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Raspberry Pi Operating System Alternatives

Last Update 3 Dec 2018

This page will be used to chronicle tests of alternate 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

October 2018 
  • Q4OS 2.6 - 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
April 2018
March 2018 
February 2018
January 2018 

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

Latest Tests

 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

(but not for me)
Works pretty well
(more to come)
Working Great!

 General  Demo Server  Demo Server  Demo Server ____________ ______________
 Distro Source/Vendor
Foundation (details)
 Ongoing Evolution/Support   Very Active
- Documentation
- Github Project
- Issue Tracker
 Very Active
- Documentation
- Community
- Github Project

OpenHAB Foundation

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


Early Preview
- Blog
- Hacks/Install
- Documentation
- Forums
- Bug Tracker
- SF Project
- RPI Setup
 Security Info/Doc HA Security
Securing Install
Tor Serv Config
Remote Access
- Secure Access
- Remote Access
- OpenHABCloud
- HA Security
- Securing Install
- Tor Serv Config
- Remote Access
- Fingerprint
   - RPI Security 
 Reviews/Reputation     Distrowatch (dietpi)   SF Reviews
- The Register
 Cost/$$$  Free,  See also 
Nabu Casa
 Free/Donate  Free
- Dietpi Donate
- HA's Nabu Casa
 License   Apache 2.0  ICS License  Apache 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    450MB zipped
 Under the Hood
(OS info /etc/os-release)
 Name Alpine Linux Raspbian
  Raspbian GNU/Linux
 Version 3.7.0 9 (stretch)  9 (stretch)   9 (stretch)
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
 Release Info  Project Blog  Release Notes Notes
- DietPi
- vs HA
  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+*
 SD Used for testing    Samsung 
16g EVO
  Generic 8g     Samsung 
16g EVO
 SD - Disk Available approx 1.5g used  approx 2g used  approx 50%     35% free
 Special Hardware/Peripherals          
    3.5" TFT TouchScreen* n/a  CN  n/a    no test
    Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter*
n/a RPI 3  n/a RPI 3  A    n/a RPI 3
   A   A
  Audio output (HDMI)   n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)   n/a (headless)    AN
  Audio output (3.5mm Jack)      A (dietpi)   C
  Ethernet A  A  A    A
  Built-in WiFi A  AN  A (on RPI 3)    BN
  Built-in Bluetooth    CN   A (on RPI 3)    CN
  HDMI A (headless)  A (but headless)  A (but headless)    A
  Power Management      n/a   BN
  General usability  C  D    A
  Install effort     D  D  A (DietPi)    C
  Documentation/Help C  B  B    C
  GUI/X B (Browser)  D (Browser)  C (Browser)     Trinity 
  Network Participant2
  Stability  C  B  B    A
 Performance/Responsiveness  A  A  A    AN
 Apps/Add-ons Availability A  B  A    A
 Automatic Updates 
F  F   A (DietPi)    A
 Default Browser   n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)  n/a (headless)    KonquerorN
Home Automation           Desktop not HA
    SIMPLE UI for Family     CN     A
    Smartthings Integration    D
    Nest integration    C
    Homekit Integration    C      n/a
    WeMo Motion Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)    n/a
    WeMo Switch Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)    n/a
    Hue Integration  A (detected)  B (detected) A (detected)    n/a
    Camera/Local USB  F  F B   A
    Camera/Remote    D C    n/a
    Zigbee 'Things'
   no test      n/a
    Zwave 'Things'    no test      n/a
    GPIO interface   F  D  BN    n/a
    Remote (Cloud) Controls
    Security/Privacy   evolving      n/a
    Setting up Automations    CN  C    n/a
This table likely to change!
N See Notes below
2 Home Network (samba, mac + win workgroup)
n/a = Not applicable

Latest Test Notes

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 an XP look-a-like project I started.  
  • 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 good! OK 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

      Mozilla Things Gateway

      2018 Tests 

       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
      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


      • 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 an 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

       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

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