Thursday, 19 April 2012

Initial thoughts

I've had my Raspberry Pi for 4 days now so thought I'd provide some feedback. 

On the whole, it's definitely living up to my expectations, although if you're looking for gaming machine, media centre of something that is a finished, production-ready product then you might a little disappointed.  As it's been said many times before, this is a development release, aimed to get people using the hardware and software and helping to improve the product to a state that it's ready for schools at the end of the year.

First impression - it's smaller than I had expected, and very light.  It fits easily into the palm of my hand and feels like I'm barely holding anything at all.  I don't have any concerns about strength - everything on the board feels stable and solid.  The Ethernet jack & USB ports seem quite tight (snug rather than worryingly tight I'd say) and therefore need a bit of a wriggle to disconnect, but I felt confident to (gently) do this without fear of it coming apart in my hand.

Booting up it's nice and fast too.  As mentioned in earlier posts the Debian image boots up in less that a minute - I timed it at 50 seconds when poised & ready to log in.  LWDE is responsive with no massive lag that I've seen.  Every now and again I've found a spot here and there where I have to pause for a second or so after a window's opened before I can start typing.

As far as networking goes, everything seems to work straight out of the box.  Connecting my Pi to my laptop (configured with Internet connection sharing) it immediately picks up a DHCP-assigned IP Address and can go online.

I've tested out SSH and this also works without any setup required.  I tried using this in a headless setup with just power & Ethernet connected as I plan on using it like this going forward and it was relatively painless (see my other post with the details on setting this up).

So - any issues?  Just a few.  I've found a few stability issues with the Midori browser - when trying to browse and log into twitter the CPU spikes.  Browsing to appears to work without issue.  When browsing to this blog CPU spikes again, and after about 5 seconds it crashes completely.  Issues with JavaScript perhaps?  Audio doesn't work either, but there are reports of a fix on the way.

 To sum it all up - great device with a lot of promise.  Any issues should be quickly resolved as there are a lot of people out there hard at work to resolve this.  This is what everyone, especially the foundation, has been waiting for.  It's time for the community to step up and take this product to the next level.


  1. You mentioned using the RasPi with ssh over ethernet (i.e. headless) but I can't find the post you mentioned. I want to do the same thing myself so I'm quite interested. Thanks

    1. Sure - take a look here:

      It'll cover setting up SSH, followed by VNC.

  2. Great post your given information does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely.

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