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Comparing Linux boards for hobbyists

Hobbyists love Linux powered development boards, because they give lots of flexibility, network connectivity and other benefits OS can give. Linux driven development boards are great, because they already have I/O pins to interface physical world and build project at different level. Market already have over dozen great Linux-based development boards and sometimes you may get stuck thinking which is best to start with. We all are familiar with Raspberry Pi, but don’t get excited, and think your needs first before purchase.


Tony Dicola, recently have made a comparison of four common Linux-based development boards: Arduino Yun, Beaglebone Black, Intel Galileo and Raspberry pi. He listed most of their parameters in to table so you could clearly compare them side by side. Then he takes to next part – performance test. He runs nbench tool, which was developed to measure performance of Pentium class computers. It is obvious even from parameter list that Beaglebone black and Raspberry Pi takes leading positions. Also he measures power usage when idling and running benchmark Raspberry Pi model A leads by maxing at 150mA. While Intel Galileo stands between 500 – 600mA. Other test include CPU temperature measurement, where Raspberry Pi shows best results and Galileo worst. Hardware is worthless without software support and tools, Tony goes through available packages, and support. After comparison it is always hard to tell which one is generally best. Each board brings some value to the bucket. For instance Arduino Yun is great for Arduino compatibility and WiFi, Raspbery Pi is great for learning Linux as it has large community and is cheapest board from the list. Beagle bone gives more I/O and gives more real-time control.

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