Raspberry Pi + Arch = “Winning!”

In | by Kernel

Finally got Arch Linux running on Raspberry Pi the way it should. Initially I thought of keeping the first Pi (yes, there’s one more coming) under CLI only, running as a NAS/file server. After a few times around with Samba setup, SSH’ing from Fedora main box, I’ve given in to a more or less full DE. Enter OpenBox for window manager and desktop environment, ROX for file manager, and Midori for web browser. As you can see, name of the game is keeping things light.

As it is now, the Pi boots in ~20 sec, and with ‘startx’ I have OB running in about 4, so overall pretty snappy. I have a 22″ monitor hooked up via HDMI, and screen resolution is set from boot to 1080p. Keyboard and mouse are working fine via wireless USB dongle. But, as it has been mentioned time and again, the Pi is not for everyday use. Even Midori, as lightweight of a browser it is (I’ve yet to try ultralights like UZBL browser), loading times are a bit sluggish. Not at unacceptable/unusable levels by any means, but the Pi won’t be replacing any of the everyday machines I use. So far I’ve had the Pi run only 3-4 hrs at a time, and only thing I’ve discovered is it gets luke warm. That’s it. So box it in, leave it in the corner, it won’t complain.

And what’s also great, and the real purpose of the Pi, it’s so simple, humming (ok, so it is completely silent…) away alone, separated from the rest of the household gadgetry. Screw up something royally, and at worst, all you’ve done is maybe force yourself to another ‘sudo dd if=…’. So it really is a perfect Linux learning tool.

Plan for Pi numero deux is to run Debian Squeeze on it, with all the pre-loaded learning tools (Scratch etc.), and to have my 6+ year-old get her Girl Geek on. She’s probably a little too young for real coding yet — read: Dad will have no farking clue what to do — but maybe we’ll have a couple of productive Scratch sessions and get a simple Pac Man game going.

So all in all, the Pi is, and I’m quoting one Charlie Sheen: “Winning!”