RPI as Desktop (University Use Case(s))

I’m not sure where to post this, but, I just watched The Homelab Show ep-16 where they were discussing use cases for RPI’s.

I can’t say what university it was, but, in late 2019 I did some work for a Uni that was doing a fair bit of internal upgrading in the IT shop (Juniper Switches, Nimble Storage Arrays, you get the idea). In any case, they ran every static workstation (including the Math and Science Labs) off of PRI’s and a descent monitor. The PI’s were simply bolted to the back of the monitor. They all had PoE hats, and the images were managed via Citrix. They had well over 1000 scattered across the campus.

They also had compute engines for computationally intense things that were all network accessible (think MatLab, Python Intensive Apps, etc) on the Pi’s desktop. Another nice feature was, their home directories, no matter where they accessed the account from, was exactly the same as when they last logged off.

They also employed PI’s and Chromebooks for TV messaging, which I thought was a really cool idea.

Anyways, just thought I’d share another use case or two.


That’s the sort of infrastructure story that gets me excited about Linux and RPi in general. It’d be awesome if they did a white paper or something of the sort on it :+1:

Yes, that would be awesome. From my limited experience, there are a couple of challenges to releasing that information.

In general, organizations are reluctant to release information about their infrastructure. Even if an engineer wanted to write something up, their administration and lawyers would probably say no. The argument is that sharing that information would give hackers an edge. I don’t really buy that as a legit reason. Security through obscurity seldom works out well for anyone in the long run.

Secondly, if there were consultants or hardware vendors providing advice they try to keep that sort of information private as it is their “value add.”

Everyonce in a while we do see some really awesome write up about someones infrastructure.