Can I run Access Server on a Raspberry Pi?
Yes — beginning with Access Server 2.9 and newer, you can install Access Server on Raspberry Pi using arm64 with Ubuntu Server. To install, sign into the Access Server portal, click Get Access Server, click Linux Software Package, click Ubuntu, and select Ubuntu 22, ARM64. For detailed steps, refer to Installing Access Server on Rapberry Pi.
Previous to version 2.9, we didn’t support Access Server installations on Raspberry Pi because of the low performance of previous models. The onboard network interface was connected through a shared USB2 port, which resulted in poor network speeds. On a Raspberry Pi model 2, you might get 10Mbps of encrypted data transfer, which isn’t sufficient for the VPN workload expected for a business-grade VPN.
However, since the release of Raspberry Pi model 4, which has a faster CPU and network connections, you can use Access Server on this model for modest deployments. The model 4’s network port can now reach gigabit speeds, and the ARM64 CPU provides a higher-performance platform. ARM64 is becoming more widespread and is also available on the Amazon AWS Graviton instance.
You can also use Raspberry Pi 5.
Even though the Raspberry Pi 4 and 5 are inexpensive devices, they're capable of at least 70Mbps of encrypted data transfer per CPU core. With a quad-core CPU, four tunnels of 70Mbps are theoretically possible. And theoretically, with future improvements, we should be able to achieve even higher speeds.
For simple use cases, Access Server's current performance on Raspberry Pi 4 devices is adequate. Now that it's available for Raspberry Pi, we believe more technology enthusiasts will try it out.
- Consider an Intel NUC system if you want to run Access Server on a small format, inexpensive, and energy-frugal system other than Raspberry Pi. The Intel NUC has an Intel desktop CPU like the i3, i5, i7, and so on and has plenty of processing power for heavier workloads.
- Another x86/64 alternative to the Raspberry Pi is the MinnowBoard. There are dozens of projects out there with reasonably inexpensive boards for development and tinkering that run on x86/x64.