Setting up Raspbian on a Pi

These instructions are for Wheezy. You can find updated instructions for Jessie here.

I’ve been working on setting up a Raspberry Pi to do APRS using Dire Wolf and Xastir. That actually works fairly well, and I’ll write something about it later – this post is because I was using a flaky SD card, which decided to croak at an inopportune moment. Consequently, I had to reinstall Raspian again.

Since it’s easier to write it down than to remember, here’s what I did:

Burn the image

  1. Get the Raspbian image from the Raspberry Pi downloads page.
  2. Unzip it on a Linux box (mine saw the SD card as /dev/sdb, use your SD card device and don’t wipe your hard drive)
  3. Pop the card out of the Linux box and into the Pi

The command to write that I used:

sudo dd if=2015-01-31-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdb bs=4M

Configure the Pi

When the Pi boots into raspi-config, do the following:

  1. Expand Filesystem
  2. Change User Password
  3. Internationalisation Options / Change Locale, pick en_US UTF-8
  4. Internationalisation Options / Change timezones, pick yours
  5. Internationalisation Options / Change Keyboard Layout, pick US PC 104, accept defaults

Set up the network

I have my Pi configured with a static IP. The first time I boot I attach a network cable.

  1. Edit /etc/network/interfaces so the wired interface is static
  2. My /etc/resolv.conf was configured automatically by dhcp and was right
  3. Now would be a good time to edit /etc/hostname as well

The iface eth0 stanza in my interfaces file looks like:

iface eth0 inet static

Update the OS

This takes a while, but you can continue on while this is happening.

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

Add my user

I don’t like to use the default user, so I add my own.

  1. sudo adduser myuser
  2. edit /etc/group to add my user to all the pi groups (including sudo)
  3. log out, log in – make sure I can sudo with the new user
  4. prevent login as pi

To prevent the pi login, I do:

sudo vipw -s

and replace the password for pi with *.

Update everything else

Once the dist-upgrade has completed and it’s time to reboot:

sudo /sbin/shutdown -r now

Now you can log in again and upgrade the firmware:

sudo rpi-update
sudo /sbin/shutdown -r now

Get things I know I’ll need

I like to have an emacs clone:

sudo aptitude install zile
zile ~/.bash_aliases
alias emacs='zile'

I also like tightvncserver:

sudo aptitude install tightvncserver
(set password)

Finally, make emacs the default editor by appending this to ~/.bashrc:

export EDITOR=/usr/bin/zile

That’s about it.


One Response to Setting up Raspbian on a Pi

  1. […] Set up the Raspberry Pi to run Raspbian 2. Follow along with the setup guide: sudo apt-get remove –purge pulseaudio sudo apt-get install […]

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