I'm getting interested in ultra-cheap linux devices lately. So far I've been playing with some no-name "3G/4G router" devices from amazon (such as this $10 job http://www.amazon.com/BrainyTrade-Mobile-Wireless-Hotspot-1800mAh/dp/B0093IPJKQ), which runs OpenWRT and gives me USB and Wifi connectivity, and a battery, which charges off USB.

I'm curious what other ultra-cheap linux devices people are playing with?

Define ultra-cheap as <30USD.

1 Answer 1


I would suggest looking at the raspberry pi:

I purchased one to play with a while back on ebay, it comes in under 30 bucks (but you'll need a sd card (you can get away with a small one if you also have a usb stick), and a power supply.)
It runs a variety of linux distros, including a variant of debian with access to a wide variety of packages.

Another great option are the WRT54Gs, which can be bought for a song on craigslist. They are just old 'G' wireless routers, but can be flashed with openwrt or ddwrt- I created a lot of interesting linux networking labs with this family of devices.

A third option, which depending on your negotiating prowess may fall just outside that 30 dollar barrier, are DLINK's DNS-323 NAS boxes. I love these things! They quite hackable- you can root the DLINK default firmware, install custom firmware called 'ALT-F', and even install debian. I've been able to score a few of these for 25 bucks a pop, and together they make a neat little server farm, with a lot of very useful functionality- and they are fairly power efficent to boot.

** I think my answer is more, what I found cheap but also interesting to play with- I'm sure there are other dirt cheap alternatives out there.

Oh, and I found this the other day, it's not a device itself- but instead linux running in a browser window- pretty amazing what hardware requirements have shrunken to in this case.

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