But once I caught him when he was open like Silenus' statues, and I had a glimpse of the figures he keeps hidden within: they were so godlike — so bright and beautiful, so utterly amazing — that I no longer had a choice: I just had to do whatever he told me.

Category: Raspberry Pi

Web browsers for Raspberry Pi (compiling Links)

Sometimes we want to use internet browser on Raspberry Pi, there are many that we can install and run, but most of them will be unusable due to theirs relatively high requirements. There are some nice alternatives to popular browser though. I consider browser such as Firefox, Chromium and Opera totally unusable on Raspberry Pi (even though you can run them). There is a second category of browsers, they are written usually especially for Linux, for example: Epiphany, Iceweasel, Icecat, Konqueror, Dillo. From these the last one seemed fastest for me. There is also option to use browser from third category: text browsers. Most popular are Lynx and Links. Lynx is great when you don’t care about graphics but sometimes we just need to see some images. There is nice solution for that. We can use Links in graphic mode.

Typing pacman -S links in console won’t help us, it won’t run in graphic mode because it wasn’t configured to do that at the time of compilation. We need to compile it on our own. Go there and download package. When you’re ready unpack it with (I’m not sure if Arch has tar by default, if now: pacman -S tar):

tar -zxvf links-2.7.tar.gz

Before we start we need to resolve dependencies and other necessary things. Let’s begin with compilator and make program, then libraries:

pacman -Syu gcc make

pacman -S libjpeg libtiff zlib gzip

Now go to directory where you unpacked links. Type:

./configure –enable-graphics


sudo make install

Now start browser with:

links -g

Conclusion: for me Epiphany is slower than Dillo which has equal speed to Links which I found more convenient. I also seems to me that Links is more responsive even though Dillo takes less ram when not in use.





Links in graphic mode:


There is how it looks in ps -aux:

solusip+   331  3.1 13.2  38940 24808 pts/1    S+   07:57   0:11 dillo
solusip+   220  0.7 13.3  36092 25044 ?        Ss   07:50   0:06 links
solusip+   240  9.5 28.2 298048 53008 ?        Ssl  07:56   0:41 epiphany



Archlinux on Raspberry Pi: sudo and window managers

There are couple thing you can do with your Arch to make it more adjusted to your preferences. This time I’ll show you how to configure sudo and install most popular window managers. Remember that you can get such configuration on every computer, not only on RPi.

Let’s start with sudo. Login as root and type

pacman -Syu sudo

After installing package type visudo. There will be ran vim version made especially for editing sudoers file. Right after first page you’ll find such line:

root ALL=(ALL) ALL

Go to line under it and press ‘i’ key on your keyboard to switch to insert mode. Then type:

your_user_name ALL=(ALL) ALL

Then press Escape, and type:


Press enter. That’s all. Relog to your account and check if sudo is working.

Now we’re ready to install a window manager. There is difference between it and desktop environment. I wanted to work with it on Raspberry Pi mainly because of its speed. Any WM is many times faster that any desktop environment. I never used them before and now I decided to start with FluxBox. So let’s install it. Log to user account and type:

sudo pacman -S fluxbox

After fluxbox is installed edit .xinitrc file in your home folder.

nano .xinitrc

exec startfluxbox

Save file and type startx.

You should see default fluxbox’s screen. Now it’s time to configure it. Let’s begin from installing program called feh. It’s responsible for handling images. Right click on your desktop and select xterm. Then type:

sudo pacman -S feh

I guess that we need a file manager. There are many options, I’ve chosen pcmanfm:

sudo pacman -S pcmanfm


Now let’s deal with fluxbox’s menu. I used program called menumaker to generate menu containing all installed applications.

sudo pacman -S menumaker

mmaker -f FluxBox

Now you’ve got all applications in menu. You can still edit entries order. To do that edit with your favourite edit that file: ~/.fluxbox/menu. For example:

nano ~/.fluxbox/menu



We’ve got most basic programs now. Let’s make FluxBox prettier. There is nice website you can get fluxbox’s themes: It would be great to do everything on Raspberry Pi. Install web browser and go that site (I installed Epiphany).

When you’ll download a style unpack it to ~/.fluxbox/styles and then choose it from menu. Now it looks really better. But we still have no icons in files manager. We can install for example these:

pacman -S tangerine-icon-theme

sudo echo “gtk-icon-theme-name = “Tangerine” >> /etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc



Well it’s time to add a wallpaper. First get any. Then exit FluxBox. We need to edit .xinitrc again.

nano .xinitrc

Put before exec startfluxbox that:

fbsetbg ~/Documents/wallpaper.jpg

This is how my FluxBox looks after all these operations.


Archlinux on Raspberry Pi: installing xorg and LXDE

After 3 months of using Raspberry Pi my SD Card has broken. I bought new one and decided to install Arch this time. There is disc image with preconfigured system: We could of course install it on our own, but I have no special needs, so this package is ideal for me. Let’s download it and write it on SD Card. To do that we need to determine localization of new card. You can use ls /dev/sd* and check what’s new or simply use GParted. In my case it’s /dev/sdb. To write img to disc use program called dd. I did it in that way:

sudo dd if=~/archlinux-hf-2012-09-18.img of=/dev/sdb

If your card is bigger that 2GB you should also resize / partition. You can do it easily with GParted. Just resize it to disk limit. Now we are ready to boot our RPi. Plug the ethernet cable and boot device. I’m doing everything, till the moment of xorg installation, via SSH, without using its video ports. Check device’s IP and connect. It my case it was root@ (simply type ssh root@ – you need to have openssh installed). First part of that address is the account we want to connect with. That is actually the only account in that system now. Its password is root, so right after connecting, type passwd and type doubly the new one.

After doing that we’ll need to update our system. To do that type:

pacman -Syu

Now we are ready to install xorg. Type

pacman -S xorg

When it’ll ask about selection, don’t give anything on input, just press enter. After installing xorg, install 3 things more: xorg-xinit (to be able to use startx), xorg-twm and xterm (to test if xorg is running properly). Do it with:

pacman -S xorg-xinit xorg-twm xterm

Now you should connect your Raspberry Pi to an video output. When you’ll be ready use that command (not with ssh anymore):


You should see something like this:


To close it, type exit on left terminal or, in case you don’t have your mouse connected, type pkill x on this active by default.

Now it’s time to create a new user. It’s wise not to use root account when using x. To do that use that command (XYZ will be the name of your user):

useradd -m -g users -G wheel,storage,power -s /bin/bash XYZ

Now set password for new user:

passwd XYZ

No it’s time to install lxde. It’s probably the lightest environment. You can choose alternatively xfce (which I prefer) but it’ll work a bit slower. If you decided to use lxde, type:

pacman -S lxde

When installation is completed, log out (by typing logout) and log on your newly created user.

Now type:

ls -la | grep .xinitrc

If there’s such file, you need to remove it by typing:

rm .xinitrc

Now we’re going to create a new one. Type:

cat >> .xinitrc

And then:

exec startlxde

When you’re done, press Ctrl + D. Make sure that your file contains only that line. Now it’s a big moment. Type


and wait for LXDE to start.

That is the most basic way of doing it. Your LXDE screen should look like this right after installation:


Raspberry Pi powering module (edit)

I noticed that there is a problem with my powering module when I’m connecting to Raspberry Pi devices that consume to much power. 7085 was limiting amperage to 1A so I decided to replace it with 78S05. You can do the same without modifying schematics I attached to last post which you can find HERE. I also installed small radiator which is leading away heat.

Raspberry Pi powering module

I’ve build a powering module for my balloon flight. This is how it looks:



To build the same you’ll need:

  • 1x LM7085
  • 1x 1000uF electrolytic capacitor
  • 2x 100nF ceramic capacitors

Schematics for that:


Well, it could be build better, 7805 is wasting some power, that is just the simplest way of building such device. You could use 6 AA batteries as well. When I checked voltage on TP1 and TP2 on RPi board it showed me ~4.90V value. Keep in mind fact that my battery is drained a bit.


EDIT 29-07-2012 19:47

Something about 10 minutes after connecting device I found out that 7805 is incredible hot, after next 5 minutes it stopped. To decrease temperature I mounted on it little radiator:

Now it’s good even when I’m putting it inside that box (these are outdated photos made before adding radiator):

As you probably noticed I’m powering device with 6xAA batteries instead of 1x9V battery. In this configuration I’m able to connect that Pentagram Wi-Fi modem and PS3 webcam, it’s working well.

Stationary balloon with Raspberry Pi (Part I)

Plan is simple. I’m going to mount RPi to a couple of balloons filled with hydrogen or helium (still not decided) and raise it 50 m above ground level. RPi will be connected to the Internet with 3g module and it will be streaming through it image from webcam. At this moment I’m gathering needed stuff.

I’ll need:

  • Raspberry Pi +
  • USB HUB powered by batteries –
  • Webcam +
  • 3g module – (I’ve got one but it’s not working on Raspbian, I’ll try on Arch)
  • Balloons –
  • Hydrogen (obtained in home way, I’ll show later how to do that) + / Helium –
  • 50 meters of thick fishing line

Photos of stuff I’ve already got:


Some electronical parts.


Mine Raspberry Pi with webcam that is working fine on it.

There’s a link to post with powering module: LINK.

Changing keyboard layout on Raspbian

Default keyboard layout can found out as strange to some users. This can be fortunately fixed really fast.

1. Edit /etc/default/keyboard file:

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

Change value of locale to yours.

2. Use Debian’s manager to set layout:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

3. Your keyboard layout should be already set but if you’ll reboot device now it will take ages to end booting. OS will be doing remap at every start. To hold this back use just once setupcon:

sudo setupcon

4. Reboot and be able to use special characters.

Easiest and fastest way to get linux on Raspberry Pi

You are fledgling owner of Raspberry Pi? Well it was finally delivered to me, I really wasn’t interested in arduous configuring my operating system. I just wanted to test it out. RPi team gives us opportunity to have everything working in less than 10 minutes. On Raspberry Pi official page you can download Raspbian, dedicated distribution based on Debian.


Inside zip archive you will find an img file. We still need to “burn it” on our SD card. Unix program called dd will do that for us. I’m using OS X for that so I’ll describe how to do it on mac, but dd is also available on Linux and it’ll work without changing anything.

1. Begin with checking how OS describes your SD card. Type in console:

ls /dev/ | grep disk

Last from that list will be probably the one you are looking for. This can be checked also with any   graphical tool that is used for disk management (for instance, gparted).

2. Unmount (but not eject!) selected disk by doing:

sudo diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk2

3. Now we are able to use dd. Type something like:

sudo dd if=~/Desktop/raspbian.img of=/dev/disk2

First parameter if must indicate img file location, second of location of SD card.

Whole process will last a few minutes. That’s all, now system is ready to boot. If your card is bigger that 2GB remember to expand / partition in gparted.

On Windows it is even simpler. You can use software that is called Win32 Disk Imager.