Post by Martha Adams
Noted in today's news, a new Raspberry Pi with 4 Gb of
memory and (apparently) 4 64-bit processors. That looks
to me like enough resource to run a Slackware very well,
and if Slackware can make itself less moribund, I think
it would pair off very well with the new RP. Returning
not least, more space on my worktable. I'm hoping this
can actually happen; waiting to see....
I've owned a small ARM-based single board computer that's similar to the
RPi for a while now. It's the Odroid XU4. I chose it because it has
faster USB than the RPi did at the time, and also because it has 2GB of
RAM and support for emmc storage, which is faster than SD cards. On the
other hand, it doesn't have built-in wireless and audio is only over
I'm running 32-bit Ubuntu on it and it works quite well.
The size on "disk" of binaries for ARM is smaller than for x86. Memory
usage while the software is running also seems to be more efficient. So
a small amount of storage and less RAM than a PC has can be enough when
you're using an RPi or something similar.
I think 1GB of RAM on an RPi is a bit limiting if you plan to use it as
a desktop system. 2GB is probably enough for many people, and 4GB is
32-bit vs. 64-bit on one of these probably isn't anything most people
need to worry about. I'd just go with what most people are using so I
know it's well-supported.
I plan to buy an RPi 4 in a few months. I'll probably get the 4GB model
since it's only US$10 more than the 2GB one.
It should be a lot of fun to use, and I could even see it being a
replacement for my PC as a desktop.
The initial announcements that I saw for the RPi 4 said that it does not
yet support booting from USB, just from an SD (micro SD actually)
card. So I will want to wait until they support booting from a
USB-attached SSD or something before I try to really use the RPi 4 much
as a desktop.
I have a friend who has been using an RPi as a desktop system for a few
years now, and he said that he's had some issues with SD cards getting
slow or even failing after using them a lot, while that hasn't happened
for RPis he used for other things (where he wasn't using the GUI).
I don't really know how much of an issue this is, and SD cards are
pretty cheap, so it certainly wouldn't hurt to try using just a micro SD
card for a while and see what happens.
BTW, my friend who uses an RPi as a desktop system (with 1G of RAM)
typically spends his time using a web browser or working from a shell
with vim doing coding. He says that, as long as he doesn't open too many
tabs in Chrome at once, 1G of RAM is sufficient.
I guess I'm not that disciplined, and I have to keep an eye on how much
RAM Chrome or Firefox are using even on my XU4 with 2GB of RAM. :-)