Raspberry Pi 101: Part 2b – More setup

Before I get onto XBMC, here’s a little extra setup I’ve done with my rPi. Remember, I’m currently using the raspbian distro, so don’t go trying the same steps when you’re using RISC or something else.


The edimax wifi dongle I bought needed a little massaging to get working; unfortunately I could’t set it up directly from the command line and it appears that currently the only solution for configuring wifi within raspbian is to start the GUI desktop:


and punch the wifi config desktop icon. This will open the wifi config gui and allow you to scan and setup your connection.

Once this is done a restart should still keep the wifi connectivity

SSH via Connectbot sans password

I like to use connectbot to ssh into many things and I’m lazy so don’t fancy typing passwords if I don’t need to.

As such, here’s how to set up your raspberry pi with authorized key ssh access:

Generate a key

Install Connectbot from the android store

Generate a new key from the “manage keys” page
connectbot generate key

Copy the public key to clipboard
connectbot copy to clipboard

SSH into your raspberryPi from your connectbot instance using the username “pi” and password “raspberry” (unless you changed it from the default)

Paste the key into a new authorized_key file (there isn’t one created by default):

[code]cd ~
mkdir .ssh
chmod 700 .ssh[/code]

Then use the menu soft key to select “paste” after typing “echo”:

[code]echo [paste clipboard contents] >> .ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 .ssh/authorized_keys[/code]

Now you can exit the session and should be able to log back in without needing to enter a username or password. Whoop.


Just for the hell of it (and because I’ve become interested thanks to the blog posts at the end of this article) I’ve set up VNC on the pi. To do this is as easy as

[code]sudo apt-get install tightvncserver[/code]

and then start the server using something like

[code]sudo vncserver :1 -geometry 1024×768 -depth 24[/code]

You can then connect using your VNC viewer of choice to {the rPi’s IP}:1, e.g.


A great couple of posts on SSH and tunnels using the rPi here and here

Aside #4 – Accessing EC2 from my phone via SSH

Whilst I’ve been attempting to learn a new thing each month this year, I’ve been finding it really tricky to keep to the pretty loose schedule. As such, I though I’d try and note down every time a shiny new thing takes my interest, so that I have some idea why I’m incapable of completing a series of blog posts.

Accessing EC2 from a phone running ConnectBot

The ppk you use for putty/kitty/ssh doesn’t work on connectbot so you need to generate a new one from within the phone (connectbot app) and copy it over to your EC2 instance, appending it to your authorised keys file.

Generating the key

Go and install the app from the android store.

Find the app on your phone:

Generate a new key from the Manage Keys page:

Getting your file to your EC2 instance

Firstly, copy the public key to clipboard:

Then get it to your phone. There are a few ways of doing this; I pasted it into a new text file via my phone’s dropbox app and then curl-ed/wget-ed that file on to my EC2 instance (obviously logging in from a PC).

Adding it to your authorised keys

First I backed the existing authorized_keys file up:

cp ~/.ssh/authorized_keys backup_auth

Then I appended the one generated from my phone:

cat s3_id_dsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

You can now log in directly from your phone without using a login:

— needing to restart Apache whilst AFK