programs for raspberry pi
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raspberry pi talk and demo

Presented by John, Markus, and Nathan

Linux raspberrypi 3.6.11+ #371 PREEMPT Thu Feb 7 16:31:35 GMT 2013 armv6l

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Raspberry Pi was a project born of the minds of Eben Upton and David Braben, a man perhaps best known for his creation with Ian Bell of the classic BBC model B space adventure Elite, Raspberry Pi has a simple premise: “It’s a project to make a very cheap computer,” Upton explained. “A computer for $25 without networking – the Model A- or $35 with – the Model B.” [8]

The Raspberry Pi began life as a project to teach children computer programming while not being distracted by Facebook and Twitter.

The ARM architecture along with RISC OS were originally developed by Acorn Computers Ltd. to power their desktop machines in the 1980's. The BBC Micro model B is considered their most popular. ARM was spun off as a separate company to develop the processors further. ARM does not manufacture their own processors. They license their architecture to other semi-conductor manufacturers.

raspberry pi hardware (model b)

  • SoC: Broadcom BCM2835 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM, and single USB port)
  • CPU: 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S core (ARM11 family)
  • GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • Memory: 512 MB (shared with GPU)
  • USB 2.0: 2 (via the built in integrated 3-port USB hub)
  • Video 1: Composite RCA (PAL and NTSC)
  • Video 2: HDMI (rev 1.3 and 1.4)
  • Video 3: Raw LCD Panels via DSI (Display Serial Interface)
  • Audio 1: 3.5 mm jack
  • Audio 2: HDMI
  • Storage: SD / MMC / SDIO card slot
  • Network: 10/100 Ethernet
  • Bus 1: UART
  • Bus 2: I2C
  • Bus 3: SPI
  • Power rating: 700mA (3.5W)
  • Power source: 5 volt via MicroUSB or GPIO header

where you can buy a raspberry pi

I bought my RPi's from MCM Electronics and had a very good experience. They shipped to California within a few days and my RPi's were in good shape. They ship from Dayton, Ohio.

what hardware you need to get started

  • a computer with an ethernet card and SD card writer
  • SD card 2GB or greater
  • ethernet cable
  • 5v micro USB power adapter that can provide at least 1A of power
  • (optional) a screen with an HDMI input
  • (optional) a screen with a composite
  • (optional) a USB keyboard
  • (optional) a USB mouse
  • (optional) a USB hub

how to install raspbian linux

Download the Raspbian Image [1]

I've found the quickest way to download the Raspbian image is to pull it down through bittorrent. Using Bittorrent instead of the direct HTTP link also reduces the amount of load on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's web server.

There are a few good bittorrent clients around but I'm partial to rtorrent. It's easy to use and runs on both OSX and Linux.

Linux rtorrent install $ sudo apt-get install rtorrent

OSX rtorrent install $ brew install rtorrent [7]

Fire up rtorrent to download the image.

$ rtorrent ./

Once the image is downloaded, unzip it.

$ unzip
  inflating: 2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian.img 

Write the Image to the SD Card


In OSX, find your SD card in the device list and unmount it.

diskutil list

   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            749.3 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *16.1 GB    disk1
   1:             Windows_FAT_32                         58.7 MB    disk1s1
   2:                      Linux                         16.1 GB    disk1s2

In this example, my SD card is named /dev/disk1. We have to unmount this disk in order to write to it. Note I didn't say eject. If you logically eject the SD card, you will not be able to write an image to it.

diskutil umountdisk /dev/disk1

Write the image to the SD card. WARNING, this will destroy all data on the SD card!


$ sudo if=2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=1m

Awesome (w/ progress meter) [6]

dd if=2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian.img bs=1m | pv -s 1800m | sudo dd of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m


Writing the image using a Linux system is very similiar to OSX. The only difference is that Linux and OSX device drivers name disk devices differently. i.e. /dev/rdisk1 vs. /dev/sdb

sudo if=2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1m

Boot the Raspberry Pi

There are two methods to proceed with booting your RPi.

  1. Most folks will want to boot the RPi with a monitor and keyboard connected. This option requires more equipment but is MUCH easier to troubleshoot if something goes horribly wrong.
  2. The more experienced among you may feel confident enough in your SD image to boot the RPi headless on a network that has a DHCP server (many home networks have a DHCP server built into their router / wireless access point.)

For obvious reasons, this is the stage where having an external screen is extremely useful. If there was an error in the image writing process to your SD card an external display will allow you to see the error and debug it. Otherwise, you're waiting for the RPi to boot and grab an IP address. It takes a few minutes so it's a bit nerve racking.

Log into the Raspberry Pi Locally

Plug your monitor / TV into the RPi's HDMI or composite port and power it on. After a few moments, you should see the RPi logo appear in the upper lefthand corner of the screen while the RPi boots up.

Once the RPi has finished booting, you will be greeted with a login prompt. Login in with:

Username: pi Password: raspberry

Log into the Raspberry Pi Remotely

By default, the RPi attempts to configure an IP using DHCP during boot up. You can take advantage of this by attaching the RPi to your home network and watching your home network DHCP server (probably your home wireless router) for new IP addess allocations while the RPi boots.

For example, if you see your router has allocated the IP address, attempt to SSH into the RPi with (from OSX or Linux):

ssh pi@

Again, the password is raspberry.

The great thing about using the RPi this way is that should be able to access the internet from the RPi. This is very useful for installing new packages and updating the RPi with the lastest Raspbian packages.

Installing Packages and Updating Raspbian

Luckily for us (or unluckily depending on your perspecitve) Mike Thompson [5] originally chose to develop a Debian based distribution for the RPi. That makes updating the RPi a cinch if you've got it to connect to the internet. All of your friendly Debian installation and update tools are there to help you configure the system the way you like it.

apt-cache search python apt-get install python apt-get update apt-get dist-upgrade

Start X11

The RPi has a full blown version of X11 installed. You can start it with startx just like a normal debian installation.


Configuring the Pi

raspi-config is used to configure a newly installed Raspberry Pi. The functions you may find most useful are:

  1. expand_rootfs - expand the root file system to fill your SD card. For example, if you have 16GB SD card and image it with the Raspbian 2GB image, your root filesystem will only be 2GB in size. expand_rootfs will expand it to fill the entire 16GB.

  2. change_pass - change the pi account password

  3. update - update raspi-config

You must be root to run 'raspi-config'.

a note about expand_rootfs This is a great way to lose connection to your Raspberry Pi if you chose to boot it headless. Sometimes the root fs expansion fails and you are left with a Raspberry Pi that you can no longer connect remotely to. It's best to do this right after you've imaged an SD card so if something goes wrong, you don't lose any data.



Install python-rpi GPIO module

sudo apt-get install python-rpi.gpio


Install wiringpi gem for ruby GPIO support

sudo gem install wiringpi 


Scratch comes with Raspbian. It requires a display to use.


GPIO examples

In the src directory of this repository are several examples of scripts / programs that blink an LED on GPIO 21 (or 27). This is done by turning on and off pin 21 (27 on newer Pi's) at 1 second intervals. The examples are in Python, Ruby, C, and Bash.

All of the examples write to /dev/mem and need to be run as root.

sudo ./

To use the example in C, you must install gcc and compile it first.

sudo apt-get install gcc
gcc led_blink_gpio_mmap.c -o led_blink_gpio_mmap
sudo ./led_blink_gpio_mmap

what to do with it once linux is installed and setup

  • robots!
  • learn to program!
  • make an LED blink!
  • learn to solder

how to use raspberry pi as a media center running xbox media center

raspberry pi links

about the code repository

  • src - source code used in the presentation
  • doc - documents with information on the Raspberry Pi
  • pic - pictures and screen shots associated to the talk

about the talk

News of the Raspberry Pi took the geek world by storm in late 2011. Surprisingly, a $35 ARM based computer capable of running a full blown version of Linux caught the attention of ordinary folks and computer insiders alike. So many people wanted to get their hands on one, order wait times measured in months shortly after the initial release. During the first year of its existence, the Raspberry Pi Foundation estimates they sold nearly half a million of the little computers. Thankfully, Raspberry Pi's are now easy to come by and the internet is full of people doing interesting things with them.

This talk will cover the Raspberry Pi's short history and briefly touch on the educational genesis of this fascinating device. Then we'll move on to the good stuff:

  • Where can you buy an RPi?
  • What hardware you need to get started?
  • How to install Raspbian Linux.
  • What to do with it once Linux is installed.
  • How to use RPi as a media center running XBMC.

We will also attempt to demo many of the things we talk about.

talk hardware requirements

  • grafton Rpi (power, ethernet cable, SD card)
  • markus Rpi (power, SD card)
  • display
  • mini-dv to VGA converter for mac

john grafton bio

John Grafton is a systems administrator living and working in the South Bay. He cut his teeth on Sun SPARC systems running Solaris in the late nineties while attending University in Ohio. Administrating Unix-y systems by day, John enjoys hacking on electronics projects during his off time (accidental burns from his soldering iron occur more frequently than he'll admit to).