DietPi vs Raspbian Lite!

Could someone update the documentation or clarify my misunderstanding. The spreadsheet linked to above compares DietPi to Raspbian Lite. I know it’s not the current release, but why has the minimum SD card size has jumped from 1G to 4G?

Could someone also tell me why I can only download a Stretch version for RPi when Jessie is available for other platforms? I have searched for this info (not extensively I admit) but not found it.

Yeah, agree, we need an update here. I will be able to do one, once v6.0 is released, which should be this sunday, as everything is going as expected.
One reason for the minimal SD card requirement raise was, that the default swapfile size was raised, so that RAM+swapfile together has 2 GB. This was due to some concerns, that 1 GB might not be enough to ensure no emergency process kills. This could be rethought, as it strongly depends on the software you want to run on it. But e.g. on my RPi2 (1 GB RAM) with full featured Nextcloud, where I normally never break 300 MB RAM use, on daily cron at night, where heavy backup and other maintenance tasks are configured, I already had some random process kills due to low RAM, resulting in total SD card corruption (especially MySQL) one time. I had swap disabled that time. Now I have it enabled (giving me 2 GB full RAM). Of course on 512 MB RAM devices, this means 1,5 GB SD card already just for swapfile. 2 GB then is already quite low for other system/software :wink:.

I’m going to chirp in here too, I am amazed that i have ONLY JUST found out about DietPi when i was looking for a method of creating a simple no fuss NFS on my pi. All i can say is i am a bit of a n00b when it comes to linux but this build made it so easy and made perfect sense! thank you so much and can’t wait to continue to use DietPi on all my builds.


Many thanks for the feedback and using DietPi, its great to hear :slight_smile:

I made a current comparison, sadly I forgot to measure/write down the boot times, and now my Pi is back in production. Better then nothing:

Test system

  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
  • CSL 5V 2.1A power adaptor
  • Kingston SDCA3/64GB U3
  • Raspbian Stretch based system
  • direct terminal access via monitor and keyboard

After comparing both available systems, I used the script to upgrade Raspbian Lite base image to DietPi, using the possibility to skip WLAN related packages: DietPi-Prep

Raspbian Lite: 2017-11-29
DietPi: 6.0 (without network access => no 1st run update to 6.1)
DietPi-Prep: 6.1 (with network access => all packages + DietPi up to date)

Download size [MB]
Raspbain Lite: 347
DietPi: 80,6

Image file size [MB]
Raspbian Lite: 1730
DietPi: 666

Root partition size [MB]
Raspbian Lite: 1046
DietPi: 445
DietPi-Prep: 387

  • Raspbian Lite now offers automated file system expansion as well :exclamation:
  • What is the reason, that raw image sizes are larger than the files, finally laid out on disk :question:

Installed packages
Raspbian Lite: 439
DietPi: 247
DietPi-Prep: 232

Memory usage [MB]
Raspbian Lite: 32.3
DietPi: 27.1
DietPi-Prep: not comparable, access via SSH, active network and dietpi.txt 1st run preparation (headless, disabled HDMI), but was down to 24.3M after 1st run setup.

Active tasks
Raspbian Lite: 18
DietPi: 10
DietPi-Prep: 10+1 for active SSH session

Real performance measurements would be nice, I know, but I didn’t want to stress my actual production system too much and also wanted to bring it up as fast as possible. Horrible, to run 2 days without calendar sync :rofl:.

I’m glad everyone is having fun with DietPi. My experience is a bit different. See post

I’ve installed it on a Pi3 B+ and installed the WifiHotspot and it works great. But my issue is with the PiZero W. Any package I install so far cause the Pi Zero W to just keep rebooting. Has anyone installed it on a Pi Zero W?

Hi there,
This is my feedback comparing dietpi and Pi OS lite. This is also my first contribution to this forum.

I wanted to have alternative system for my pihole on pi zero w. I have exactly zero experience with dietpi.
Installation: Documentation to install is not great. I was looking for instruction how to DD or copy provided image to sd card, never found one, so I simply tried. I was looking for making a wpa_supplicant, because, remember, it is pi zero w, no keyboard, no monitor, no nothing. I figured out that wifi is set in some alternative place. ssh is enabled by default, nice.

First boot. This was painful, interactive guide was insisting on testing DNS resolv, but probably under ipv6. It keeps failing.
When I force it, using ping to or something along those lines, it works, sort of.

System then self updates, without asking me about it. At least it did not failed. Pi OS lite fails on apt-get upgrade when deploying new firmware and kernel…bricking device like pi zero w.

When I try to install anything, say pihole or nmap, it start nagging with testing my DNS, using hardcoded quad servers. My DNS is just fine, why it keeps nagging? I run alternative command ‘true’ but why it does not offer ignore option?

At the end of day, I gave up (for now), I do not know if I have or have not ipv6 address and/or connectivity on this device, or if there is some problem. Why is that important enough to keep nagging about it every 30 seconds?

What it can and can not do? How do I install software withhout that dns nagging propmpt? What was my ip, both v6 and v4? is zeroconf running? mDNS?

WHAT I LIKE: less writing, by default. SD should work longer.

I am having issues with RPi zero W as well. maybe newest update of kernel/firmware is breaking things…


let me try to answer your questions one by one:

Welcome in our community

First of all, DietPi is not an own Operating System or Distribution. DietPi is a bundle of scripts on top of a standard Debian installation. Means the whole software update process is done the same way as on all other Debian distribution. Basically you could turn a normal Debian into a DietPi by just running 1 script. Depending on your SBC, DietPi is using different base images. Mainly used images are Armbian, Meveric or for PRi boards Raspberry OS. Means for your board Raspberry OS is used as base image, including kernel or firmware. DietPi themself did not provide this.

A full documentation is available on our online docs
There is a documentation how to configure WiFi before first boot on our install guide chapter 2 / last section

we recommend to disable IPv6 if not activated/used on local network. This can be done on dietpi.txt before first boot.

# IPv6

As well the IP for DNS check can be adjusted on your needs within dietpi.txt before first boot.

# General connection and DNS testing
# - IP to ping when checking network connectivity. Default: (Cloudflare DNS, should be very fast world-wide)
# - Domain to ping when checking DNS resolver. Default: (Cloudflare DNS domain, see above)

This is as expected. On first boot, DietPi will perform an update to latest version. Always. This is something that can’t be skip.

This is working as expected to ensure a valid network connection. IP for DNS check can be adjusted on your needs within dietpi.txt. s.a.

just disable IPv6 within dietpi.txt or use dietpi-config tool

Before every softeware installation, performed by dietpi-soctware, a DNS/network connectivity check is done.

This is one of the main aims of DietPi to reduce r/w operation on SD card as much as possible.

Having had a pi model b 256mb since launch and trying several things to do with it (I had it running plane finder with ADSB receiver but the cheap DVB stick died after a year) my pi had been gathering dust… until I found DietPi :slight_smile: thanks for your amazing work, I’d tried to install pihole ages ago and failed, the hardest thing about DietPi was waiting for the OS to update, with very few keystrokes I have a fully working pihole running unbound too - the fact I didn’t even know what unbound was but saw on the package list and thought yeah that’s something to try shows how awesome the optimised software list is, I thought I’d have to do extra configuration but nope select both and sit back - :star_struck: wow

Thanks :slight_smile:

1 Like

thx for your feedback and compliment. Much appreciated.

We created a new comparison overview. Check it out

I find the tables when freemium sites, for example, are goodly enough to list features and tick which apply to the free version, which do not, to be very helpful.

Rather than strictly focusing on stats alone. Is there a similar table relating DietPi to other distributions? If not, perhaps one could be started and I would like to contribute if possible. Might be helpful for others. A non-forum location would seem better though.

Up to date stats side is located directly on the main page and not within the forum anymore

How does the DietPi 64-bit kernel differ from the RaspiOS 64-bit Beta Kernel?

Also, are you aware of any differences in the software AES implementation (“NEON”)?

See here:

There is no difference between the kernel as it is exactly same one. DietPi did not and will not create own kernel. DietPi is not an own OS, it’s a set of scripts on top of a base image. In case of Raspberry Pi, we use Raspberry OS as base.

Hello. I’ve been following DietPi as a enthusiast. Is still current version v8.11 based on latest RPiOS September 22nd 5.15.61 kernel and Debian 11 bullseye? Kernel version and tuning is the same?
Does it mean that apart from Dietpi’s own software management utility, I can do ‘sudo apt install/update’ like on RPiOS and edit files and services as if i was on RPiOS?
So I can see DietPiOS as a more upgraded, lightweight by default and tuned RPiOS, with the same compatibility, right?
Can I also move to RPiOS testing branch from DietPi as well?

basically, the DietPi version has no relation to kernel or something like apt package version. It’s just our script. The rest of OS is close to stock with some magic.

You can do whatever you did on RPi OS. Just need to keep in mind that we run half of packages compare to plain RPi OS. Means, there might be additional software install necessary.

BTW: current RPI kernel is 5.15.76. You can use official rpi-update to switch kernel

If needed, we offer Debian Bookworm for testing already

1 Like

Thanks. So if I understand well, Dietpi doesn’t include RPiOS’ apt package manager or their repository. Dietpi has its own script for installing its own package collection.

So if I wanted to install something that’s not in DP repo I wouid have to build it manually, would I?

Why not maintain compatibility to have the choice of install and maintenance scripts plus apt get flexibility, if the rest of the os is the same? Ok… I guess there would be conflicts between both if mixed together…

No, you can use apt like on RPi OS. But on DietPi some packages are not preinstalled like on RPi OS (so basically it’s on diet :wink: ) There is also no own package collection.
But to make things more easy when working with CLI, DietPi provides GUI-like scripts to manage things.
You can simply launch dietpi-launcher to see which tools are available and also have a look into the docs

1 Like