in reply to Raspberry Pi and Perl

Hi marinersk,

TL;DR: In general, Perl works fine on the Raspberry Pi, it comes preinstalled with Raspbian.

I've worked with Perl on the Raspberry Pi 1, 2, and I actually just fired up my first RPi 3 the other day, in all cases with Raspbian. It's a Debian variant so if you've used Debian or Ubuntu then everything at the command line level will be familiar to you; there is an additional configuration tool raspi-config that helps you configure a few things.

As for performance, the Raspberry Pi 1 feels somewhat sluggish by modern standards. The commandline works fine, but compiling things or even just doing apt-get upgrade can take a while (and don't even think about browsing the web). On the other hand, because its video processor is good, streaming large video files works surprisingly well. So, if you're doing single-use tasks with it, or just running small background tasks, then once they're up and running they work just fine. I wrote a serial logging daemon in Perl, which I used to log streams from two RS232/USB adapters, and it worked perfectly fine.

The Raspberry Pi 2 makes a huge difference in performance - the GUI becomes usable, and the overall speed makes things much smoother to use. I haven't yet noticed a huge performance difference between the RPi 2 and 3, but finally having WiFi on-board on the RPi 3 is great. I haven't yet had a chance to play with the RPi Zero, but its performance is probably not quite as good as the RPi 2 because it's only got a single-core 1GHz chip.

Since you're getting packages from the Debian repositories, I was able to pull in all my dependencies via apt-get - because I was only working with the RPi 1 at the time, and compiling is a bit of a pain there, I didn't yet try to build my own Perl and install modules from CPAN directly, but again, since it's a pretty normal Debian, I'm not expecting big problems. And since the RPi 2 and 3 are much faster, I'll definitely try compiling Perl there. Update: Just built Perl v5.22.1 on the latest Raspbian on an RPi 3, it compiled and installed cleanly, and now I'm installing some CPAN modules on top of that and everything is good so far. So it looks like you should be able to use either Raspbian's Perl or one you've built yourself.

As for Windows 10 on the RPi, be aware that it's not a full version of Windows 10 with a full GUI - it's an "Internet of Things" edition that apparently is mostly supposed to run background services etc. Here's a video about it:

As for Raspberry Pi vs. others, there seems to be a small boom of such RPi-like "minicomputers" going on at the moment; you'll find lots of alternatives. AFAIK, two of the major goals of the RPi project was for it to be for educational and hobbyist use (people learning electronics etc.), and for it to be low-cost. That has led to it lacking some features that others offer, like for example enough USB ports on the v1 (I've almost always had to hook my RPi up to a powered USB hub), or a flexible power supply. So it really depends on what applications you want to use it for whether it's good enough for you, or if perhaps one of the more powerful (but generally more expensive) alternatives out there might be better for you. One advantage to the RPi is that they've got a good community going, so there's no lack of community support.

Shameless plug warning! The serial logging daemon I mentioned, which is fairly general-purpose, along with instructions to install it on a Raspberry Pi, are available under the GPL3 here:

Hope this helps,
-- Hauke D