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Old 27-Mar-2012, 07:32   #1
dZeus
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Default Raspberry Pi as desktop

I'm wondering if it's possible to use a Raspberry Pi as a desktop running Linux + a lightweight desktop environment.

I'm running Debian on low-end headless servers using less than 10 MB to boot which allows them to run several services in the remaining RAM (these are 32MB Linksys NSLU2 boxes). Surely 256MB of RAM of the R-Pi should be enough to add a desktop environment... Or are all modern desktop environments bloated nowadays?
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 09:03   #2
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I know people that used N900 with external kb/mouse/monitor as a desktop. RP should be quite a bit more powerful than that phone. It won't be that fast but for some really basic stuff it's good enough.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 09:15   #3
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From my experience with PS3 Linux (which initially only ever had access to the 256MB XDR), it's possible but not very comfortable. But if you're very experienced at reducing the overhead, I can imagine you'll be able to get it to do what you want just fine. Browsers and such can take up a lot of memory fast though ...
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Old 31-Mar-2012, 16:15   #4
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But the CPU supports virtual memory, surely? Hook up a SSD to it, and swapping won't be so horrible...

Anyhow, is there a genuine reason to use a Raspberry as a desktop? Seems more like a fun experiment kind of thing...
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Old 01-Apr-2012, 11:13   #5
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It's an experiment. But running a desktop at under 5 Watts surely gets my interest. I guess I should start experimenting with Xubuntu and Lubuntu to see their RAM usage.

P.S. I noticed that Chrome is very light on RAM as long as you don't open too many pages.
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Old 02-Apr-2012, 04:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grall View Post
But the CPU supports virtual memory, surely? Hook up a SSD to it, and swapping won't be so horrible...

Anyhow, is there a genuine reason to use a Raspberry as a desktop? Seems more like a fun experiment kind of thing...
The SoC might not have a SATA port.
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