Rasperry Pi Rack

Hi Guys, I have been working to build a raspberry pi cluster. Mainly to self host some services and maybe a website/blog or two. First I was wondering if RaspOS 64 or Ubuntu64 Server would be a better option?

I have 8 Raspberry Pi 8gb
8 64GB Micro SSD’s using a rack mounted PDU for the Pi’s mainly because my rack doesn’t support POE I will list it below.

Also I was wondering what you guys thought of these Raspberry Pi i1 U Server Rack? I have two I bought one that had a defect and I had to modify it and they sent me a second one. I really like the way they look and will start building them out on Saturday night after work.

I just really wanted to know if Ubuntu gives a better option and flexibility and wanted to share the Rack I found and see what people though. I know Jay uses the stacked ones with fans but they just weren’t my thing.

Im using fedora for arm on mine. I diddnt like what Raspberry Pi OS did by pushing out a Microsoft repo into existing installs, and I like their PR response even less so I went with an alternative and decided on Fedora since I run it on all my desktops and servers now anyway. I prefer to have all my OS’s as close to the same as application allows in any case. Of the two you mention I would use Ubuntu, esp if you use it for a desktop also.

I picked up this 3u rpi rack that holds 12 pi’s (comes with plates for 8, expandable to 12). A couple quirks, the holes to secure it to the rack dont seem to line up vertically but using one to either side secures it well once an rpi rack or two is mounted; and the rpi racks mount from the back side with the screws from the front…works well enough but I just find it annoying. Ill link some pics below. I only have one in atm, still rebuilding a few things and I have too many projects going right now as well.

A couple pics

Yeah I considered that rack as well but I figured out that 4 was enough then they sent a full replacement and I just used a file to fix the defects of the other one so now building a 8 pi cluster.

I am pretty new to linux. I am typing this on my windows 10 machine but I think I might use this one just for gaming. I have a Ubuntu box and thought about checking out PopOS for a few of our household systems.

Ubuntu would be one of the best go to distros for entry into linux, esp with gaming in mind. On the other hand if you are looking for more up to date kernels (for the better graphics support as well as wine/proton improvements) for running windows games on linux then I have found Fedora to be the best for the latest software with the stability and hands off maintenance of a release distro. For me it sits in a sweet spot between a rolling distro like Arch and a stable well supported distro like Ubuntu.

I do try and avoid software that requires kernel DKMS integration though (read Nvidia drivers and ZFS on linux) and stick with mainline integrated options like AMD video cards and btrfs for cow and snapshotting filesystems. The reason is that the more frequent updates to the kernel that I enjoy can potentially bork when updating kernel modules and rebooting (I had many issues with zfs on linux not updating correctly and requiring manual intervention). No data loss, just inconvenient.

Fedora and Ubuntu both are solid distros. Fedora will get the newer software and improvements much sooner than Ubuntu, but at the cost of much more frequent updates and an extra step or to to enable non-free repositories on initial setup (Fedora has only gpl/libre software in the repos by default). Add on kernel modules aside, I havent found Fedora to be any less stable than Ubuntu.

I would suggest the Ubuntu 64bit LTS server version, since that is a fully supported 64bit version for the Raspberry Pi. . I think the RaspOs 64bit is still beta.

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Manjaro ARM is also rock solid on the Pi 4 and stays current on packages, being a rolling release.

@Silvermane it appears as mentioned by @erikdebont that even today at the end of April RaspberryOS 64bit is still beta. I run RaspberryOS on my older pi’s because that is what runs best on them, and you don’t have the option of running Ubuntu.

Since you are already running Ubuntu on a box, you are thinking about running PopOS (Ubuntu based) on a gaming machine, I would encourage you to continue your journey into homelabs and servers with your RPi 4’s and Ubuntu. I know a lot of work has gone into Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi so I would think that you will have a really positive experience. I think if I had a RPi 4 I would probably lean towards Ubuntu Server or Fedora on mine to try something different from RaspberryOS yet still stick with OS’s that I have some familiarity with.

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I’m also using Ubuntu 64 bit on my Raspberry Pi’s, it’s working flawlessly.

Keep an eye on the YouTube channel this coming Friday, fans of Raspberry Pi’s and Racks may have a reason to get excited. It may not be 100% what you guys were asking for in this thread, but I think it may get some conversation going at least.

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