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Raspberry Pi: Initial Setup

·359 words·2 mins

After receiving my Raspberry Pi this weekend, I’ve finally had some time to have a play with it. My end goal for the little device is to convert it into a NAS serving media files across my home. For now though I’m just trying to optimise the Debian image Raspberry Pi distribute.

Enable SSH #

First off, I enabled SSH Server so I could connect to it wirelessly.

sudo /boot/boot_enable_ssh.rc

Optimise fstab #

There is a swap partition by default in the image, but it’s not used. This is good as SD Cards as other flash media have limited write counts on block, so having a swap writing to your SD Card would just destroy it sooner or later. For now, lets optimise the root fs mount options:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Change it to the following:

proc            /proc         proc    defaults                        0    0 /dev/mmcblk0p1  /boot         vfat    defaults                        0    0 /dev/mmcblk0p2  /             ext4    defaults,noatime,nodiratime     0    0

The options we’ve added to the root fs mount (noatime,nodiratime) basically reduce the amount of filesystem accesses for last accessed times.

Remove Unnecessary Packages #

Most of this section is taken from Gordon’s post here.

NFS. I don’t need this as I’ll use sftp/rsync sudo apt-get purge portmap # NTFS and FUSE. My external HD is FAT32 so no need for this. sudo apt-get purge fuse-utils sudo apt-get purge libfuse2 sudo apt-get purge libntfs10 # GDM. Not really sure why this is installed as the recommend # way to start X is to call ‘startx’. sudo apt-get autoremove gdm # Finally call autoremove to remove all the unneeded dependencies sudo apt-get autoremove #

Decrease Video Memory #

By default the Debian distro is set to use 64MB of the 256MB of RAM for the GPU. As I don’t really need the video output I’ve reduced this to 32MB by using one of the pre-built elfs (the number in the file name is the amount of system RAM available):

sudo cp /boot/arm224_start.elf /boot/start.elf

You can see what RAM/GPU variations are available by doing this command:

ls /boot/arm*.elf

That will do for now, my next post will be about getting the Pi ready for serving Media files!