Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raspberry Pi Journal #12

Installing NOOBS

NOOBS is a one gigabyte download from raspberry.org. It contains several operating systems that you can install. I'm installing the default Raspbian here. Even though the process is straightforward, there's quite a bit of steps to go through. I've been taking pictures, and I'm sharing them with you so you can see what's going on.

Take care to set up your regions, and keyboard. The first time I installed, I didn't set the keyboard to US keyboard. Needless to say, what I type and what I see on screen are two different things!

You download NOOBS into a fresh SD card (running FAT32), a minimum of 4GB size. Then simply insert the card into Raspberry Pi and turn it on.

Wow, there sure is a lot of pictures here.

I'm installing the default Raspbian system. If this is your first time doing Pi, there's no reason not to do so. Raspbian is based on Debian OS, so it's a pretty solid choice.

Make some tea. It's going to take a while. The process is done automatically, but it takes time to write to the SD card. I didn't time it, but I'd say it's about 10-15 minutes.

Installation is complete. Now it's time to reboot!

Raspi config is started automatically

I enable boot to Desktop. The reason is that I'll have an easier time setting up things. However, there's some magic behind the scene. There's automatic password entry, so the system is less secure overall. Furthermore, all those graphic drawing on screen does make it slower overall.

I decided to trade speed and safety for ease-of-use and convenience. If you don't like it, you'll want to enable the short cut to stop the windowing system.

Set your Time zone!

Unless you're British, set your keyboard!

Ugh. The keyboard installation is pretty involved, doesn't it? I'm using wireless keyboard with USB dongle, so I'm treating it like any other USB keyboard. I'm setting it to just boring old keyboard. No fancy key mapping for me!

If you want to set up your Raspberry Pi to run headless, you want to set this up. Once you download all the necessary drivers and packages, then you want to re-run raspi-config and disable booting into GUI.

Advance options? Good stuff here!

Overscan setting, just in case you don't like black borders. Mine works perfectly out-of-box. Sometimes, though, I didn't turn on the monitor when the Pi boots, so I would be treated to different resolution and I see black bands.

Hostname for the network.

I set it to 256 MB. Half my main memory.

If you want to run headless, set it lower!

Done setting up? I think I forget something. In my installation, I went into the boot configuration file
  • hdmi_force_hotplug=1
  • hdmi_drive=2

If you missed it, you can go to /boot/config.txt to change it. This will force HDMI output, which is my TV.

Now reboot, and open up Leaf Pad, and type in all the punctuation marks and all to see if your keyboard is set up right. 

Well done! You have just installed an operating system from scratch!

My network connection works right off the bat. There's an icon Wifi Config where you need to put in your password. You know the network connection works because the time will automatically be set to local time. That's why it's important for you to set your locality.

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