distributed.net, Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B with Distributed.net dnetc RC5-72 client

A little while ago I wrote up a summary of the distributed.net RC5-72 project. One of my habits over the years has been to run the good old cow client on every new computer I’ve built just to see how the speed compares.

So when I picked up a new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B this week, this habit held true. For this I installed the ARM/embi client v2.9110.519 (sadly dated 2012 – there have been very few client updates in the last few years), and it ran without any issues. By default it doesn’t detect the Pi 2’s quad core architecture, so requires manually setting the Performance options to use 4 cores.

It’s not exactly speedy, but then this is a computer that I can fit in my back pocket.


Four simultaneous crunchers took 1 hour 3 minutes to complete 4 stat units, at a combined keyrate of 4.5Mkeys/sec. At that rate the Pi could crunch around 91 stat units per day. That means that running by itself, the Pi could complete the remaining work on the project in a mere 32 million years. I don’t think the warranty lasts that long.

The CPU temperature held fairly steady at 54 Celsius, and I will also note that I didn’t overclock the Pi so this was running at the default 900mhz.

While the Pi does boast a Broadcom GPU with 1GB RAM (shared with CPU), there are no compatible crunching clients for a GPU test, and I suspect the project is in such a lacklustre state now that I don’t foresee any budding development on one soon. This was still a fun little test, and isn’t that much slower than a decent home PC would have been 15 years ago.