10 Things To Do After Setting Up Raspberry Pi


Raspberry Pi

You have bought your Raspberry Pi, completed the setup and you are wondering what to do now. Here are 10 things to do after setting up your Pi.

Note: This is an old post from my previous blog which I recovered from archive.org.

Setting up remote connection and SSH

The first thing you have to do is to access your Raspberry Pi from your laptop/desktop.


Connecting to Raspberry Pi via ssh was the first thing I did after setting it up. SSH is enabled using raspi-config. Start up the raspi-config wizard using the command

[code]sudo raspi-config[/code]

This opens up the config wizard from where ssh can be enabled. After enabling SSH, it can be accessed using Putty.
You can get the detailed procedure from here.

Remote Desktop

Command line control may be enough for some, but connecting to the system via Remote Desktop makes it a whole lot easier to manage you Pi. For enabling Remote Desktop, you have to install XRDP which is a Linux implementation of the Windows Remote Desktop Server / Terminal Server. The above link provides the steps for XRDP installation as well.

After setting up SSH and Remote Desktop, you can unplug your TV from the Pi. But for connecting via SSH or Remote Desktop, you need to know you Pi’s IP address which can change every time you connect. This can be solved by providing a static IP for you Pi so that it gets the same IP address every time it gets connected to you home network.

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Set Static IP address for your Pi

When you are running your Pi in headless mode, finding the IP address of the device can be difficult unless you have a static IP. You can also use a network scanner for finding the IP address. Check this link for setting up static IP.

Now, you can unplug the TV from you Pi (If you intend to use it mostly in headless mode).

Set up WiFi dongle

Though by enabling SSH and Remote Desktop, I was able to move my Pi away from the TV, it still had to be connected to my modem via ethernet. To overcome this restriction, I bought a WiFi dongle from eBay. The eLinux Wiki maintains a list of WiFi adapters which were found to be working fine with Pi.

But I had bought one which was not on the list, so had a bit of trouble to set it up. After trying several instructions from various sites, I was able to install the correct driver. If you buy one for the list which would work OOTB, you may not face this difficulty.

This is what you have to follow to set your WiFi dongle (It’s for rt5370 but the basic procedure applies for all). I had the device ID 0bda:8179, and this thread helped me in getting the right driver.
After setting it up, you can provide a static IP for you WiFi as well.

Mount external hard disk

What good is your Pi if you can’t mount you external drive in it. Mounting the drive is easy even though I faced issues mounting it because of my drive drawing too much power from the Pi when it was directly connected to the device. Having a powered USB hub is a must for connecting an external drive.
Check this link for instructions.

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Setup File Sharing

One of the main uses I see for my Pi is to use it as a data center by connecting my external hard disk to it and accessing the files from my lap/desktop. This link provides the steps for sharing the files and folders in you Pi using samba utility.

Overclock your Pi

For cost cutting reasons, Raspberry Pi uses the older ARMv6 microprocessor which runs at 700MHz. But they have provided a very handy feature to easily overclock the device which can be assessed from raspi-config. 4 levels of overclocking are provided – from Modest (800MHz) to Turbo (1000MHz).
Start up raspi-config and select ‘Overclock’ and choose the mode you find best. I run at High mode(950MHz).

Setup Time Zone

One of the first applications i wrote on the device was a python program which speaks out the weather details of my location. The problem was that the sun-rise and sun-set time was given in GMT. I had not set the time zone to my locale. This thread helped me set up the timezone.

by the

[code]sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata[/code]


Setup Printer Server

You can set up a printer in your device by following these instructions.

Control GPIO over the network

Now that you have set up you Pi and installed the necessary softwares, its time to control the world with it. (with its ‘limited’ GPIO pins).

There are tonnes of awesome projects that can be done with Pi, but you definitely have to check out webiopi. It’s a web application with which you can control and/or get the status of you GPIO pins.

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Here is a few pin diagrams I got from reddit to help you in your programming.

Raspberry Pi

Setup sound card

Even though Raspberry Pi has an audio jack which serves the basic needs, you would need a USB sound card to set up microphones. Check this post for the instructions or this.

Here are a few useful links:

Text To Speech using Raspberry Pi
Interactive GPIO pin diagram
Modmypi tutorials : A great source for projects and other R Pi related guides
Adafruit Projects
Instructables R Pi Projects
You can check the R Pi forum in case of any doubts/issues.
blog post from R Pi projects by ReadWrite.
You can also check out these YouTube channels on Raspberry Pi

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1 Response

  1. Alexandra Crawford says:

    Where is the link for using the USB sound card i.e. for using a microphone? You state “Check this post for the instructions or this.”, but you appear to have forgotten to add the link or you broke the addition of the link to this statement? I would appreciate a guide on this tricky component – it appears the Amazon voice command has been ported to the RPi and this could be very useful. Thank you for all your useful contributions to this new RPi user’s horizons!

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