Raspberry Pis as low-footprint single-purpose machines

I’m excited about the new, more powerful Raspberry Pi. This Hacker News thread describes several interesting hardware projects that the people have used the Pi for. And the Raspberry Pi website positions the new, more powerful Pi 4 as a Linux desktop machine.

I’m interested in its use as a low-power, low-footprint single-purpose machine, and having a few of them across the house.

For instance I have a privacy-focused Pi that’s physically tied to my router and serves as a network-wide ad- and tracker- blocker via pi-hole. It also runs cloudflared to encrypt my DNS lookups over HTTPS. I’m also setting it up as an OpenVPN server.

Another one is about to enter service as a XBMC/Kodi machine for movies and TV shows. This lives behind the TV. I’m also considering a third to serve as a Time Machine via netatalk and general-purpose backup machine via Syncthing. This will probably be behind my desk.

Taken together they’ll draw less power and run quieter than a desktop machine that does everything, and will be near-invisible too. It’s a new class of personal computer.