Joys of Pi:
A test server and monitor host for the startup developer

I work at a startup. We get things done on a budget.

This is a summary of how I got:

  • A new test server for my local dev machine

  • An extra monitor for my dev setup

  • Tons of fun!

And all for less than \(\$100\).

Before we get started, I love the idea of a local build server for the low latency and complete control you have over the machine. It provides good contrast with the reliability and scaling of using a cloud solution: I like having my local workflow as nimble as possible and use the big guns for staging and production. And ideally you end up with something fun to setup and use.

Raspberry Pi 2 came out early this year, and is enough to make any technophile dream of countless garage projects to put together with it.

Just looking at the beauty of the device ups my heartbeat:

I grabbed one of the many Raspberry Pi startup kits for \(\$69.99\). You can go cheaper if you have some of the necessary cables laying around (the base Pi is just \(\$35\)). You can skip the WiFi Dongle if you have a LAN hub in place and an extra cable for instance.

I won’t write a full setup guide here – you can find some good ones online – just a quick demo.

There was an unused monitor in our office, so I hooked it up via the Pi’s HDMI port. The Pi doesn’t have its own speakers, but did you know most modern monitors can play sounds via HDMI? I was surprised myself.

Once you get bo