Arch Linux is a light-weight operating system designed for folks that want to basically build their own OS by adding only the components they need. For this reason, Arch has become a popular choice for experienced Linux enthusiasts looking for more control and customization options than most operating systems provide.
Now the folks behind the Raspberry Pi $35 computer have announced that there’s a build of Arch Linux available that will run on the company’s tiny computer.
Out of the box, the Arch Linux ARM software for the Raspberry Pi will not have a graphical user interface. But after booting into the command-line interface you can manually install a GUI.
The Raspberry Pi features a 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor, 256MB of RAM, HDMI output, and an SD card slot for storage. The $35 version also features 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port.
The computer went on sale last week, but even before it started shipping developers started tweaking other software to run on the PC including Fedora Remix and Rasbpbmc, a media center based on XBMC.
You can also find a build of Debian Linux for at the Raspberry Pi download page.
Brad, It would be really helpful if you put some tutorials on it. anything DIY type is good.
In terms of running one of these as a server, it probably is more cost effective per server to get an Atom N2800 motherboard ($100), give it a 80gb or 100gb hard disk ($40), a case ($40), and 4gb of memory ($35). THat costs more than a single Raspberry Pi, but for $225, you have a server that can run 12 256mb OpenVZ virtual servers, each with over 6gb of hard disk space.
Cost per server: Under $20.
Or, even more cost effective: Get the dust off that old netbook, put Linux on it, and instant free home workgroup server.
Also, the Raspberry Pi has issues with Class 10 SDHC cards, which is the minimum speed one really needs to effectively serve files over the network and what not.
As a counterpoint, I’m excited about the Raspberry PI for reasons other than its price, and things that a netbook or Atom Mobo might not have.
Extremely low power use
Fanless, Noiseless while running
HDMI output for TVs
OSS for mildly exotic hardware
Let’s face it, I could get my hands on any number of old P4 desktop PCs for free, but that’s not what this project is about, is it?
But you really cant beat 5W of electricity that the Pi consumes. And the ARM architecture is surprisingly very efficient.
I actually like the ARM architecture because I think it’s important to have alternatives to x86 out there. It’s too bad the (relative) failure of the Itanium mostly killed of using non-x86 on servers (which the exception of overpriced Itaniums and IBM’s PowerPC-compatible servers; Sparc is pretty much dead, IMO)
I’m running Arch on a 20$ pogoplug at a Friends office.
Nice solution for Samba & centralized backups.
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