Beginning with a Headless Raspberry Pi Zero

Hi -

I’m new to the Raspberry Pi - I got one recently because someone was giving away a “Zero” model.
I found the tutorial for running Processing for the Pi Zero (here:
What I’m curious about, though, is if there’s any way to load Processing and sketches onto a “lite” version of the OS, one that ideally runs “headless”.
My thinking is that will allow me to get a little bit more power for Processing, since the Pi won’t have to deal with all of the visual drag of the Raspbian OS. If I’m wrong in this assumption - or if the difference is pretty insignificant - I’d be curious to hear what people thought.
On the other hand, if this approach would allow me to run slightly more complex sketches - I’m wondering if someone could point me in the direction of a tutorial to do headless Processing in Pi Zero.


hi! I need more information on what you want to achieve and what you mean by headless. I can imagine two scenarios. One is to go with completely no graphics. I don’t know if that is possible because anyways processing seems to require GUI components. In this thread there is a solution for hiding a window but that indeed requires a window

If you want to go without a screen, I would perhaps use node.js or python.

Another scenario I come up with is to use graphics but make the pi plug and play - basically you connect a display, turn it on and loads a sketch in full screen without keyboard/mouse, like a media player. I did it before to load freeliner to make a standalone video mapper, but basically this was loading the full desktop and autostart a processing sketch. I used RPi 3 and not sure if Zero can handle it.

There is a project called openframe (not to be confused with openframeworks) that can run processing sketches on a RPi as a frame. They say it supports Zero W too (not sure about the original zero as it does not have a wireless interface).