TinyPilot provides a KVM (Keyboard Video & Mouse) connection to any machine, for the low cost of around $150, or about an hour of your time and whatever Raspberry Pi parts you have sitting around.
I have an old Dell R800 with an older version of iDRAC. The iDRAC fails every reasonable attempt to manage the server through the browser, and can't be updated any further. I don't keep a VGA monitor around / connected in my garage, it's a major chore anytime I do something that requires a reboot on that system.
I like this as a weekend project for a few reasons:
- If you're new to working with home lab hardware, this is a nice stretch project with an immediately useful result.
- If You've a seasoned home lab tinkerer or "professional" - This is much easier and cheaper than a traditional KVM, and likely solves a common annoyance.
- Regardless, it's an inexpensive way to play with a Raspberry Pi and potentially support a useful open source project.
I didn't have a Rasp 4 lying around (Only a 2) - This turned out to be a big issue, you absolutely need a 4.
I didn't have a 32 gig SD card available (only a 4gig) - This wasn't an issue, worked fine.
No HDMI port on my old R800 - I tested on another machine, and picked up a hdmi to VGA dongle.
The actual install of TinyPilot on my Raspberry Pi 2 took about 45min.
This is likely because my Pi 2 is pretty old. No effort was required on my part- outside of kicking off the install script. The installer kicks off an Ansible playbook on the Pi. I'm fine with waiting as it put the Pi 2 to good use, and I actually avoid some of the power concerns with the recommended Pi 4.
|Pi||Recommended PSU current capacity||Maximum total USB peripheral current draw||Typical bare-board active current consumption|
|Raspberry Pi 2||1.8A||1.2A||350mA|