Years ago, I purchased a Raspberry Pi 4. It's an amazing little unit, which is now configured as an Adguard Home appliance which blocks ads and inappropriate content for my youngest daughter on all of her devices. I'm not sure why, but there hasn't been a Raspberry 5 since then, and prices of the very same Raspberry 4 unit that I purchased years ago, haven't gone down at all. In fact, they've gone up!
Enter this video from Linus Tech Tips:
Per LTT's recommendations, I headed over to Amazon and purchased an Orange Pi 5 with 16GB of RAM, an inexpensive NVME hard drive, some mounting screws, and a starter kit with a plastic case, cooling fan, heatsinks, and a power adapter. The total price was around $210.
I spent hours learning how to install and configure this device. I could get it to boot and run off of a microSD card, but not the internal NVME drive. I looked up all sorts of tutorials online, followed the instructions, but to no avail. This next part should have been a "no duh," but... learn from my hours of frustration. In the end the solution was quite easy, I needed to use the official Orange Pi Linux builds right on Orange Pi's website! You can see more of my install process on my Nerdy Notes page. It's not a tutorial, but more notes for myself should I need to repeat the process in the future.
This site is running the Ghost blogging system. I've tried hosting Ghost on Digital Ocean with only 1GB of RAM and then an additional 1GB of virtual ram, but it was always slow, buggy, and would crash if you uploaded too many images at once. I could have upgraded to a more expensive solution, but that would get to be quite costly on a monthly basis. In contrast, this Orange Pi has eight times the processors and sixteen times the RAM of that Digital Ocean virtual machine.
I've only had this up and running for less than a day now, but wanted to stress test this server and my home internet connection to see just how far I could push this tiny little machine. The test was uploading four hundred thirty-six photos and embedding four YouTube videos in one post. The total amount of data pushed on that page is over 100MB. Amazingly, it worked just fine! Fingers crossed, but it seemed to work without issues. Here's the post - warning, it's over 100MB!
I'm hopeful this will be a long term solution for hosting this blog. Now, to go back things up!