‘Resetting’ Raspbian

Loading a new build onto the SD card is really quite straightforward.

  1. Using these steps:
    • Follow this instruction page. (Just remember the em command doesn’t show any progress indication and it takes about and hour and twenty minutes to complete.)
      Update: I have found that using rdisk in the of=/dev/diskX path speeds it up fantastically.
    • Immediately run sudo raspi-config and at the very least expand the root volume to fill the SD card.Followed by sudo bash (needed for this to work properly) and atp-get update && apt-get upgrade to bring it bang up to date.
    • Option: run sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata to set the correct time zone.
    • To be able to connect to the GUI later add TightVNC with the command sudo apt-get install tightvncserver.
  2. The next step is to reinstall the LAMP stack.
    (The php installer recommends the installation of mailx, so need to see what that is and add it to process here if necessary?)
    Optional: Additionally I add phpMyAdmin with the command sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin.
  3. The last step is to reinstall the latest version of Drupal 8 (still currently in Beta – v3 at time of writing) following the INSTALL.txt file.
    Issue: Unfortunately this does not provide a working Drupal installation. I think that the many install fails started around the time I switched to this script rather than using VNC and the GUI to install the LAMP stack. Need to go back and try the GUI again. Also look more closely at the suggested and recommended packages for PHP shown by the installer and try installing all of them. Or is this a Raspbian issue? Too many variables!
  4. Update:Now starting to think the failure is more to do with lack of mod_rewrite support, need to nail down how that is reliably implemented across servers.

First Customisation Experience

The first thing that I discovered was that I could not VNC onto the RPi. A bit of googling revealed that a VNC server is not a standard part of the build. SUDO APT-GET INSTALL TIGHTVNCSERVER quickly downloaded and installed it, followed by VNCSERVER to start the first session running on port 5901. Access from VNC clients on Mac and iOS works beautifully.

Next was to transfer the Drupal file system and database from the VM to it. Wheezy proved to be not at all straightforward. USB devices do not auto amount in the shell and I want to use the GUI as little as possible. SUDO APT-GET INSTALL USBMOUNT adds the needed auto-mount facility. But then I hit the next ‘snag’.

All my transfer devices are formatted in EXFAT for maximum sized files and cross compatibility. But Raspbian does not support it as supplied. However a quick SUDO APT-GET INSTALL EXFAT-FUSE overcame this last obstacle.

Looking back: all the above was not such a good idea, I’ve learned to use FTP via Pippin and just wish I could mount its SAMBA share to make it even easier, but hey-ho that time-bandit has had enough of my ‘leisure’ time for now. Rebuilds have blown away the expat-fuse and usbmount additions.

First Experiences

Assembly is a doddle. It took less than 10 minutes to unpack and assemble the kit ready to connect and power up. The PSU is neat and the SD card was 8GB not the advertised 4GB but it is micro-USB with a snazzily Raspberry logo’ed adapter provided

As I was unsure whether SSH access was possible when it booted into the NOOBS installer I dug out a USB keyboard and mouse and connected it to the HDMI port on the telly. The install of Raspbian (a shortening of Raspberry Debian) Wheezy took less than twenty minutes. I took it upstairs and hooked it up to the network in its working location next to the two NAS boxes.

Access using the SSH command in a Mac Terminal session is easy and the iOS app WebSSH is a delight to use.

(*** Tried it and it don’t work despite much Googling and troubleshooting – tried MOUNT command and editing /ETC/FSTAB ***)