Raspberry Pi Guide

A guide to stuff you might want to do when you get your Raspberry Pi, stuff that you otherwise might forget to do, or stuff that is a pain to do when you find out you should have done them earlier.

Disclaimer: I'm not a Raspberry Pi guru, or even someone who knows a lot about Linux in general, but when I got my Pi I had to figure out many things about both that would be a waste for any other non-guru to also figure out for themselves. So here they are, jotted down for your and my future reference.

I'm assuming a freshly installed Raspbian image, although other Debian-based versions shouldn't be much different.

Table of Content

0. Preparation

  1. Hardware: know before you go
  2. SD card: prepare the SD card for 'headless' set-up (no display)

1. First boot

Keep your monitor and keyboard attached to the Pi until you've done this part.

  1. Before anything else: making sure the entire SD card is used, update everything.
  2. WiFi: configure WiFi, set a static IP address, troubleshoot missing networks on the Pi 3.
  3. Basic security: disable root over SSH, change default password.

2. Network security

Set up a firewall using iptables and automate blocking of suspicious activity using fail2ban.

  1. Firewall (iptables)
  2. Auto-block login attempts (fail2ban)
  3. Two-factor authentication
  4. Other network security tools (netstat, iftop)

3. Common uses

Some common things to do with a Raspberry Pi.

  1. Remote desktop
  2. External storage: attach external NTFS drive to usb port, includes troubleshooting.
  3. Periodic backups: backup the entire SD card to external storage, and use cron.
  4. HDMI output: keep HDMI always on, disable screensaver, fix HDMI audio, boot to website in kiosk mode.
  5. Analog video output: Turn off HDMI, and use the analog video output instead.
  6. Some useful commands

4. Specific apps and devices

Instructions on installing/building/configuring some specific apps.

  1. Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync): self-hosted cloud storage
  2. Webcam + Motion: security camera
  3. Git
  4. Bluetooth keyboard
  5. Privoxy, OpenVPN: proxy and vpn
  6. gPhoto2: control a usb-connected digital camera

5. Controlling the RPi

Information on controlling the Raspberry Pi's hardware features.

  1. Minimize power consumption
  2. Control LEDs

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