Category Archives: Raspberry PI

Building a Lamp box using debian linux

LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySql & PHP.  These software packages installed together make for an extremely powerful way of hosting websites. Various forms of Linux can be downloaded for free.  Apache is the most used web server in the world and it’s free. MySql is a powerful relational database and PHP is a powerful scripting language.  Together these programs provide everything you need to create full websites with ineractiviy.  What’s more with the power of a relational database, you can provide very data rich pages to your users.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to detail a method of setting up a fully working LAMP system.  The steps will allow you to build a new lamp system from scratch to run on either a 64-bit intel based processor, or a Raspberry PI.  Apart from the initial steps for installing the Linux OS, everything else will be pretty much the same.

I’m going to install three different systems with this setup.  The first two will be virtual machines running in VMWare (One on VMWare Player in windows, one on VMWare Fusion on Mac OSX). The third will be installed as the main OS for a Raspberry PI Model B.  As these systems are based on different hardware, I need to use two different installers.  For the virtual machines, I can use the installer for Debian linux from here, for my download I chose the “amd64” download as this is for 64-bit processors (which both my desktop and laptop have)  for the Raspberry Pi I used the Raspbian download from here, it’s worth me pointing out that this will also install Debian Wheezy on the PI.

The installers are all fairly straight forward.  For the Intel based images, you are provided with an ISO file which can be plugged directly into VMWare whilst creating the virtual machine.  For the Raspberry PI, the installation process means using another machine to format and install the image onto the SD Card, then boot the PI.

Minimum install

Installing Debian Wheezy as a virtual macihine

LinuxAfterFirstBoot

Either way, you will end up with the same boot loader and installation options.  For my install, I chose to install  the absolute minimum, no GUI, no tools, or anything, I wanted complete control over the setup process.

Once installed I will be manually installing Apache, PHP, MySQL and an FTP server. This will give me the ability to use the linux machine in the same way that I would use for web hosting.  If I wanted, instead of the FTP, I could use SAMBA to create windows file shares which might work well as an alternative to FTP.  That is a decision that I can make later.  If I desired there is nothing stopping me from having both FTP and SAMBA.

The observant will notice that I after install I executed the APT-GET UPDATE command. This makes sure that my Linux install is completely patched.  I believe that patching is always the better option, it helps with issues like the recent Heartbleed scare.

 

Next post installing MySql

iPlayer on the Pi

I can’t take credit for this.  here’s how to get the BBC iPlayer working on RaspBMC.  As I said, I can’t take credit.  I got the information from here on the Raspbmc forum.

 

In short the instructions are simple enough to follow.

first ssh into the RaspBMC terminal.

to do this either use Putty or use another linux machine and type

ssh pi@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

enter yes if needed

and the password is raspberry

wget http://xbmc-iplayerv2.googlecode.com/files/iPlayer-v2.4.15.zip

 

Then on the XBMC front screen navigate to System -> Setting -> Add-ons -> Install from zip file

now select the Home folder -> home -> pi -> iPlayer-v2.4.15.zip

 

You should now have the iPlayer installed as a video add-on.

Quake 3 running on a PI

There were rumours about his before launch. but it’s true.  rather and make a complete tutorial for this.  The answer lies in a 5 step process.  First, get the Debian Squeeze install of linux for the PI.  This is available at here.

Next follow the instructions on this site http://myraspberrypiexperience.blogspot.co.uk/p/quake3.html

once installed, all you need to do use type

cd /home/pi/quake3
sudo ./start.sh

to get the game running.

Linux running on the PI.

The Raspberry PI is supposed to be an educational tool.  For that, the good folks over as the Raspberry Foundation made a few linux installs available off the shelf.  You can always buy the pre build SD card, or if you are more adventurous can always cut your own.

I did this using the Debian Squeeze linux, simply download the image from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and use Win32DiskImager to put the image onto the SD card.

Once running, you’ll get to the login prompt.

The username is pi and the password is raspberry.

 

At this point you’ll be at a command prompt.  not very helpful for a beginner, but don’t worry, type  startx press enter and you’ll get the GUI interface.

My Pi

My Raspberry PI with inserted SD card.

Raspberry PI with 8GB SD card.

I came home on friday night to find a jiffy bag waiting behind my door.  The content was my Raspberry PI.

So, this is the Model B card.  What exactly did I get for my £30 (ish)?  Actually, it was just the board. Nothing else at all.  In truth, it is a hell of a lot for the money.  Fully working computer, with 2 USB connections, 10/100 Mbps Network port, HDMI, Composite video and 2 channel audio output.  10 GP IO pins, 2 ribbon cable connectors (one has been seen in test with a camera attached) and on the other side of the board, there is a standard sized SD card slot.