I am planning to run a cluster of Raspberry Pi Zeros. I know we can do it with a cluster of Pi 3 boards but I want to know is the same possible with Pi Zero?


It shouldn't matter if you use a Pi 3 or a Pi Zero in a cluster; functionally they are both single-board computers that can run Linux. Of course, you should expect significantly worse performance from a Pi Zero cluster than the same cluster using Pi 3s, because the Pi Zero is significantly slower than the Pi 3.

Remember that lots of slow computers in a cluster don't generally make one fast computer (unless your task can be run in parallel), so make sure your task is suitable before making a cluster.

But if you want evidence that it works, you can see this article (originally in issue 55 of the MagPi):

ClusterHAT is an ingenious solution to the problem of building a cluster computing. Learning distributed computing is something of a challenge, and this small hardware kit is the answer.

Our ClusterHAT review looks at how to build a cluster computer using a Raspberry Pi and four Pi Zero boards.

This uses a ClusterHAT which is specifically designed to run a small cluster of 4 Pi Zeros on top of a controller Pi.

Hackaday also give an example of a cluster which can potentially connect 16 Pi Zeros together on a bespoke board. As you can see, Pi Zero clusters are easily achievable, just like Pi 3 clusters. Whether they're useful to you is an entirely different question.

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  • thank you and what would the clock speed be if we connected 3 of them ? – sam yo Apr 8 '18 at 11:25
  • The same as the clock speed of 1 Pi Zero - 1 GHz. You need to remember that a cluster really works in parallel; if a task can be split into lots of little jobs, a cluster is useful. But each processor still works at the same speed, so if you can't split the tasks, the cluster is useless. By the way, on Stack Exchange, you can mark your question as answered by clicking the green checkmark if you're happy with this answer, or let me know if there's something more you need to know. – Aurora0001 Apr 8 '18 at 11:41

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