Rasberry Pi as an app server

Hi all,
I am totally new to the Pi and Linux for that matter.
I have developed a paddock recording system for our farming enterprise. It is a web app written in B4J and ABMaterial
It is running on an old win box with Ubuntu 20 now installed. As this is only a private system I see no reason for us to use any hosting service. Yes I know backup etc can/will be a problem.

I am wondering if a Pi 4 may be a good alternative, no HD or fans all the time.

I am not at all sure I know what’s out there or is necessary. Can anyone come up with a list of parts (CPU board, case cooling options, power supply etc.) I should purchase.



Hi Rob,

Excellent question, it is worth noting that the actual architecture of the CPU on your Pi is quite different to the box you’re likely running already (x86 v ARM I’d imagine), so you’ll be limited to operating systems that support that architecture (and run effectively on a Pi for that matter).

Once you’ve confirmed that your application can run on a Pi’s OS and supported by the architecture of the CPU you can really choose just about any case, cooling, power-supply (I would highly recommend the official USB-C supply for a few reasons), and so on that you need.

A LattePanda may be a better fit for your project, particularly if you’re looking to run Windows 10 or Ubuntu or similar distros on an x86 device



I suggest reading through the docs I’ve linked above. It should give you a better idea of what’s involved and what your best option is for a dev-board that you can use for your application.


Thanks Bryce,
I should of said B4J compiles to java so no problems with differing architecture. The B4J forums indicates no problems with Pi running the server.

While the LattePanda looks good I believe a Pi will do my job.

Some questions

  • So which Pi - Go for the newest and biggest?
  • Which case? -
  • Power supply - Official one?
  • Is cooling likely to be a problem? If so what is best solution.
  • Keyboard and mouse? - I suppose so, most of the time I will use SSH.
  • Monitor? I have a spare VGA need HDMI adapter
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Hi Robert,

Which Pi you choose mostly comes down to how much memory and processing power you need. I haven’t used B4J or ABMaterial so I’ll leave it to you to consider the specs.

There is a global silicon shortage currently which has made stock of Pis very limited, we don’t currently have any Pi Zeros and are hoping to get more in several weeks.

We do have stock of the newest and biggest Pi 4s, they are available with 2, 4, or 8 GB memory variants. https://core-electronics.com.au/raspberry-pi-4-model-b-2gb.html

All Pi 4s will fit any of these cases https://core-electronics.com.au/raspberry-pi/cases-4-model-b.html

Some cases are actively cooled, all Pis will thermally throttle themselves once they reach a certain temperature so while cooling isn’t necessary to protect the device, it may run too slow if it’s working hard. If you want to use a HAT to extend the capabilities of the Pi you will need to check it will fit within the case.

A USB keyboard and mouse is usually enough to configure the device then remove them once it’s configured and use SSH going forward. (SSH is not enabled by default) I use this one but they’re much of a muchness.

The power requirements for each generation of Pi are different, thats why the official supply is recommended, the exact specs are listed here: Power Supply - Raspberry Pi Documentation

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Thank you Trent,

Are any of the actively cooled cases have software to control the fans? Thinking noise and to smaller extent electricity cost.

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I have an Argon One case at home, mine is only version 1 but it has a fan on an internal extension board that can be controlled by a script. https://core-electronics.com.au/argon-one-v2-raspberry-pi-4-case.html

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Hi Robert,

One thing to keep in mind for reliability and backup, is that SD cards have a nasty habit of failing completely out of the blue, so if you’re going to run this thing for a while, then booting from USB (A default feature of the Pi 4) is a much better option.

As for backups, that shouldn’t be a problem if you feel like setting up a separate Pi as a storage server and a copy job on cron on the main machine to just copy important stuff over periodically. If it’s just drive failures then mdadm should do the trick.

There are more “bulletproof” options for serious commercial projects, but I like your self-hosting mentality and desire to keep it simple.

Keen to see where you go with this!

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Thanks James,

Will definitely use a Pi 4 and will make sure I boot from USB.
This Pi will be connected to my local network so will be backed up to there and also to the Cloud.

A big thanks to all who have contributed, keep doing so. The software tips are really useful as I have little Linux knowledge.



Just thought I would update this post.
I ordered my pi 29th July, it arrived (well I picked it up) at 3pm yesterday.
Even with my limited linux knowledge it is up and serving!
This includes networking, remote access and server software.
Many things to do but with Mr Google by my side everything has been straight sailing.


Hi Robert,

Great to hear and thanks for coming back to update the thread, it’s always nice to close the loop and know what the result was.

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