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We have found the Raspberry Pi to be a cost-effective replacement for the Mac minis that we use in our office to drive TVs that are information radiators. We use these radiators to display the build status of our ci (continuous integration) projects. At ~$60 (Raspberry Pi, USB WiFi, enclosure), it’s 90% cheaper than using a $600 Mac mini.
Setup The Raspberry Pi is different from a home PC/Mac: It doesn’t have a built in hard drive or flash memory chip; it has an SD card for a brain.
Once the operating system was installed I booted the Pi with an HDMI monitor connected. You will be presented with a screen as seen here from Adafruit. This is named, appropriately enough, the Raspi – config screen. Here I selected a few of the different options:
After rebooting, I inserted the USB wifi dongle. This brought an antenna icon right on the desktop, double-clicking this brought up a menu which let me enter the credentials I needed to access the wireless network.
After completing the wireless install I setup from the Raspi – config screen:
To boot the Raspberry Pi to specific webpage at boot follow these instructions:
Our Raspberry Pi’s are connected to TVs with no keyboard or mouse attached; however, we needed to access the console remotely. Our solution? We used x11vnc combined with a VNC client so that we could access them remotely.
The following VNC clients will work:
Apple’s Screen Sharing will not work; it is unable to attach to a passwordless VNC server.
Do the following to install x11vnc which will allow you to VNC into a “headless” (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse connected) Pi from an external machine. Install true-type fonts for your viewing pleasure.
sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer sudo apt-get install x11vnc sudo curl -o /etc/init.d/x11vnc https://raw.github.com/starlightmedia/bin/master/x11vnc sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/x11vnc sudo update-rc.d x11vnc defaults
Here is the finished project: