Beginning with a Raspberry Pi: one step further

Those of you that live in a cave may not know what the Raspberry Pi is…then you might want to google it and discover what this puppy is capable of.

Once you’ve been lucky enough to grab one, you might want to start hacking around, but you might need a few steps of configuration.

First, you need a operating system. Choose one from this page: http://elinux.org/RPi_Distributions .

Then, you will need to raw-write it to an SD card. 4Gb is the minimum, the bigger the better. Write process is described here: http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup

I found a nifty python script that automates all the image writing process. It’s called RasPiWrite, and you can grab it here: http://exaviorn.com/raspiwrite/

Once this done, plug a keyboard, a HDMI display and a power source and there you go, your Pi is alive!

Now what? The raw OS you’re using only has default parameters and might need a bit of further tweaking.

  • Step 1: setting keyboard layout

  • Step 2: set locales (language and such)

  • Step 3: setup SSH to enable remote access

  • Step 4: start user interface

  • Step 4: setup a static IP
Raspi is configured by default to use a DHCP server, so when you plug it to your ISP box, it will get an IP automatically. You may want to setup a static IP, one that will not vary. To do so, edit network conf file:
Then find the ling concerning your eth0: it should be something like:
Change it to static:
Then add your own configuration below that line:


  • Step 5: headless Raspi

With the Raspi you cannot use VGA display, but if you don’t have a display you may use SSH and a computer that’s on the same network to “view” Raspi’s video output. Here’s how:

First, connect through SSH to your raspi (or this example, RasPi’s IP will be 192.168.1.99 and computer’s will be 192.168.1.100) :

The “-X” allows X forwarding.

On your computer, launch an X host that will accept connections from your Pi:

Then, back to your Pi, export display to your X host:

Tada, you’re done! To check that it works, just type

midori, a lightweight web browser, should appear in your X host!

By these days I’ll add more tips and tricks, stay tuned!