Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm new to Pi and Arduino, and couldn't really find an answer through Googling. I'm designing a project that needs some sort of "brain" which will use PID to control relays turning on and off, and I'm unsure whether I should use Pi or Arduino. I would like to be able to write the code for the project then store it on the board I will be using and have it operate continuously without an internet connection or other computer / monitor (just a power supply). I believe Arduino can do this according to this post I found on another site: https://forum.arduino.cc/t/save-program-to-board/38100

My question is, can any version of a Raspberry Pi do the same thing, or does it require an internet connection to run any code I write?

  • 1
    why woukd it require an internet connection?
    – jsotola
    May 30, 2022 at 19:53
  • An ethernet or wifi connection would be handy so you can fix things from another computer on the network if they go wrong. . May 30, 2022 at 20:24
  • Both a USB thumb drive and SD cards use a form of Flash storage.
    – NomadMaker
    May 30, 2022 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


The Pi just needs a boot medium and some storage. This is commonly an inserted SD card but for recent model Pis this could be a USB stick instead.

An attached screen and keyboard (and internet) is a convenience when originally programming the Pi. They are not needed once programming is completed.

Use an Arduino (or Raspberry Pi Pico) if you want a battery power solution and low processing capability.

Use a Raspberry Pi (not a Pico) if you can run off mains or you need lots of processing power.


All rpi's can do what you ask. They boot from sd card or other usb medium and can operate without internet connection. However on the cost side, I would say that it will cost you more to use a Pi for such a project. Except if you do it with pico.

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