Raspberry Pi Zero W Experience?

Does anyone have experience installing Kolibri on PiZeros? We are looking at these as possible solutions because of the compact nature, etc. We have run into a couple of questions/issues:

  1. When we copy the Kolibri image to the device, it takes more than an hour (two hours, perhaps) before the unit appears ready to be configured.

  2. Once the device appears ready to be configured, it seems random as to which clients can connect. iOS devices seem to to connect in order to run the initial setup. Chromebooks also seem to be able to see the wifi and setup page. Windows devices can ping the server, but the page times out before the config page shows.

  3. The wifi itself seems to drop out at random intervals - the kolibri ssid shows up then disappears, then shows back up again.

  4. If/when we get the Zero configured, since it does not have a LAN port, how do we get content from the main server to the zero devices?

As always, thanks for any guidance!

Greetings All,

In my experience with PI’s, the Zero (Zero W) in my cases is great for an interface unit to the physical world but way light for other computing purposes. For Kolibri, I believe it’s not powerful enough for a good experience. Unless you have a really light power consumption requirement, I would look at the Pi3. The Pi 4s are out, and I’ve seen the Pi 3s at MicroCenter for $25. I’ve also seen Zeroes creep up to $10-15 so the Pi3 should have tons of capacity for your needs in a similar price band. Extra USBs for cheap SSDs are also great for very large Kolibri sites with ample room for other educational and reference materials.

My $.02


I’ve run Kolibri on a Pi0 with decent success, but yeah, won’t be able to support more than a few clients at a time, in any case.

Regarding wifi cutting in and out, in my experience that can often be related to one of a) power supply issues, or b) overheating of the board. Making sure you have a solid power supply, and that you have a heatsink or other cooling mechanism, can help.

Side note: it blows the cost out of the water, so it’s not very scalable, but for portable demo units adding a PiSugar and case make for a lovely self-contained “pocket Kolibri”.