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Standard Pi Setup

Here’s some common things to do when you first setup a Pi.

Raspian Image

Download your image and burn to an SD card. You can’t go far wrong with a SanDisk 16GB microSDHC memory cardfor £6.99.


  • Expand the file system
  • Disable GUI via boot options, set to Boot Options then B1 Console
  • Change hostname via Advanced options

Setup Wifi

Modify the /etc/network/interfaces file to access a network (with hidden SSID).

source-directory /etc/network/interfaces.d

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
   wpa-scan-ssid 1
   wpa-ap-scan 1
   wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
   wpa-proto RSN WPA
   wpa-pairwise CCMP TKIP
   wpa-group CCMP TKIP
   wpa-ssid "network-name"
   wpa-psk 72084.....654

iface default inet dhcp

Prevent Wifi Sleeping

The 8192cu based wifi dongles will often go to sleep if they’re not getting any traffic. This means broken terminal sessions and general annoyances. Prevent it happening by adding the following to /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf. Create the file if it doesn’t already exist (reference).

options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=0

You can check if you have the 8192cu module loaded with lsmod. If you don’t see it in the list, don’t bother!

Update the System

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo rpi-update

Standard Software

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential git avahi-daemon libavahi-client-dev oracle-java8-jdk

Install SBT

For Scala development.

$ cd /usr/local/bin
$ sudo wget
$ sudo chown pi sbt-launch.jar
$ sudo chgrp pi sbt-launch.jar

Create a file /usr/local/bin/sbt (change the owner and group as above) and paste the following in (take note that the max memory is set to 512 MB for the Pi Zero). Change the owner and group as above.

SBT_OPTS="-Xms512M -Xmx512M"
java $SBT_OPTS -jar `dirname $0`/sbt-launch.jar "$@"

Note that there’s not much memory on the Pi, so limit sbts consumption. In this case, the 512MB limit suits the Pi Zero.

Then make it executable.

chmod u+x /usr/local/bin/sbt

Bash Setup

Add the following to ~/.bashrc

# some more ls aliases
alias ll='ls -lavh --group-directories-first'
alias la='ls -A'
#alias l='ls -CF'

# Toby's ones
alias path='echo -e ${PATH//:/\\n}'
alias libpath='echo -e ${LD_LIBRARY_PATH//:/\\n}'
alias du='du -kh'    # Makes a more readable output.
alias df='df -kTh'

Disable Activity LED

Add the following to /boot/config.txt (tested on the Pi Zero only).

# disable the activity LED (intended for the Pi Zero)

Share Disk with Mac OSX

sudo apt-get install netatalk

vi setup

$ echo 'set nocompatible' > ~/.vimrc


sudo cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime

Over to you...