[Raspberry Pi] What is your use case for your RaspPi

One day I hope to acquire a PineBook Pro so that I may also use it as the focal point of all my ideas about how I might use a PineBook Pro.


@Ulfnic, @friardest, it seems we have the problem of finding a solution first (the hardware), then a problem second (the use case).

I caught myself hoarding a couple of unused Raspberry Pi 3’s last summer, with no use case, so I showed them off to a nephew and nephew-in law (grade 4, 9 years old), showing them “Blade Buster” in RetroPi, watching a video file in Kodi, and Raspbian (and how it could surf Youtube). Then I asked if I gave the RPis to them (fully accessorized), would they actually use them? They were very stoked, yes!

So when allowed to play with the Raspberry Pis themselves, what did they prefer to do? There is a website, Friv, which has some free, in-browser games, keyboard controlled. Chromium could play all of them, and I had htop running in a window beside, the CPU just barely keeping up.

They sat side by side, all 4 of their hands on the Logitech wireless keyboard, playing 2-player co-operative games. No need to go ROM-hunting.

So yah, friv is great to entertain some idle kids, on an old Raspberry Pi 3 or 4. No joysticks needed for many of the games!


A racing game without brakes, sign me up!


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I’ve always found uses for mine quickly and they just stay working, ha.

So I’m running pihole on a 2. The 3b is connected to an external drive I send media to and serves it up to all the firesticks. And finally my 4b is running my docker containers. Subsonic, Nextcloud, a repository mirror and a proxy server.

I’m trying to get Mattermost to run on a RPi4, using Ubuntu 18.04.4. I can install Mattermost just fine in a VM, but getting it to work on an RPi 4 presents a particularly hard challenge:

Neither Ubuntu 18.04.4, nor 19.10 include nmcli (from the “network-manager” package), in a stock image. Without it, good luck configuring wifi on the CLI! They don’t include the package “net-tools” by default either. Aargh! (Note: Raspbian does include net-tools by default. Raspbian also allows easy headless setup by touching the file “ssh” in the boot partition, and plunking in a simple wpa_supplicant.conf file there as well, see here).

Dear @popey, I have a suggestion for the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 images for the Raspberry Pi 4. Please oh please, could the packages “network-manager” and maybe even “net-tools” (since Raspbian includes it, and no security nightmares ensue), be included in the stock images? Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi 4 is way harder to set up with wifi, than is Raspbian, at present!!

The ease of use for headless setup with the “ssh”, and “wpa_supplicant.conf” files included in the boot partition are also super convenient and awesome in Raspbian. Could those also “just work” please, as with Raspbian?

If there is somewhere specific to file these sort of ARM-related feature requests, I would appreciate knowing it.

Does anyone use a PiHole to block their smart TV’s from sending info back to the vendors? (screenshots of your content to samsung) Does anyone have experience with using a PiHole on smart device?

Blocked tons callbavks from echo devices qnd firesticks, the only issue Ive ever ran into is Hulu, blocking the ad server breaks the stream

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The Raspberry Pi 4B (w/ 4GB of RAM) has both the horsepower and the RAM to serve a decent number of clients (like a family, or a medium-sized team), using Mattermost Team server. Other OSS chat forum/messaging servers (like Zulip, and Discourse) are too heavyweight for the Raspberry Pi 4, by contrast.

I was able to set up my Raspberry Pi 4 as a useful push-notification-cabable chat server (where the end user experience is actually likeable), with nice Desktop clients, and smartphone clients, with nice notifications.

Mattermost on ARM is very unsupported, from the official Mattermost project. But I eventually found this, which was a bit outdated, but worked great on my Raspberry Pi 4!

Other notes:

Mattermost blows away Nextcloud Talk, when it comes to the end-user experience, when text chatting. It has many convenient, user friendly features that Nextcloud Talk doesn’t have. Like uploading attachments. And newly-taken photos. And videos. And reactions. And flagging. And Pinning. And editing old comments. etc. etc.

Nextcloud Talk does run on the Raspberry Pi 4, granted you install it by hand. Yes, there is a snap (for the Raspberry Pi, running Raspbian 32-bit), but apps such as Nextcloud Talk won’t work in the snap, at present. The snap will generate “ld.so”-related error messages in /var/log/syslog, and there will be vague errors in the GUI, which block the functionality. Yes, there is an ARM64 docker image of Nextcloud, but at present I trust Raspbian way more than I trust 64-bit Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi 4.

I say Nextcloud Talk is a Nextcloud app that is not worth your time even trying out. You can do much, much better.

As soon as you move from ARM up to AMD64, then you might as well install, say, DIscourse, not Mattermost (unless you really want push notifications, which the Mattermost App will provide granted you install it from their Google Play Store, and, BTW, you had better not try to use a self-signed SSL cert).

And Rocket.chat was disqualified from my consideration, as they are stingy with how many free push notifications they will let your server have per month, only 1000 (yes, don’t take those for granted). Both Mattermost Team server and Nextcloud Talk will allow infinite push notifications, at present, albeit the Mattermost push notifications suffer about a 10-second-delay, before coming through.


Im using the Nextcloud:apache docker img, that’s a good tip on the Nextcloud talk, I have been wondering abt that.

There also doesn’t seem to be an armv7 document backend which bummed me out

Have you used Rocket.Chat at all as a comparison to Mattermost?

Since push notifications are important to my particular use case, no, @snorlax

And after I took a brief look at all the hoops one would have to jump through to set up one’s own push notification server, sometimes even requiring publishing one’s own branded apps in an app store (and gain all the authorizations and permissions that Google and Apple are the gatekeepers of), I decided I wanted that aspect of the server to be as hassle-free as possible.

I recognized push notifications as being the elephant in my room which I had to tiptoe around, as it were.

When I see that more people are using these for somewhat mission critical purposes, I have to wonder about fault tolerance and redundancy. Have you (or anyone else) thought about failover and recovery?

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My advice is to:

  1. Use an “Endurance” microSD card:
  1. Take the server offline once in a while and back up the MicroSD card on another machine with a command like:

time zstd -v --threads=4 < /dev/sdX > /home/youruser/imgs/MicroSD_Card_img.zst

…and restore with:

time zstdcat -v /home/youruser/imgs/MicroSD_Card_img.zst > /dev/sdX

As to redundancy (which is a level of “hardcoreness” I don’t feel like touching, at present, as I don’t need to have my hair turn white prematurely), I think some system which uses a database such as MariaDB or MongoDB should be used, which is capable of doing the replicating for you. The redundancy is not some afterthought. Witness how Docker Swarm never really took off; it’s more of an “afterthought” sort of approach to redundancy.

PS: I backed up my Mattermost install yesterday with a command just like the above. It crushed down to about 1.5GB. That includes Raspbian (Debian Buster 10), plus a fully functional Mattermost install, with Wireguard, not SSL, to allow secure, remote, firewall-punching connections).


Not a Smart TV, but my Linksys sends a ping every 30 seconds or so. I blocked it pretty fast.

pwnagotchi, Kali, Zabbix, and ansible. All of which are for educational purposes. I am currently working on a pi zero cluster concept project.

I will need to work on a PiHole as well.

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That’s an excellent way to handle it. Thanks for explaining. I appreciate the insight.

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Mattermost Team server 5.21 is performant, on a RPi4, granted you install Ubuntu 19.10 64-bit on it, not Raspbian 32-bit on it. See this post for more info.

Wow, did I drink a lot of coffee, to learn that the hard way.

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That image on the cup looks vaguely familiar. Like the urn painting in Mary Poppins Returns.


We’re getting OT, but the image is that of a Buddhist monk.

I think it’s The Willow Pattern (or a varient of) - most usually seen in blue on blue and white china plates, cups & saucers, mugs, etc. - it is/was a very popular design. I can’t remember seeing it in full colour before.