The launch of Raspberry Pi 4 is significant in its own right, especially as its improved specs make it a cheap server (60 Euros). Cheap servers play a role in a whole host of distributed applications, like running your own cloud, calendar, smart home appliances, internet of things hub, machine learning efforts, and federated social media. I look forward to getting my hands on a Pi4.

To show off its specs, the Raspberry Pi 4 launch website, attracting tens of millions of visitors over a few days, is being run on a cluster of 18 Raspberry Pi 4’s. (found via Jason Cosper, @boogah@mastodon.social)

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Every page from the blog after Sat 22nd June has been generated on a Raspberry Pi 4…..it’s a cluster of brand new hardware, with a pre-release operating system and a single point of failure. We very strongly advise our customers not to use this for a mission critical super high profile website under-going the most significant production launch in their history. That really isn’t a very good idea.

We once advised Eben that Raspberry Pi probably wouldn’t sell very many computers. He didn’t listen to us then either.

Today I had a bit of time to try running Mastodon on Raspberry Pi again. Last week I got stuck as some of the mentioned dependencies in the Mastodon installation guide could not be installed. As the step where I got stuck deals with a different Linux version, I tried simply skipping to the next step.

From the linked guide the steps ubuntu dependencies, node.js repository, yarn repository did not work.
The step after that, for various other dependencies, works again (which includes yarn actually).
Then a few steps follow that need to be executed as the specific user for mastodon. Installing ruby and node.js works fine, and almost all steps to install ruby and node.js dependencies. The final 2 steps of the dependencies throw errors (bundle install and yarn install). As at least some parts of the bundle install command do get executed, but not all. These are the last two steps before actually getting into configuring the installation, so it feels like being nearly there.

I’d have to dive deeply into the logfiles to see what wasn’t installed and what is missing. Not sure if I will easily find time to do so, and if I would actually understand what the log files tell me. It is also unclear if there is a relationship with the three steps I have skipped earlier in the process as they didn’t work.

My first steps experimenting with a self-run Mastodon instance were a bit disappointing. However I came across this guide by Wim Vanderbauwhede to run a Mastodon or Pleroma instance on a Raspberry Pi 3b. I’m definitely going to try this. A Raspberry Pi will be delivered after the weekend. In parallel I will try and update my GnuSocial instance I installed earlier to see if it improves functionality.