What to do with your old Pi after the Raspberry Pi 4 is released?

old raspberry pi

One of the questions only few people know is when the next generation Raspberry Pi will be released. But when it is released, it is a perfect moment to check whether your Raspberry Pi is still sufficient for you or if you need (or: just want) to update.

So what can we expect in a new release? As with every release, with its increased power and features the newer Pi will make your life a bit better. Not only in reduced booting, restarting and processing time, but also to do more with intense protocols like MQTT, or combining multiple functions onto one single Pi by using Docker containers. So when you order your newer Raspberry Pi model, also order the peripheral so you can give your old Raspberry Pi a new useful life.

Raspberry 3B


Try another Smart Home system

There are a lot of smart home automation systems that run on the Raspberry Pi. After you reinstalled your primary system on the new generation Raspberry Pi, you can give another platform a try. Of course, the different systems available have overlapping functionality. But there are differences in the paths they took in their development and how they are supported by their communities. So using your old Raspberry Pi to try out a different home automation system can be refreshing and inspiring.

Examples of smart home automation systems that run on the Raspberry Pi are Domoticz, Home Assistant, OpenHAB, Calaos.

Reinstall it as a Smart Home System for a friend or family member

We all know them: persons that are very enthusiastic and inspired but didn’t dare to take the first step. By reinstalling your old Pi and donating it to them you can help them on their way. But beware! If they are not very tech-savvy it could end as a drama, with you acting as 24/7 tech support. Because let’s be frank, although it’s no rocket-science it is not easy as cake.

Turn your old Raspberry in a retro-gaming machine

With RetroPie you can play all the cool games from back in the days. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favorite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up. Just order some game controllers (or use the ones of your XBOX or Playstation), install the image on an SD-card and you are ready to go!

Turn it into a Media Center

Kodi has been around for a long time. With it’s roots as a media center the XBOX, it currently runs on all operating systems and supports the Raspberry Pi. You can play mediafiles from local, attached USB or network storage. But next to that, it has advanced functions like mimicking a Chromecast and can be used as a Plex client. With a large number of plugins you have numerous ways to extend functionality.

Turn it into a NAS

By using OpenMediaVault you can switch your Raspberry Pi into a Network Attached Storage System to which you can connect your USB storage so you can access the files from everywhere in (and if you want outside) your home. OpenMediaVault has a web-interface from which you can administer you system and access to the folders. With extensions you can add additional functionality, for example you can make it a Download Station or setup a VPN connection. You can also store the backups of your Smart Home system on this NAS.

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