, has 100MB of RAM left. I can't even sudo apt-get update/upgrade. I get a E: defective paquets error (any idea why?)
512MB of RAM is not much, but I could try to improve the situation.

Would you have any distro/browser recommendation? Kweb is really kiosk mode (no Desktop GUI) with a minimal OS would be great.

Kweb in my opinion would achieve your aim:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... hp?t=40860


Alternatively TinyCore Linux:

http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.ph ... ,57.0.html
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

LTolledo
Posts: 2389
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Re: Which distro for a RPi1B 512MB for decent Wikipedia web browsing?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:40 am

Did you mean this same RPi1B? its also a 512MB version.
RPiB_KodiMediaPlayer_DIYCase-Open.jpg
RPiB_KodiMediaPlayer_DIYCase-Open.jpg (191.25 KiB) Viewed 63 times

I've also just "retired" that RPi1B (was a Kodi Media Player), last Dec 30,2019
as its idle I did test access capability to Wikipedia.

Raspbian Buster Full Desktop fresh install from image, flashed to 16GB microSD card
other of my fave packages installed, including samba.
the RPi1B overclock has been set to Turbo 1000MHz (max allowed in raspi-config)
and have a 196MB GPU memory split.
the above setup/configurations was done prior to the existence of the OP's creation of this topic.

popped the 16microSD card (in a microSD card to SD card adapter) to the RPi1B,
powered it
upon boot up ran chromium
then web search Wikipedia
then went to Wikipedia home page, Wikipedia Home page loaded fine.
then checked the Mathematics portal, OK got in no problem
then check the Technology portal, still OK, no problem.
seems functioning very well.
opened one other tab of wikipedia... again just fine

here's the screen cap for your reference:
RPi1B-Buster-Wikipedia.jpg
RPi1B-Buster-Wikipedia.jpg (176.95 KiB) Viewed 63 times
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