The Right Way to Do a Project?

Hi everyone, so I’m a noob in this field but from what i’ve seen the projects I would like to do, don’t require extensive coding.

1) Kodi box- would like to replace my cable supplier and wondering what is the right way to configure it, the options are:

  • Installing dietpi and then choosing Kodi on raspberry pie 3 B+, Im afraid this is a one function only option, but I guess the pi was built for that, but I’ll have Limited options with the pi in case I would like to use it as a living room computer.
  • Installing OSMC or Libelec directly onto the pi.
  • Installing a light weight Linux distro (Ubuntu Mate) and then installing Kodi- this will give me more options to do simultaneously on the pi (browsing, emails, skype, etc), but I can’t figure out if the pi can handle this configuration in terms of heat producing and doing multiple tasks.

2) Nextcloud/Owncloud home backup cloud- I have seen a bunch of videos for a home cloud using a SBC, and from what I understood, the USB connection will be a bottle neck for write/read tasks. The Orodroid HC-2 has a SATA III and powerful specs. So the options are the same as in section 1 (only with cloud softwares instead of Kodi).
What are you suggesting? Should I do 2 separate project? Can I do both projects on the same SBC with Ubuntu (or any other OS) so both features will run as long as the SBC turned on? and If so, what is the Hardware recommended configuration- in terms of SBC (which one to use) Boxing (i can’t have it naked in the living room :smiley: ), connecting to other interfaces and keep working without any issues.

I’ll be glad to hear your answers & referrals.
Very much obliged to you all!
Best regards,

First of all, the aim of DietPi is, besides others, to provide/setup 3rd party software in a way, that allows/preserves explicitly simultaneous software usage.

Some official software install scripts turn the system into a single-purpose machine, reserving the whole webroot, pre-installing an autostart or configuring the system down to it’s roots for the related single usage, blocking other usage or making it more difficult. Thus is what we want to avoid, thus using Kodi + cloud + desktop (e.g. LXDE) all together is should work fine.
Since "Diet"Pi as well aims to reduce memory usage as much as possible, this as well supports the parallel software usage, perhaps better than most other Linux images with prepared desktops etc.

The RPi3 indeed provides USB2.0 only, which should be the bottleneck for most modern drives. However the question is how fast your network anyway is, especially in case of WiFi and the Internet connection speed.
E.g. I have a 100Mbit connection here on RPi2, where 480Mbit is provided by USB2.0. Theoretically on local network I could transfer things faster, but as all clients are connected via WiFi and cloud transfer via webdav, real transfer speed can never reach USB2.0 speed anyway. If you do not copy forth and back very large files on the RPi between the drives, I think practically you will not feel the USB2.0 cap.

Thanks for the answer MichaIng!

So in your opinion, there is no need for a strong SBC in order to use both apps the simultaneously a big part of the day?
The SBC will be used as follows:

  1. Kodi- not all day, probably 5-6 hours.
  2. Home cloud (Nextcloud/Owncloud)- 24/7.
    I would like both installations to run simultaneously and to have a simple way to choose between them.
    i.e: I’m watching a live broadcast on Kodi, and then check a file on the home cloud installation.
    The Choice is between:
    RPi 3 B+ Vs. Odroid HC2 (it’s a considered beacuase of SATA III connection for the cloud).
    I’m concerned about overheating the SBC with these configurations.

Does DietPi have a GUI like, from I’ve seen the DietPi installation selection is very similar to a bios screen? If yes, Is it Ubuntu based (Debian build and GNOME desktop)? Also, I saw it required the command terminal.
So for the average user, is the DietPi simple enough or coding knowledge and command terminal is needed?

Looking forward for your useful answers! :slight_smile:

Generally I think for the tasks you mentioned, a RPi3 should be sufficient. It’s GPU acceleration allows to play 1080p and some background CPU + HDD tasks from Nextcloud should be no problem. Of course all together, then in parallel opening desktop, browser, accessing a website while watching a 1080p video and a heavy Nextcloud upload runs, don’t expect a totally fluent browser behavior :wink:.

Not sure if the HC2 has SO much more power than the RPi3, especially if thermal throttling kicks in. Be sure to add a cooling solution, large head spreader or little fan, to allow longer full load without thermal throttling lowering the clocks. Or is this just an issue on XU4? Ah better ask others about Odroids :rofl:.

Nice about HC2 is indeed the SATA3 connector + HDD case included. For RPi3 you would need to buy (if no already there) a separate HDD docking station (or two, to split load on two USB ports/controllers), so the overall price of both solutions will finally be similar or RPi3 stack even more expensive.
RPi3 advantage here is the hdmi and several USB connectors. So you can attach screen and keyboard, if some boot or network (SSH) issue occurs.

Another topic:
Fourdee does GPU/Kodi acceleration fully work on HC2 with Stretch image?
Otherwise Jessie image might be needed/safer for best Kodi experience, but PHP will then be on version 5 instead of version 7, which is again bad for Nextcloud UI experience :thinking:.

Huge appreciation for the response! :smiley:

So I’ve comprised the hardware & software I’ll use for this project:
RPi 3 B+ with CPU & GPU heatsinks built to the standard RPi case.

For starters, I’ll use raspian for simple installations of Kodi and Nextcloud.

  • If I’ll see that the Pi 3 B+ can’t handle both at the same time, I’ll designate the Pi for OSMC standalone.
  • Then I will do an Orodroid Nextcloud project with VPN + DNS pi hole for max security and ad blockage.
  • VPN- is it possible to add onto the raspian (Kodi + Nextcloud) or is it pushing it?

Thanks so much for answering! :sunglasses:

HC1/2 is headless :slight_smile:

XU4 + Kodi on Stretch does work

Ah lol jep, was too much in hurry to think right :rofl:.

About desktop use, remote desktop solutions work, but yeah for Kodi I guess this is no solution. Not too deep inside how VNC/XRDP work in such cases. Does the server really handle all picture “creation” or is this (partly) the job of the client? I guess movies via remote desktop should not work or just very slow? Never really tried :thinking:.

Jep but okay when Kodi should be used, you definitely don’t want a headless-only system and in combination with DietPi at least, the GPU/hardware acceleration on Odroids (must be XU4 or C2 then) is not the best currently, thus RPi3 or a stronger (?) NanoPi solution should be considered.

About VPN:

  • I never tested it intensively, but VPN doesn’t cost much CPU and/or RAM power, similar to SSH or things like that.