[kwlug-disc] raspberry pi

Chris Bruner cbruner at quadro.net
Wed Jun 6 15:19:46 EDT 2012

I've recently received a raspberry pi, and thought I would let you know 
my initial impressions.

First the pi is very picky about it's usb. I don't know what the 
differences are, but it apparently only like high quality keyboards and 
Second the pi is very picky about power.  I had read on the forums about 
this so I actually went out to get a power supply for it. (USB charger 
that does 5V, exactly).

The PI's video can either go through composite or hdmi.  I opted for 
hdmi (the family tv) since I haven't had composite around for at least a 

There are three distros.
The Debian squeeze
The Arch
and the QtonPI.

Several problems with rebooting, and messages about usb's disconnecting. 
(The peripherals that I used are ones I use all the time, so I think 
it's the pickyness showing up again).

Of the three distros I was able to get two of them working, the QtonI 
(which in spite of being for developing qt stuff didn't include X.) and 
the Debian.
The Debian looks like it is the go to distro. It has X, some games and 
looks to be generally working.

I wasn't able to get sound out of the hdmi, and alsamixer wasn't present 
so I don't know what the status of sound is.

At this point, I'm thinking I won't be using it for anything serious, 
it's just too flakey, and finiky. The next time I'm at kwartzlab I'll 
leave it in on a shelf with a "play with me" label.  However unless 
you've got hdmi or composite I'm not sure how far you will get on it.

Chris Bruner

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