The Raspberry Pi Thread

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
I have been interested in getting a Pi from long before but never considered it seriously. Now with work from home, there is some extra time and probably I am also having some mid life crisis so wanted to get something. This is why I am considering getting Pi 4.
I have talked to couple of members here who have been patient enough to help me via PM. But since there may be others with same query, I am opening this thread where people can ask any and all queries.

I will start with few of mine...

  1. For a total newbie, which is the best OS to use with RPi? Is it Raspbian or some other?
  2. Is it possible to setup a new RPi without having a separate monitor / keyboard / mouse ? I have read about putting certain files on the MicroSD to preconfigure Wifi and such.
  3. How does one manage the RPi like installing anything new or checking how things are working? I know people tell SSH but personally it scares me a little as it is all command line. or can VNC work to get into a GUI?
  4. Like we can install softwares using SSH, can we do the same using the GUI environment of RPi (accessed using VNC)?
  5. Does anyone have a guide on how to install a torrent client with web interface, Jelly fin server.
  6. If I want to use an external HDD with RPi, do I need to format it and then use it fresh or my existing NTFS formatted HDD with lots of data work fine without any issues?
 

deezcnuts

Well-Known Member
Disciple
1. For a total newbie, I would personally recommend RaspbianOs(full install, not lite). Has tons of software and games preinstalled. It is raspberry pi specific, so has tons of documentation and community support. Once you get comfortable, you can install other os as per your needs.

2. You can do headless setup. For wireless, add wpa_supplicant file on the SD card with your Wi-Fi details. https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/headless.md
For wired, just add a blank ssh file(not even an extension need, just a 0kb file) on the SD card.
Make sure to fix a static local ip for pi on your router.
You will still need to do initial config via ssh. Use raspi-config command to set stuff up and enable VNC there. After that you can use any VNC viewer.
For ssh, I use Bitvise, it has a helpful file browser too(local and ssh device).

3. You would still need to learn a few basic Linux commands, like how to install packages, update, reboot, edit config files etc. possible via VNC, but you won’t be able to access everything as VNC might not be a root user. GUI can still be used to use pi as a general computer.

4. Raspbian does have its own App Store. But I am not sure you’ll get everything there. Eventually you’ll have to use command line to add packages from guides.

5. For torrents, I used Transmission. Very lightweight and configurable. Once installed, you can access it via <raspberryip>:<port> on local network. Can manage like usual torrent client. I installed and configured via ssh.

6. I am not sure about that. You’ll have to look up guides on how to use external storage on Linux/pi specifically.

I hope this was helpful. Please do correct if wrong.
 
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raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
From which website to buy the Pi 4? I see there are multiple indian ones. I think pibox india is most famous? Or go with Amazon?
Also for a newbie, should one get entire kit which has case, hdmi cable, card reader, pre flashed with NOOBS card, heat sink, hdmi cable and such?

Or go with only PI and add only stuff which is needed?


Also if I want to do head less setup, is the NOOBS on Microsd even useful? Since for headless I guess I will need to flash Raspbian OS on Microsd and start the PI right?


Is the case and heatsink absolutely needed?
 

deezcnuts

Well-Known Member
Disciple
Buy from any of the retailer mentioneded for India. Whichever is cheapest. If amazon is close enough, i would say go with amazon for its shipping and customer service.

Pi4 does run a bit hot, so heat sink is recommended. Case is good to have too, protection for it(and you, has some sharp bits). Usually, in the full kits, the included memory card is a shitty one(i got a class6 card with my pi3b+). Better to buy a good memory card separately.
Full kit would be recommended if you don't have a usb keyboard, mouse, card reader etc and are planning to use it directly and as a desktop. Once you get a hang of ssh or vnc, its not needed any more. Almost everything can be done remotely with pi.

NOOBS is like a pre made package of various os and programs, you'll need a keyboard and mouse to setup and install what you want(like installing new windows from usb). Afaik, it cant be done remotely, will need a display.
With raspbian imager/etcher, you directly install os on sd card and just have plug it and boot, no need to wait for installing on pi. Add wifi or ssh files and do initial config and you are ready to go.
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
@deezcnuts
Just so you know, the full kit DOES NOT include mouse and keyboard and I don't have any. I plan to not buy as well and instead setup Raspbian by directly flashing on MicroSD using the etcher tool so I guess NOOBS is useless for me. I intend to run the system headless so I am ok to do stuff remotely. I do have knowledge of Putty and have been watching youtube videos and such to understand entire process. There are some good videos out there which seem very helpful.

I think I will understand more once I have it in my hand. I do want to buy case as it will make handling Pi easier and where I plan to put it, dust accumulates.

I will check the costs of buying only bare necessary stuff separately and as a kit and make decision.

Btw installing the heatsink, does it involve any paste etc or no? The kits usually have couple of heat sinks coming with it.
 

Marcus Fenix

Well-Known Member
Skilled
Don't bother with the crappy heatsinks.
I have this passive heatsink case.

If you want a better case look at this.

Just get the Pi 4 and the 15W official Pi charger.

My Pi is tucked away beneath my PC desk like this with a 250 GB SSD.

I use a soap holder for the Pi. :p

1622108901488.png


Temps are pretty good as shown below.
1622109010129.png



Get the Pi from here. I have bought Pi stuff from them and they are okay.

Don't buy cases with those tiny high RPM fans. They are annoying as f**k.
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
@Marcus Fenix I see you are using DietPi and I am assuming you may have at sometime before used Raspbian too.

Since you have HDD connected to the Pi, can you answer whether my NTFS HDD will as it is work with the Pi (assume I have set it up) or I need to do any formatting or any config to mount it?
 

Marcus Fenix

Well-Known Member
Skilled
@Marcus Fenix I see you are using DietPi and I am assuming you may have at sometime before used Raspbian too.

Since you have HDD connected to the Pi, can you answer whether my NTFS HDD will as it is work with the Pi (assume I have set it up) or I need to do any formatting or any config to mount it?
Sorry didn't notice that query earlier. NTFS won't work.It needs to be formatted in ext4.

Get a cheap keyboard to setup the Pi. You can connect the Pi to your TV via micro HDMI to HDMI adapter for the first setup.


I have never tried headless setup but there seem to be YT tutorials on dietpi for the same.
 

Titokhan

Well-Known Member
Disciple
@raksrules @Marcus Fenix

Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as "Raspbian") does support mounting NTFS-formatted disks out of the box in a read-only manner. To get write access, you need to install a third-party driver like ntfs-3g. DietPi, on the other hand, comes with a built-in tool named DietPi drive manager which can be useful to install the required driver and set the mount point.

With that said, using NTFS as the file system for your local storage isn't recommended in a *nix environment. Better to opt for a *nix-friendly journaling file system like EXT4 for the local storage and access the NTFS-formatted disk(s) over the network.

BTW, I really like @Marcus Fenix's idea of utilizing the soap case as a Pi-holder.
 
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raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
@Titokhan

I just went through a video which said how to format into ext4 an external HDD and mounting it and the mount happens automatically if Pi reboots. I have saved the video and kept. I plan to use a 2TB Seagate HDD I have for this purpose.
As of now, I see videos and what I feel is simple to understand, I save them for reference.



One question to all, say I install Raspbian and use it for sometime and later one day I want to try DietPI can I just format the MicroSD using SD Card Formatter and flash DietPI and boot using that and it will work?
Also can everything be done in Raspbian like installing transmission or jellyfin etc? May be I will need specific command and DietPI using their text based UI provides a simpler way to install that, is that right?
 

Marcus Fenix

Well-Known Member
Skilled
One question to all, say I install Raspbian and use it for sometime and later one day I want to try DietPI can I just format the MicroSD using SD Card Formatter and flash DietPI and boot using that and it will work?
Also can everything be done in Raspbian like installing transmission or jellyfin etc? May be I will need specific command and DietPI using their text based UI provides a simpler way to install that, is that right?

You can rewrite any image to the SD card with BalenaEtcher.Its as simple as that.

In my case I have a spare SD card just in case the existing one goes bad. Its a sure thing with the kind of uptime I have.

1622113918753.png


Dietpi gives us the option of backing up the existing installation which I save on the external SSD via dietpi-backup. If something happens to the SD card I can write a fresh image to my spare SD card, pop it in the Pi 4 and run restore to get back my setup in its entirety.

1622114008954.png


Dietpi standard software installation is very simple as you don't have to go through a lot of github entries to configure your application.

Just go with dietpi-software and select what you want to install.

1622114180524.png


The for the default application setup details e.g. webUI port,default user/passsword etc. refer to this article.

what is the best case for Rpi with heat sinks?

& If I don't want to use a case, what is the best solution for heat dissipation?
Go with a passive case. My Pi Zero was lying around naked and it has accumulated a ton of dust. The passive case covers up the entire Pi and acts as a full body heat sink.

For a Pi 4 bare CPU will hit 70-80C easily. The flimsy fin heatsinks that are attached via thermal pads are close to useless in Indian climate.
 
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raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
As I read more into DietPi, I feel it is easier to use that. I am leaning more towards it. Just need to check how in DietPi I will be able to format the external HDD in the linux ext4 format and mount it (that persists across reboots).
 

buzz88

Member
Recruit
I got my Pi from https://robokits.co.in/raspberry-pi

Would highly recommend them. Got it delivered in 48 hours and shipping info was available in half an hour of ordering.
Never seen such speed or efficiency outside of Amazon.

Mine is Pi Zero, being solely used as a PiHole adblocker. But I'm itching to try out Raspberry Pi 400. I just can't seem to find a use case for it at present.
I already have a dedicated Plex server in a mini PC. What else can I use a beefier Pi for?
 

bobbyprajan

Well-Known Member
Disciple
For a Pi 4 bare CPU will hit 70-80C easily. The flimsy fin heatsinks that are attached via thermal pads are close to useless in Indian climate.
The Pi4 needs a fan to keep it from throttling. The small fans available are noisy, especially when everything else is quiet.

Some simple circuit and code is available if you search the internet to keep things sane
 

Marcus Fenix

Well-Known Member
Skilled
As I read more into DietPi, I feel it is easier to use that. I am leaning more towards it. Just need to check how in DietPi I will be able to format the external HDD in the linux ext4 format and mount it (that persists across reboots).
Its very easy
1622121798674.png


1622121818274.png


/mnt/usb1 is the attached 250 GB SSD and /mnt/e and f are the Windows file server shared drives.
 

tommy_vercetti

Well-Known Member
Skilled
As I read more into DietPi, I feel it is easier to use that. I am leaning more towards it. Just need to check how in DietPi I will be able to format the external HDD in the linux ext4 format and mount it (that persists across reboots).
In dietpi, run dietpi-drive_manager you will get options to format/mount the harddisk
 

Ramadhir Singh

Wasseypur
Adept
a much needed thread just in time when i need :p thanks @raksrules, lets find a group buy and see we can get some advantage :p
check this case as well... https://www.thingbits.in/products/aluminum-alloy-cooling-case-for-raspberry-pi-4

few noob question -
1. will rpi4 run if we power from routers USB ? - avoiding pi4 since it need usb-C for power, micro usb, i can use any of my unused mobile phone charger to power it.
2. is is advices to for with pi v4 or can we go older version if we intend it to run pihole only. [what other version have gigabit LAN port?]

In fact im searing all over since today morning , https://www.crazypi.com/ didnt have it in stock. else i believe they prove better pricing.
 
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Marcus Fenix

Well-Known Member
Skilled
1. will rpi4 run if we power from routers USB ? - avoiding pi4 since it need usb-C for power, micro usb, i can use any of my unused mobile phone charger to power it.
2. is is advices to for with pi v4 or can we go older version if we intend it to run pihole only. [what other version have gigabit LAN port?]
1. Tried it with my Asus RT-AC68U and older Netgear R7000 on a RPi 3. Didn't work. Makes sense because the official charger for Pi 4 is 15W and I don;t any router will provide that kind of power on USB ports.

2. I use a Pi Zero W for that.Its connected to the router over wifi and used to be powered off the USB port on the router. Now since I have switched to an Orbi mesh router which no USB port I had to attach the Pi Zero W to the USB 2 port of the Pi4.
 

bobbyprajan

Well-Known Member
Disciple
2. is is advices to for with pi v4 or can we go older version if we intend it to run pihole only. [what other version have gigabit LAN port?]
I am running Pi-hole in the old Raspberry Pi B (256 MB RAM) . I have not faced any issues so far. The load average is typically 0.1 -0.2 and the memory usage is below 20%
 
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