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Affordable Home Server Using Raspberry Pi

Home server using Raspberry pi

A home server can provide different services depending on the purpose of the server. Using raspberry pi as a home server is a cheapest and most effective way to deploy your first home server. In the previous article, what is a home server, we widely discussed home servers and the benefits of having a home server. Therefore, this article focuses on a home server using raspberry pi (RPi), covering the following topics:

Hardware| What is a Home Server using Raspberry Pi?

A home server is a computer that connects to a local home network or the Internet to serve other devices within or outside the home. Home servers are frequently used to deliver multimedia content to other household devices, such as photos, music, and videos—read more about home servers at this link.

Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer that comes in various sizes and costs around $35. The largest is roughly the size of a credit card, while the smallest is about the size of a stick of gum. So it comes with everything you need to connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and Internet, just like any regular computer. Thus, Raspberry Pi has everything you need to build a home server.

For example, if you are looking for a backup system for your home devices, such as your laptops, tablets, or phones, the Raspberry Pi can handle it. If you have photos, music, or videos that you want to be able to access from anywhere, anytime, on any device, the RPi can make that happen too. The Raspberry Pi can meet all of these needs with a small investment in hardware and time.

Raspberry Pi Models

Raspberry Pi comes in many flavours, all of which are reasonably priced. Generally, there are three different RPi models, Zero, Model A, and Model B.

RPi Zero is the cheapest, lightest, and smallest Raspberry Pi available. The zero board doesn’t include a USB and Ethernet port and has less computing power than the other models. It does, however, use less energy. RPi Zero is ideal for projects that don’t require wireless access, though a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth module can always be added.

Figure (1) Raspberry pi Zero

RPi Model A is a square shape board with a faster processor than the RPi zero, the exact size of RAM 512MB, a full-sized USB connector, an audio port, and a full-sized HDMI port. Wireless and Bluetooth are even built-in on the most recent models. RPi Model A Consider a ‘ lighter ‘ version with lower specifications than the headline Model B. It is, however, less expensive.

Figure (2) Raspberry pi Model A


RPi Model B is a full-size board including Ethernet and USB ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with the ability to run two screens at 4k resolution. Model B also comes with the most RAM available, up to 8 GB. So if you intend to use your Pi as a desktop computer or for intensive data processing, model B with more RAM is your choice, and for RPi as a home server, you definitely need to consider a higher RAM.

Figure (3) Raspberry pi Model B

RPi Pico – It is also worth mentioning another model of Raspberry Pi called Pico. Nevertheless, this model is a microcontroller, not a microprocessor, so technically speaking, it is not a computer. RPi Pico is more similar to Arduino boards. So you can check out this link for more about Raspberry Pi models, specifications, and costs.

Figure (4) Raspberry pi Pico

Now to address why there is a big hype about RPi is because of these GPIOs (general purpose input/output) pins, which allow you to control electronic components for physical computing and explore the Internet of Things (IoT). Meaning it is your way to connect the physical and digital environment so-called ‘Digital Twin‘.

To put things in simple words, these GPIO pins can send and receive electrical signals where you can control them from the OS. For example, you can control LED lights, switches, or your home thermostat by connecting them to the RPi board. Anyway, to build up a home server using RPi is highly recommended to use Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with at least 4 GB of RAM.

Figure (5) Raspberry pi 4 model B illustration


Operating system| What is Raspberry Pi OS?

Most computers run operating systems (OS) like Windows and Mac. Rpi runs Raspberry Pi OS, a Linux-based OS (formerly called Raspbian) provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation as the primary OS for the Raspberry Pi family boards. Raspberry Pi OS comes in 32, and 64-bit, explicitly designed for the Raspberry Pi, but keep in mind not all Rpi boards are the same. Therefore, picking the right OS for the right board is important. Raspberry Pi OS can be freely installed using Raspberry Pi Imager, which can be downloaded from this link.

Software| List of Recommended Applications For a Home Server using Raspberry Pi?

The beauty of having a home server is installing and customising the number of applications/services. Here is a list of our recommended applications that you can run on your RPi home server.

Server Database Website  Storge Security Others
apache-server mysql wordpress nextcloud
nginx MariaDB Heimdall OpenMediaVault2 bitworden
Nodejs MongoDB filebrowser


What are The Benefits of a Home Server using Raspberry Pi?

Like any server, a home server needs to be run 24/7 to get its full benefits. Running a home server for a long period comes with consequences, such as energy consumption, noise, space, etc. Therefore, running RPi as a home server sounds like a good idea. In addition, RPi is very easy to customise and accessorise in terms of increasing storage capacity, adding more applications, or choosing a nice fancy case.

In this article, we drop down the benefits of a home server using Raspberry pi into Four categories.

Cost-effective RPi comes with a wide range of affordable boards. The RPi 4 Model B costs around $35, which is a small board that comes with 512MB of RAM, 100Mb Ethernet, a slot for an SD card, two USB ports, audio out, and HDMI.
Energy-efficient Running a home server consumes power because you need to keep the device up and running constantly. The RPi ultra-low-power components are ideal for this workload, which helps you save money on electricity.
Low noise There are no fans or moving parts on the RPi. The hard drive will be the only component in your final setup that makes any noise or creates any noticeable heat. It is, nevertheless, preferable to have a case cover with a fan in case your home server is overloaded.
opportunities Setting up a home server with RPi is so much fun and easy to do. Almost no experience is required, and the benefit of a home server is overwhelming with a lot of possibilities. The values of a home server are enormous, with a lot of options, and almost no experience is required.

Running a home server using RPi is an affordable way to enjoy a number of services for free. It is an excellent tool for exploration, learning, and benefits from open-source applications. All that you need to get started is:

Hardware Raspberry pi From $35 Rpi 4 Model B
Case cover $12 Case
Storage From $10 to $$$ SD + (HHD or SSD)
Operation system Raspberry Pi OS Free Download
Software Open-source applications Free Recommendation list



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  • Mustafa is an Architect & Researcher in the Built Environment with a specialisation in Digital Architecture and Sustainability. He is expert in computer modelling, simulation, reality capturing technologies and Internet of things. Throughout his career, he designed domestic and non-domestic buildings. His latest research has focused on Digital Twin, Advanced Digital Technologies, simulation tools and VR/AR visualisation to support Built Environment Applications.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. zoritoler imol

    Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

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