Raspberry Pi $25 ARM based PC

I thought this would be of interest to pretty much everyone here, hackers, builders and electronic geniuses alike. However, please remove this discussion if you feel it inappropriate Olivier. I’m not affiliated with the creators, I just think it is too good an opportunity to miss and thought everyone should know (if they don’t already)!

Raspberry Pi - a charitable foundation producing what could be the next big home computer sensation; think of the days of BBC model B, ZX81 or C64. Basically it is an ARM based computer that can run Linux and has 2x USB 2.0, HDMI and composite to connect to a TV or DVI monitor, 10/100 ethernet on the ‘B’ model, audio line out and runs from a 5V supply (USB bus power possible). All this for $25-$35 depending on whether you order the model B with ethernet or model A without and it will be approximately the size of a credit or business card.

I’ve just realised the only screen I’ll be able to connect mine to, when it arrives is my TV.
I don’t know why I find that funny, but I do.


mine came this week,too.
i got puredata working but there are anoying clicks and noise (due to alpha status of alsa driver)
i had no time to test much so far. but i like it already. i am almost a total linux noob and i got a few things running nearly at the first attempt (like using x over ssh session)
also you learn a lot about linux. …like not to take away the power supply while running dpkg-reconfigure…

@EATYone cool! I’m still waiting for mine. It’s not supposed to be delivered until August though…


i just have my Raspberrypi today :smiley: but forgot to buy a microusb DC adapter :frowning: have to wait tomorow to plug it lol

Hope they have GPIOs and a bunch of SPIs / UARTs!

The wiki states it does :) Raspberry Pi Wiki though I think no-one knows yet whether it will have easily accessible header pins or solder pads. I also understand that it can interface directly with Raw LCD panels and Camera modules… the only bad thing I can think of (and it is not that bad) is the GPU is broadcom and the code that drives it is closed the Linux kernel requires a binary blob however there are APIs for Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.

Somehow I think this could be a killer platform for visuals… it wouldn’t require a lot of extra hardware to run MIDI-synced visuals on it, 10x cheaper than a Milkymist and probably 10x easier to write code for…

I have an empty c64 case in the basement…this might be a nice thing to finto into it! :slight_smile:

anybody managed to get one yet?

i am on the waiting list.

and i sure hope it runs puredata
…and also gem for visuals (with performance limitations of course)

I’ve been following the progress of these things too. Heck, for £25 I expect i’ll give one a go! I was hoping to put one on my Farnell order, except they are still not ready to order on there yet.

There are 2 or 3 similar things around too… Like the BeagleBone (Spotted this on Adafruit)
And also the Cotton Candy computer that looks like a USB stick.
The RasberryPi is the cheapest and most intriguing though…

Well, there’s plenty of ARM stuff in that price range. The difference is they don’t tend to have so much RAM and ports.

I have read that we can load fedora or other linux os. So I think puredata and other light music programs will work. I’m interested but I can’t evaluate my skill on this. I think also on midi to CV, but I don’t know.

One big problem is the board is intended to run Linux and the drivers are closed source.


I thought linux was a good thing, then you can focus on the audio stuff and leave the osey stuff to the nerds. The chip has enough overhead so that it shouldn’t matter.

You don’t really want to have to wait about 1-2 minutes for the device to bootup.

Hitting the hardware direct means you get the absolute maximum out of it. Running Linux is overkill.

It really takes 1-2 minutes to boot? It isnt a instant on os?

It’s all about human dev time vs clock cycles. The extra power lets you program at a higher level of abstraction and be way more productive. Imagine the highest possible level of abstraction: you look at your computer and say to it “Make a synthesizer” and it does it.

Agree that slow boot times are annoying but that should be avoidable if you strip linux down to the bare essentials. This shows someone getting it down to 300ms.

Well, it depends how optimal your kernel config is. But it’s still a full blown OS when all you really need for a synth project is a very simple OS.

It makes sense to use Linux for embedded devices that you want on a network as you’ll need a TCP/IP stack with all the other drivers.

You really want a realtime OS. Linux’s scheduling has been a bit hit and miss.