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Raspberry Pi 4 Model B or Pi 3B+ for beginner?

asked 2020-02-25 12:51:18 -0500

new_to_ros gravatar image

Hi, I am new to ROS and Raspberry Pi. Is the new Pi 4 Model B fully compatible with ROS? Is it better to get the older Pi 3B+ for available of sample codes developed for Pi version 3 and possibly better compatibility? Is Pi 4 Model B fully backward compatible?

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answered 2020-02-25 17:01:12 -0500

achille gravatar image

updated 2020-02-26 10:13:17 -0500

Depends and will change as adoption increases. The new Pi4 only has official Ubuntu 19.04 support and Debian Buster support. Neither of those are supported by any ROS distribution currently released

You can however install the custom kernel by James Chambers which runs on Ubuntu 18.04 which ROS supports with its Melodic distribution. I got this to work but I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. EDIT: Ubuntu 18.04 with RPi4 support was officially released.

As a beginner, definitely get the RPi 3 for now. B or B+ depends on what OS you're trying to install on it with your main options being a distribution of Raspbian or Ubuntu MATE. Many people have done this before and so there is a wealth of resources available online.

Backwards compatibility really depends on what OS you would be running on your Raspberry Pi. I would say don't worry about that since updating ROS distributions for small projects should be relatively straightforward, but that is really project dependent.

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Ubuntu 1804 has just been officially released for pi 4, but it is the server version, which only provides a command line interface, if you wanted a gui you would need to install that on top. Pi 3+ will still provide the simplest route for a beginner for now.

nickw gravatar image nickw  ( 2020-02-26 00:04:33 -0500 )edit

I think you mean Ubuntu 19.04? Says it on ubuntu's wiki.

achille gravatar image achille  ( 2020-02-26 10:04:01 -0500 )edit
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ubuntu wiki is out of date

The most current page for pi is here https://ubuntu.com/download/raspberry-pi

nickw gravatar image nickw  ( 2020-02-26 10:09:45 -0500 )edit

Thanks. Given a choice, which is better? Raspbian or Ubuntu MATE?

new_to_ros gravatar image new_to_ros  ( 2020-02-26 23:28:53 -0500 )edit

I use RPi4 with 4Gb RAM because it's newest. I've installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS server from the link above using 32Gb SD card and put desktop GUI on top as NickW said. The process of installation you can find on youtube. Then ROS-Melodic-full was installed and it works fine.

Abacus gravatar image Abacus  ( 2020-02-27 10:10:23 -0500 )edit

I think he means for the RPi3. I would go for Ubuntu MATE as stated in the ROSberry Pi tutorial.

achille gravatar image achille  ( 2020-02-27 13:30:20 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2020-02-25 12:51:18 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 26