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Wednesday 22nd of September 2021 10:53:21 AM

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Page last updated
19 May 2017

In the beginning...

Raspberry Pi     In the beginning the Pi was. And the Pi proved to be cold and empty...

Now. I'm not going to tell you how to breathe life into a Raspberry Pi. There are many places on the internet which will show you those steps.

Here I will briefly describe the steps you require to get to the stage you need to be at, in order to begin setting up the Raspberry pi from scratch.

NOTE that this does not include details for setting up a Raspberry Pi Zero. Many of the steps are the same, but some are different. Maybe more on that later. Keep watching.

Setup from scratch

At this stage, you should have:

1) A Raspberry Pi.

2) A suitable power supply, to power your Raspberry Pi.

3) A keyboard and a mouse. These will be required only briefly.

4) A monitor. Again may be required only briefly.

5) A suitable SD card (8 gb), with the latest Raspberry operating system.
At the time of writing this was Raspbian Jessie.

6) A network cable to connect your Raspberry Pi to the your router. It needs this to connect to the internet to download stuff we need to install.

Connect it all together, power it up. Wait until it finishes loading.

By default, it will load into a graphical user interface. Play around with it if you want.

When you are bored, move on to the next step.

going headless

Console     Headless means that we intend to operate the Raspberry Pi across the network without having it connected to its own monitor or keyboard.

If you wish, or need, to operate the RPi with a monitor, keyboard and mouse, then you may skip this section and move on to the next step.

Find the console icon near the top left of the screen. We will begin setting up our RPi using the console. This could be done from the menu on the desktop, but we found that some options appeared not to update properly, so we will begin with the console.

Click once on the console icon. A console window will appear. This is also called the 'command line'. All the commands typed on the command line must be followed by the ENTER key.

In the console window, type:

sudo raspi-config

Followed by the ENTER key.

Use the arrow keys and the ENTER key to navigate the menus.
Here we will change only a few options for now.

Scroll to option 3 and press ENTER.
Select option B1 (Desktop / CLI).
Select option B1 (Text console, requiring user to login) and press ENTER.

Scroll to option 3 again and press ENTER.
Select option B3 to disable the splash screen.

Scroll to Interfacing Options and press ENTER

Select option 2 to enable SSH.

Use the arrow keys to select Finish and press ENTER.

The raspberry Pi will ask if you want to reboot. Select yes.
Allow the RPi to reboot.

headless or not

Console     Whether we chose headless or not, we must configure some very important settings from a command prompt.
If you skipped the previous section, your pi would have rebooted back into the Graphical User Interface (the GUI). Click on the Command prompt icon

If you went headless, the RPi would have rebooted to the command prompt and is waiting for you to log in.

The default login is 'pi'.
The default password is 'raspberry'.
Everybody knows this, so to prevent others from logging into our RPi we will change the default password.

At the command prompt, type:

sudo passwd pi

Carefully follow the instructions and choose a password nobody will EVER guess.

There is also a master user called 'root'. Root's password is currently blank. We must change that too.
At the command prompt, type:

sudo passwd root

Carefully follow the instructions and choose a password nobody will EVER guess.

Next, we want to give our RPi a memorable name for our network. Type:

sudo raspi-config

Highlight option2 and press enter, then follow the instructions.
We called ours 'RaspberryPi'. Call yours something memorable. Don't worry, you can change it later.

Use the arrow keys to select Finish and press ENTER.

The raspberry Pi will ask if you want to reboot. Select yes.
Allow the RPi to reboot.

tidying up

The following steps are optional however, they did clear up some niggles we found.

As the RPi was booting, we noticed some of the text was off screen.
To fix this, log in if you have to, go to the command prompt and type:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Scroll down to where it says:

#overscan left = 16

Uncomment (remove the # from the beginning of) the line.

Do the same for the next 3 lines.

Press CTRL + X, Press Y. Then press ENTER to save the changes.

Next we noticed that the screen would blank after a period of inactivity. To prevent this happening, at the command prompt, type:

sudo nano /etc/kbd/config

Scroll down and find 'BLANK_TIME=30'.
Change it to 'BLANK_TIME=0'.

Scroll down and find 'POWERDOWN_TIME=30'.
Change it to 'POWERDOWN_TIME=0'.

Press CTRL + X, Press Y. Then press ENTER to save the changes.

Then type:

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

Add a single space, then consoleblank=0 to the end of the single line of settings.

Press CTRL + X, Press Y. Then press ENTER to save the changes.

NOTE: It seems that in later editions of the OS, the above options do disable the screensaver did not work.

try:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver

When installation is complete, find Screensaver in [Menu] --> [Preferences]

In the [Display Modes] tab,click on the pull down menu next to Mode: and select [Disable Screen Saver]

We now have our bare bones build.

Feel free to have a poke round your new raspberry Pi Desktop

Next, we will begin installing stuff to really make this thing useful!

Finally, one last reboot.

Select reboot from the desktop, or from a command terminal:

sudo reboot

>>next>>