Robustness of Raspberry Pi?

I’m considering using Raspberry Pi and its camera for a permanent installation. I’ll use OF, ofxRPiCameraVideoGrabber and a few shaders. The Pi would also be connected to a video projector and will receive OSC messages from local network.
I didn’t perform lots of tests about robustness but for now it seems ok.
I’d like the app to run for about 10 weeks without any intervention. Do you think it is possible ?
Is there some recommended setup to use ?
I was wondering if some of you have experience to share about that subject. Thanks !

this isn’t really about software, but more hardware – from my experience it’s a really good idea to have cloned backups of your SD card (I’ve had one go bad due to a power issue) and have a really good power supply setup.


I have had RPi’s installed for several months running networked with openFrameworks with no problems.

That said, I totally agree with @zach. Give the gallery or venue a clone, or simply be prepared with a clone in case the SD card gets corrupted.

1 Like

As mentioned, this is a hardware issue. Something to keep in mind though is when your program is writing, SD cards have a limited amount of write cycles (depending on size, etc) . Their are ways to extend the longevity (TRIM I believe is supported on RPi) but you’ll need to do the calculations as SD cards do have limited write cycles.


I’ve had issues with a USB wifi stick that was supposed to be RPi friendly but actually had shoddy Linux drivers and would freeze up after a couple of hours. The drivers were shoddy because the manufacturer hadn’t updated them in several years. So I’d be wary of external hardware connected to the Pi - make sure it’s well supported.

1 Like

Thanks everyone for your feedback !

Also, one more thing – 95% of Raspberry Pi problems in the past (in my experience) – even the strangest things – can often be traced to an inadequate / unstable power supply. Make sure you give it some good quality power during the installation :smile:

1 Like
  1. Daily shutdown procedure
    Perform software level shutdown before the power supply cutoff. Usually I tell client to press a shutdown button in iPad program and it will call RPi’s shutdown script remotely via network.
  2. Reduce writing operation
    Suggest to reduce the writing operation of your OF program. Also refer to this link on reducing writing operations in system level. (* Do not disable journaling if you perform shader operation, I found that the result will be weird)
  3. Stable power supply as mentioned by OFers above
  4. Backup the SD card image of final version as mentioned by OFers above

I’m experiencing some screen blacking while running my oF app that uses 2 of jvcleave’s wonderful addons, ofxOMXPlayer and ofxRPiCameraVideoGrabber. I’m using a composite video out. The apps still respond to OSC messages – so it hasn’t crashed – but the screen goes black. I’ve tried some of the tips in these threads:

But they seem to focus mostly on X-related solutions. Is there some special setting that will solve this?

Hey Jeff. I’m assuming there’s a good reason you’re using composite video instead of HDMI, but if you’re able to switch I’d try that. HDMI usually never goes to sleep for me (requiring the tvservice command if you do actually want to sleep your display). Good luck! Hopefully someone has a better solution for composite video.

yeah, we are driving a bunch of old school CRTs with only composite input - otherwise I’d definitely be using HDMI.

I just tried adding setterm -blank 0 -powerdown 0 -powersave off to /etc/rc.local
and in /etc/kbd.config I changed BLANK_TIME=30 to BLANK_TIME=0

Trying these out now…

Hi Jeff, et al. Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but did you find that the setterm (or kbd.config) settings worked? i’m currently working on an installation using very similar components (RPi+oF+ofxOMXPlayer), and it seems to exhibit similar behaviour as what you describe. And this is with HDMI!

As addition to decent power supply issues, getting the right USB cables can prevent a lot of issues. Many (cheaper?) USB cables can’t supply enough current which means there will be a voltage drop. The Raspberry Pi B+ will put a coloured box in the corner of the screen when this happens.

We had a lot of success with this USB power supply to run 6 rpis.

1 Like