You’ve considered it for some time and have finally taken the plunge: you’ve purchased a Raspberry Pi. However, what can you do with it?
Is this little device truly capable of serving as a desktop PC? As a server, perhaps? Like a radio station, perhaps? Yes, it is possible! To help you start, we’ve compiled a list of Raspberry Pi uses, complete with extensive tutorials, from across Make Use Of. While we’ll presume you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, most of these projects will work with older devices, including the Raspberry Pi Zero.
1. A better Replacement for your Desktop
With the Raspberry Pi, the power supply, and microSD card, you’ll need to have an HDMI cable and a monitor compatible with the Pi. As with a conventional computer, a USB keyboard and mouse are required. However, even the latest Raspberry Pi model can not replace your Gaming Laptop or computer yet.
The Raspberry Pi 3 and later models include built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If you’re using a previous model, you’ll need appropriate USB dongles (elinux.org’s Raspberry Pi Hub can help you determine compatibility). However, if you prefer to connect via Ethernet, all Raspberry Pi models (save the Pi Zero) include Ethernet connectors.
After installing your choice operating system, you’ll find LibreOffice and the Chromium browser pre-installed.
2. Printing Services
Have an older printer that you enjoy using but can’t connect wirelessly? You’re probably tempted to dispose of it properly, but you don’t have to. Connect a Raspberry Pi to your home network and install some print server software.
This is accomplished by first installing the Samba file-sharing program and then CUPS. The Standard Unix Printing System (CUPS) includes printer drivers and a management console.
Once this is configured, configure the Pi to allow access to the printer from any computer on your local network. That is all. Please keep in mind that this depends entirely on your printer’s USB cord. Adaptors are available if it does not.
3. AirPrint Support
The initial project only goes so far. While this method is optimal for printing from a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, what about tablets and smartphones? This requires Air Print capability, which can be accomplished with a single script.
While printing is natural to iOS devices, printing on Android tablets and phones requires dedicated software. The majority of modern printers support printing from mobile devices. You can extend this feature to older printers using a Raspberry Pi!
4. Kodi: A Raspberry Pi Media Center
The Raspberry Pi’s primary purpose will likely be a Kodi media center. Numerous Kodi builds been distributed as disc images, with OSMC and OpenElec being the most popular.
On the other hand, if you’d rather keep your Raspberry Pi available for other projects, Kodi may be easily installed on Raspbian. Additionally, it can be incorporated into vintage gaming systems (see below). However, there are certain drawbacks to installing Kodi. Not all add-ons are available, and most of those will be used to stream illegal content.
As such, we urge that you only install add-ons from the original Kodi repositories that are safe and legal. However, it does not end there. As with any device, a Raspberry Pi running Kodi is susceptible to security threats.
5. Install a Retro Gaming Console
The Raspberry Pi is great as a retro gaming machine, one of the most popular uses for the device. After all, it’s small and versatile enough to be used in various ways. Not the least of which is to accommodate it as one of the lightest components of a full-sized arcade gaming machine or as a Game Boy kit!
There are two primary solutions for retro Gaming: Recalbox and RetroPie. Others are possible, but each requires a suitable controller that requires initial configuration. Numerous platforms, ranging from classic MS-DOS PC games to the Commodore 64, can be emulated. Numerous popular 16-bit game consoles can also be brought back to life with the Raspberry Pi.
6. Minecraft Game Server
It is not limited to vintage Gaming. You’re undoubtedly aware that the default operating system for the Raspberry Pi, Raspbian, comes pre-installed with a modified version of Minecraft. However, did you know that your Raspberry Pi may also be utilized as a game server?
Most importantly, Raspberry Pi serves as a superb Minecraft game server, allowing you to play anywhere on your home network. If you have numerous Raspberry Pis, dedicating one to Gaming will provide an excellent gaming experience. This is especially effective if you have a large group of Minecraft enthusiasts to play with.
Apart from Minecraft, the Raspberry Pi may be used to set up other multiplayer network games. On your Raspberry Pi, you can install open-source ports of Quake, Doom, Civilization, and Open TTD as gaming servers.
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With the Raspberry Pi, you’ll need an HDMI cable and a monitor compatible with the Pi. The Raspberry Pi 3 and later models include built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Connecting a Raspberry Pi to your home network will allow access to any computer on your local network. The Raspberry Pi can be used to print on Android devices. It can also be used as a retro gaming machine. The device is susceptible to security threats, however. There are two primary solutions for retro Gaming: Recalbox and RetroPie. Numerous platforms, ranging from classic MS-DOS PC games to the Commodore 64, can be emulated. Dedicating a Raspberry Pi to Gaming will provide an excellent gaming experience. This is especially effective if you have a large group of Minecraft enthusiasts.