Pi Zero W, no plugins, no camera ... or just too bloated?


I've had search but can't find anything specific.

I want to run octoprint on a pi zero W direct into the Einsy of my mk3 (it's neater, less wires). I won't be running a camera via octoprint. I'm not bothered about any plugins.

Will octoprint run ok without plugins and without a camera or has it become too bloated to run on Pi zero w in its most basic build?



The topic Raspberry Pi Models should answer your question.


Prusa Research actually developed that board with Ultimachine and they seem to encourage the use of the Pi Zero W, as their instructions for using OctoPrint uses it.


I've seen posts that their are power concerns when using usb cameras, but not sure if that would effect the raspicam module or not. Since you're not concerned with running a camera, I think you would be fine. I wouldn't see any issues with you running plugins on it either.

I have a pi zero w that I use to develop my plugins and the only time I see any slowness is during the initial load of OctoPrint. That doesn't really help you as I don't have it connected to my Einsy board and powering it over usb and I also haven't printed using it either.


Yes, because they sadly forgot to talk to me before doing that, I would have told them it's a really really bad idea.


Besides being underpowered, I think the largest issue is sd card corruption due to losing power when you turn the printer off.


Also, it's important to make a couple of tweaks to that arrangement to make sure that the good UART on the Pi Zero W is used rather than the cheap one.


I posted a detailed reply in the other thread, cross-posting it here to make it easier for the OP to see:

I successfully ran OctoPi on a Zero W, using Prusa's image, with a Pi Camera Module. Worked ok, even when printing, streaming video, and doing timelapse, all at once. No issues.

Note this is with a Pi Camera Module, which uses it's own interface to the Pi, not a USB webcam. From all I've heard the Zero W can't handle a USB webcam.

However, I did just change to a Pi 3. Why? Mostly because it was very slow on non-printing tasks. Bootup took close to 5 min from power-on to web interface responding. I wanted to add a mesh-leveling plugin that needed to be compiled. That took over 30 minutes of just compile time (and I had to do more work to get it to work at all, since using stock commands led to various timeouts). Things like that.

Now I have a Pi 3. The downside is two more cords to manage. The upside is that it's way faster, and I plan to add a second, USB camera, to have a second POV on the print. I also plan to use the GPIO pins with the Enclosure plugin, and breaking those out with the Zero W inside the einsy case would be more of a pita.


I bought pi zero w before reading manuals and this forum. While technically it worked for me (even with camera), there were performance issues. Printer been stopping for tiny moments, making blobs on surface. It does not happen since i switcg to Pi 3+.
Also, zero w does not have full size USB, you'd need additional OTG connector for it.


Hi jgalak,

You couldn't give more info on how you set that up, could you? I'd like to see if I could do the same until I get my pi3.




I pretty much just followed the set up instructions from Prusa. What part are you having difficulty with?


Thanks for the reply, jgalak.

I have a zero with octopi, hooked up to my anet a6, which seems to be working quite nicely (apart from an expected serial port issue causing me to click the fake acknowledgement button for every print). I just got a zerocam and hooked it up, but am experiencing some serious lag.

I was hoping that the cam would pretty much be plug and play, so I didn't load up any drivers or change any settings before using it, which may be where my problem stems from. I was just wondering if there were any other things that you did. You mentioned the Prusa image. Is that different from the regular octopi install?




Hi jgalak,

I managed to sort it. I changed a few settings in the octopi.txt file and now the lag has improved greatly.