Al's Adventures With Pi

My adventures with Raspberry Pi and other ARM devices.

XFS vs ext4 on SD cards

I have always used the XFS system on my desktops, but have used the ext4 on my ARM devices. However, I set up a Raspberry Pi 3 with an XFS filesystem. It appeared (and I need to do some real tests and benchmarks) that running pacman -Syu on an XFS filesystem locked up less than on an ext4 filesystem. I'll try to find some time to test this more thoroughly.

Reinstalling Bludit

I haven't posted much in over 2 years, mostly because of a severe shortage of free time, and because I needed to upgrade Bludit. I figured building a new web server was the perfect time to upgrade Bludit and start posting again. My new web server is running on an ODROID-HC1 with a SATA SSD drive. I'll post more about it at a later time (time permitting, of course).

Raspberry Pi GPIO Programming Part 2

The code for this project may be found in Github. To check out the code, run the following commands:

git clone
cd rpi_leds
git checkout part2

In Part 1 I learned how to turn an LED on and off. Not something really exciting. For this next part I want to hook up several LEDs and turn them on and off in a sequence, and if possible, more than one sequence. Because I'll be working with object-oriented code and trying to explain its merits, this will be a long post.

Improving X Performance

I was reading the Arch Linux Raspberry Pi page today and found a section about the [ driver](( It states:

The driver for Raspberry Pi can be installed with the xf86-video-fbdev or xf86-video-fbturbo-git package.

Raspberry Pi GPIO Programming Part 1

The code for this project may be found on Github. To check out the code, run the following commands:

git clone
cd rpi_leds
git checkout part1

Disclaimer: I am teaching myself how to program the Raspberry Pi, often following the examples of others. I am not an expert beyond what I put here.

Soldering the GPIO Pin Headers on the Raspberry Pi Zero

One of the features of the Raspberry Pi Zero is that the GPIO port is empty. This helps keep the price down and provides a bit more versatility. Luckily my Pimoroni Project Kit came with the pin header strip I could solder on.

Software Updates on an SD Card

Overall the Raspberry Pi Zero does not feel slow when using the command line. Sometimes you see a bit of delays but overall it is pretty responsive.

One notable exception is updating the system (or installing a large number of new packages). Even though downloading is as good as any other Arch Linux system I own, the installation of the packages tends to stall quite a bit (especially when updating the man page index). That is mostly due to the SD card since they don't offer the best I/O. I have the same problem whenever I install Linux on a flash drive. Updating is incredibly slow due to the limited I/O of these cheap flash devices.

Moving from Nibbleblog to Bludit

Sorry for not posting for a while. Besides being busy, I decided to move my blog from Nibbleblog to Bludit. As it turns out, Nibbleblog is no longer under active development. Many of the developers have now moved on to Bludit. Bludit still has a few rough edges but it is still very useable. One advantage is that Disqus comments work properly in Bludit so you can now leave comments!

So my delays were due to this transition. I had to move all (4) of my comments manually, and it was something I was dreading. Now that that's out of the way, perhaps I can get back to writing. Just because I haven't written doesn't mean I haven't been playing with my Raspberry Pi.