Raspberry Pi arrives

Raspberry Pi box

After a long wait my Raspberry Pi arrived. Below are the steps I took to get it to a workable state.

  • Prepped the memory card – Prepared the memory card using the instructions here. I installed the Debian Squeeze image provided here. There was a minor error at the end of the process (using a Mac) but I ignored it as I was too keen to get going.
  • Enable ssh on boot – As I am going to be running the RPi headless I altered boot_enable_ssh.rc to boot.rc in the boot directory on the memory card. This makes sshd load on startup.
  • Initial headless boot – Connected the RPi to the router, inserted the memory card and powered it up. The lights flickered for a while and settled with the “OK” light being re-assuredly steady and lit.
  • Initial connection via ssh – Didn’t work… Perhaps I didn’t wait long enough for the initial boot to complete. I scanned for all devices on my LAN using ping and only the usual devices responded; AppleTV, Wii, various computers etc. Nothing.
  • Initial capitulation to using a monitor – Moving the entire setup to the TV (meaning no network connection) I plugged in an Apple keyboard and an HDMI cable to the TV (the same cable that normally connects the AppleTV). Initially nothing was displayed on screen, almost as if nothing was being output by the RPi. A power cycle resulted in a glorious stream of text appearing on the TV! A quick check showed that sshd was attempting to start on boot, so there should have been no issues… I started an x session just to see and that worked beautifully. Digging out a wireless Logitech mouse allowed me to navigate and see what was there. All good. Happy that it was a working install I powered it down and transferred it back to a networked, headless state.
  • 2nd connection via ssh – This time I left it a bit longer. Lo and behold, a new IP appeared with pinging. A quick ssh and I’m in! So far I’ve installed gfortran (to run my old CFD code) and screen to help with remote sessions over dodgy connections.

A list of links to investigate: