Can I Run The Web App on the Raspberry Pi?


#1

It is not possible to run the Web App server on the same device as FarmBot OS.


#2

I’ve received some comments asking for clarification as to why this is not possible.

The biggest reason is that FarmBot OS is not a desktop operating. It uses a read only file system and does not come with package management tools such as apt, rpm or yum. This is a common practice for embedded systems and gives us a number of security and stability advantages over simply shipping an SD card with a desktop OS on it.

Extremely old versions of Farmbot OS (2015 and prior) did offer a desktop environment and the ability to run arbitrary packages on the device, but it created a number of other problems such as:

  • Extremely large image sizes and install times as long as three hours
  • Random data corruption on the device’s SD card without notice.
  • Introduction of version errors when users would downgrade or upgrade core libraries.
  • Difficulty tracking bugs because of the vast differences between machine setups.

During that time, some users did indeed manage to run a web server on the device. When they did manage to get it running, it was common to see devices run out of memory or perform so slowly that the device was not usable. When SD cards (often) became corrupted, all data was lost. Most users who attempted to host the web app on the device eventually moved the web software off the device and onto a dedicated server or virtual machine.