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Raspberry Pi Operating System Alternatives

1 December 2021 - No more updates here!  This page has moved to: 

Last Update 2 November 2021

This page will be used to chronicle tests of alternative distributions and operating systems on Raspberry Pi computers. Simply playing with more and more options for my PIs and decided to log my antics. This page will morph as I experiment and will likely be notes to self, tailored to my world, but may be useful to others.  Expected to be long/slow/low priority project - similar to my AAO OS Alternative quest, will probably be more active in the winter.   Suggestions Welcome

Summary (notes/observations below the test table)

November 2021
  • RetroPie 
June 2021 
  • Switching MoviePi to LibreELEC for Kodi.  Done, works great - Notes

January 2021 - Current favorites, 2021 plans
  • Manjaro KDE Plasma for primary desktop - now a RPi4 w/SSD
    Runs Great!  Test Notes below, Config and Project Log on MiPi Page
  • Q4OS has been rock-solid for my GramPi users (XP Look-a-Like)
    till running stretch version due to COVID-19 lockdowns - unable to update
  • DietPi: is still my GoTo for server-like projects.  HomePi, CutiePi & others.

October 2020
August 2020
  • NEMS Linux - Nagios Enterprise Monitoring Server for RPi.  Notes
    Very Well done, runs great.  Little overkill for our home network

  • Kano OS - DIY system for kids, REALLY NICE!  Future uncertain.  Notes
July 2020 - Back to building a starter system for grandkid
June 2020 - RPI update

April 2020 - STILL looking for final RPi 4 Desktop for MiPi Project
Mar 2020 - Looking for RPi 4 based Desktop for MiPi

Jan 2020 - New Year!  
  • My favorites as of 1/1/2020
    • Buster Raspbian on my PI 4 for now (via Noobs to be safe),  Stretch everywhere else
    • Q4OSstill no RPI Buster version (waited a while for Stretch too)
    • DietPiby far the best/easiest for server-like jobs.  Struggles with Buster here too, sticking with DietPi 
      Stretch Legacy Image

Latest Tests

Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, 
D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail
 NEMS Linux
 Arch Linux ARM  Plasma Big Screen
   Runs Great
Tests Aborted

Bricked it!
Aborted Testing

 Quick Look
Nice!  Interesting!

 Run Great

 Distro Source/Vendor
(via Rasparch)
 Ongoing Evolution/Support    Active Project
- Install Stats
- Documentation
- Forums
- Priority ($)
- Discord
 Active Project
- RPi3 Overview 
- RPI3 Install
- RPi3 Wiki

About Rasparch
 Active/New Project
- Manual
- Apps Here
Active Project
- Forum
- Wiki

See Also
- Kodi Wiki
- Kodi Forum
 Security Info/Doc        
 Reviews/Reputation  DistroWatch Waitlist       DistroWatch
 Cost/$$$  Free/Patron      Donate!
 License  NEMS Licensing
     License Info
GPL 2.0
 Download rasparch-rpi4-exton-1240mb-200304  mycroft-bigscreen-rpi4-20200326_BETA  LibreELEC-RPi2.arm-9.2.7.img.gz
 Image Size      2g  1.3g    125.9Mb
Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)
       LibreELEC (widevine): 9.2.7 (RPi2.arm)
 Name  Raspbian GNU/Linux  Arch Linux ARM Ubuntu 18.04 LTS  LibreELEC
 Version  10 (buster)
  18.04 LTS
(Bionic Beaver)
 ID_Like  debian      
 uname -a  Linux nems 4.19.118-v7+ #1311 SMP Mon Apr 27 14:21:24 BST 2020 armv7l GNU/Linux
 Linux archpi 4.19.106-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Mar 3 01:58:37 UTC 2020 armv7l GNU/Linux Linux raspberrypi4 4.19.83-rpi #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Nov 14 11:17:22 UTC 2019 aarch64 aarch64 aarch64 GNU/Linux Linux MoviePi 4.19.127 #1 SMP Sun May 23 11:35:49 UTC 2021 armv7l GNU/Linux
 Release Info  1.5.2 Release Notes      9.2.7 Notes

Test Hardware
 RPI Model used for tests  RPI 3 Model B*   RPI 3 Model B*   RPI 4 Model B 4g*    RPI  2B* 
 SD Used for testing   Samsung EVO 32g*   Samsung 16g EVO*  Samsung 16g EVO*  32g PNY*
 SD - Disk Available    4g used  8g  28g
 Special Hardware/Peripherals  N/A (Headless)
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen*        
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
    Apple Magic Keyboard*        
    BT Mouse (M720Triathlon*)        
    Apple Magic Mouse*
    Logitech k400 KB/Trackpad*  A    A  A
    SSD Boot        
  Bluetooth   N/A (Headless)      N/A
  USB   N/A (Headless)  A    A
  Audio output (HDMI)   N/A (Headless)  A  A  A
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack)   N/A (Headless)      
  Ethernet  A  A  A  A
  Built-in WiFi  A  A  A  N/A
  Built-in Bluetooth        N/A
  HDMI  A  A    
     Dual Monitors   N/A (Headless)    C  
  Power Management        
     Mouse/Kbd Batt monitor        
     Monitor DPMS        F

  General usability   C  B  C  B (Kodi)
  Install effort      A  C    A (LibreElec)
  Documentation/Help    C    C
  GUI/X    B    B
  Network Participant2    B    A
  Stability     C    A
 Performance/Responsiveness  A  C  C  A

 Apps/Add-ons Availability    A    A
 Automatic Updates 
 Default Browser    Firefox    N/A
 Window/Desktop Manager    LXDE  KDE Plasma  Kodi
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable


  • Overall:  MUCH better than OSMC for our Media Systems and old devices ...  
  • Tagline:  "Just enough OS for Kodi"
  • Motivation:  We have a few "MoviePi" systems kicking around the family,  All dedicated Media Servers at this point in time.  OSMC has been a headache to maintain, LibreELEC seems to JUST WORK!
  • Install/Testing
    • Linux behind the scenes, very minimal but recognizable if you SSH in (default uc/pw=root/libreelec) to look around.  I changed root password but didn't mess with any linux underpinnings.  Looks like there are facilities to further tweak or secure @ OS level - e.g. README in iptables directory
    • My recipe is @ hmyttps://
    • Booted right up 
    • Devices I've been struggling with just worked - e.g. Old MCE Remotes
    • Add-on's that started failing on OSMC worked right out of the gate via LibreELEC
      Crackle, YouTube and Google Drive
    • Kodi Config is not any easier, but install was MUCH better
    • Can't seem to turn Monitor (backlight off) when system not in use 
      Others seem to struggle here -
    • Initial test using Rpi2 Model B - Impressive performance.  Movies seem to play fine!  No stutter or pausing
      Movie playing off of flash drive (1080p mkv) - 15%-20% CPU
      Youtube Video - 15%-25% CPU
      Google Drive (mp4) - 15%-20%
    • Good enough - LibreELEC is new base

Plasma Bigscreen

  • Overall:  Just a quick peek ... Looks VERY interesting, will revisit once in a while to watch progression
  • Tagline:  "This project is using various open-source components like Plasma Bigscreen, Mycroft AI and libcec with a modified KDE Neon img for the Raspberry Pi 4 to allow easy accessing content-related services on your TV."
  • Motivation:  Stumbled upon this while I was working on a Big Screen Linux project of my own HAD to look!
  • It looks to be an early Beta.  3-4 months old
  • Install/Testing
    • Created SD using Etcher
    • Booted right up
    • Started looking around ... but THEN IT STARTED TALKING!  Luckily monitor had hdmi audio!
      • Needed to register device @ AND create an account
    • Dual Monitors worked, but probably not intended to use duals
      • seemed to move Big Screen to other monitor when I started an app
      • Lost primary monitor at some point 
      • Click on second monitor when lost in UI to get back to main desktop 
    • SSH mycroft@<ip>, pw mycroft
    • FYI:  Exit an app using <alt><f4> on keyboard

Arch Linux

  • Overall:  Not for me.  I bricked it playing around.  Has promise but will take some work.  Pretty lean OS, quite a bit of installing and tweaking to make it yours! 
    Limited GUI help, be prepared to setup via terminal.  Not for the novice or faint of heart
  • Motivation:  Need a faster LXDE based desktop for a project I'm working on.  RaspOS was a pig!
  • Looks a bit more geeky/techie ... working thru
  • Install/Testing
    • Decided to use image from  Had all apps I needed for test
    • Came up great
    • Still a quite a bit of terminal tweaking - even with Rasparch preinstalled applications
    • Pacman familiarity would be helpful!
    • Samba installed, but didn't see my network ... didn't spend much time in smb.conf to fix, tho
    • Most RPi hardware appeared to work, didnt finish all tests, tho
    • I buried the thing with activity - youtube, terminal sessions, many open windows.  
    • Basically bricked it - failed to boot

NEMS Linux

  • Overall:  VERY Nice!.  A great way to play with Nagios!  Probably an overkill for my needs.   
    Accidentally overwrote the SD card, didn't record some info.  But its definitely worth a look.  
  • Motivation:  Stumbled upon NEMS by accident, always curious about Nagios, looked like easy way to explore 
  • said:  "Monitor Everything"
    "NEMS is the Nagios Enterprise Monitoring Server for Single Board Computers"
  • Started by working thru Nagios Enterprise Monitoring Server for Raspberry Pi.
  • Install/Testing
    • Install was painless - Etcher'd an SD card and booted
    • Headless server after initial install, access via SSH but mainly via browser.  MANY Browser-based tools
    • Skipping a few hardware tests due to nature of this gizmo - e.g. audio, hdmi, etc
    • <more to come here>
  • Stumbled upon How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Network Monitor after a few days of rummaging around on NEMS.  Start there!  Includes details on NEMS Install/Setup too
    • In a Nutshell
      • I did this via ssh was easiest for me, I cut/paste from tutorial to avoid type-o'ing
      • Watch for html replacement chars used in bash example:   &lt change to < to get command working
      • Lots of Passwords in here - assign/watch carefully.  I got myself all turned around on passwords
      • Once Cacti Installer came up (in browser) I had to fix a bunch of stuff to push on with tutorial.
        Actually a very nice installer, you fix things and refresh page until all is well
      • MySQL system variable errors ... ended up being warnings, I THINK
        I had what looked like errors in system variable section ... like collation_server.  Fumbled around attempting to fix the all, but noticed that I could push the NEXT button on install page ... and simply 'pushed' on following tutorial ... in the end they were warnings!   Installing!!!
    • Install takes a while.  While I was waiting I checked out because I HAD NO IDEA what I was doing or what was happening ... Interesting project!
    • <more to come here too!>

2020 Tests (Part 2)

Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, 
D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail

 Raspberry PI OS  Ubuntu-Mate
RPI 32-Bit
Kano OS
Kit Complete
Works, seems dated
it's different
 Fresh install: OK
Upgrade:  Unsure!

Lots of Struggles

Works Well!
Future uncertain

 Distro Source/Vendor  Now
 Ongoing Evolution/Support    Active Project
- What is Sugar 
- SoaS Project wiki
- Manuals/Guides
- Sugar Quickstart
 Official RPI OS
Help Guides
- RPI Documentation
 Active Project
- Community
- Tips/Tricks/Tutorials
- RPI Tips/T/T
 Active Product?
- Help Center
- Community
- Images/build
- on Github
 Security Info/Doc    Securing your PI    
 Reviews/Reputation  Distrowatch  Distrowatch  Distrowatch  
 Cost/$$$  Free  Free  Free - Donate  Various, Buy!
 License   Various (Compelx)  CC BY-SA 4.0    GNU v2
 Download Fedora-SoaS-armhfp-31-1.9-sda ubuntu-mate-18.04.2-beta1-desktop-armhf+raspi-ext4.img
 Image Size     4g  7.4g (2.6g zip) 5g (1.3g zip)  6g (1.9 zip)
Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)
 Name Fedora      Raspbian GNU/Linux   Ubuntu  Raspbian GNU/Linux 
 Version  31 (Thirty One)  10 (buster)  18.04.2 LTS
(Bionic Beaver)
 9 (stretch)
 ID_Like    debian  debian  debian
 uname -a Linux Sugar 5.3.7-301.fc.armv7l #1 SMP Mon Oct 21 22:12:15 UTC 2019 arm7l arm7l arm7l GUI/Linix Linux RPIOS 4.19.118-v7+ #1311 SMP Mon Apr 27 14:21:24 BST 2020 armv7l GNU/Linux Linux RPI-Ubuntu 4.15.0-1032-raspi2 #34-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Wed Feb 6 11:50:42 UTC 2019 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux Linux kano 4.14.79-v7+ #1159 SMP Sun Nov 4 17:50:20 GMT 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux
 Release Info  31-1.9 release_notes  Release Notes

Test Hardware
 RPI Model used for tests RPI 3 Model B+* RPI 3 Model B+*
 RPI 4 Model B 4g*
 RPI 3 Model B*
RPI 2 Model B* 
RPI1 Model B Rev 2
 RPI 3 Model B+*  RPI 3 Model B+*
 SD Used for testing  8g generic  Sandisk Ultra 16g*  16g generic  8g generic
 SD - Disk Available    11g  11g  4g
 Special Hardware/Peripherals        
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen*  n/a  No test no test no test
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
 n/a AN (on RPI2)  n/a  n/a
    Apple Magic Keyboard* no test  C    no test
    BT Mouse (M720Triathlon*) no test  A  B  no test
    Apple Magic Mouse*
no test  A    no test
    Logitech k400 KB/Trackpad*        A
    SSD Boot  n/a  n/a    n/a
  Bluetooth C  B  B  C
  USB C  A    A
  Audio output (HDMI) A  DN    B
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack) D  DN    A
  Ethernet A  A  A  C
  Built-in WiFi B  A    A
  Built-in Bluetooth no test  C    C
  HDMI  A  A    A
     Dual Monitors n/a B (on RPI4)    n/a (RPI3+)
  Power Management  A  C    C
     Mouse/Kbd Batt monitor no test - wired  B    no test
     Monitor DPMS A  C    C

  General usability  B  B    A
  Install effort     B  B    A
  Documentation/Help B  C    A
  GUI/X B  B    A
  Network Participant2 B  A    C
  Stability  C B  D  A
 Performance/Responsiveness B B  D  A

 Apps/Add-ons Availability C  B    A
 Automatic Updates 
B  C    
 Default Browser Custom/Sugar   Chromium  Firefox  Chromium
 Window/Desktop Manager Custom/Sugar  Pixel  Mate  Kano (LXDE)
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable

2020 Test Notes (Part 2)

Kano OS

  • Overall:  Looks & Works VERY WELL!  BUT...Future is uncertain.  Will watch and explore using open source parts (Parental controls, for example).  Sad if this was killed off, it was pretty well thought out and cool!
  • Motivation:   Looking for starter environment for 4 year old.  
  • Install Notes
    • Created 8g boot SD using Etcher
    • Install is is VERY cool, it's interactive, designed for kid.  Introduces computer while gathering setup info
      • 'Whats your name?" -> user info
      • Interactive audio test guided me to 3.5mm output
      • Trackpad setup/test
      • Background Colors
      • Personal Icon
      • Kano World Account - with Parent permission!  Nicely done!
    • Aftermath
      • Settings->Advanced includes 
        • SSH Client (sshd)
        • Parental Controls - looks good!
      • Still Rasbian behind the scenes - apt-get for missing stuff
      • LXTerminal in Apps under Code tab 
    • Hardware/Software Tests - Pi hardware seems good, some config options are tough to find or non-existent
      • Seemed to prefer keyboard+trackpad.  my K400r was perfect, mouse/keyboard would prob be fine
      • Insisted on 3.5mm audio during install, easily changed to hdmi
      • Also forced WiFi during setup, Ethernet would prob work with a tweak or two
      • No apparent power management
      • Bluetooth was there and configurable, noticed some devices but didn't see my mouse.  
      • Samba wasn't installed
  • Very well thought out and easy to use
  • Performance was good EXCEPT when browsing - Chromium sucks it all up!
  • Guide to Parental Controls - Slider was hard to see on my display, but it was there!  Looks REALLY good!
  • Apps - Nice library.  Prob 50 apps or so
    • Sort of a combination of local apps and web-based (Kano World) 
    • Easy to add apps to main screen
    • Standard apps seem to focus on learning to use computer and programming (blocks)
      • Wow!  Original Adventure!  plugh!   Nice/fun!
      • Terminal Quest teaches linux commands/terminal use!


  • Overall:  Aborted.   Will try next beta (64-bit).  Couldn't stabilize on my RPI3+.  Ended up bricking it
  • Motivation - Just realized I've never really tried Ubuntu on RPI! 
    2 possible interests:   
    1. Looking for starter environment for 4 year old grandkid ... preschool+
      If this works, I may be able to install remnants of Edubuntu (ubuntu-edu-preschool)
    2. Have been looking for OS capable of replacing my main desktop - MiPi Project
      Currently using Manjaro, but has been sort of one step forward, one step back progress
  • - Also had Experimental 64-bit on website
  • Install Notes
    • Etcher'ed a 16g SD
    • Booted up fine - one goofy message "sdhost-bmc2835 already registered, aborting..."
    • Installer is nice - came right up
    • Fumbled with mate preferences, ultimately found raspi-config via terminal
      • SSh enabled but never got it working
      • /boot/config.txt appeared to be standard RPI
  • Very difficult to use - mouse/keystroke delays, but didn't see processors pegged - odd
  • Ended up rebooting to see if I could regain control but bricked it, wouldn't boot back into GUI
    - "EXT4-fs error loading journal" ... didn't mess with it

Sugar OS

  • Overall:  It works, seems dated.   Interesting though, I'll keep image around to revisit
    OLPC has used Sugar for years, interesting project. Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) for quickstart
  • Motivation:   Looking for starter environment for 4 year old.  
  • Sugar is more of a Learning Platform, evolves as child grows.
    • SoaS is bootable image for pi, Fedora based (bad luck with Fedora on RPI in past, but quick way to start)
    • Should be able to install Sugar on OS of my choice if it works out
  • Install Notes
    • Documentation is sort of spread around, will start here: 
    • It's different!  REALLY DIFFERENT!
    • Friggin Fedora!  Re-downloaded to retrace my install steps and hung in Fedora Installer
    • Initial setup via Fedora Anaconda
      • hint:  set WiFi here, I fumbled with Net Config in Sugar GUI
      • Normal Setup, timezone, users ...
    • Sugar Initial Setup
      • Create user
      • Select Grade - options were:  Preschool, K-7, High School or Adult
    • Nav Notes:  
      • Move Mouse Pointer to any corner to reveal Neighborhood, Group, Home, Activity & Journal
      • Right Click on X-Stickman in middle for Settings, shutdown/restart, etc
      • List View (upper right icon) to enable/disable other apps.  Including terminal, Sys Logs, 
    • Hardware - most appear to work, may have to dig into Fedora to config
      • Bluetooth - looked like Bluetoothctl was installed, but didn't test/fiddle
      • Network Adapters
        • Ethernet worked right out of the gate.  Had to boot to switch to WiFi
        • WiFi worked.  Set up is in 'Neighborhood'.  But odd - SSID's appeared/disappeared
      • Networking - different, not samba-like.  Peer2peer mesh neighborhood
      • Looks like Mic and Camera would help for many apps
    • Apps/Software - see  
      • Not overly active, many older apps but a few added in past 2 years
      • Look/Feel is dated
      • Interesting 'Collections' of apps, like "Preschool"
      • Preinstalled Apps are interesting, not sure setting 'grade' during setup adjusts
      • Developer Resources @

Raspberry PI OS

  • Overall:  More than a name change.  Should be OK on fresh installs, not sure about upgrading
  • Motivation: Tagline:   "Raspberry PI OS is the new Raspbian" ... BUT ...
    ... Something changed, I updated (dist-upgrade) my old development RPi and noticed much has changed in official dist *and* some important environmental stuff broke (e.g. Wireless, Sound maybe more.  I had to restore DevPi from saved image).  Decided to give it a whirl as fresh install.
  • Install Notes - Will follow recommended install @
    • Downloaded official RPI Imager (imager_amd64.deb).  HEY!  No arm version?!
      • Here Weee GO!  "Error:  Dependency is not satisfiable:  libqt5core5a (>=5.9.0~beta)"
      • Will do Mint updates first ... was a tad behind.  NOPE That didn't fix it!
      • Ended up attempting install from Mint Repo via Software Manager
      • Mint version of Imager was flatpak install that DID NOTHING!
        "systemd[1496]: Started app-flatpak-org.raspberrypi.rpi\x2dimager-5501.scope."
      • Aborted - created SD using etcher!   Yeeesh!  This is going to be interesting!  
    • Initial Boot:  Welcome to Raspberry Pi dialog
      • Set Country *and* Language *and* Keyboard 
      • Force Password change
      • Set up Screen 
      • Set up Wifi (if necessary - I skipped)
      • Forces Software Update
      • Ran Raspberry Pi Config GUI before initial reboot
        • Set Hostname
        • Enabled SSH (Interfaces tab)
      • <Customary initial Reboot>
    • Quick Hardware tests
      • Bluetooth - Still pretty flaky
        • paired w/ Mouse (logitech) FIRST TRY!
        • Apple Magic Keyboard, got pairing code but Connection Failed
          "GDBus.Error:org.bluez.Error.Failed: Input/Output error.  Try to connect manually"
          • Tried to manually connect - still I/O error
          • Boot for heck of it - Re-paired keyboard, STILL wouldn't connect
        • BT is still pretty clumsy:  failures, connections, recognizing devices when adding ... 
      • Networking - Seemed fine here
        • Ethernet worked out of the box
        • WiFi connected 
      • Audio - A little flaky too!  WTF
        // I'd guess this is side effect of treating Audio as 2 devices mentioned in release notes:  "
        Internal audio outputs enabled as separate ALSA devices" and blog announcement
        • HDMI Audio worked fine right out of the box
        • 3.5mm Jack Failed
          • Via GUI taskbar: changed from HDMI to Analog, but still HDMI audio
          • Reboot and Analog seemed to be working ... THEN couldn't switch to HDMI!
          • Bottomline - it takes a boot to switch audio sources
        • Appears to take a reboot after switch to/from HDMI or Analog ... both work after boot
      • Power Management
        • DPMS, powering off monitor STILL doesn't work w/o a tweak (pet peeve)
        • No sign of power management in GUI ... I'm sure I could stumble thru install
    • Software - Didn't test too much, a few notes:
      • Browser (chromium) hit me up with Raspberry Pi User Research survey on initial run - That's Fine
        BUT ... browser also popped up "Can't Update Chromium".  That shouldn't be after updates!
      • Noticed "Raspberry Pi Diagnostics" under Accessories ... only 1 option:  SD Card speedtest
      • Bookshelf app is new - See Blog Announcement, you can download RPi books and magazines
      • Networking
        • (samba) worked fine
        • Side Note:  WiFi was fine on clean install, but goofed upped on the Pi I have been using and upgrading for years.  Possibly 2 network managers?   
    • Other RPI's:  Booted SD on a few other versions of the RPI, just for heck of it. VERY quick tests!
      • RPI3B+:  Original test machine, couple of minor issues (see above).  idle @ 37C w/ fan & heatsinks
      • RPI4:  Booted fine, Dual Monitors worked, temp seemed good - 35C w/ fan and heatsinks
      • RPI3:  Booted fine, seem to work fine.  idle temp around 45C heatsinks only
      • RPI2:  Booted/Worked time.  WiFi via Edimax adapter worked fine, 37C w/ heatsinks only
      • RPI1:  Booted! Slow/unresponsive at times.  Wifi via Edimax adapter seemed to drop/reconnect.

2020 Tests (Part 1)

Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak,
D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail
KDE Plasma
v20.02, Mar 2020 Stable
v20.02, Mar 2020 Stable
3.7.8 (RPI4)
Needs Work
but good potential

Works & Looks Great

 Seemed solid
Aborted testing
(not for me)

 Looked Good
Probably a little

 Distro Source/Vendor
 Ongoing Evolution/Support    Very Active:
- RPi 4 info
 Very Active:
- Arm Project Info
- Arm Wiki/Docs(?)
- Arm Forum

- Forums
- Documentation
 Very Active:
Arm Project Info
Arm Wiki/Docs(?)
Arm Forum

 New?  Circa 2016?
- Support
- Community
 Security Info/Doc    Security/Anonymity  Security/Anonymity  
 Reviews/Reputation  Distrowatch  Distrowatch  Distrowatch  Distrowatch
 Cost/$$$  Free  Free
Support Arm Project
 License   GNU V2  OIN & OIN Linux  OIN & OIN Linux  Terms of Use
 Download openSUSE-Tumbleweed-ARM-XFCE-raspberrypi4.aarch64-2020.02.26-Snapshot20200226.raw Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma-rpi4-20.02.img arm8-raspberry-pi-4-xfce-20.02.img eos-eos3.7-arm64-rpi4.200310-001521.en.img.gz

Via Torrent @
 Image Size       5.3g (800M zipped)  5.4g (1.1g zipped)  840M Zipped  13g Zipped
Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)

 Name openSUSETumbleweed  Manjaro ARM  Manjaro ARM  Endless
 Version  20200226      3.7.8
 ID_Like  opensuse suse 

 ubuntu debian
 BUILD_ID        200309-143327
 uname -a  Linux localhost.localdomain 5.4.14-4-default #1 SMP
Thu Jan 23 08:54:47 UTC 2020 (fc4ea7a) aarch64 aarch64 aarch64 GNU/Linux
After Boot:
MiPi-Manjaro 4.19.97-1-MANJARO-ARM #1 SMP PREEMPT Fri Jan 24 19:39:39 UTC 2020 aarch64 GNU/Linux
After update:
MiPi-Manjaro 4.19.97-1-MANJARO-ARM #1 SMP PREEMPT Fri Jan 24 19:39:39 UTC 2020 aarch64 GNU/Linux
Linux endless 5.4.0-7-generic #8+dev192.8ca3667bem1 SMP Wed Feb 26
07:36:16 UTC 2020 aarch64 GNU/Linux
 Release Info    RPi 4 Preview Release

Test Hardware
 RPI Model used for tests  RPI 4 Model B 4g*   RPI 4 Model B 4g*   RPI 4 Model B 4g*  RPI 4 Model B 4g*
 SD Used for testing   32g PNY Elite (slow!)*   32g PNY (slow!)*    32g PNY (slow!)*  32g PNY (slow!)*
 SD - Disk Available  20g  22g  23g  19g
 Special Hardware/Peripherals        
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen*  n/a  n/a n/a  n/a
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
 n/a  n/a n/a  n/a
    Apple Magic Keyboard*  F B  A  A
    BT Mouse (M720Triathlon*)   B  A  A
    Apple Magic Mouse*
 F A    A
    SSD Boot    Looks Promising   Looks Promising  
  USB  A  A    B
  Audio output (HDMI)  F  A  A  C
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack)  F  CN    C
  Ethernet  A  A  A  A
  Built-in WiFi  A  AN    B
  Built-in Bluetooth
 B  A  A
  HDMI  D  A  A  B
     Dual Monitors  F  A  A  CN
  Power Management        D
     Mouse/Kbd Batt monitor  C  BN    B
     Monitor DPMS  F  AN    D

  General usability   A  A+  C  A (different!)
  Install effort      D A  A  A
  Documentation/Help  C C  C  C
  GUI/X  A A  C  A
  Network Participant2  A A  C  A
  Stability   A A  A D
 Performance/Responsiveness  A A  B D

 Apps/Add-ons Availability  A  A  A B
 Automatic Updates 
 C  A  A  A
 Default Browser  Firefox  Firefox  Firefox  Chromium
 Window/Desktop Manager  XFCE  KDE Plasma
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable

2020 Test Notes (Part 1)

Endless OS

  • Overall: Looked REALLY good, possibly a little early.  Follow project and retry. 
    VERY interesting OS!  Simple, lots of software.  May be easier than a Mac!
  • Motivation:   Future replacement for our family's Mac?   Possibly grandkids first genpurpose compooter
    ine:  "Technology that Enriches Life.  Endless OS comes with everything your family needs"
  • See also  EndlessOs is underpinning for Kids Computer project!
  • Notes in Raspberry Pi 4 Preview Release | Endless OS 3.7.7~beta1, Late Jan 2020.  Downloaded 3.7.8
  • Install Notes
    • Downloaded via Torrent on this page  Not marked as beta, but ... unsure
    • Created SD using etcher ... used 32g micro sd due to size of disk image - 19g!  Room for expansion!
    • Came right up, very simple install ... its different
    • Finding way around was different ... but simple
    • Looks like ARM version may still be evolving, but most things worked right out of the box
    • Settings available if you right click on user icon (initials) in lower right
    • Performance was so so.  A youtube video pegs it, some clipping & studders
    • Stability ... some stumbles.  
      • Seemed to have trouble waking up, even with non bluetooth keyboard/mouse. 
        I set Suspend & Power Button to off, simply let monitor blank after 15 Mins 
      • Settings app refused to run @ one point.  Fine after reboot
      • Struggled to Restart @ another time.  Had to power cycle
      • Didnt like to shut down ... seems to hang 
    • Most Hardware worked 
      • HDMI 
        • No dual monitor options that I could see
        • HDMI Audio was low vol even when slider maxed.  Had to alsamixer it up to hear
      • Networking 
        • Ethernet worked fine
        • WiFi works ... but ... had to reconnect after reboot
      • Bluetooth worked well
        • it EVEN noticed our Smart TV and tried to pair with it ... will have to play with that!
        • Apple Magic mouse and keyboard came right up
        • It DID see BT smart TV ... this may be alternative monitor
      • Audio/Sound - no option for 3.5mm audio jack, hdmi sound only option
    • Lots of preinstalled apps.  Arranged on desktop like a smartphone

  • Enough, will download and try again when next version comes out

Manjaro (XFCE)

  • Overall:  Looked good, ran pretty well.  Not for me tho.  Aborted testing, too excited about KDE/Plasma version (see below)
  • Motivation:   MiPi Project - my X86 Desktops are getting old, RPi 4 SHOULD be suitable replacement
  • See also Manjaro (KDE) below
  • Install Notes
    • Using slow 32g Micro SD again
    • Downloaded from
    • Etcher to create SD ... yada yada
    • Booted up fine, same install menu as KDE/Plasma
    • Bluetooth Keyboard - apple (A1314) and logitech mouse (M720 Triathalon) paired right up!
    • updated via gui (panel notification), couple of errors.
    • Not as glitzy as Plasma, basic gui and tools - e.g. System monitor is Terminal with Htop running
    • Didn't know how to log into network drives - not much time spent on it
    • Ran thru initial tests, all seemed well - even places where kde/plasma struggled like bluetooth & Openshot editor.  BUT ... doesn't have the look and feel I was looking for.  I'm used to Cinnamon and Mac OSX
    • Actually seemed a little less responsive than KDE/Plasma ... surprised. 

Manjaro (KDE)

  • Overall:  Wow!  Looks really good!  Easy to use, surprisingly fast.  Possibly my utopia
    Currently my top choice in Search for RPi Desktop replacement.  Will revisit w/ a better SD card!  Antics HERE
  • Motivation:   MiPi Project - X86 Desktops are getting old, RPi 4 SHOULD be suitable replacement
  • Manjaro is apparently well regarded desktop distro.  Have played with on x86 in the past - nice
    • From  "a suitable replacement for Windows or MacOS" 
      Tagline:  Enjoy the Simplicity" (Exactly what I'm looking for!)
    • Started w/ KDE Plasma version - haven't seen plasma for a long time
  • Install Notes - have not found Arm install notes ... but haven't really needed them!!
    • Using slow 32g micro SD ... all I had available
    • Download from
    • Oh, oh!  Arm Documentation looks like skeleton page ... "This group don't use Wiki." 
    • Created SD using Etcher on x86, of course
    • Booted RIGHT UP!  ARM install menu
      • Wow!  Keyboard List includes the Apple Magic keyboard I plan to use! 
        Stuck wireless with Logitech initially
      • Prompted to add user and additional user groups - unsure how/what power default user has, so I added myself to wheel and power groups
      • I did get to set passwords during install - including root
      • Came Right up!  Looks really nice!
      • ssh enabled by default - apparently no root access via ssh
      • hmmm ... its not apt-get or rpm or yum ... It's Pacman!
      • Appears to be skeletal RPi config.txt in /boot
    • Checklist run-down (see table above)
      • Things look good ... but will do updates first - from gui panel. 241 of them!
        • Oh Oh!  Warnings:  Error while configuring (x3), looks like it was working on Germany and japan!  I may be OK in USA!
        • Update looked to be mostly KDE.  Plasma from 5.18.1 to 5.18.3
      • On with checklist ...
      • Bluetooth - LOOKS like its working .... BUT ...
        • Apple Magic keyboard detected and connected, but doesn't work - I'll revisit this
          Looks like I may have fumbled pairing 
        • Logitech BT Mouse (M720 Triathalon) - seems to connect and be avail, but no workie!
        • I'll revisit this - it sees BT stuff, I should be able to fiddle my way out of this!
        • HEY!  Reboot and Voilà - BT Apple keyboard and Logitech BT Mouse came right up!
      • Audio - LOOKS good!
        • VERY Happy to hear HDMI audio - my raspbian/cinnamon stopped working!
        • 3.5mm Audio jack - no go, will revisit this.  I can see it in Alsamixer, it'll work
      • Displays/Dual Monitors - Dual Monitors worked right out of the gates
        • Something strange - programs appear to pop up on Monitor #2, Not sure why, but behavior seems normal once they are closed/repopened
      • Everything seems to work as its supposed to!  Nice Change!
      • No Temp Monitor that I could find
        • Installed cpu-temp-speed, CLI, but it works
      • WiFi worked fine - looks like it can create a hotspot!  Added to my ToDo list to try.
    • Performance is looking really good - youtube video runs great w/ approx 34% CPU utilization, temp 38C - This is MUCH better than raspbian/cinnamon contraption I've been using!
    • Apps - Repository looks great - Installed a dozen or so apps that I use, spot checked
      • Openshot video editor fails at launch - looked repairable:  python undefined symbol
      • EVERYTHING ELSE SEEMED TO WORK *and* performed well!
      • Installed ksystemlog, did not see log viewer


  • Overall: Looks nice!  Probably a little early.  
  • Motivation:  MiPi Project - X86 Desktops are getting old (me too), RPi 4 SHOULD be suitable replacement
  • openSUSE is pretty well know Desktop world, may try a couple of these
  • Install Notes:
    • Dowloaded from
    • Using slow 32g Micro SD PNC - only one I had avail
    • Imaged SD using, worked fine
    • Booted right up!  U/P=root/linux
    • Started with wireless USB keyboard and trackpad
    • SSH enabled by default
    • Ran YaST online update (from start menu) - hmmm?  nothing installed
    • Networking - Ethernet and Wifi - seemed fine right out of the box
    • Will have to do some fiddling to get other stuff working ... looks to be worth the effort
    • Stumbled through YaST update, looks like I got alsa, bluetooth stuff & more
    • Installed blueman - didn't detect bluetooth hardware
    • Similar for Audio - no hardware detected
    • Found YaST hardware Info - seemed like a lot of Pi hardware not detected
    • Enough for now ... I'll revisit when there is a Leap version

2019 Tests

Sept 2019
  • Interesting Project: RPi-QEMU-x86-wine - Runs x86 win apps!  Notes
    • win98-pi image seemed to work - it's win98!
    • RPi-Stretch-qemu-x86 - in process
June 2019
April 2019
February 2019

January 2019 
  • Fedora 29 - Tried ARMv7 &  aarch64.  Disappointed.  Notes HERE
  • Mozilla IoT Gateway v0.6.1 - still early, but coming along VERY well.  Done for now, but I'll watch for next - Summary in 2018 pt 2 table. Notes

Here wee go again ... Page Cleanup for 2019 testing

Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail
Fedora 29
NetPi Plus  FreeBSD 12.0   RPi-QEMU-
  Not Good

Accidental Abort!

Notes Below
Little Rough
but nice!

not many packages

 In Process


 Distro Source/Vendor
(Blog)  Project
 Ongoing Evolution/Support   Very Active
- Fedora Wiki
- Documentation
- Arm Specific 
- Kali RPI Info
Build guide (kinda)
- Github Project
Blog Chatter

25+ Years!
- RPI Doc
- Forums
- Handbook
- Newbies
 Not much   

 Security Info/Doc Security Features

Security Info  
 Reviews/Reputation  Distrowatch  DistroWatch
Free/Donate Free/BeerFund Donate/Foundation  
 License   Various  Various GPLv3 FreeBSD 2-Clause  
 Download Fedora-Workstation-armhfp-29-1.2-sda

also quick retry with aarc64, still no luck
kali-linux-2019.1-rpi3-nexmon.img.xz NetPiPlus.7z (1.5g)
 Image Size     1.9g  824M 3g 299 MB RPi-Stretch-qemu-x86
7.5g image
(3g zipped)

7.5g Image
(2.5g zipped)
 Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)
 Name Fedora 29 (Workstation Edition) Kali GNU/Linux Rolling Raspbian GNU/Linux
Raspbian GNU/Linux
 Version 29 2019.1 9 (stretch)
9 (stretch)
debian debian
 uname -a 4.18.16-300.fc29.
armv7hl #1 SMP Sun Oct 21 00:56:28 UTC 2018 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux
Linux kali 4.14.93-Re4son-v7+ #1 SMP Thu Jan 24 12:44:19 AEDT 2019 armv7l GNU/Linux Linux netpi 4.14.52
-v7+ #1123 SMP Wed Jun 27 17:35:49 BST 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux
FreeBSD rpi-b 12.0-RELEASE FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE r341666 RPI-B  arm Linux raspberrypi 4.9.80-v7+ #1098 SMP Fri Mar 9 19:11:42 GMT 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux
 Release Info Fedora 29 2019.1 Release
Changelog Here 
Build V1.0 | Codename: Lightning | Release: 07312018 12.0 Announcement & Notes  
Test Hardware          
 RPI Model used for tests RPI 3 Model B* RPI 3 Model B*    RPI 1 Model B  RPI 3 Model B+*
 SD Used for testing 
Generic 8g
Generic 8g   Generic 8g Generic 8g  Generic 8g
 SD - Disk Available 6g Avail
approx 2.5g 5.1G Avail  ~4g used
 Special Hardware/Peripherals          
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen* Didn't try
Didn't try  
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
No need
No Need C  
  USB A  
  Audio output (HDMI) A
No test No test  
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack) D
No test No test  
  Ethernet BN A A A  
  Built-in WiFi A A A n/a  
  Built-in Bluetooth  DN
A n/a  
  HDMI A   A A  
  Power Management  AN  

  General usability  C C B C  
  Install effort     B B B D  
  Documentation/Help C   Hmmm?! C  
  GUI/X B  xfce Pixle C  
  Network Participant2 A   A C  
  Stability  D
D A  
 Performance/Responsiveness D   B
 Apps/Add-ons Availability A
A D  
 Automatic Updates 
 Default Browser  Firefox Firefox ESR Chromium
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable

2019 Test Notes


  • Overall:  Lost interest.  There was some potential on RPI4, but not for my project.  RPI4 is too Hot!
  • Motivation:  Learning experience:  QEMU+Wine.  IF it works, I'll add x86 emulation to Pi 4 GramPi!  
  • QEMU info @
  • Readme on github, Downloads on Sourceforge
  • Install Notes:
    • = "Raspbian Lite based image which boots straight into Windows 98 (qEmu)"
      • Started with image, flashed 8g SD using Etcher 
      • Whoa!  It IS win 98!  My mouse (or trackpad) didnt work, but I looked around with win keyboard!
      • No network, Win 98 Second Edition 4.10.2222A, actually RUNS PRETTY WELL on Pi 3B+!
      • SSH server is running - pi/raspberry login
      • Impressive, but not what I was looking for ... will retry with other image!

FreeBSD 12.0

  • Overall:  it runs, takes a lot of work.  Not for the faint of heart .... 
  • Motivation:  Haven't played with FreeBSD for decades!  RPI is a simple way to check it out.
  • Started w/ this doc -
  • Install Notes:
    • Started with RPI2 image, Etcher seemed to work fine to create SD
    • Boots very sloowwly
    • Came up fine - default users were root/root or freebsd/freebsd
    • Ethernet and SSH came up after install ... that was nice
    • Quite plain-jane (CLI), but may play with installing GUI
      • VERY little pre-installed - even had to install package management ... Sloooow
    • Didn't bother to test audio
    • wifi - some futzing.  See handbook config-network-setup & network-wireless
      EDIMAX usb was detected, but I had to do some tweaking/configuring to get it rolling 
      • Installed wpa_supplicant
        pkg install wpa_supplicant
      • created minimal /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
        # cat /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
      • dmesg to see device info and find adapter
        rtwn0 on uhub1
        rtwn0: <Realtek 802.11n WLAN Adapter, class 0/0, rev 2.00/2.00, addr 4> on usbus0
        rtwn0: MAC/BB RTL8188CUS, RF 6052 1T1R
      • Added interface using ifconfig
        ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev rtwn0
      • bring it up:  Ifconfig wlan0 up
      • and a boot or two during the process
    • x/gui ... reserve some time, it's like the good old days:  /handbook/x11.html
      • Got x11 installed and working, but never found a display mgr to try. 
        gnome3, kde5, xfce4 in handbook, but not found in repository
      • Gave up

NetPi Plus

  • Overall:  May require a tweak or two - but nice!    Came up nicely ... nice suite of pre-installed net tools. 
    Prob not for me - pretty small screen, but I'll dig into design and tools, lots to learn here.  
  • Motivation:  Stumbled upon this - looking for a probe like gizmo to keep an eye on our internet connection
  • Looks like site is being recovered from a hit - rebuild in process, not all images downloadable at this point - will test w/ stuff that's there initially, may need to revist ...
  • Nice/Simple - designed for small touchscreen ... too bad it wasnt not MY Touchscreen.  Hardware dependent
  • Install Notes:
    • Hardware is a tad specific - I'll need to tweak to get my TFT display working, but that's OK
      SSH & VNC seems to work in meantime - VNC seems to be good representation 
    • Raspbian Stretch under the hood 
    • 'Stealth' mode hangs my Pi - may dig in later
    • 'Active' Mode - Ping, Trace Route, Speed Test,  ETH0/WLAN details, Note pad with popup keyboard & network diagramer/eye test
    • 'Pen Test' Mode - Port Scan, Wireshark, Wardrive (no worky)
    • <still playing>
  • To replace Kuman 3.5in LCD by my Adafruit PiTFT Plus 3.5 (P2411B) ...I stumbled thru the following with this sing-a-long from adafruit -

Kali 2019.1

  • Overall:  Aborted - I accidentally overwrote the Kali sd card, never finished testing.  Will retry in future...
    It came up nicely, a little light in terms of available tools - significant subset of Kali from what I saw
  • Motivation:  Interested in a RPI-based network security probe, simply to watch over 'things' on our network
  • Install Notes:
    • Whoops!  Shot one of my toes off right out of the gate!  
    • Created 8g sd boot using my new favorite - - and image=kali-linux-2019.1-rpi3-nexmon.img.xz
    • Came right up on RPI3 - some prompt to create windows or something - I clicked on 'default'
      • Oh!  I See!  Initial dialog was probably for setting up xfce panel and such!  Pretty much a blank desktop w/ app menu via right mouse click ... I should read those messages!  There is a Panel icon is setting to put things right - remember to save setting when you logoff
    • SSH was live right out of the box
    • No Audio, first glance thru /boot/config.txt looked like much/all commented out
    • Software?  Attempted to apt-get a few familiar tools - nothing found yet.  It is what it is?  Vim?
    • MetaSploit came right up - I've been interested in this for a long time.  Much to learn
    • Abort - I'll redo this one in the future

Fedora 29

  • Overall:  Didn't go well ... Quite unstable/wobbly.  Odd hangs & periods where it was painfully slow.  
    • I even backtracked, started over w/ aarch64 image ... I must have done something wrong!
  • Motivation:  Working on a separate Redhat project, need to bring myself back up to speed, Pi will be handy.   
    Also my first/fav flavor of Linux a looong time ago, well deserving of a RPI boot!
  • Reads:
  • Install notes -
    • Yikes!  MANY flavors - KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Mate, Sugar ... Chose default:  Fedora Workstation 
    • Arm Doc is here ->
      • Tried both armv7 and aarch64 images on RPI3 B+
      • Used to create SD's 
    • This thing was VERY slow/nonresponsive at times.  Updates  Hard to tell what was going on?  
      It settled down over time and was quite usable, but VERY strange/slow episodes.  
    • Ghastly slow/buried Pi with first run of firefox.  Couldn't even get monitor up to see what was going on
      • Killed FireFox, fired-up monitor and relaunched FF - ran fine, of course!  Watched pot!  Updates?
      • Still a tad slow (jerky mouse pointer) after clean boot. nothing obvious, settled down after a few 
    • Odd hang in middle of the night - on signon screen clock display was alternating between two times approx an hour apart.  
    • Stability & Performance skitzy - I ran monitor and log viewer most of the time.  Hard to tell what was going on
    • Hardware
      • Ethernet: worked out of the box, but some odd messages during boot - link not ready BS
      • Bluetooth:  Flakey
        • Fumbled getting BT Apple Keyboard working, had to connect USB kb initially
        • BT Speaker seemed to make BT struggle for its life before dying - system log "Hardware error"
      • Power Management:  Good!  Even showed battery levels for BT keyboard *and* put monitor to sleep
        BUT ...  Auto Screen Lock screwed me, could not get login screen up had to boot
      • Audio:  HDMI sound worked out of the get-go, no obvious access to 3.5mm jack. 
        BT speaker was a fail - recognized as audio (headphones), seemed to try hard to pair, but no worky

2018 Tests (Part 2)

January 2019 
  • Back to Home Automation  
October 2018 
  • Q4OS 2.6 Desktop - Working great for my XP replacement project  - Notes

  • Home Automation quest continues (not done yet)

    • OpenHABian - Not for me, but VERY formidable! Quite a bit of tech-tweaking to get it up and running, but appears to be transforming from config files to GUI for config/maint.  Worth a look - I may revisit in the future - My Notes
  • Added to my ToDo list - very interesting.  
    Tagline from site:  "A ready to use SDCard for Raspberry Pi featuring Node-RED and The Internet of Things technologies, easy to use with a graphical interface"
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018

2018 Test Notes (Part 2)

 Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail
Home Assistant

 (HA ver 0.77.2)
via OpenHABian
(v 2.3.0-1)
(HA ver 0.73.1)
  Mozilla IoT Gateway v0.6.1

(but not for me)
Works pretty well
(more to come)
but looks GREAT!

Working Great!

 General  Demo Server  Demo Server  Demo Server _____________ _____________
 Distro Source/Vendor
Foundation (details)
 Ongoing Evolution/Support   Very Active
Github Project
Issue Tracker
 Very Active
Github Project

OpenHAB Foundation

(Free Instance of OpenHAB Cloud)
Very Active
Dietpi Software
Home Assistant
 Home Assistant
Github Project
Issue Tracker

Early Preview
Project Page 
See Comments
IoT Discourse
Github Project
Github Issues
Dev Wiki^

^ VERY Useful
Bug Tracker
SF Project
RPI Setup
 Security Info/Doc HA Security
Securing Install
Tor Serv Config
Remote Access
Secure Access
Remote Access
HA Security
Securing Install
Tor Serv Config
Remote Access
Remote Access

See Also 

 - RPI Security 
 Reviews/Reputation     Distrowatch (dietpi)   SF Reviews
The Register
 Free,  See also 
 Free/Donate  Free 
Dietpi Donate
- HA's Nabu Casa
 License   Apache 2.0  ICS License  Apache 2.0 Mozilla Public License 2.0
(I think!)
 Download hassos_rpi3


openhabianpi-raspbian-201804031720-gitdba76f6-crc9e93c3eb.img DietPi_RPi

Home Assistant is an optimized option on Dietpi
 Image Size     158.9MB zipped  250MB zipped  83MB zipped  917MB zipped  450MB zipped
 Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)
 Name Alpine Linux Raspbian 
Raspbian GNU/Linux Raspbian GNU/Linux
 Version 3.7.0 9 (stretch) 9 (stretch) 9 (stretch) 9 (stretch)
debian  debian  debian debian
 uname -a Linux core-ssh 4.14.66-v8 
Mon Aug 27 20:12:37 UTC 2018 aarch64 Linux
Linux openHABianPi 4.9.80-v7+ 
#1098 SMP Fri 
Mar 9 19:11:42 
GMT 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux
Linux DietPi 
#1123 SMP Wed Jun 27 17:35:49 BST 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux
Linux raspberrypi 4.14.62-v7+ #1134 SMP Tue Aug 14 17:10:10 BST 2018 armv7l GNU Linux gateway 4.14.71-v7+ #1145 SMP Fri Sep 21 15:38:35 BST 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux

 Release Info  Project Blog  Release Notes Notes
DietPi vs HA
 Release Notes Q4OS Scorpion 2.6 for RPi

Trinity R14.05
Test Hardware          
 RPI Model used for tests

RPI 3 Model B*  RPI 2 Model B*
 RPI 3 Model B*
RPI 3 Model B* 

RPI 3 Model B+*
 SD Used for testing    Samsung 
16g EVO
  Generic 8g   Samsung 
16g EVO
 SD - Disk Available approx 1.5g used  approx 2g used  approx 50%  ~85% free   35% free
 Special Hardware/Peripherals          
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen* n/a  CN  n/a  n/a  no test
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
n/a RPI 3  n/a RPI 3  A  n/a RPI 3  n/a RPI 3
   A   A
  Audio output (HDMI)   n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)   n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)  AN
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack)      A (dietpi)   C
  Ethernet A  A  A  A  A
  Built-in WiFi A  AN  A (on RPI 3)  BN  BN
  Built-in Bluetooth    CN   A (on RPI 3)    CN
  HDMI A (headless)  A (but headless)  A (but headless) A (headless)  A
  Power Management      n/a   BN
  General usability  C  D  B  A
  Install effort     D  D  A (DietPi)  B  C
  Documentation/Help C  B  B  C  C
  GUI/X B (Browser)  D (Browser)  C (Browser)  A (Browser)   Trinity 
  Network Participant2
  Stability  C  B  B  A  A
 Performance/Responsiveness  A  A  A  A  AN
 Apps/Add-ons Availability A  B  A  B (evolving!)   A
 Automatic Updates 
F  F   A (DietPi)  Maybe!  A
 Default Browser   n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)  KonquerorN
Home Automation        Tested some
Y = Available
N = Not yet
 Desktop not HA
    SIMPLE UI for Family     CN    A A
    Smartthings Integration    D
 No BUT!  n/a
    Nest integration    C
 N  n/a
    Homekit Integration    C    Sort of  n/a
    WeMo Motion Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)  N  n/a
    WeMo Switch Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)  Y  n/a
    Hue Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)  Y  n/a
    Camera/Local USB  F  F B  N A
    Camera/Remote    D C  N  n/a
    Zigbee 'Things'
   no test    Y (smartthings!)  n/a
    Zwave 'Things'    no test    Y  n/a
    GPIO interface   F  D  BN  A  n/a
    Remote (Cloud) Controls
   B  n/a
    Security/Privacy   evolving    Looks good  n/a
    Setting up Automations    CN  C  A  n/a
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable

Mozilla Things Gateway

  • Overall - This thing looks GREAT!  Still early/preview state, but I'll probably buy a Zigbee adapter when the next version is released.  Looks like a potential Smartthings Hub replacement.   I'll Keep testing this one
  • Motivation:  Smartthings is a POS!  Latest version of Moz Gateway supposedly handles ST Sensors w/ Zigbee Adapter, of course.  Have also been looking for an easy GPIO interface and/or roll-your-own.
  • Couple of good reads:
  • Install notes
    • Singing along with
    • Pretty simple install/boot - 
      • Raspbian, Resizes fs on first boot
      • Acts like an AP - Connect to "Mozilla IoT Gateway" SSID to setup WiFi
        BUT ... never asked for password, consequently never came up on our WiFi
        • Logged in as pi/raspbian and raspi-config to get it on our WiFi network
        • Ack!  Reflashed, I must have done something wrong!
      • Razin Frazin - worked better last time ... connected it to a wire to get thru initial setup & WiFi config
      • Logged in as pi/raspberry and enabled ssh (raspi-config) - had a feeling it would be handy!
      • Added subdomain because I want to see how tunneling will work ... 
        email confirmation request f
        ailed like this:

        This site can’t provide a secure connection  sent an invalid response. 

  • Connect to gateway.local via browser - nope, that didn't work w/ chrome or safari.  Connected via http://<ip>
    ** Correction:  Connecting using https://gateway.local works fine ... my network issue **
  • Initial scan for things (+) came up empty 
  • Add-ons - quite a few listed, selected the following
    • DateTime Adapter seemed useful (sunrise/sunset, etc)
    • GPIO Adapter!  I'll need that!
    • Homekit 
    • Philips Hue
    • Wemo
  • Nice UI!
    • Still needs some technical tweaks, but simple, browser-based and easy to use!
    • Rules/Automation seems to be VERY simple - nice UI!
  • Security looks pretty well thought out.  I need to think it thru a bit, but looks pretty good!
    • Remote access info @
    • Seems to use
  • Our World/Things ( See also
    • Use Settings/Add-ons to find/add Adapters for your world ... some interesting Add-ons in here!
    • Detected a couple of things - Didn't spend a lot of time here
    • GPIO - this will be important for me.  Singing along with instructions
      and @ (this looks nice btw)
      • Pretty easy setup - when they say 'pin' they mean GPIO#
      • I'm going to 
    • WeMo - Found the Switch, didn't find motion detector
    • HUE (old/original bridge) - took its time, but found HUE bridge and bulbs.  
      • Some granular controls like color, but didnt see others - brightness, etc
    • Smartthings - No Smartthings hub adapter BUT Moz gateway supports a number of smartthings adapters directly - IF you have a Zigbee Adapter.  THIS IS VERY APPEALING because smarthings sucks!
    • Apple Homekit - appears to interface with Homebridge (I have to think that thru too!)

Q4OS 2.6

  • Overall:  Couple of little bumps, but is working great now!  I like Q4OS a LOT!  Waited a quite a while for the Scorpion Release on RPI.  Focused on a complete desktop environment on the ARM architecture
  • Motivation:  Trinity Desktop was GREAT start for my XP look-a-like project.
  • Notes as I go 
    • is really the way to go to burn OS images to SDs.  It even burns from zip file
    • SD booted right up and resized filesystem (using a 16g SD)
    • Login was default raspbian:  User=pi, PW=raspberry
    • Nice initial startup, detected hardware, set language, forced password change
      • Chose "Full Featured ..." desktop from Desktop Profiler Menu.  540M
      • Profiler does all package installs ... looks to be Stretch
        • Ack!  Profiler exited with error code 70 aft approx 10 mins.  
          "Please try again in a few minutes".  Looks like something failed to download
      • Reran Profiler, ran fine
    • Performance was pretty good EXCELLENT on RPI3B+.  Very Usable!
      • Seemed a little sluggish initially, but actually did quite well running youtube video (chromium) while tweaking, installing and testing.  RPI3 avg load probably around 50%
      • Q4OS struggled the last time I tested it, could be Raspbian Stretch
      • Installed RPI-Monitor to keep an eye on it while I test ... Nice utility BTW
      • Ran a quite a few tests on GUI watching utilization and temp on Pi3B+ 
        ... seems good with video/audio streaming on Chromium, Firefox ESR not so good
        Even tested hangouts using a usb webcam - possibilities!
    • Running thru normal Raspbian config per
    • Audio - HDMI Audio worked right out of the box, prepare to tweak to get other stuff working
      • Did not get bluetooth speaker working - but confident it can be done
      • Did not figure out how to switch to 3.5mm output - tried to force via raspi-config ... failed
        Did not spend a lot of time playing with Kmix 
    • WiFi works, but is quirky - I had to set it up using raspi-config, 
      • desktop tray/app thingy (TDENetworkManager?) doesn't seem to work ... I just hid it
      • I set a wifi network via raspi-config to get wifi working
    • There is a PowerSave feature!  I've been looking for Monitor power off capabilities (DPMS)!
    • Network Participant
      • Windows shares worked right out of the box
      • Network printers worked fine too - CUPS 2.2.1
    • USB - Worked great
      • Automounted removable drive
      • Webcam worked right out of the box - tested with VLC Media Player
        (Logitech HD Webcam C525, Portable HD 720p*  - $40 via in Mar 2014)
      • Standard USB Mouse/Keyboard seem fine too ... will need these for my little proj
    • Config/Usage
      • Struggling with kmenuedit:  Attempting to adjust Start Menu.  May be my Trinity Desktop IQ
      • If you unlock panel (right click on start) you can switch between Menu styles - I liked 'kickoff' best
      • VERY easy to use if you dumb it down, remove unnecessary icons and such
    • So far so goodOK GOOD GREAT! on RPI3B+


  • Overall:  Abandoned this one for now, may revisit in the future.  It is complicated, partially due to transition-in-process from v1 (raw config files) to v2 (GUI helpers).  Project is very active, I'll revisit in the future
  • Some fun quotes from Doc:  
    • "A home automation enthusiast doesn't have to be a Linux enthusiast!"
    • "The good news: openHABian helps you to stay away from Linux - The bad news: Not for long..."
  • Motivation:  Decided to fireup OpenHAB up to compare/contrast with Home Assistant
  • Working though setup @
  • Notes as I go 
    • Misc Hardware/Test notes
    • Installation takes a while (and a couple of reboots, if I recall)
    • v 2.3.0-1openhabian 
    • Installing with no monitor ethernetted to our 'things' network segment to see if it discovers things
      UI not responsive during install, so I took a peek via ssh openhabian@<myip> (pw=openhabian)
      Looked like install died
2018-03-13_22:53:35_UTC [openHABian] Starting the openHABian initial setup.
2018-03-13_22:53:35_UTC [openHABian] Storing configuration... OK
2018-03-13_22:53:35_UTC [openHABian] Changing default username and password... OK
2018-03-13_22:53:36_UTC [openHABian] Setting up Ethernet connection... OK
2018-03-13_22:53:36_UTC [openHABian] Ensuring network connectivity... OK
2018-03-13_22:53:36_UTC [openHABian] Waiting for dpkg/apt to get ready... OK
2018-03-13_22:53:57_UTC [openHABian] Updating repositories and upgrading installed packages... FAILED
2018-09-06_12:04:05_UTC [openHABian] Initial setup exiting with an error!
  • REBOOT  w/ no ssh peeking!   Seemed to work fine this time
  • Chose "Standard Package (Recommended)" via UI @ http://<ip or host>:8080 
    Initial screen:
  • ssh openhabian@<myip> 
  • sudo openhabian-config 
    doc @
    • Stepped thru all items
    • Password must be > 10 (and hint for me)
    • Updated everything - "Upgrade System" appears to be to latest/greatest 
    • Apply Improvements - Stepped thru all of these, looked like all were already installed on RPI image
    • Optional components - installed stuff that looked interesting or useful
      (All installed stuff shows up on OpenHab start screen @ http://<ip or host>:8080)
      • Log Viewer 
      • Mosquitto (w/ a password)
      • Influxdb and Graphana - looks cool and seems to run @ http://<ip or host>:3000
        but no clue yet.  More info 
      • Node-RED - installed as root eventho it attempted to scare me off!    I want to learn
        Potential useful notes from install

        You can now start Node-RED with the command node-red-start
          or using the icon under   Menu / Programming / Node-RED
          Then point your browser to localhost:1880 or http://{your_pi_ip-address}:1880
    • System Settings - Hostname, Locale, Timezone.  More here too
    • Backup/Restore - just to see.  Setup Amanda Backup
  • More setup via browser interface @ http://<ip or host>:8080 using Paper UI
    Working thru
    • Configuration/System - Turned on Inbox Auto Approve and Item Linking/Simple and set regional settings (Lang, TZ, Region, etc)
    • Configuration/Bindings for a few of our 'Things' - WeMo was easy to test here
    • Took a read thru 'Concepts' section of doc
    • Never saw anything in my "Inbox", but managed to discover Hue and WeMo things and manually add to Control screen by selecting Channels and setting Room Name
    • Still a little Confusing - but I'm stumbling along making progress.  LOTS of Doc.  Recommendations for new users may help.  
    • Config Tutorial @
    • Looks like I have to Create a Sitemap - time for ssh and an editor.   
      • File Locations vary - found mine via
        $ set | grep OPENHAB_CONF
      • Used Home Builder to create sitemap, items and dashboard.  Odd utility, no save button ... create, then copy/past into correct config file
  • Our World/Things (Configured using Paperui)
    • Philips Hue Hub (v1) - Configuration>Bindings:  Added hue Binding
      Bridge was discovered came up fine. Had to manually select 'Channels' for each bulb in Configuration>Things dialog to get them listed in Control Section of UI, but they work! 
    • WeMo - Configuration>Bindings:  Added WeMo Binding.  Motion and Switch worked fine
      • Switch - Detected switch - manually set Channel to get it to show up in Control area of UI.  
      • WeMo Motion - Set Channel to get it to Control area, 
    • GPIO - Hmmm, time to get the editor out to whip together some .cfg files
  • Enough for now - Will make a note and revisit this one in the future

Home Assistant (

  • Overall:  A tad disappointing, more of a struggle to get this going than Hass via Dietpi.  Aborted
    Dietpi version simply worked better and has many nice features wrapped around (e.g. backups, autoupdate)
  • Dedicated Pi running (the new HassOS) - apparently the traditional way to run Home Assistant
    • Interested to compare/contrast config effort here vs Dietpi/Hass  
    • Based on complexity of Home Automation a dedicated Pi probably makes sense
    • Testing on RP3 w/ 16g SD.  32g SD recommended, 16g seemed fine for testing 
  • Motivation:  Cleanup our home automation, utilize older switches and sensors built into our home *and* attempt to control cloud chatter (privacy)  
  • Notes
    • seems to have gotten major re-work in July 2018 - new OS under the hood 
    • Installation:  Singing along with
      • Downloaded 32bit version because it was marked 'Recommended' on Installation Page
        32-bit didn't work for squat, 'initializing' for hours!  never came up
      • Downloaded 64-bit version, came right up.  Etcher is a nice way to flash these SD's
      • Wired connection to our 'Things' segment and booted so it could discover stuff
      • Hass is @ http://<yourip>:8123 
      • Add-on's are nice!  Not quite as techie as dietpi version
        • Turned on ssh via web interface!   Nice
        • Added the Configurator Add-on.  @ http://<yourip>:3218 by default 
          Web-based config editor - pretty nice, it also checks yaml
      • Alpine Linux package management is different.  apk to add stuff, but only to running instance, package will disappear after reboot if you don't also run ibu .... interesting! 
      • My pass thru  /config/configuration.yaml 
    • Server restarts seem to be required for configuration.yaml mods - to restart follow menu:
      Configuration->general.  Will take you to Configuration and Server Control
    • Our World/Things
      • Detects 'things' I hadn't intended to include in home automation....

        # Discover some devices automatically
            - roku

      • Had to tell 
        Discovery Component to ignore Roku, could not find way to ignore our TV
        • Roku
  • Philips Hue Hub (v1) - Bridge was discovered came up fine
  • WeMo Switch detected and functioned right  out of the box
  • WeMo Motion detected and functioned right  out of the box
  • GPIO:  FAILED(?!?!) using the exact GPIO syntax that was working on HA on Dietpi - WTF!
    Retried using switch example in documentation - STILL failed
    Pop up on mainscreen:
    invalid config

    The following components and platforms could not be set up:

    Please check your config.

  • Camera:  Never figured out howto define local USB cam.  JUST worked on Hass on Dietpi

Home Assistant (DietPi)

  • Overall - Testing Paused.  Looks pretty good, but lots of tweaking that will need to be redone on
    My gut feel is that Home Assistant will deserve a Pi of its own, not simply a service on an existing Dietpi box.  
    Will take what I've learned to and see if its any easier
  • Home Assistant using an existing DietPi (Home Assistant is a DietPi option)
    • Install took a while - HASS is Python
    • Appears to be v0.73.1
    • Web interface came up GREAT, also discovered a few of our 'Things'
    • Configuration is a tad complicated (yaml) - it's a techie gizmo, you will tweak
    • Discovery is a little flaky (just me?) - sometimes things show, other times not?
  • Motivation:  I need to cleanup Home Automation in our home - also investigating using RPI GPIO to interface an existing (old) home security system - many hardwired sensors.  Curious if I can use existing Dietpi box
  • Notes as I go...
    • Switched from RPI 3 to RPI 2 w/ edimax Wifi adapter - added to an existing dietpi system.  Seems OK
    • Came right up, discovered a couple of wifi 'things' (like WeMo, Roku, Sony TV!)
      // discovered devices seemed to work right out of the box - turned on the TV in chromecast mode //
    • Access via browser @ http://<ip or host>:8123
    • Walked through UI config options - looks like it will be brute force mods to config files
    • Attempting to sing-a-long with links in "Welcome Home!" box on web interface
      • Configuring Home Assistant:  Hmmm, dietpi not listed, this will not be as easy as
        Doesn't seem to match
        • found only 1 config file @  /mnt/dietpi_userdata/homeassistant/configuration.yaml
        • Shot a toe off with first mod to configuration.yaml (setting timezone!)  
          Had to restore original yaml file to get it back up and running - probably my tyep-o's
        • Runs as a service on dietpi:   journalctl -u home-assistant.service to see whats up
        • yaml appears to get complicated, plenty of samples but lots of rummaging around
        • Displays "failed to call service homeassistant restart" when I restart via web frontend, but does seem to restart
        • Web UI is a tad confusing - "Discovered" vs "Configured"
        • Have to be a careful editing yaml.  I'm steering clear of tabs
        • Looks like many devices are registered and working on multiple hubs!  
          e.g. Hue Lights via Smartthings or HA, WeMo too!  Not sure if this is good or bad yet
      • Our World/Things
        • Detected a few 'things' I didn't expect - these seem to be detected each time, not added to yaml
          • Smart TV - periodically discovered
          • Roku 
        • Philips Hue Hub (v1) - Bridge was discovered came up fine. playing with config 
        • WeMo Switch detected and functioned right  out of the box
        • WeMo Motion seems to take a bit to be detected (motion?), but worked
        • GPIO:  It works BUT ... I had to make a little tweak to user homeassistant and add him/her to the gpio group.  I noticed this in Manual Install documentation

          The Mod was simple:  usermod -a -G gpio homeassistant 

          My test yaml:
          # GPIO - an led in GPIO 4 and a push button @ GPIO2 in my breadboard


              - platform: rpi_gpio
                  4: Blue Light

                - platform: rpi_gpio
                    2: Button

      2018 Tests (Part 1)

      April 2018
      March 2018 
      February 2018
      • DietPi - Lightweight/optimized/simplified Raspbian - Great!  Notes!
      January 2018 
       Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), 
      B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail
       Parrot OS!
         'Experimental' but
      works fine!
       Worth the Upgrade  Works Great Looks VERY Promising
      but still early 'Experimental' 
      Works Fine

       Distro Source/Vendor
       Ongoing Evolution/Support   Active Project 
      - Wiki/Doc
      - FAQs
      - CommunityRPI Zero W 
      THE RPI OS:
      - Forums
      - Help Guides
      - Documentation
      See Forums
      - Release info
      - GitHub Proj
      - Setup Guide
      - Software Details
      - Project Page
      - IoT Discourse
      - Github Project
      - Issues
      (see Comments)
       Little stale (2016)
      - Project Page
      - Prob on your own
      - SourceForge
       Reviews/Reputation   RPI Foundation 
       Cost/$$$  Free: Donate  Free  Free: Donate  Free: Donate  Free
       License   GNU/GPL v3  FOSS - mainly GPL  GNU/GPLv2 Mozilla Public License 2.0  FOSS - mainly GPL
       Download  Parrot-rpi-2017.11.15_armhf (img file)
      DietPi_RPi-ARMv6-Stretch.7z gateway-0.3.0
      (zipped img
      honeeepi201610 (zipped img)
       Image Size      1.5g Zip  1.6g Zip  84MB zip!  705MB zip  607MB zip
      Under the Hood
      (OS info /etc/os-release)
       Name Parrot
      Raspbian GNU/Linux Raspbian GNU/Linux Raspbian GNU/Linux Raspbian
       Version 3.10 (Intruder)
      9 (stretch) 9 (stretch) 9 (stretch) 8 (jessie)
       ID_Like debian
      debian debian debian debian
       uname -a
       Linux parrot-armhf
      4.4.38-v7+ #938 SMP
      Thu Dec 15 15:22:21 GMT 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux
      Linux Raspberrypi 4.9.59-v7+ #1047 SMP
      Sun Oct 29 12:19:23 GMT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux
      Linux DietPi 4.9.59-v7+ #1047 SMP Sun Oct 29 12:19:23 GMT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux Linux gateway 4.9.59-v7+ #1047 SMP Sun Oct 29 12:19:23 GMT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux Linux honeeepi 4.4.21-v7+ #911 SMP Thu Sep 15 14:22:38 BST 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux
       Release Info    Release Notes  V6.0 Info  Release Notes  Project Wiki
      Test Hardware          
       RPI Model used for tests  RPI 2 Model B*
       RPI 3 Model B* RPI 2 Model B*
      RPI Zero W (fail)
       SD Used for testing   8g (generic)
      16g EVO
        8g (generic)  8g (generic)
       SD - Disk Available  685k (91% used)
       4.4g (35%)  5g (25% used)  5g (25% used)  2.4g (9% used)
       Special Hardware/Peripherals          
          3.5" TFT TouchScreen*  n/a   n/a  Not listed :-(    n/a
          Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
       A   n/a  BN  A B
        USB  A  A  A  A  B
        Audio output (HDMI)  DN  A  A    
        Audio output (3.5mm Jack) DN
       A  AN    
        Ethernet  A  A  A  A  A
        Built-in WiFi  n/a (PI 2)
       A  n/a (PI 2)  A  B
        Built-in Bluetooth  n/a (PI 2)
       A   n/a (PI 2)    
        HDMI  A  A  A  A  A
        Power Management  F  F  F    
        General usability   B A A  C  C
        Install effort      B A A  B  C
        Documentation/Help  B A A  C  D
        GUI/X  A  AN  n/a (headless)  none
        Network Participant2  A  A+N  BN    B
        Stability   B  B  A    B
       Performance/Responsiveness  B  A  A    A
       Apps/Add-ons Availability  B  A  A    BN
       Automatic Updates 
       B  C  A    
       Default Browser    Chromium  Firefox  n/a (headless)  
      This table likely to change!
      N See Notes below
      2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)

      2018 Test Notes (Part 1)


      • Overall:  Great way to experiment with a variety of Honeypots - I'll keep mine running for a while
        • Project is a little stale (older OS & tools), no changes since 2016
          If/when I deploy a honeypot, I'll probably build one with latest/greatest version of selected tools
        • There is more here than doc describes - found a number of additional tools (see list below)
        • Moved mine to a RPI v1 Model B w/ edimax wifi adapter, works fine 
      • Motivation:  Have had a Honeypot on ToDo list for a very long time - curious, interested in learning more
      • Notes - singing along @
        • Image didn't boot on PI Zero (of course) ... worked fine on RPI 3 via ethernet
        • Switched to RPI 1 Model B, works fine with USB WiFi (edimax adapter)
        • dhcp and ssh (@ port 9002) on by default
        • Hmmm?  Had to sudo apt-get install raspi-config ... Doc mentioned it, but it wasn't there 
        • Had a couple of unscheduled reboots - may have been my impatience on RPI 1 
        • 32g SD is probably an overkill for testing/playing, I re-imaged with a 16g SD for my purposes
        • Apps/Addons appear to come from raspbian repo (jesse), I found what I needed to play
        • Commandline WiFi setup (I forgot) @
      • Honeypot playtime - quite a few preinstalled tools - even some that were not in doc
        • Glastopf v3.1.3-dev: Web App HoneyPot - project is winding down, ->
        • Conpot v0.5.1:  Industrial Controls Honeypot - very interesting - more @
          • Honeeepi includes a number of ICS templates - meter, ipmi, tank monitor, etc
          • Seemed to fire up and run, but I need to learn MUCH more
          • Github project @ - seems to be active/current
        • Dionaea v0.1.0: Captures attack payloads and malware.  Looks interesting (for IoT?), but will take effort 
        • Cowrie v2016/08/22 :  Telnet and SSH (and more?) Honeypot. 
        • Kippo:  Bruteforce SSH Honeypot 
        • Amun v0.1.1:  A Python Honeypot - Looks like an old project (last update 2014)
          • HowTo not in Honeeepi doc - worked off of files in /honeeepi/amum and got it running - no testing
          • Start w/ instructions in INSTALL file - will take some poking to really play
          • Project appears to be @
        • Honeyd v1.6d:  Honeypot Daemon - virtual hosts w/ various personalities (OS, apps, etc) 
          • Was not listed in Honeepi doc, but installed and seems to work
          • Start @ /honeepi/honeyd/README and/or man honeyd
          • Old project - circa 2007 - website is alive @
        • Snort v2.9.7.0 GRE (Build 149) - Intrusion Detection 
          • Noted in honeeepi doc but no instructions - it does seem to be installed and functional
          • A long road, but start @ there is a lot to this one
          • Right/wrong or not knowing any better, here's what I ran to test 
             sudo snort -d -h -l /home/pi/log -c /etc/snort/snort.conf
        • ntopng v2.5.160924 - Traffic Analysis (nice)
          • Also noted in honeepi project notes but no instructions - it also DOES seem to be there & work!
          • Looks like a trial license - runs for a few minutes?  Mine ran beyond expiration
          • Doc @
          • To get it rolling
            • Start the service via sudo service ntopng start
            • point browser to http://<honeeepi-ip>:3000
            • login as admin/admin
            • Stop via sudo service ntopng stop (of course)
        • <Still sniffing around ... quite a bit on here ... possibly more to come>
      •  Odds-N-ends

      Mozilla Things Gateway

      • Overall:  In Process, but looks VERY promising!   
        • Gateway is still under development (Experimental), but definitely worth following this project
        • I'll keep my IoT gateway alive and continue playing as the project matures
          • Gateway Remote Access appears to be well thought out - has been a DIY obstacle for me
          • I need zigbee & z-wave for my smart world - wonder if there is a combo USB
      • Experimental - Announced in Feb 2018
      • Motivation: Ongoing attempt to tame our 'Smart Home' - too many hubs & apps and untrusted cloud collectors/controllers
      • Notes as I go -
        • Quick/Small download and painless sd create via etcher 
        • Booted right up
        • It's headless, OS access not intended - no login or ssh or GUI by default
          • You can add file called 'ssh' to boot partition if you really need to poke around
        • I initially logged in via Ethernet cable, but looks like I should have connected to its WiFi Hostspot 
        • Accessed via http://gateway.local
        • Created https://<myhub> during initial setup (bookmark/remember it)
        • RPI V2 w/ EDIMAX WiFi adapter seemed to work fine ... but I'll redo on RPI3 for bluetooth
        • RPI3 redo - this time following the instructions(!) and a WeMo Switch to see how this thing works
          • Setup via phone by connecting to "Mozilla IOT Gateway" SSID
          • Did an update just to get the witches out - updated to 0.3.1
        • RPI3 redo AGAIN - this time I WILL REALLY follow instructions 


      • Overall on DietPi:  Works GREAT!  I think it may be my new starting point for Raspbian PI projects!
      • Working on a couple of server-like projects, DietPi seems like a great quick-start - Looks nice!
      • Notes
        • Very small/quick download (like 80M zip file) contains image, hash and readme
        • Booted up and dropped me right into install menu, quite nice- EVEN via SSH!
          • Appeared to expand FS automatically, looks like much will be done 
          • username/pw: root/dietpi
          • DietPi-Config is quite nice - quick setup/customization.  Notes
            • Display - GPU/RAM memory split is nice + LCD Panel addon (but not mine)
            • Audio - Quite a few soundcards preset
            • Performance tune is nice - Overclock profiles!
            • Network/NAS setup in config seems handy
            • Tools/Benchmarks in config:  great idea for tweaking!
          • Software installs
            • Nice collection of 'Optimized' software - Desktops, Remote access, etc
            • Additional software in menu appears to be subset of Raspbian repository
            • I installed favorite loose-ends manually using sudo apt-get
        • Some VERY interesting optimized software - actually distracted me from initial project
        • Notes from testing
          • Audio - use dietpi-config to change soundcard/output options (e.g. hdmi to 3.5mm)
          • Little bump w/wifi - seemed to have dropped connection, re-ran install while wired ... will revisit
          • Network shares - Little fumbling to turn on ... samba appears to be option in dietpi-config
          • Multiple GUI desktops offered, I used LXDE, worked great on RPI v2
          • Still no sign of power management (DPMS, specifically) 
      • Rebooted my test SD (8g) on a PI Zero just for the heck of it ... quite impressive
        • RPi-Monitor, MotionEye (w/camera), Home Assistant and installed and running
        • Idles around 2%-10% CPU (not counting htop)
        • Running approx 15% CPU with MotionEye (streaming video)
        • Shairportsync wouldn't run - blew-up (illegal Inst) - I didn't mess with it
        • Simply a quick little test, but performance looked very promising

      Raspbian Stretch

      • Overall on Stretch:  Time to Upgrade.  Looks REALLY good.  Raspbian is coming along nicely!
        • Current release of RPI official OS, played w/ this a few months ago - time to revisit and upgrade!
      • Notes 
        • Decided to start via NOOBS.  Wanted to see other OSes offered up during install - Nothing of interest
        • Install is VERY EASY via NOOBS
        • Hardware/peripherals worked right out of the box - even a bluetooth speaker
        • Noticed FTP feature in GUI file manager - VERY Handy feature!
        • Stumbled upon a nice jessie to stretch update HowTo, seemed to work well

      Parrot OS

      • Overall on Parrot:  Looked GOOD on RPI 2!   A little light on preinstalled tools, will revisit again
      • Parrot Security Project @ 
        GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian designed with Security, Development and Privacy in mind."
        • I've been waiting for this one!  Switched to Parrot for security testing a while ago on my netbook
        • nice selection of security tools - better than Kali, IMHO
      • Install notes
        • Initial tests on RPI2 w/ Edimax Wifi adapter and 8g SD, will redo on PI 3 if I decide to keep it around
        • Automatically expanded filesystem on initial boot
        • Firefox kept rolling over (crash) when it first came up 
          • upgraded to see if FF would settle (apt-get upgrade) - Took hours!
          • Firefox still crashing, installed FF ESR (atp-get install firefox-esr)
          • Firefox settled down after reboot - not sure if reboot or ESR install or combination fixed it
        • Updates/Software
          • Had to set a root password - strange authentication errors during AutoUpdate & some app startups
            (sudo passwd root).  Default password supposed to be toor, but I had to set it
          • Strange warning when software installed, supposedly simply an FYI sort of warning
            W: http: aptMethod::Configuration: could not load seccomp policy: Invalid argument
          • Looks like a well stocked software repository - Synaptic Software MGR is easy
        • No sound via hdmi or 3.5mm jack - didn't fiddle with it, but noticed that alsa stuff was installed
        • Performance was respectable - even on RPI V2!  Very responsive/usable
        • One little glitch/hang that forced a reboot late in install - when futzing with Firefoxes.  No details
        • Pretty tight on 8g SD card!  I'd say 16g minimum if you are planning on capturing traffic
      • Apps
        • Appears to be subset of tools that normally come pre-installed w/ Parrot ... will dig more
        • Rats!  No OpenVAS vulnerability scanner, it was nice to have it preinstalled on Parrot
        • Quick test of a few apps that would be handy on this thing
          • Wireshark seemed to work.  Watched net traffic on ethernet and wifi (edimax usb)
          • Nmap/Zenmap worked fine
          • Etherape OK
          • many more to test here

      2017 Tests

      December 2017 
      October 2017
      • New Activity, page setup in process

      • Q4OS tested - Works great on RPI3!  A few notes.  
        Excellent potential for another RPI project (Desktop replacement)
      • Kali Linux on a RPI 2.  Security/Pen Testing tool, works VERY well!
        Built a Pi based KRACK test gizmo, but tested a number of Kali tools too

       Ratings:  A=Perfect (out of box), B=Little Tweak, C=Big Tweak, D=Works/Flaky, F=Total Fail  

       Q4OS  Retropie
      General Very Usable on RPI 2!
      Aborted VERY NICE
      Works great
      Worked fine
      Works fine
       Distro Source/Vendor  Kali-PI via Re4son  Raspbian via Adafruit
       Ongoing Evolution/Support    Good
      - Active Project
      - Forums
      Active Project
      - User Forum
      - Active 
      - User Forum
      - Reddit Chatter 
      Forum Chatter
      - Adafruit forums
      - RPI Forums
       Reviews/Reputation  DistroWatch    DistroWatch     
       Cost/$$$      Free  Free  Free/Donation  Free/Donation  Free
       Download  kali-2017.2-rpi3-nexmon
      retropie-4.3-rpi1_zero.img.gz  2016-11-08-pitft-35r.img
       Image Size      903.3 MB compressed  
       350 MB zipped   641 MB zipped disk image
       1.7g zipped 
      disk image
      Release info
      (from /etc/os-release)
      Kali upgrade
       Name  Kali GNU/Linux
       Kali GNU/Linux  Raspbian GNU/Linux
       Raspbian GNU/Linux  Raspbian GNU/Linux
       Version  2017.2  2017.3  8 (jessie)  8 (jessie)   8 (jessie)
       ID_Like  debian  debian  debian  debian  debian
       uname -a
       Linux kali 4.4.50-v7+ #1 SMP Wed Aug 30 11:08:41 CDT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux  Linux kali 4.4.50-v7+ #1 SMP Wed Aug 30 11:08:41 CDT 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux  Linux raspberrypi 4.9.35-v7+ #1014 SMP Fri Jun 30 14:47:43 BST 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux
       Linux retropi 4.9.35+ #1014 Fri Jun 30 14:34:49 BST 2017 armv6l GNU/Linux  Linux raspberrypi  4.4.27-v7+ #2 SMP Wed Oct 26 19:09:12 UTC 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux
        RPI Model used for tests RPI 2 Model B*  RPI 3 Model B* RPI 3 Model B* RPI Zero W*  RPI 3 Model B*
          3.5" TFT TouchScreen*  skipped
         n/a  n/a  B
          Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
       A n/a
       n/a (built-in)    n/a (built-in)  n/a (built-in)
        USB  A     A A
        Audio output (HDMI)  F    A A A
        Audio output (3.5mm Jack)      BN n/a A
        Ethernet  BN    A n/a A
        Built-in WiFi  n/a (RPI 2)
        Built-in Bluetooth  n/a (RPI 2)    BN C   BN
        HDMI  A    A  A A
        Power Management  F    DN   C
        General usability   B    A C  C
        Install effort      B    A C  B
        Documentation/Help  A    A B  C
        SD Used for testing     Samsung
      16g EVO
        SD - Disk Available
      10g after FS expandN     28g after FS expand 
       13g after 
      FS expandN
       11g after 
      FS expand
        GUI/X  XFCEN 
         Trinity (Nice!)
      Game Console
           RPI Pixel
        Network Participant2  F    A  A  A
        Stability   B    B  B  B
        Performance/Responsiveness  B    BN  A  B
       Apps/Add-ons Availability  B    A  C  B
       Automatic Updates 
         A  Manual?  C
      This table likely to change!
      N See Notes below
      2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)

      2017 Test Notes


      • Overall on Kali:  Works great, very usable, even on RPIV2!
        • Tested 2017.2 and 2017.3 releases 
      • Kali is a Security (Pen testing) distro with many useful security tools
      • My Project-at-hand:  A test device that can be plugged into local net to check our IoT 'things' for KRACK vulnerability.
      • Random observations/notes
        • Performance on RPI2 is remarkably good - testing via GUI, browser with 3-4 tabs and 2 terminal windows.  Very responsive
        • Have used Kali (PKA Backtrack) in the past, excellent pentesting/security distro.
      • Image Name = Kali Raspberry PI w/TFTTried twice and failed to get it to boot - Aborted  
      • Image Name = RaspberryPi 2 / 3:  retried with kali-2017.2-rpi3-nexmon.img image 
        • Much better!  It Booted!  It works!  
        • Default U/P=root/toor, using default config
        • Singing along with
          • Remember to reset root password - passwd
          • reset ssh host keys:
            root@kali:~ rm /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*
            root@kali:~ dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server
            root@kali:~ service ssh restart
          • Important:   apt-get update && apt-get upgrade 
        • Goofy situation after reboots:  All windows restored (Filemanager, wireshark, term, etc), but no menu bar
          • To get panel working again:
            • <alt>F2 to get to application finder, then run "Panel"
            • Settings in Menu
              • Session and Startup, Session Tab -> Clear Saved Sessions
          • Royal pain in the butt
        • Expand Partition to fill SD @
        • Network
          • WiFi worked right out of the box
          • Ethernet:  I had to set up a connection (Settings->Network Connection)
        • Software: 
          • update/upgrade added quite a few kali tools
          • Wireshark works!

      StickyFingers Kali-PI 

      • Overall on Kali-PI:  Aborted
        • Originally attempted using pre-installed-image, failed after a couple of attempts, strange TFT display
        • Decided to upgrade my Kali rather than using the image, failed again
      • Objective:  "Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/Zero with 3.5″ or 2.8″ Touch Screen and touch optimized interface"
      • Install @
        • Updated my Kaili to 2017.3 (apt-get update && apt-get upgrade) - took a while on RPI 2
        • Switched to RPI 3 for this project, RPI 2 seems a little sluggish, also interested in bluetooth!
      • Didn't get very far on RPI 2 or RPI 3.  After a number of attempts decided to take a step back and test the touchscreen using Adafriut image.  Worked fine, will revisit this one.
      • Sister project, DV-PI added to my ToDo List.  "Damn Vulnerable Raspberry Pi runs on all Pi’s
        The touch friendly “driving range” for IoT penetration testing with your Kali-Pi."
      • Will play more with this at a later date ... TFT display is now part of another project


      • Overall on Q4OS:  VERY NICE!   I like it A LOT ..... 
      • Tagline from - "Q4OS Raspberry Pi port is a free operating system based on Raspbian distribution, optimized for the Raspberry Pi family hardware, the series of credit card-sized single-board ARM computers. Q4OS is now one of a few distributions offering the full desktop environment on the ARM architecture."
      • My project:  Replace desktops (XP and/or Linux/Lubuntu) for aging parents/friends w/ a Desktop PI
      • Install/Setup Instructions @
        • SD setup using Disk Image Writer, DD would work fine too  
        • Very Smooth install! 
          • Forces PI password change
          • Automatically expands file system to fill SD
          • Offers a couple of software 'profiles' that install base set of applications 
      • Very little tweaking to get hardware/software working
        • Network - WiFi, Ethernet, even samba shares worked right out of the gate
        • Power MGT - flaky, but may be raspbian/PI.  Can't seem to get monitor to power off or full suspend
        • Little hiccup trying to change audio source from HDMI to 3.5mm Jack - had to reboot
          • Switched Audio using raspi-config / Advanced Options, worked fine
        • Bluetooth seemed OK, but I had to install blueman to test.  
      • Performance/stability is VERY good .... but ....
        • RPI 3 was heating up (temp warning) with couple browser tabs open+terminal activity+youtube 
        • Odd startup error periodically - "Sound server fatal error:  cpu overload, aborting" 
        • Automatic check for updates!


      • Overall on Retropie:  It works fine, little rough to configure, but it was fun one
      • Tagline from "Retropie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi or PC into a retro-gaming machine"
      • Holiday project - had an extra sd card laying around ...
        • Not for me tho - not much of a gamer now, easier to hookup the old N64 for xmas funtime
        • Tested mostly with PI Zero, seemed pretty responsive and workable.  PI 3 seemed to be working too
      • Official install guide was pretty good - easy to sing-a-long
      • Attempt #2 due to PI Contention:  Switched to a PI Zero, should be plenty of power for old games!
        • Had to re-download, pi 0/1 image is different - Starting from scratch ....
        • Came up fine ... but not what I expected - no standard interface, it's a game console (of course!).
        • Need to configure a controller when first boot - I had only a keyboard
          • REMEMBER how you map up/down and A/B buttons!  Used to navigate UI!
            • Use "A" button to select, use "B" to go back
            • My keyboard was a little confusing due to mappings and in/out of textmode config screens
          • Stumbled my way to raspi-config and changed PI password & enabled SSH!
            • Doing as much config/setup via SSH as possible
        • Needed better controller - Keyboard is clumsy.  Started with a Wiimote, because I had one here
          • If the gizmo is fun, usb controllers are pretty cheap ... alternatives I will explore
          • In meantime:  ssh'ed in and started working through 
            • I set locales and keyboard to US via raspi-config - was en-GB (not sure it will matter)
            • Update was special (see writeup): updated via RetroPie-Setup/ script
            • Took a loong time ... appears to do raspbian apt-get update too
            • Wiimote setup was breathtaking - got it to work, but struggled with button assignments
              (also very confusing if you start with keyboard controller as I did) 
            • You CAN skip button assignments during wii controller setup using keyboard arrow keys
        • Back to official install (almost forgot where I was!) - Transferring ROMS
      • My standard PI Tests
        • Audio worked out of the box
        • Usability - simply not what I had expected. I now understand default GUI - slowly growing on me!
          • I ended up using ssh to configure as much as possible, lots of struggles w/ native UI.  probably would have been better if I had a real game controller
        • Bluetooth itself worked fine, I fumbled because of my Wiimote controller, which DID work!
        • Pretty solid/stable - one odd ssh issue - could not connect - but I may have overused ssh (seemed easier)  

      Adafruit PiTFT 

      • Overall: Adafruit TFT image (Jesse w/ custom kernel) came up fine, will work great for TFT development 
      • My objective:  Step back to make sure my 3.5 TFT screen works due to chronic struggles w/ Kali-PI
      • Random install notes
        • Preliminary tests on RPI 2 - seemed to work fine, switch to RPI 3 for my testing
        • SSH was enabled, making initial tweaks a bit easier
        • Had to create /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fbdev.conf & boot to switch to HDMI screen 
          • Some sort of hiccup with mouse when initially switched to  HDMI, had to touch screen to navigate
            (I THINK this was fixed via reboot)
        • Networking worked right out of box, but had to manually enable wifi when I unplugged Ethernet
        • TFT appears to power save! Turns off - wish I could get HDMI monitors to do that!
      • Helpful hints @
        • From FAQ:  Created /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fbdev.conf to GUI on hdmi (used to use FRAMEBUFFER)
        • DON'T 'apt-get upgrade' or 'rpi-update' - it will blow away custom kenel
      • Will be using this one for Touch Screen development, will try to note additional observations as I go

      Test Templates
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