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Raspberry Pi - FAQ

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video,to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games. 
What’s more, the Raspberry Pi has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work.

Here are a Few Thing We Have Done 

Raspberry Pi - Ideas Projects And Tips

What the LEDs mean

The only clues you get about how the process is doing is from the bright bank of LEDs next to the audio jack and USB ports.
The Model B sports five LEDs, while the Model A has only two, although the printed labels remain.

LED1: Green, labelled ACT: SD Card Access
LED2: Red, labelled PWR: 3.3 V Power is present
LED3: Green, labelled FDX: Full Duplex (LAN) connected
LED4: Green, labelled LNK: Link/Activity (LAN)
LED5: Yellow, labelled 100: 100Mbit (LAN) connected

As the Model A has no wired networking, the last three LEDs aren't present on the PCB, and you'll find the labelling is slightly different on earlier revisions of the Model B, although their functions are identical.

When you first connect the Pi to a power source, the red LED2 should light. This indicates the device is getting the correct amount of power, and this LED should remain lit for the entire period your Raspberry Pi remains on. Even when there's no network connection, or if the SD card isn't connected, this LED should stay lit. If it flickers, or if it goes off, you've got a problem with the way your device is receving power, and the first thing you should check is the cable and the power supply unit.

With the SD card connected, the edge-side LED should be the next to light. This is the LED that signals that data is being read from the inserted SD card. 

1. apt-get
apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages for Linux which is use to:

Install/manage individual packages
Upgrade packages Apply security patches
Keep system up to date

Useful apt-get commands at shell prompt

apt-get update 
apt-get install (package name) 
apt-get dist-upgradeapt-get remove (package name) 
apt-get-purge (package name) 

There's a utility called aptitude. You can use it on the command line to search for and install packages aptitude

2. Raspi-Config

On first boot, you will be prompted with a configuration tool called Raspi-Config. 
If the raspi-config doesnt load automatically, just enter the following command from the shell to get started.

sudo raspi-config

The settings I recommend you update are

zone memory_split 

The usual distribution images are 2 GB. When you copy the image to a larger SD card you have a portion of that card unused. expand_rootfs expands the initial image to expand to fill the rest of the SD card, giving you more space. By default, 64mb is reserved for the Graphical UI. Since we plan on using this as a web server, I reduce this to 16mb with the memory_split command.

After you finish your changes to the raspi-config, you should reboot your pi using the following command:

sudo shutdown -r now

3. How to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Fully Functional Web Server

You need to install apache, php, and mysql. This part is actually rather straightforward. 

First, run the following commands from the shell to install Apache and PHP .

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5 

The Locations of the Apache and PHP files are respectively



Next, run the following command to install MySQL. 

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client php5-mysql 

You will need to create a password for the MySQL Root Account

mysql root 

After this is completed, give it a try! To test Apache, navigate to the IP or Hostname of your Rasberry Pi in your browser, and you should see the famous “It works!” Screen. 

To test the PHP, create a text file under your /var/www/ directory called phpinfo.php with the following contents: 


Navigate to the file: 


And that’s it! You’re done. You’ve got a fully functionally Raspberry Pi Web Server! 

4. How to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Fully Functional FTP Server 

For ease of use you might want to install a FTP Server. 

VSFTP and that can be installed with the following commands 

sudo chown -R pi /var/www 

sudo apt-get install vsftpd 

The configuration file for vsftp can be found here: 


5. How to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Fully Functional File Server

If you are in a windows environment, you might find it useful to install SAMBA for network shares. To install samba, use the following commmands

sudo apt-get install samba 

The configuration file for samba can be found here: 


6. How to Setup Remote Desktop from a Windows Machine to your Raspberry Pi

 It will let you control your Raspberry Pi from another machine. Meaning that the Raspberry Pi will not need to be connected to a monitor, keyboard or mouse. 

If your Raspberry Pi is running Raspbian 

The Raspberry Pi should be connected to your home network and have a internet connection.

A second machine running windows that you want to use connect from which is connected to the same home network. 

Raspberry Pi Setup 

So first we need to install some software on the Raspberry Pi. 

Start up your Pi to the terminal prompt. At the command prompt type : 

sudo apt-get install xrdp 

If promoted enter your password (the default is "raspberry") 

Type "Y" and press enter. 

This is now installing xrdp onto your Pi which is the software we are going to use for the remote desktop connection. Wait for it to complete. Then Restart your PI 

We are going to check that xrdp is going to start up automatically. 
When your Pi has booted to the command prompt look for [ ok ] Starting Remote Desktop Protocol server : xrdp sesman. 

This shows you that xrdp is installed and automatically starting up on start up of your Pi 

The last step is to make a note of the IP address of your Pi which should also be displayed on the start up screen.

 ie “” This is the address of your Pi on your network and what we will use to connect to your Pi from the second machine. Second Machine Setup 

1. Launch Remote Desktop Connection which can be found at Start->All Programs->Accessories->Remote Desktop Connection 

2. Type in the IP Address for your Pi which you noted above. 

3. Click Connect (you may get a security warning at this stage just click OK if you do. After all it is your Pi on your network so nothing to worry about security wise). 

4. Leave the Module on the default of sesman-Xvnc and enter your username and password for your Pi. (The default username is pi and the password is raspberry if you haven't changed them). 

5. Click OK and after a few moments you should be greeted my your Raspberry Pi's desktop! 

6. When you are finished simply log-out from the Pi's desktop. /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini 

7. NOOBS not running on composite?? 

If you do not see any output on your display or are using the composite output, press 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your keyboard to try switch between display modes respectively. 

Analog video (RCA cable) on NOOBS Raspberry Pi 

8. Installing your OS using the NOOBS setup, 

Using the analog port for video can give some trouble 

how to fix it? 

If you have a Linux computer or live CD 

Turn off the Raspberry. Make sure it is off by unplugging the power (usb) cable. 

Take the SD card out, and put it in the SD card reader of your computer. 

After a short moment you should see a file explorer window open, showing the contents of the contents of the card. If nothing happens, 
open a file explorer yourself, and locate the SD card with the name BOOT. 

In this BOOT directory you should find a file called config.txt. Open it in a text editor. 

Scroll down to find the line where it says: # NOOBS Auto-generated Settings: 

Put a # in front of hdmi_force_hotplug=1 to disable it. 

Save and close the file. 

Put the SD card back in the Raspberry and start it up, with the RCA cable connected. 

Please note that if the HDMI cable is plugged in, the Raspberry will automatically switch to that as output. 

So make sure the RCA cable is connected before the Raspberry starts, and no HDMI cable is connected 

9. How to Mount an External Hard Drive on the Raspberry Pi – Raspian 

1. Is it there?

If you want to check for the current storage devices attached to your Pi, simply run the command: 

sudo blkid 

2. Mounting it. 

Now we know where our drive is, we need to mount it: 

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt 

The folder “/mnt” is the standard location for mounting permanent media, but you can always create your own folder if required using the “mkdir” command. 

That’s it! Our drive is mounted. 

3.To test this, let’s try to create a folder. . . 

cd /mnt sudo mkdir 

/files cd /files 

4. How to unmount. 

To unmount the drive, simply run the command: 

sudo umount /mnt 

As long as you’re not currently accessing the drive, it should unmount successfully. 

To install the packages needed 

apt-get install swat 

next you need to fire up Swat 

update-inetd –enable swat 

Now you can load up your broswer to the servers IP address and port 901 

Still more to come 

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