I am using an old Raspberry Pi 1 (Model B, 256MB Ram) with Raspbian 2012-8-16 version. I bought it in August 2012 and leave it unused for some time. Recently, I set it up again and try to view YouTube videos using the web browser (Midori 0.4.3). However, I find that the browser seems having problem in streaming YouTube videos, I could only see a black box in the video area inside the browser.

From this link, it shows that a Raspberry Pi Model B (512mb) could view video smoothly.

It seems that the free memory left in my Pi is only 10K. The output from the "free" command is :

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        188112     177128      10984          0       3668      29908
-/+ buffers/cache:     143552      44560
Swap:       102396         92     102304

Is lack of memory a key problem for my Raspberry Pi to view videos ?

Does anyone have experience in using a Raspberry Pi Model B (256MB Ram) to view YouTube videos ? Is this task possible ? If yes, what OS (and version) and what application(s) should I used ?

Thanks for any suggestion.


The output of "ps" is :

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ ps
  PID TTY          TIME CMD
 6224 pts/2    00:00:00 bash
10432 pts/2    00:00:00 ps

and the top several output lines of "top" is :

top - 15:49:39 up 18:44,  3 users,  load average: 0.17, 0.23, 0.24
Tasks: 104 total,   1 running, 103 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  9.1 us,  6.2 sy,  0.0 ni, 84.7 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:    188112 total,   173568 used,    14544 free,      468 buffers
KiB Swap:   102396 total,      136 used,   102260 free,    26424 cached
  • Cann you add the output of ps or top to your question? – ap0 Sep 10 '15 at 6:35
  • 1
    You have no lack of memory. Modern operating systems make memory free only when they have absolutely no choice because free memory is wasted memory. – David Schwartz Sep 10 '15 at 6:52

There may be several causes whiy YouTube is not working for you. Very first that comes in mind is that I believe that Midori comes not preinstalled with a Flash Player. You might want to do this. On the other hand, if no Flash Player is installed, YouTube should play Videos in HTML5. I do now know why it didn't work at all for you. Which OS have you installed? Raspbian?

I owned a RPi Model B before switching to a RPi 2. I was running Arch Linux. So I had a hand on which software was running on it, thus minimizing RAM usage. With the Model B I was able to watch YouTube "smoothly" but the resolution had to stay at 720p maximum.

With limited RAM I think you RPi would benefit with a minimal system and a lightweight Desktop Manager. Also try a different Browser. I was using Chromium for the most time.

  • Does your Raspberry Pi Model B have 256MB Ram ? or 512MB ? – user1129812 Sep 10 '15 at 7:57
  • Could you specify more accurately which OS (and version) have you used on your Raspberry Pi Model B. – user1129812 Sep 10 '15 at 7:59
  • It had 512 MB RAM: Arch Linux is a rolling-release OS. It acutally has no release number. – ap0 Sep 10 '15 at 9:56

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