1. Basic configuration of your Raspberry Pi

This step by step guide will help you to set everything up on your Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

1.1. Installing Linux on your Raspberry Pi

The easiest cross-platform way to install Linux on your Raspberry Pi is using the NOOBS installer.

  1. Go to the Raspberry Pi download page
  2. Download the NOOBS zip file.
  3. Download SDFormatter (link on download page too).
  4. Format your SD card with SDFormatter. The defaults are okay.
  5. Extract the contents of the NOOBS zip file to your SD card.
  6. Put the SD card in your Raspberry Pi and boot it.
  7. You will get a menu to choose which OS you want to install, choose Raspbian.

Windows users can also use Win32DiskImager to write the image to the SD card. If you have an old image on your card and cannot remove the partition with Windows, SD Formatter can help you to format the SD card before writing the image.

A list of recommended SD cards can be found at http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards The default login credentials for the image are username pi and password raspberry. You can change the password in the next step.

1.2. Configuring your system

SSH is enabled by default in the image you installed. If you have an Ethernet cable connected, you may SSH into the Pi to begin your configuration. The wired ethernet port is set to receive a dynamic IP address using DHCP. To find out which IP it got, use your router’s web interface.

To connect via ssh, you will need an SSH client such as Putty Connect to the IP address your Pi is using (port 22, SSH). When you save your session, you can also save your password.

Alternatively, you may also plug in a keyboard and monitor and use the on screen menu to configure the basic settings.

If the basic system settings menu doesn’t come up automatically, type:

sudo raspi-config

1.3. Setting up WiFi

I am using an Edimax EW-7811un WiFi dongle. The latest image has built in support for this dongle. I can highly recommend this dongle. The dongle is based on a Realtek 8192CU or 8188CUS, but the 8192cu driver that ships with Raspbian works for both.

To improve the stability of your WiFi, it is recommended to disable power management:

  1. Create a new file 8192cu.conf in /etc/modprobe.d/:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf
  1. Add this line to the file and save:
options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=0

Alternatively, you can add a line to your crontab to ping your router every minute to keep the connection alive. Open your current users crontab with:

crontab -e

And add this line (replace the IP with your routers IP address, the standard gateway address in your IP settings):

* * * * * ping -c 1

1.4. Setting up a static IP address

You probably want your Pi to always have the same IP address, so after setting up your WiFi change your interfaces file to a static IP address. To edit your interfaces, you can run:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

My /etc/network/interfaces file looks like this:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp
allow-hotplug wlan0
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet static
wpa-ssid "YOUR_SSID"

The right IP addresses depend on your home network setup. You can run ifconfig before editing the interfaces and write the automatically assigned addresses down. However, it is recommended to pick a static Ip address that is outside of your router’s DHCP range.

Finally, you will need to restart your network interfaces for these changes to occur:

sudo service networking restart

1.5. Updating programs

Keep your programs up to date with these commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

1.6. Updating firmware

Make sure you also have the latest firmware version, and stay up to date using rpi-update by Hexxeh. Firmware updates will often fix instability issues, so make sure you run one.