My Pi is running like shit at the minute. I still love it though :o)
The Raspberry Pi team has posted its new, recommended Linux distro for its tiny, ARM-based computer. Dubbed Raspbian Wheezy, it's a custom Debian build that, for the first time, taps into the Pi processor's floating point unit for much faster performance. "Users who are still using Debian Squeeze will definitely want to switch …
My Pi is running like shit at the minute. I still love it though :o)
Assuming you have a decent PSU, overclock! You can most likely get to 900MHz without overvoltage.
I've rapidly come to the conclusion that if you want any sort of UI, the currently available Fedora / Debian Linux distros both run like crap on the Pi. I haven't tried the Mint version. Hopefully this 'Raspbian' distro will go some way towards addressing these performance issues.
I've had most success running RISC OS of all things!
Have you managed to get it to display the icon bar?
Yup, the last Alpha build of the img (dated 13th of July, I believe) is pretty usable. The SD card read issues have been fixed, and the black bar displayed instead of an icon bar has been rectified.
Chris Hall, Ben Avison, and the rest of the RISC OS RPi porting team deserve a great deal of praise for what they have acheieved in such a relatively hsort space of time.
Do not use gnome. simples. Win7 is faster than Mint on my multibooting Zg5. Openbox+lxde+wicd ir icewm or jwm.
I didn't think GNOME would even run on the Pi, but even if it did, I wouldn't be daft enough to try it...
With only 256MB RAM to play with (and you'll hit that ceiling quickly, believe me), every MB counts on the Pi, especially if you're running X11. If you really want a Win-type desktop, I'd agree that LXDE is the environment to go for (or IceWM if you desire even less "lard" in the system). Personally, I use Fluxbox, although I'm eyeing up Awesome (tiling WM) once I can work out how to get it to do what I think it should...
Oh, and I too recommend Wicd for managing network connections (esp. if you're adding a USB WiFi adapter to the Pi).
I am looking into buying one of these Raspberry PI's but it appears that when you buy one you have to buy the SD card with the OS separately; someone please correct me if I am wrong as if I am not wrong it seems to me that you are buying a computer without the hard drive and OS that enable it to be (partially) useful.
Yes, they're giving you the opportunity to buy it without the SD card (in case you already have one) and OS (which is freely downloadable). This is called freedom, it's the opposite of what you'll be used to from the computer industry, which is why it might be a little confusing at first. :)
You buy (or already own) the SD card. The OS is free.
> it seems to me that you are buying a computer without the hard drive and OS
What you get is a naked "motherboard". You have to provide the following:
USB Keyboard (the £2.50 ASDA jobbie works OK)
USB Mouse (as does their cheap mouse)
Display, usually an HDMI TV and a connecting cable
SD card that you download an OS for and then need to use a PC to copy the OS to the card
Network cable to plug into your home router
Something non-metallic to put all this stuff on. The 'Pi doesn't have any mounting holes and is quite small and lightweight, so stopping it from dragging when you move a cable is not easy.
And since the 'Pi only has 2 USB ports, you might need a USB hub - though since the 'Pi's ability to use peripherals is strictly limited (none of the 4 different types of webcam I've tried have worked on it) there may not be much scope for this.
Hmm so the word 'freedom' now means 'pay for something that is totally useless unless you pay for additional components'.
I have a PC for sale, it has no RAM, no Hard Disk oh and no motherboard so I guess you will want to buy it.
You forgot to use the troll icon matey.
The Pi is not a PC, it is a cheap ARM based SoC motherboard that you can do whatever the fuck you want with, including making a cheap ARM based PC out of it, if you so desire.
If you don't want to buy a SoC motherboard, then don't buy one.
Perhaps you're not the target market for the Pi. The extra stuff you describe is the sort of gubbins a lot of IT pros and tinkerers have lying around.
"Something non-metallic to put all this stuff on. The 'Pi doesn't have any mounting holes and is quite small and lightweight, so stopping it from dragging when you move a cable is not easy."
I am shocked and horrified. The FSM gave us Sugru and hot glue guns for a reason. This is a device for people with at least a shred of ingenuity; it's kinda the point :D
Sorry Bill Smith 1, I don't think you will get much sympathy on here.
The Pi is pretty obviously what it is. I have one, but didn't need to buy an SD card (cos I have loads knocking around), the OS is free (same as for normal computers if you choose linux and aren't forced to have windows by the shop), I had a keyboard (several actually), I had a mouse (again, several) and I have a couple of spare ports on my router too.
I was aware of what I needed, and even if I didn't have it, you can buy all that stuff at the same time.
Your analogy makes no sense, because it doesn't sound like you have a PC at all. You have a case and a processor. If you had a case, processor and motherboard then I may consider it, as I am looking to uprate my server. What processor are you selling?
Seriously though, The Raspberry Pi is a refreshing change to the establishment. It isn't a replacement for a full PC system but it is very handy for hobbyists and hopefully for kids (though I see more old-school coders using it).
You're just a box-shifter then?
Really? If you don't have a spare keyboard, mouse and an SD card sitting around the place then you aren't the kind of person who would want to be tinkering with Pi anyway. You'll probably be back here complaining that you can't install Windows on it and that it won't run Office.
THe Flying Sphagetti Monster also gave us Lego! I think that was child's play, but I'm no expert....
No. "Freedom" here means you are free to choose whether or not to pay extra for stuff you may or may not need. What were you expecting, for crying out loud?
I already have a stash of various sizes of SD cards, a few USB keyboards, more Internet cables than I know what to do with (plus, in case I run out, a pair of RJ45 crimpers that also do the RJ11/12 plugs used internationally in telecomms -- bought so I could interface to a TDM422 telephony card when I was experimenting with Asterisk) and I can borrow the HDMI cable from my DVD recorder (I'll just have to live with the old SCART connection for awhile; the set only has two HDMI inputs and the recorder is only low-definition anyway) and two micro-USB cables (one supplied with my Kobo E-Reader, and one supplied with my phone). I also have two mains-to-5V USB PSUs -- one from the phone, and one which was a Christmas present along with the Kobo. Nonetheless, I ordered a wall wart for the Raspberry Pi anyway.
Have you ever considered that you just might not be the target market for the Raspberry Pi?
You don't have to buy an SD card with your Raspberry Pi, just as you don't have to buy a power supply with it. However, so many problems have been reported with SD cards and power supplies that it's probably a good idea to buy them together so you can stick it to the vendor if there are any problems.
"Perhaps you're not the target market for the Pi. The extra stuff you describe is the sort of gubbins a lot of IT pros and tinkerers have lying around."
Someone should tell those people who brought the Raspberry Pi to market then because they have been spouting the most misguided guff about reinvigorating the youth market into exploring computers in the way the BBC computer did in the Early Upper Silicon Age.
When everyone is done being snotty and/or superior, perhaps they could direct the questioning troll to the Pi website where it is all explained in small words.
Because the designers clearly DO expect people like this to show an interest.
Thanks for the Sugru mention. I'd never heard of it before & it sounds like really useful stuff. Its like air-cured silicone rubber which is malleable for 30 mins then sets .
intel don't seem to have done too badly selling you a bit of silicon that's useless without a motherboard, ram, PSU, keyboard cuddly toy drinks trolley......
>The FSM gave us Sugru and hot glue guns for a reason.
At least these days you don't need the milk carton to stop it overheating.
Now what I really want is a combined CPU cooler / coffee pot warmer.
> Now what I really want is a combined CPU cooler / coffee pot warmer.
Intel's got you covered! http://www.techfresh.net/pentium-powered-coffee-warmer/
Sugru is pretty good, but it has a crappy shelf life. I bought two packs of it but 90% of it had cured by the time I got round to using it (6 months or so after purchase). I've had reasonable success making an alternative out of silicone bathroom sealant and corn flour (make sure it's proper corn flour, not finely milled wheat flour as seems common). You can find instructions if you search for "make your own sugru" which will then point you to loads of DIY sites.
Does it go soft again if you warm it, get it wet, apply a solvent, etc?
Why are you questioning the choices for a system which is not aimed at end users?
The current device is designed for early adopters who will be providing services for this device, people producing cases, peripherals and education support services.
It is a development machine for experienced "hackers". The more consumer friendly release will follow later where the device will be cased and come with some software (probably).
So Intel should not sell CPUs directly to the public because they don't work without a motherboard?
Whenever you buy a computer upgrade do you buy an entire computer then throw away the bits you didn't need?
As useful as really useful stuff.
So the only worthwhile improvements are in:
1) MP3 decoding (which R-Pi is plenty fast enough to do already)
2) x264 encoding (let's face it, R-Pi is hardly going to be the platform of choice for video transcoding even with the 37% speed boost)
Quake benchmark is probably the most realistic one to get a measure of the amount of improvement we are likely to see on average, with a hardly earth shattering 8%.
An interesting project, sure, but realistically, a waste of time considering the minimal improvements - except for those wanting to use the R-Pi for a lot of A/V transcoding (which will still be too slow for practical use anyway).
The above is bollocks. You only have to watch the video demonstrating web browsing and compare to the previous release to appreciate that.
Agree, plus this means yet another architecture and another repo that may or not may be kept in sync with the Debian main. (yes I know I can compile my own packages, but that's not as user friendly)
Then bc benchmark is even slower in this, maybe due to a claimed gcc optimisation bug, so that's another thing to watch out.
Think I'll stick with the real Debian for now. The biggest slow down is lack of any X11 acceleration, which this doesn't really address.
@AC: That video was recorded on a overclocked Raspberry Pi... hardly a fair comparison.
"yes I know I can compile my own packages, but that's not as user friendly"
This is one of the fundamental things the Raspberry foundation produced the pi for.
Back in the day, you bought a computer, powered it up and you was greeted with a not very user friendly flashing cursor. You had to program it to do stuff... Most of the time there was very little in the way of commercial software so people got hold of a programming manual and started to learn how to code. If you wanted to attach hardware, you had to program your own drivers. Here in the UK we produced a LOT of talented programmers !
Modern computers, you power it on and there is a whole host of apps to do what you need it to do, already installed. If there was no app installed, a quick qoogle session and you install some software. Nobody needed to learn how to do anything anymore... particularly as programming packages and development kits became more and more expensive.
my point is the pi is not just a device developed for people to learn to program on, it's a device to learn all aspects of computing, Compile software from source... learn the languages of the source code.
computers are not supposed to be user friendly.
I agree with you Marty, but that's not the point here. Compiling source code packages of a Linux distro is not the same as programming or actually even educative beyond the first few times.
I'd love if the foundation would release a bare metal package and tutorial for people who want to mess around with it. Things like the GPU blob should be documented too.
One of the good things we had in the past was great documentation, in the form of books such as The Advanced User Guide for the BBC Micro or The Complete Spectrum ROM Disassembly. Nowadays no one documents anything and it's all left to reverse engineer for other sources.
The one on the video is overclocked and crucially overvolted to run at 1Ghz. However, if you read the R Pi forum threads there are a number of people who have only put mild overclock without overvolting and are still finding significant speed benefits. My Pi is apparently in the post, so I shall be trying this in the next day or so.
Oh, and Bill Smith 1 is either trolling (in which case don't feed the troll) or hasn't read the website to find out what the R Pi foundation are trying to do (and hence the reason it's sold without peripherals).
No, you are not correct. The whole kernel and associated packages have been recompiled for Hard float so anything that uses floating point is much faster. In addition there are some custom implementations of some memory functions that have greatly improved the speed of the desktop. Also, there is more sophisticated first time config system for first boot to set up the system for beginners.
The Quake benchmark won't be overly affect by these changes as its OpenGLES and runs mainly on the GPU., Overclocking will help there.
Did you actually read anything about this release before posting?
Re: Bare metal. DexOS is running on baremetal - check out the Bare metal forums on the Raspberry Pi website.
@James Hughes 1
If it makes so much difference then why do the benchmark results not show it? The numbers do not bear out your statements.
Also it is a comparison between ARMv4 code and ARMv6 code. What about the improvements over the most commonly used ARMv5 code?
"Things like the GPU blob should be documented too."
Oh, believe me, it will be documented -- with or without Broadcom's blessing.
I looked to see if that was release last night before putting the wheezy beta back onto my RPi - I'd rather screwed it up from too much playing and needed a "reset".
Sods law it turns up 12 hours afterwards!
@Bill Smith 1
Move along, its not meant for people like you...
Go buy another shiny shiny.
to ,er, play devils advocate here,
I think its great that people are tinkering with these things , and that school kids can get a grasp of the real low level architecture - and that programming dosent just mean setting up your own facebook page. (how many kids will go for it though?)
but I , Like the kids , want to see results fast, (i've done a bit of assembly and other stuff , i get it, i dont really wanna go back)
If wanted to make it into a touch screen mp3 player for my car ( i already have the hardware for this) how the hell would you go about that? in this "arm based SoC" wtf that means.
I'd rather get a laptop , a cut down version of winxp , and download the already existing front ends OR maybe program the front end mysself in vb, just to get it how i want it.
a *more* impatient person wouls just use a slab these days.
so what am i rambling about? i dunno i guess i'm saying it needs a very special person to be intrested, I'm special , but not that special.
another thing - its great that its 2" sqare or whatever , but when youve put kbd,mouse n LCD tv on it , its a lot less portable than a , well , anything
wheres the "dont hit me!" icon ?
But I think the point is most of the programming has already been done for you on the mp3 player, all the low level hardware stuff anyway. Someone somewhere needs to know how to do this, and he probably tinkered around with a BBC micro etc etc. This is what the RPi foundation are trying to encorage.
and there was me thinking it was a perfectly reasonable question/statement.
I have spares (I tinker a lot with the Arduino) so I sourcing the SD isnt a problem; however, I still think that paying for something that does nothing unless you add to it is a tad silly.
So 'box shifter' & 'shinny shinny'; all you do is highlight your elitist twat status (which you obviously work soooo hard to maintain).
"I still think that paying for something that does nothing unless you add to it is a tad silly."
I can just imagine you in 1982.
"That Sinclair Spectrum is a waste of time. I need to buy a tape recorder and a TV before I can use it. What a con!"
"however, I still think that paying for something that does nothing unless you add to it is a tad silly."
Think of it as buying an unlocked mobile phone; you can buy whatever brand of SIM you like but until you do you cannot use it as a phone.
Yes - it's just a computer on a board, with a bootloader. In concept, it's very much like the Arduino you already have.