Out of the impressive list of operating systems for the Raspberry Pi 3, Tinker Board, and other Arm processor offerings, I’ve elected to test drive DietPi today. After a lengthy but fascinating installation, I’m very impressed.
Reminiscent of the Debian installations of yesteryear, the options and configurations on the menu prior to the system installation are presented nicely. Overall the packages to choose between are well thought out and install themselves correctly as far as I’ve seen. A bit of tweaking to fix the keyboard layout will be required for US keyboards, select 104 key to get closest to the standard US layout.
We Tested On Raspberry Pi3
Wifi configured during installation with very little fuss, but if you are confused by the menu just look closely. Even correct configurations will not move you to a new page, the output at the top of the menu will display whether you are connected. After ensuring that you are connected and doing the internet test successfully, you will want to exit that configuration menu to continue installation. This could be confusing to newcomers, but offers a good experience for people with multiple network choices.
Multiple Desktop Choices
We were pleased with the desktop choices on offer. The extra packages and servers were also a brilliant inclusion as many users of this small distribution are undoubtedly thinking media server, web server, thin client, etc. This makes the configuration choices sensible and even running headless works seamlessly and can be configured nicely via cli.
Mate, Xfce, Lxde,
Considering this distro can fit into 400Mb SD – It’s amazing how fully featured it can become. With a definite inclusion of swap, as well as performance configurations on the menu, this may be a go to option for low storage situations. We tested on a normal inexpensive SD card rather than a class 10, and everything still works great.
We May Yet Try It On Tinker Board
Even on Pi 3 it scores 5 for performance, 4 for ease of use, 5 for stability, 5 for flexibility, and 4 for user friendliness.
4.6 out of 5
Conclusion – We highly recommend this OS for hobbyists, makers, and enthusiasts and consider it fit for testing for production environments. The ssh options alone lend to security friendly configurations, and it’s flexible enough for daily use. A must have on the Raspberry Pi 3, and probably other SBC’s as well.