Linux tips
Raspberry Pi first approach
January 3, 2014

Hello folks,

This Christmas I received what I believe to be the best present in years: a brand new Raspberry Pi model B: a small, low cost, credit card size computer, with no case and internal clock.

Since at home I do not have any pc monitor or modern TV,I decided to connect it using its composite video out to my old TV set; I also do not have a long enough CAT5 cable so I bought micro WiFi USB adapter a Tp-Link WN275N.

Raspberry Pi is powered through a micro USB plug using my mobile phone AC adapter, this means that there isn’t enough power to feed everything. So here is a complete list of accessories to run the Raspberry Pi:

  1. RCA video cable or HDMI cable (this depends on your TV/monitor) default output is HDMI
  2. If you don’t have an HDMI plug on your TV, you also need a 3.5 mm jack to RCA for audio
  3. A self powered USB hub, for things like WiFi dongle and wireless keyboard/mouse
  4. A smartphone micro USB AC adapter (usually they have enough power to supply.
  5. A class 10 SD card ( I bought a 16Gb, to be sure to have enough space 😉 )
  6. A wireless keyboard/mouse so that I can sit on my nice couch while playing with it.

Remember that the Pi is for people that would like to learn something about electronics and computer science, not for people that wants a pc working out of the box; for that please go to a shop and buy one.

As a first step I downloaded the “New Out Of the Box Software” NOOBS from pi website , unzipped it  and copied all the files to the SD card (anyway here is a quickstart guide), plug in the power and follow the instructions to install Raspbian (A Raspberry Pi adapted Debian) . The biggest problem I had was due to the WiFi dongle,  which should have worked out of the box. Unfortunately Tp-Link in  dongle v2 changed the chipset, which is now not recognized by the Raspberry Pi, so after googling around I found this post. Briefly here are the steps I followed to make it work:

  1. Discover the Raspbian version I have using
    uname -a
  2. Download the right driver, following the list provided in the post I found.
  3. Use the following commands to install the driver
    sudo cp rtl8188eufw.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi   
    sudo install -p -m 644 8188eu.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/net/wireless
    sudo insmod /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/8188eu.ko
    sudo depmod -a
  4. The blue led on the WiFi dongle should be blinking!!

After configuring the network using  Raspbian WiFi manager, you can access the Raspberry Pi using ssh (it was working out of the box) or through a remote desktop client ( I use Remmina, which can be found here )  after installing XRDP (an open source remote desktop protocol RDP server) on it using:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Up to know I’m just exploring what can be done with the Raspberry Pi; I will try some simple projects and let you all know the results.

Keep in touch!!

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