Raspberry Pi and related Stuff

Raspberry Pi and related Stuff
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I’m planning to order a bunch of Raspberry Pis and Peripherals for Game Testing and general Fun Purposes (because I like playing around with that Stuff) in September, as hinted at the Thread where I asked for Feedback on which alternative Operating Systems I could run on them.

So here is the Wikipedia Page for quicker Reference of some of the things I’m gonna mention.

On the Main List we got:

  • First of all a Pi Zero WH (including a Case for it). This is probably the most important one for performance testing as it is the most Low Spec one I can get.
  • The Pi 1B+ and 2B (and Cases for those). As I said I need one of each major Version of currently available Pi. I originally planned for the 1A+ but that one has neither Ethernet nor WiFi and I dont wanna dongle it up.
  • The Pi 3A+ (also including a Case). Though I might end up considering the 3B+ instead, if I cant find a compelling reason to use the smaller 3A+. (because money isn’t)
  • A Micro USB Power Supply for them, and a few more USB to Micro USB Cables since I am pretty sure I can use a regular USB Hub or Outlet to power those.
  • A spare Pi Mouse and DE-Keyboard in Black.
  • A Pi Touchscreen, because I feel like that could be useful.
  • A quality 8+ Ethernet Port WiFi capable Router that can run Opensource Firmware. Why does it need to be a Quality Router despite me only having 15MBit/sec Internet? Because I am gonna use a Pi 4B as a NAS and that is gonna need Bandwidth bigger than the 300MBit/sec of that insecure Vodafone Gateway thing I have, and a hopefully Basement Reaching WiFi Range.
  • about eight 32GB Micro SD Cards, three or four of which will have a simple Raspian instance, the others are gonna be for the Operating Systems I am trying out.
  • four 0.5m Ethernet Cables (maybe 1m, I do have a couple of Ethernet cables left but not THAT many).
  • A Pi Battery HAT or maybe two. Would be great for powering the thing through an Outage or so.
  • The Pi 4B Desktop Kit. Yeah just that whole Package. I’m interested in how that whole Set works.

On the Maybe List is:

  • A second Pi 4B with just 1GB RAM with Power Supply, 4GB SD Card, which I would use for the NAS (unless having 4GB RAM on a NAS is beneficial).
  • The Power Over Ethernet HAT, more because it has a Fan built in, than because of the PoE Capability.
  • The Infrared Camera seems interesting.
  • Mini CDs and Mini DVDs. But just for trying out LiveDisc operating Systems.
  • Another 2 Powered USB A Hubs with ON/OFF switches on individual Ports.
  • Two External Hard Disk Drives (likely 15TB each) for the Pi NAS. I will definitely need to manage my Data Storage better.
  • A special Fullbody Aluminium Case that can cool down a Pi 4B at continuous full load. (The “Flirc” Case)

Other Considerations included:

  • A Thermopaper Printer, but I dont really need that, and I cant get the Proprietary Thermopaper to print out Bus Tickets anyways, so why bother. XD
  • The ASUS based Pi with a 1.8GHz Processor

Edit:

  • All the striked through things I already ordered. Except the Pi 2B, guess I’m gonna skip the Middle child on that one. XD
  • And those Hard Drives, went for a 1TB QLC SSD instead while using the current HDD I have as Backup.

As you can see plenty of Stuff to test/play around with. And each of the things should be very cheap to get too!

This is essentially grabbing all the Low Tier Hardware I can find for several Performance Tests (So I know that even the poorest people can play easily), and also trying to not having all the things put on Dust for being unused (by using them, lol). Well technically I’m not cleaning up any Dust anywhere, because I dont really have to, unlike OvermindDL1 who lives in a Desert, but you get what I mean.

Ofcourse I want to try making the probably jankiest Setup I can, for running one single Server instance of my Game spread over multiple Raspberry Pis at once.

But yeah, Tech Stuffs can be fun. ^^

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Quick Update: Added Mini CDs and Mini DVDs to the List for trying out Live Disc Operating Systems while also fitting into the Case I always carry around, and probably my Wallet too.

Also decided on using two ~15TB USB HDDs for the Pi-NAS due to having seen tests that imply that Gigabit read speed wont get any better if SSDs are used. Yes write speed would be faster but i dont care much about that, i would use my external SSD if that was needed.

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So I went and bought 20 Mini DVDs (they REALLY wanted to get rid of those it seems with the double discount deal I got), that should be more than enough to do Live Disc OS Stuff and also to always have some random Free Software (such as LibreOffice) on me in case someone without proper Internet needs it. XD

And yes there is a couple places around here where not even the Radio Signals arrive properly, as in the Radio in the Bus is just a white noise at three frikkin villages that we go through. Same goes for Cell Phone and 3G/4G Internet in those places… One of those Villages has a community hosted Free WiFi because of that, but that isn’t even enough to run things like Smart Phone Software Updates unless you wanna sit there for hours for the download to complete.

Please do note that this reception issue is nowhere near where I live, I have perfectly fine 4G LTE access here, I just like helping people with the surplus Mini-DVDs I got, because there is people who actually have those Internet Issues around me.

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How much did you get the 20 mini DVD’s for? Can’t say I’ve seen them for quite some time now.

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16 Eurobucks, and they do have plastic hulls too, so it’s not one of those cheapo stacks.

Added Firefox and Tor onto the List of Programs I wanna put on those too, as well as some editing software and WinRAR / 7zip. XD

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That’s a decent deal you got there. Good program choice what will you use Tor for, just general privacy I’m guessing?

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The stuff on the dics is for when i give OTHER people software, i use Linux damnit. XD

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Ha, ok ok I reckoned you would use similar programs to what you were offering.

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I dont use Onion Routing myself because its quite laggy, but i have Firefox set to the best privacy settings I could configure it to.

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Have you let it sit long enough to get some good traffic nodes setup with it? It can take same time to do that initial setup before speed becomes somewhat reasonable.

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I haven’t used it for long so that might be it, but I dont really have need to use it directly so i dont wanna strain their bandwidths for no reason, considering all the stuff I did to make regular Firefox more secure.

But the Mini DVD is done and burned, and also tested it on that Windows 10 install i happened to still have, while also having the Ethernet unplugged to make sure the installers dont require the Internet to work. Ofcourse ONE of them needed to have the software “Registered” even if it was for free, it was still just DRM, how Lightworks was even recommended as a free to use software on several random Sites…

Next would be to make some bootable Mini DVD. They fit 1.4GB of data so the OS doesn’t even need to be all that Lightweight.

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Not an issue with TOR, everyone’s bandwidth is shared. Things only become bandwidth constrained on exit nodes back out to the normal internet, those can be slow at times but that’s not the main point of using TOR. ^.^

Wha? What software’s that?!

I’ve never even heard of lightworks… ^.^;
I prefer Kdenlive, which yes though it’s windows builds are ‘beta’, still exist, could give an option. ^.^

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Well, I’m gonna order shit tomorrow, so any suggestion what to add to this list to play around with?

Note, that I might swap the HDDs with QLC or TLC SSDs for storage, maybe I find a more fun Storage Solution, but definitely not a premade NAS.

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So, I got most of the Stuff ordered, ofcourse I made some changes while looking up things.

I might even end up using the PoE HAT for the Pi NAS with the Network Switch I got.

Went for a 1TB Samsung QVO for SSD, because it was a cheap way to get Storage, worst case I backup Data to the 1TB Hard Drive I still have anyways, so even if Data Loss due to the new QLC Tech happens, it’s not that bad, especially since its just a bunch of random downloaded already watched Videos that accumulated over the last couple years, mostly Music, Tutorials and Sciency Stuffs that I tend to look up rarely.

This should be basically everything I buy for this year, unless some crucial thing needs to be acquired or replaced. ^^

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So Stuff arrived yesterday, one reason I am a bit slow on updating GT6 this week again. XD

I have set up lots of Stuff, notably the Network-Switch and 2 USB Hubs for which I needed to re-organize my Surge Protected 8 Slot Power Strip, which now has 2 Monitors, 2 Powered USB Hubs, 1 Network Switch, 1 Network Gateway, 1 Computer and the Speakers (I wish those could be USB powered but still connected with a normal audio jack). The Laptop Charger and the Power Extension Cord to the top of my Desk had to go to another Power Strip for that.

I also managed to blow a Fuse, not because of all the electric Stuff I connected, but because of the Lightbulb I swapped a week ago, which “exploded”, not in a glass shattery way, but in a “pew” with a flash of Light kinda way, when I flicked the Switch a couple hours ago. Fun Stuff.

Having USB Hubs with ON/OFF Switches on each individual USB Slot is far more useful than I originally thought. I wanted to use them to power the Pis originally (and I’m gonna use them for that too), but they can also be used for external backup hard drives that dont need to run nonstop.

The official Pi Mouse and Keyboard are actually quite decent for being what they are. Especially the USB Hub on the Keyboard is useful for the Mouse and for saving USB Slots on the Pi. The Keyboard Keys definitely have more give than anything that looks similar to them, so as a Mechanical Keyboard User I was positively surprised about it, still not as good as a Mechanical Keyboard but not bad either!

Of all the things I got, only ONE and I seriously mean only ONE of them had a manual included that actually had a USEFUL entry in it. You wanna guess what it was? Surely it must have been the Cisco Network Switch or anything related to the Pi, maybe that complicated Thermal Printer I decided to still get. Nah none of those had proper Manuals or even assembly instructions, you know what had? The USB 3.0 A to SATA Adapter that I got for the new SSD. You wanna know what it said?: “Brand New Drives may not be visible to your Computer until you initialize and format them.” Yep that one thing was the only useful thing, and I already knew about that.

One word of caution, dont get 0.25m Ethernet Cables, because unless the devices are literally touching each other the Cable will be too short! That’s what I get for trying to use wires of appropriate length. XD
Don’t worry I only got two of those short ones, I will definitely find use for them with the Pis (And I also got multiple different lengths).

Another thing of note is that all the Cooling Fins that the Pis can come with are slightly too tall for any of the Pi HATs to properly fit ontop of, so they are mostly unusable. For the PoE HAT it doesn’t matter because it has a built in Fan, but for others it does, such as the SENSE HAT (which I also got). It’s a bit sad that you can only have one HAT per Pi at a time, since most of them use all GPIO Pins.

I managed to successfully VNC into one of the Pis too, and even though the Mouse visually lagged a little, it was actually working as instant as it should.

Okay I don’t wanna write anymore right now because of typing fatigue, so I will continue with this Post later. XD

You can still ask questions as always. ^^

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Yeah I think those smaller 0.25m cables are really for patch panels when working on switches. :laughing:

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I slightly doubt if I should still use ZFS on my NAS Pi after reading how Stuff actually works with ZFS. At least I got rid of the Default-“Pi” User on the Pi 4B, considering how much of a security risk that would be.

On the Pi3B+ I found out that you should apparently never just dump files on the root of the Filesystem of external Drives, instead make Subfolders which have the right permissions, while the root of the Drive is owned by root only. Never used an ext4 formatted external Drive so far so I did not know that yet.

Making Symlinks on the Pi is quite a hassle though, i seriously need to ln -s that shit on Commandline.

And editing the config.txt in the boot directory is a hassle too, i can’t use the “Save As” Dialogue in Kate to save the File with sudo permissions, because it somehow doesn’t thing that my “greg” User has sudo even though he definitely does have it, and therefore prompts me to enter the password for the “root” User with a dropdown that usually contains all Users as options, but thanks to me removing the “pi” User it doesn’t show shit but “root” anymore. So I have to sudo nano that File.

Also 70°C is a very reasonable setting for the Fan on the PoE HAT on a Pi 4B to spin on, as opposed to the default 60°C, that way the Fan stays silent while the Pi is idle and doesn’t do anything.

Tried out some of the Software that is on the Pis too, it actually has a somewhat decent Music Editing Program, if you look aside that its UI doesn’t adhere to any standards at all, Sonic Pi is actually good for learning.

So far the Pis are still fun to play around with. ^^

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So I finally finished putting my Backups on the 3 Drives that I have, and managing all the corresponding Backup Locations with an rsync script. Decided against ZFS due to not using more than one drive each and its really only useful for RAID.

here is what I did on my Pi 4B:

  • Set up the 1TB QLC SSD with ext4 using mkfs.
  • Add a Directory to that Drive with sudo mkdir and sudo chown, and then just opening the properties of that directory to set Permissions, since I am the owner now and I didnt memorize the Bitmask for rwx yet properly. Why did I add that directory and dont just dump into the root Filesystem? Because ext4 does not like normal non-root Users doing that, and that is the proper way to handle Drives as a normal User.
  • Then I have set up Samba for better Drive access on the Pi. Took a while to get it to work and especially to not let it leak the fucking Home Directory with its default Settings.
  • Ofcourse I had to setup the other Client Side of the Samba Share too, otherwise I couldn’t access it. Luckily thanks to using VNC to get into the Pi, I already have a static local IP address set up for it, making it way easier.
  • But I noticed that I cant access it with Scripts, so I had to find a way to actually mount the thing with cifs, and that went all nice and well, but I did notice that now my network monitor was “freaking out”, while the drive was idle, and I do not like useless Network activity so ofcourse I had to set it up so that my backup script does sudo mount, rsync, sudo umount and I had to make it so it actually prompts me for said required Passwords, replacing sudo with kdesudo or lxqt-sudo does help for that case.
  • So I finally got the backup script working, but I seriously needed to reorganize the Stuff on my 1TB HDD, so I moved a shitload of Files from that HDD to the SSD overnight (yeah it took even longer than that btw)
  • Once everything on the HDD was moved, backed up or discarded, I reformatted that one from NTFS to ext4, and made a Folder identical to the one on the SSD. As you can guess that Drive is gonna be used to backup the contents of the SSD, since both have pretty much the same Size. And with rsync I very much noticed that Write Cache is definitely a thing on that HDD.
  • This was another 20 hour run of a Script to back shit up, but luckily everything was done by the Pi itself, so I wasn’t distracted by that one. And maybe also because I already did the reorganizing the first time and didn’t have to do that again.
  • But I was glad I could reboot my actual Computer, because I had to change the /etc/fstab File to fix a big giant mistake I made when I installed Kubuntu last year, aka removing the two external Drives I entered into it (and I even mounted them directly in my root Directory, which caused a lot of lag sometimes). I dont know if there is a refresh fstab command or something that @OvermindDL1 would be suggesting instead of a reboot, but rebooting is fucking easier.
  • Now to the 250MB SSD (which is that other drive from the fstab) was next. Made sure I knew what Data I backed up on it, so I could replicate a proper Backup Script, and then I formatted it with ext4 aswell, along with LUKS Encryption to make it an actually safe Backup for more important Data (unlike the Music and Videos stored on the 1TB Drives).
  • That 250MB Drive was unrelated to the Pi though, but I did test it on my GPD-WIN-2 just to make sure the whole password protection of the encrypted Drive actually works, which it “does”. Even though whoever made the Error Messages fucked up a lot. Inserting a wrong Password leads to “failed to mount”, while Inserting the right Password leads to “you are not authorized to mount this” followed by definitely having already mounted the Drive just fine and me being able to access it.

Lots of Stuff I got done, and I might even would have been more (such as GT6), if the regulars didn’t want to talk to me on IRC all the time recently.

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Yep. ^.^
Lol. 

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I assume you are planning on the two drives to mirror them in case of failure? It looks like a pair of 16 TB drives will cost about $700. 4 TB WD Blue drives are only $90, so you could get 5 of those and put them in a raid 5 to have 16 TB of usable space for only $450.

I’ve had 3 1 TB blues in a mixed raid5 and raid10 setup for several years now since my OCZ SSD started randomly swapping blocks around, and have been quite happy with it.

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