Little T in the Cog linux

Archive for February 2020

Back on ARM!


When the Raspberry Pi 4 was announced I jumped on the bandwagen and ordered one soon afterwards. I originally used it as a desktop system (more on this in a later post) but the intention was to migrate the services off my Raspberry Pi 3 onto the 4 and see how it performed doing light server duties.

Turns out it performs server duties (at my humble scale at least!) like a champ! I've set it up on a 240GB SSD connected over the USB3 bus which is a lot more reliable than the internal SD card, and installed LXD as a snap onto the standard headless Raspbian install. Using LXD I have spun up a bunch of containers to run the various things I want to - a database container, a web server (running this website among other things), a monitoring server etc. This is working extremely well (again, at the scale I'm running at) and I've attached an external 4TB drive as storage for backups (which in turn are pushed encrypted up to Backblaze B2 storage as an offsite copy. In fact running containers on top of this Pi means I have roughly the same usability and compute power in this one host that I had in the 4 Pi 2's that I was using in the Bakery! I'd love to resurect that chassis and fill it with Pi 4's... 16 ARM cores and 16Gb of RAM in a cool looking case!

So what's next? I'll install a few more services onto this little server, starting with Nextcloud (again, installed as a snap) as it seems to be handling the current load with no issues. I'd also like to buy another Pi 4 to use as a desktop - as mentioned at the beginning of this post I used my current one as a desktop for a few weeks and found it actually quite usable, and I like the idea of having a Linux workstation again after a few years without. I'd also like to play around a bit more with Docker on the "server" Pi - I've already had a play with running Docker in an LXD container and it works well, so I could probably migrate my web server, DB server etc over to that model if I wanted to as my docker skills are a bit rusty. I've been building some of the packages I use daily as debs for installing onto Raspbian (currently my web server of choice - Hiawatha, the client that I need for work, yakyak Google chat client and a few other bits and pieces - grab them from my repository if you'd like to try them out) and I'll add more as I come across things that are missing that I'd like to use.

It feels good to be back on ARM!