I want to create a portable media server using Raspberry Pi Zero W running on LiPo battery. Steps will include installing minidlna, dhcp server, hostapd.

I have fair knowledge of these things and can hack around to get this working on Raspbian Stretch LITE.

My question is- would there be a better, slimmer OS that I can install to achieve the same thing? Obviously this will be headless. Since this will be runninng on batteries, I want to maximise the uptime this can deliver.

I am aware that the running time is not dependent on the OS itself, but all the computation it does in the foreground/background. Hence, I am looking for something which is minimal but also not a pain to setup with all the installables I need.

I've worked with Alpine linux and Tiny Core linux on some of my servers, but I don't know whether they will be able to be up & running for all the installables I need.

closed as primarily opinion-based by joan, Milliways, tlhIngan, Steve Robillard, Darth Vader Aug 8 '18 at 11:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Only you know exactly what all the installables I need are - so, have you looked into PiCore for example? – Jaromanda X Jul 27 '18 at 7:00
  • Hi, I mentioned my installables in the OP - minidlna, dhcp server, hostapd. I will bold it. – Prashant Kamdar Jul 27 '18 at 7:30
  • oh, is that all of them - sorry - PiCore is out, it doesn't have minidlna - does it have to be a Pi? think Onion Omega2 – Jaromanda X Jul 27 '18 at 8:33

I suspect that a "better, slimmer OS" will offer only small reductions in power consumption. You may wish to look into some hardware configuration methods to reduce power consumption. Another link on that subject Also "media server" sounds like a fairly demanding app, power-wise.

The balance of my "answer" to your question is more along the lines of a suggestion to consider an alternate approach to your design. Rather than starting from an assumption that a "better, slimmer OS" will meet your expectations for battery runtime, why not generate some estimates of runtime before you invest time and effort in another or customized version of the OS?

For example, using these figures for RPi power consumption (150 mA), and these specs for a LiPo battery (2 Ah), I'd estimate that you'll get 9.3 hours of battery life.

If that's enough runtime to meet your requirements, then you'll not need to invest time and effort into a custom OS. Of course the hardware configuration methods mentioned above may allow you to extend that runtime with minimal effort.

And you'll also want to run some tests to determine the actual current draw for your application (rather than the one-size-fits-all estimate provided by The Organization); it could be significantly more than the 150 mA cited in the link above.

Hope this helps.

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