camasaki
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A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:15 pm

I want to use the Pi Zero as an info board to display a web page. The (old fashioned) engineer in me balks at the idea of needing multi-Gigabyte sized OS in order to achieve this.

What is the smallest, lightest conceivable OS for Pi Zero that can display HTML, CSS and some images?

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B.Goode
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Location: UK

Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:05 pm

DietPi http://dietpi.com claims to start with a base image of 400Mb. (Not sure what you would need to add to meet your display requirements.)

Other minimal OS options are available, this just happens to be one I am aware of.

There are also numerous images and other customized options for Kiosk or Digital Imaging: an internet search for Raspberry + {one of those keywords} may give other options.

camasaki
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:58 pm

Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:29 pm

Thanks, I'll be checking that out.

Raspbian is pretty weighty. What percentage of users need Mathematica? (700MB) and yet it takes nearly a fifth of the install!

n67
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:49 pm

The operative question here is: Why do you care?

I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons TO care, but it seems a lot of people don't understand the fundamental concept that having a big OS doesn't cost anything. You only pay for what you use.

(I'm also not necessarily saying you are in that category, but it is something that needs to be clarified)
"L'enfer, c'est les autres"

G fytc hsqr rum umpbq rm qyw rm rfc kmbq md rfgq dmpsk:

Epmu Sn!

J lnacjrw njbruh-carppnanm vxm rb mnuncrwp vh yxbcb!

camasaki
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:07 pm

It may be an irrational distrust of clutter or the aesthetic desire for neatness and order and an efficient bare-bones purpose-built computer.

The old engineer‘s adage is: build it, make it work and then... take bits off it until it stops working. Replace last bit and you’re done. ;-)

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karrika
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:08 pm

I am currently using PiZero to run sound and lights in a theatre. No desktop - only Qt5.

Another pi3 running fruitbox OpenGL from the shell.

Third pi running RPi-InfoScreen directly from Kivy.

All these run perfectly alone and have problems running from a desktop.

mattmiller
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:36 pm

The old engineer‘s adage is: build it, make it work and then... take bits off it until it stops working. Replace last bit and you’re done.
And for real-world cost/weight conscious engineering - it is a good principle :)

But its not generally worth putting any effort into spending time on that for most Pi software packages (exceptions apply of course but I've never removed any packages on any of my Pi apart from Wolfram Alpha once to save on update/upgrade times but I don't even bother doing that any more)

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Greg Erskine
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:54 pm

camasaki wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:15 pm
What is the smallest, lightest conceivable OS for Pi Zero that can display HTML, CSS and some images?
Hi camasaki,

piCore/Tiny Core is probably one of the smallest OS for the RPi, though it does require more effort to get it "how you want it".

It's up to you to decide if it is worth the effort and time. :?:

regards
Greg
* Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

davesteele
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:16 pm

Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:09 am

You could make your own.

Raspbian images are created using pi-gen. The build is a multi-stage process. The Lite image is the output of stage2. The full disk is stage 5.

Stage 1 is useable, and is 1/3 the size of stage 2. At that, it still includes things like python, perl, and build-essential - opportunities for further trimming. Stage 2 adds a rather large list of packages, which can be edited.

You could pretty easily modify the build for stage 1 or 2 to make a more svelte Raspbian.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:43 am

I have been using PiCore/TinyCore for years.
Mostly headless for servers, for X11 you need to install TC and I did like the Fifth Browser.
Even with all that it is still smaller than Raspbian Lite.

I have not really played with it but Arch OS I think allows you to add only what you need.
Still going to be big just to display HTML/CSS.

One of the things I one day want to do with Ultibo is to make a Browser as a web client.
That just requires a HTML/CSS parser?
I want it accelerated which is why I am learning OpenVG on Ultibo, maybe 5MB for complete OS + web client?
Using HTML/CSS as GUI designer also makes sense for the single purpose apps I use Ultibo for.
If the Browser is only displaying web pages you have made and are serving, things can be much simpler than needing Chromium

Builidroot + Webkit?
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

camasaki
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:47 pm

Great tips and ideas guys thanks!

I've never been brave enough to actually even build a binary from source never mind an entire OS but you only live once...

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Gavinmc42
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Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:17 am

I've never been brave enough to actually even build a binary from source never mind an entire OS but you only live once...
Me neither, I did spend a weekend learning Buildroot, but that is just compiling a bunch of stuff other people put together
I thought it would take me 20years to learn enough Linux to get my head around it.
Some Linux stuff I needed to compile over night :shock:

I went looking and found Ultibo.
Still steep learning curve but do-able in my lifetime :lol:
Then I tried something and it changed my mind.
https://ultibo.org/forum/viewtopic.php? ... +i2c#p2688

How many shell extensions does it take before you call it an Operating System?
At the moment I use Ultibo for making single purpose OS/Apps.
But the above little example of making an Ultibo shell version of Linux's i2ctools just for testing hardware showed me a way even a hack coder like me could make an OS.
Plus my version worked better and was very flexible, 6 months later I found out there was a bug in the Linux i2ctools :lol:
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: A Light OS for PI Zero / Browser

Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:05 am

Probably the browser and what capability you need from it.
There are various Kiosk and Dashboard/Magic mirror setup out there.

A quick search and I stumbled over this
https://github.com/guysoft/FullPageOS

No idea if it removes (doesn't include) everything you don't need, like gpio modules and the firmwares for various WiFi cards you'll not use.
But that maybe a step too far ? Maybe not.


As a side most of the full Raspbian desktop can be removed, you just need to know what to look for...

Or go the other way, start with light and add just what you need.
https://die-antwort.eu/techblog/2017-12 ... iosk-mode/

That is if you stay Raspbian based.

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