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I am running my Raspberry Pi (with USB hard disk) for backup purposes. Most of the time, the Raspberry Pi is idle. I am aware that using the Pi more needs more energy - I am willing to "donate" the additional electricity costs.

Is there anything that the Raspberry Pi can do for the benefit of the public? I am thinking of something like BOINC, however due to the limited CPU power that wouldn't have a big impact. Something using the spare upload bandwidth would be better.

Ideally, maintaining that solution would require minimal work apart from the first setup.

  • Note most Pi's will use more than double the amount of energy while maxed out vs. idle. Also, you can probably configure the hard drive to stand down after not being accessed for certain length of time (it will then take a second to spin up again when required). So, e.g., if this is a Pi 2, at idle with the drive spun down it probably consumes < 250 mA. If you make significant use of the processor and keep the drive spun up, it might be consuming 3 or 4 times as much energy (presuming 4-500 mA for each device). Wifi will add even more. – goldilocks Oct 14 '16 at 19:32
  • @goldilocks: Thank you for pointing that out. However, energy consumption won't be an issue as I would like to "donate" that. – user1251007 Oct 28 '16 at 10:35
  • You could schedule builds of your favourite software packages, or run kernel upgrades and execute Linux kernel regression tests. However, that would require much more involvement than just donating CPU time. – Dmitry Grigoryev Oct 28 '16 at 12:01
  • In general, distributed computing projects don't bother to support RPi, considering how little computation power it has. – Dmitry Grigoryev Oct 28 '16 at 12:03

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