You are previewing Raspberry Pi User Guide.

Raspberry Pi User Guide

Cover of Raspberry Pi User Guide by Gareth Halfacree... Published by John Wiley & Sons

Chapter 8: The Pi as a Productivity Machine

The flexibility of the Raspberry Pi makes it a good choice as a low-power general-purpose desktop computer. Although it will never reach the same levels of performance as a standard desktop or laptop, its low cost and environmentally-friendly power consumption help to make up for any problems with occasionally sluggish performance.

Although the Raspberry Pi-specific Debian distribution provided on the official website doesn’t include any of the usual productivity software you might expect of a general-purpose PC—such as a word processor, spreadsheet or image editing—this software can be installed via the apt-get command. You can also skip the local installation and use cloud-based software through the web browser, which can offer improved performance over locally-installed packages at the cost of flexibility and advanced functionality.

Using either of the methods described in this chapter—locally-installed applications or cloud-based services—the Pi can be used as a day-to-day machine for office and school work, while not harming its usability as a platform for programming and experimentation.


If you’re planning to use the Pi as a pure productivity machine, it’s a good idea to reserve more of the 256 MB of memory for general-purpose use and less for the graphics processor. To learn how to change this split, see the section on “Memory ...

The best content for your career. Discover unlimited learning on demand for around $1/day.