Testing the performance of a Raspberry Pi

I will be testing the performance of each Raspberry Pi version in my cluster. This is to determine what each one is best suited to running. To do this I need a similar set of tests to run for each and compare them.

Ideally the tests will also be runnable on other embedded Linux devices so that I may further collect comparison figures.

For now I am going to focus on performing my testing on a Raspberry Pi. Here I will detail what my testing Raspberry Pi SD card will do.

Setting up the OS

A test OS has been set up to use for all the Raspberry Pi performance testing. For this I have chosen Raspbian Jessie Lite. Part of the reasoning is that I want to test the Raspberry Pi running a base set of programs so I can measure the true performance.

Once the OS was installed I ran a number of maintenance jobs and tasks to set up the SD card for performance testing. I performed the following actions.

  1. Burned Raspbian Jessie Lite to a SD card
  2. Added a file with the name SSH to the boot directory, to allow SSH access by default LINK ME
  3. SSH’ed into the Raspberry Pi and changed the hostname to “bunker-speedtest”
  4. Changed the password of the default pi user (make sure you always do this)
  5. Updated raspbi-config to the latest version
  6. Updated the Raspberry Pi with apt-get update and apt-get upgrade

Once this has been done I had an image that I would be able to then prepare my speed test programs for.

Testing with sysbench

For now I am going to be using a program called sysbench to run a number of benchmarks on my Raspberry Pi’s. Some of the main functions that this can test are CPU, RAM, File IO and database performance.

One of the main reasons to use this is that pre-compiled binaries are available for many distributions. This means that when I expand my metrics to other embedded linux systems I will be able to run the metrics on these too.

Sysbench can be installed on Raspbian using the following command.

sudo apt-get install sysbench

Now that I have a SD card set up to run performance testing I shall look towards collecting data on this performance.


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