November 20, 2012

My Raspberry Pi Odissey

Last February I pre-ordered a Raspberry Pi. A lot of people nerds wanted to have their hands on this cheap and cool product for many reasons. I bought it to have a 35$ open source media center. The idea was cool and everything, and I waited really long for it.

When it arrived I had the SD card ready with Debian and I instantly turned it on.
When I finally saw the shell I thought I could already do... stuff.
But nothing useful seemed to work: HDMI audio wasn't working, the little PC started overheating and when I started LXDE it began terribly slow. I decided to try Open Elec, a light distribution with pre-installed XBMC, but it has the same problems of Debian.
Some months later I also tried an Android Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, thinking that since Android was developed for ARM it would have worked. Nope. System UI continuous crashes.
At last i gave up. I had a useless piece of cheap hardware capable of doing nothing.
For some time I forgot about it, since a couple of days ago I read about XBMC giving official support to Raspberry Pi.

The system is called Xbian. When I installed it I thought I would have had the same problems of Debian and Open Elec. But surprisingly almost everything was working!
And with everything I mean HDMI audio, nice performance, no excessive overheating and even AirPlay.
The only visible problem is with 1080p movies, but I don't really care: I am finally ready to set my Raspberry Pi in the living room as media center!