I have built a Pi cluster (4 boards) rather than using them as a "super computer" can I use the cluster as four individual boards? e.g. one as an Internet Dropout, one as a mail server, etc?

Thanks Johan Bouwer

  • by pi cluster I am guessing you mean you have 4 pi's that you have on the same network switch? Then make one a mail server, one something else, etc.... They are not really a cluster until you have software to make them a cluster. If you want four different "servers", just setup each one as you would normally. Maybe I am misunderstanding your question.
    – Chad G
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 22:38
  • No you guessed right. I like it all "combined" in one small package. Thanks, great answer. Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


No matter what kind of solution you will use each Raspberry Pi will be running its own copy of operating system. So even if you currently run some sort of HP, HA or grid software on them you can always run programs on on each RPi independently that will not be governed by this software. Of course it is better to remove cluster software if you don't intend to use it...

Clustering does not transform multiple computers into one unified system. Each operating system on each node runs independently. Difference is that clustered systems will obey commands from some master node and for example run computing programs and return results or do some other work for it.

  • Thanks, great answer. I am new to the Raspberry thing. I indeed wanted to make it a small super computer, but then I thought "once I have it built, what I am going to do with it". So the idea of them doing four different things in one small package appeals to me. Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:08
  • I would assume that using SSH i can make them a headless "server"?. I know the word server is stretching it, but I mean, one board being a mail server, one being a VPN, one being a web hosting server, etc. Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:14
  • @JohanBouwer Yes. Configure network and enable ssh server using raspi-config. Small advice - if you intend to run RPis without monitor make sure that network configuration is stable (static IP addresses if possible). I found out that switching back from "dhcpcd" metod to classic debian "networking" method works better for "servers" :-) It will also make it easier to configure virtual interfaces, masquerading and other custom networking elements. There are couple of topics here that explain more. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 12:42

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