In this tutorial, we’re going to build a highly optimized Raspberry Pi system that runs very lean on resources with the help of Raspbian Lite. Whereas a baseline Raspbian system consumes around 158 MB of RAM, Raspbian Lite runs at a mere 34 MB. To achieve this lighter weight footprint, we must give up the graphical user interface (GUI); however, we’ll include steps in the build (and tips) to help us work productively without a GUI.
This guide follows the same flow as my popular Beginner’s Guide to Installing Node.js on a Raspberry Pi, and I recommend that you use that guide if you are a beginner or if you simply want the luxury of using a GUI. There’s nothing wrong with that, and a GUI makes sense in many contexts! For those who want to run a lighter weight Pi system, let’s get started!
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.