When Pi is in short supply, thin clients are long for home automation and low-power computing

Do you need an inexpensive, small computer for low-power computing projects? Historically, we’d reach straight for the Raspberry Pi, even if we didn’t at all need GPIO But with price hikes and supply dumping, [Andreas Spiess] Decided it was time to look for alternatives to the now-expensive Pi which you can see in the video below the break

Setting up Debian for IoTStack

Many simply use the Pi for its software ecosystem, low power requirements, and small size. [Andreas] Searched eBay, looking for thin PC clients that could be as low as $10-15. A few slightly more expensive units are also selected and some comparisons are made in the video. How do these thin clients compare to a Pi for power consumption, computing power and cost? You may be surprised at the results!

Software is another issue, since many Pi projects rely on Raspbian, a Pi-specific ARM64 Linux distribution. Since Raspbian is based on Debian, [Andreas] It has chosen to be the basis of experiments. He thoughtfully includes powerful software for virtualization, IoTStack, and Proxmox for Home Assistant, walks the viewer through each step of running Home Assistant on x86-64 hardware, and notes the differences between Linux distributions.

All in all, if you’ve ever thought about getting out of the Pi ecosystem and into general Linux computing, this tutorial would be a great starting point. of course [Andreas] This tree bark isn’t the first, and we featured another thin client running Clipper for your 3D printer earlier this month. Have you found your own perfect pie replacement in these pie-less times? Let us know in the comments below.