You found it! Stuck in the back of your craft box, a Raspberry Pi Model A or B that you put away years ago, possibly when the Raspberry Pi 2 was released. Since then, he has done nothing, his time has passed.

Or is there?

Just like an old computer, you can still get great results from an old Raspberry Pi. Here are some ways you can use your old Raspberry Pi Model A or B.

Limits of older Raspberry Pi models

While you won’t be able to run Windows 10 IoT, there’s still a lot you can do with an old, forgotten Raspberry Pi.

But don’t get carried away: the 2012 version of the Raspberry Pi has a modest 700MHz single-core processor and 256MB of RAM. GPIO is smaller too.

Also, you need to think about improving your peripherals. The new power adapter will provide reliable power to the device, avoiding unnecessary freezes and restarts. Similarly, you will need a good quality SD card to store the operating system.

You won’t be streaming high-definition video or playing Dreamcast games on a Retropie with a first generation Raspberry Pi, but you can still have fun and maybe learn something new.

1. Run the latest version of Raspbian

7 DIY project ideas to install old Raspberry Pi on muo linux raspbian pixel desktop

This may surprise you, but even if the latest version of the Raspberry Pi has a quad-core processor and 1GHz of RAM, the standard Raspbian operating system (other operating systems are available) is also available for older, lower-spec models.

Most of the same features are also available, with the exception of a few hidden options (such as USB boot and PXE boot). To use the latest version of Raspbian (rather than leaving the old install running), it’s probably best to use a fresh install on an existing SD card.

Alternatively, you can run an update from:

sudo apt update sudo apt dist-upgrade 

Wait for the latest version of Raspbian to download and install, then reboot when you’re done.

Alternatively, try a really lightweight OS like piCore, a build of TinyCore Linux for the Raspberry Pi. This can help you manage the limited resources of your old Raspberry Pi more efficiently.

2. Camera home security system

7 DIY project ideas to install an old Raspberry Pi to use muo rpi secsystem pi cam

With a low spec Raspberry Pi computer, you can even build a motion detection security camera. While there is a dedicated Raspberry Pi Camera module that you can use, many USB cameras are also compatible.

The result is a system that will detect motion and record the results, ready to be reviewed later. Note that a network connection is desirable for this project, so make sure you have a Wi-Fi dongle or ethernet cable.

For more information, see our detailed instructions for setting up your own motion capture security system. security system using the original Raspberry Pi Model B.

3. Basic Retro Game System

7 DIY project ideas to install an old Raspberry Pi to use muo gaming dosbox doom

If you’ve been missing your old gaming systems since childhood, the Raspberry Pi is a great chance to revisit (or rediscover) the era of 8- and 16-bit computing. Game consoles, home computers, and arcade machines (collectively known as MAME) can all be emulated on the Pi.

This is thanks to emulation packages such as RetroPie, which you can download from

Meanwhile, if you don’t need a full set of emulators, you can install separate emulation tools on older Raspberry Pis. See our guide to retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi. You can even emulate old MS-DOS games on your Raspberry Pi. with DOSBox!

4. Social media notification service

The original Raspberry Pi models are especially useful for specialized low-spec projects. Even though they don’t have the same number of GPIO pins as later versions, these old Raspberry Pis are still suitable for connecting electrical components.

One such viable project is turning your Pi into a desktop alert for your social media accounts. By using the Facebook API, Twitter, and your email account, and by connecting some seven-segment LEDs, you can create a useful display to show up on your desk to be notified when social media notifications arrive.

Check out for complete building instructions.

5. Make a Twitter bot

Another great social media based project is to create an automatic Twitter account that will post messages or media. To do this, you need to understand Twython, a Python module that interacts with Twitter. You will also need access to the Twitter API.

Our guide to turning your Raspberry Pi into a Twitter bot will get you started.

Once you launch it, you have various options for twitter. We’ve covered various Twitter bot projects that you can run with Raspberry Pi Twitter Bots Twitter Bots so check them out for inspiration.

You will likely need a dedicated Twitter account and your Raspberry Pi must be on at all times.

6. Convert old printer to wireless printer

7 DIY Project Ideas for putting an old Raspberry Pi into muo piprint cups

Wireless printers are almost a standard option these days, but what if you need a wireless connection but don’t want to buy a new one? What if the printer you bought 10 years ago still works fine?

Drilling holes in the walls whenever you move (or rearrange your home office) is one thing; Incorporating a wireless printer into an older printer is probably easier, and is possible thanks to the Raspberry Pi Model B.

All you have to do is install the software, a wireless USB dongle, connect your Raspberry Pi to your printer and home network, and then use the little computer as a print server. Even if you don’t need to set up a wireless printer, this project will teach you network printing administration systems.

7. Stream music to a speaker that looks like a sonos

Love music? Want to play your favorite tunes from a dedicated internet-connected speaker? Once again, the Raspberry Pi is the answer, and the old 2012 model B is perfect for this.

An old keyboard or guitar amp is suitable for this project, which will require a bit of soldering, not to mention some sturdy mounting tape. Using a Pi MusicBox disk image and a USB disk image, your Raspberry Pi will provide Sonos-style dynamic sound, audio streaming from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud, Webradio, as well as your favorite podcasts and some music from other sources. ,

Watch our video above for details and check out our guide for details.

Don’t throw away your old Raspberry Pi yet!

As you can see, there is a lot you can do with the old Raspberry Pi Model B. These seven projects should definitely keep you busy:

Meanwhile, you might think you’ve decided you’d rather upgrade, but you can’t justify it. See our article on reasons why you should get a newer Raspberry Pi.

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