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  • Writer's pictureThe Arithmancer

Setting Up a Raspberry Pi

There are plenty of tutorials on setting up a raspberry pi. I will focus here on a few tips I like to use to make sure that I can program the Raspberry Pi remotely so it can remain in place installed behind the mirror (or any other embedded device I am using the Pi to control) without having to constantly take out the Pi and plug it in.

1. Installing Raspbian

If you bought a pre-loaded SD card with NOOBS, then this step can be skipped.

Otherwise, first download Raspbian from here.

Use this software to flash the image onto your SD Card from your desktop. Insert the SD card into the Pi and switch go through the installation process.

Once installed and on a regular basis, its worth running the following to make sure you have the latest libraries:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

2. VNC, I2C and Remote GPIO

Once it is all set up, go to settings and enable VNC, I2C and Remote GPIO. VNC will allow you to remotely connect to your Pi from your desktop and program it. This is important since we don't want to be constantly removing the mirror to connect it physically to a keyboard/mouse etc.

I2C and Remote GPIO will be used in a future lesson on using a Plasma Ball controller for the mirror.

Once you reboot, VNC will run and you will see the icon on the top right corner of the screen. Note down the IP address. Now download VNC viewer for your desktop computer from here.

Make sure you take a note of the IP address of your Pi by clicking on the VNC icon on the top right. You will get a popup like below:

3. Install an FTP Server and map a drive from your desktop

First of all you need to install the ftp server on the pi. Open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install proftpd

While installing it, you will be asked how ProFTP should be started. Choose “standalone”

Now we can map a drive on your computer to your raspberry pi as below:

and voila! We can now remotely connect to the raspberry pi using VNC to code the device and use the mapped drive via FTP to copy any files back and forth between the desktop and the pi.

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