Before getting serious with a headless Raspberry, it´s a good idea to set up a folder to be uses as network share in Windows. That is, if you are a Windows user. If you are a Linux user, i expect that you know how to reach your Raspberry. In that case, you would not even read my N00b posts, i guess 😉
So you already know how to connect to the LAN, but sometimes the Router is not right next to the Raspberry Pi and you need a wireless connection. Not every WLAN stick is compatible, check the compatibility list before you buy one. I am using a TP-LINK 150Mbps Nano, no additional driver needed and you almost don´t see it when it´s in the Rasbperry. With “ifconfig“, you can see if the WLAN stick is up and running with the correct driver:
Every now and then, it is a good idea to update the Firmware of your Raspberry Pi. There is a very nice tool out there to make that easy for you: https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update
It is quite easy to install the tool, first you have to install GIT:
sudo apt-get install git-core
After installing a Linux distribution as explained in my article “Raspberry Pi for n00bs – Installation“, it is time to change some basic settings. This article covers everything you need to know to get your system ready to use. I only run my Raspberries “headless”, without a monitor/TV. Saves an expensive gold-plated HDMI cable and all the cool kids do it 🙂
A complete PC for only 30 Euros, super-silent without active cooling, the operating system on SD card. That is the Raspberry Pi 🙂
- Raspberry Pi – B/B+ (30-35 Euros)
- Ethernet cable (1-2 Euros)
- Power supply with at least 0,7A (better 1A) and Micro USB (5-10 Euros)
- One of the countless Raspberry cases (5-10 Euros)
- SD card with at least 4GB, better 8 or 16 (10-20 Euros)
Now we´re already at ~50 Euros, but the Mini-PC only needs 2-3 Watts and practically no space.
A HDMI cable and a USB keyboard are optional, for the first installation and if you don´t just want to administrate the Raspberry Pi with SSH. Check your local supplier for all the items, SD cards are pretty cheap at Amazon. It´s a good idea to check the compatibility list first: http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards
I´ve already explained how to use “Heroku” in my Article “Heroku – Gratis SSL für Facebook Apps“, but Heroku offers a lot more with the Add-Ons. For example, “PostgreSQL” for – surprise, surprise – PostgreSQL databases. A wonderful alternative to MySQL, to store User data in a Facebook App (for example). Here´s a mini-tutorial:
Searching for a Backup-Solution? “Robocopy” is all you need, at least if you are a Windows User. Since Windows Vista it´s already included and there is even a GUI (Graphical User Interface) called “Robocopy GUI“. For the daily/weekly Backup it´s easier to create a Batch file that you can call from the Desktop whenever you feel like it.
A NAS is not only good for storing data and media, you can also use consumer-webcams per USB. And that´s all you need for video monitoring with motion detection. The tutorial is based on the QNAP TS-212 (the best there is), but it should be the same for all QNAP devices. In fact, it should work on pretty much every linux distribution.
For Facebook Canvas Apps and Page/Tab Apps, you need a server with SSL. You can either buy a server with a certificate, or you can use the “Heroku Cloud Application Platform“. Up to 5MB space are for free, should be enough for smaller Apps. Just be warned, Heroku is pretty slow, it can take a few seconds until the Page responds.