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Thinking about getting crafty with a few Raspberry Pi work projects? We’ve seen pros use a Raspberry Pi as a router; others may use Raspberry Pi as a web server, or as a NAS. If using an unsupported homespun solution for a mission-critical business function sounds dubious to you, well, that’s because it is—but nonetheless, here are five ways an inexpensive RPi solution gets the job done at work.

Multi-screen media display

A fleet of small RPis can turn outdated televisions into smart digital signage for a hospital complex. It’s compact enough to be stashed behind the screen, and Raspbian OS plays well with a Linux/Unix NFS (Network File System). In a large campus where there are dozens of lobby areas, Ethernet-connected RPis draw from a central media storage server. Technicians use Debian-based streaming application OSMC to control the system. Step by step

Server room temperature alarm

A simple temperature sensor on an RPi tells IT staff when a datacenter exceeds a certain temperature. Technicians configure their Pi to send out SMS message alerts to their mobile devices. The Pi is connected to the company network; a sim card is placed in the modem to enable text messaging. Application-wise, there are several ways to navigate Pi-modem communication—Gammu is a good one to start with. Step by step

All-purpose datacenter security

Along with temperature, technicians set up sensors for humidity, smoke, and gas on the GPIO pins of a Raspberry Pi. Also, optical sensors for when the lights are left on unintentionally, and motion detectors that trigger a Pi surveillance camera when movement is sensed. RPis are networked throughout a large datacenter. A PoE splitter (Power over Ethernet) reduces cords and keeps them out of sight. Step by step

Small server room thin client

In a tight space like a server closet, mount a Pi behind a monitor for a nice email/web/RDP client—a cost- and space-efficient thin client solution for light computing. Step by step

Pocket-size TFTP server

Trivial file transfer protocol is a handy way for network builders to add/remove files onto a remote host when building out the network, network booting, transferring firmware images and such. It’s an old, simple, small-packet protocol that translates well to a low-power system. Step by step

Feeling the inspiration? Check out Raspberry Pi 3 starter packages and get building.

Let me know in the comments—have you deployed any cool Raspberry Pi work projects in your domain?        

Adam Lovinus

Author Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

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