Monthly Archives: July 2012

Get started with Raspberry Pi

Thought I’d quickly write this up as it doesn’t seem to be properly documented anywhere as yet.

When you receive your Raspberry Pi, you will need a 5v 1A power supply to power it. The documentation says 700mA and this might work but I wasn’t able to get it to work with the 5v micro USB phone and tablet chargers that I have lying around. I ended up buying this from Maplin.

However, I also realised that the Pi doesn’t actually boot up at all without an OS – there’s no warning to tell you that’s there’s no operating system present, it just doesn’t send a signal to the HDMI out. I downloaded the Debian image from the Raspberry Pi download page and wrote it to an 8Gb SD card. On my Ubuntu 12.04 laptop the command line is:

sudo dd if=debian6-19-04-2012.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

This creates a 2Gb image on the card. When this is plugged into the card port, the Pi boots in the usual Linux way, sets a few files and attempts to reboot itself. This can halt at portmap but the installation advises to restart if it does.

It finally boots to a login prompt. Enter the username ‘pi’ and password ‘raspberry’ and you will be at a standard Linux command prompt. At this point, the GUI can be started with ‘startx’. To keep running headless, you will need to start the ssh daemon with

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh start

You can then log in from other machines using ssh.

You can also run remotely with a GUI by installing vino using apt or aptitude:

sudo apt-get install vino

and start it from the GUI with vino-preferences. You can then connect to the Pi using VNC or Remote Desktop Client in Ubuntu.

That’s as far as I’ve got so far but it is up and running. My next project will be setting it up as a thin client.