Raspberry Pi Reboot

I just rebooted my Raspberry Pi with all new software. The reason? Because the version of Raspbian it was running was so old that even the package manager was out-of-date and I couldn’t upgrade it. So after several frustrating attempts to upgrade to the latest version of Raspbian through the package manager, I finally decided to just swap out the micro-SD card for a new one with a freshly burned clean install of Raspbian.

Okay, so Step 1 of this process involved going to the official Raspberry Pi website and downloading an image of Raspbian Buster from the Raspbian download page. I then booted into Arch Linux and ran the proper command to burn the image to my micro-SD card. After examining my drives with fdisk to determine which one was the micro-SD card I ran a command that looked something like this:


dd if=2019-09-26-raspbian-buster.img of=/dev/sdd bs=4M conv=fsync

The binary copy took several minutes, so I just waited around for a while, probably put some caffeine and possibly other substances in my body during that time. When it was finished I opened up my Raspberry Pi’s case and swapped out the old SD card for the new one.

Step 2 was to actually boot the thing up and enable SSH so that I would be able to log in and configure it remotely. This required an HDMI screen of some sort so I could actually see what I was doing, and unfortunately the only HDMI screen available to me at the time was the Samsung TV in the livingroom. I waited until everyone else was asleep so I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone wanting to watch TV while I was configuring shit, and then I took my Pi downstairs along with a wireless mouse and keyboard and accompanying USB dongle. I swapped out the HDMI cable going from the cable box to the TV for the one attached to my Pi, plugged the Pi in, and watched it boot. Success!

I must say, it was kinda weird using that huge screen to console into such a tiny device. But I got what I needed to get done done. I went into raspi-config as before and enabled SSH. Then I configured it to boot into the CLI (this was to save processing power, since I intended to run it as a server rather than a personal computer). I also set an admin password and made sure it was something really strong.

Configuring the SSH server on the Raspberry Pi in raspbi-config
Configuring the SSH server

Configuring text-only boot on the Raspberry Pi in raspi-config
Configuring text-only boot

While I was in the LXDE desktop, I also did some poking around in the various menus that were there. I tried out a few different wallpapers, and took a brief look at the Mathematica program that came with the installation.

The next day I booted my Raspberry and tried logging in from my Thinkpad battlestation. There were a few places where I had problems logging in through SSH, and I had to go into Regedit and delete the registry key for the old SSH public key value, which was still being stored. I’ll share the screenshot because (1) it looks neat and (2) what the hell, it’s a public key; not like anybody can use it to hack me.

Deleting the host public key in the Windows registry

You know what, I’ve collected a lot of neat registry hacks over the last 15 months or so that I’ve been using Windows. I should create an official Psycho Cod3r Compendium of Registry Hacks sometime. It would make for a good ebook that I could sell, or maybe give away as a freebie.

But in any case, once I deleted the old key and logged back in, refreshing any public keys that were stored, I was able to basically do whatever I wanted. I loved the fact that apt-get actually worked now. I used it to install several programs on my Pi, including Midnight Commander, cmatrix, and a LAMP stack (Apache2, PHP, and MySQL Server), which I am now using to host a small website.

In addition to replacing the operating system and installing some new software components, I also added a new monitor. I ordered a 4:3 8″ LED monitor off Amazon that has HDMI, VGA, BNC, and Composite Video interfaces, so it will run with pretty much anything. I was going to use it for a second Raspberry Pi that I intended on buying so that I could use it as a desktop computer while using my original Pi as a server, but I’m a little short on money this month, so that will have to wait. In the meantime I figured why not plug the thing into my current Pi and just use it as both a server and a personal computer for the time being? Turns out this can seriously slow things down in certain situations, but it’s only a temporary fix until I get a dedicated desktop Pi, so I can live with it.

Here’s a pic of my new display hooked up to the Raspberry Pi as it’s running cmatrix in text mode.

cmatrix screensaver running on a Raspberry Pi

My desktop:

Raspberry Pi running Raspbian with LXDE desktop

Browsing the Internet:

Browsing the Internet on the Raspberry Pi

Aaaaaaand the keybindings list I had to check to figure out how to get these screenshots (just got the command to display this list off the Raspberry Pi board on Stack Overflow):

Raspberry Pi terminal displaying a list of keybindings for Raspbian/LXDE

So there you have it – one of the latest additions to my computer cave. I also got a new Thinkpad X131e, which I’ll probably talk about in the next one, so stay tuned if you want to see more of me rambling on and on about my equipment, like anyone but me gives a fuck. 😛

10 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Reboot

    1. It’s an AMD. I wasn’t aware that model used multiple brands of CPU. Anyway, I’m writing that blog now and I’m going to post it tonight, assuming nothing else gets in the way.

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        1. Cool. Know good place to get specs on Raspberry Pi models? I’ve been wanting to learn about the specific ARM processor that the Raspberry Pi uses, because it’s apparently built for multimedia embedded systems.

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          1. I wouldn’t have a clue, sorry! Whilst I have two RPis myself (a 3 Model B and a Zero), I seldom use them because I no longer do any home electronics hacks/projects anymore. Best I can even remember is GPIO in fact. Everything I do requires x86.

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            1. Okay that’s cool, I can probably find the information on my own. I mostly wanted to return the discussion to the Raspberry Pi because it was kinda derailing into something off-topic and that can compromise SEO sometimes. In any case, Raspberry Pi projects are a main focus for me right now, so I’ll probably be writing a lot about this topic in the near future. Just wondering if this was an area of interest for you as well.

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  1. If you’re using a Raspberry Pi then you’re running on an ARM processor, not AMD. Regarding your issue with SSH, all you needed to do was create an empty file called ssh in boot before popping it into the Pi and SSH would have been enabled. No need to go into Raspi-Config to enable SSH. No need to wait until everyone went to bed to get control of the HDTV. Whether you’re on a Mac or a Windows machine to burn the image you could just use a simple text editor or from a Mac just issue the command ‘touch ssh’. If you have any complications with SSH working(most likely is a new machine or new IP address), just do the following:
    ssh-keygen -R pi@raspberrypi.local
    By the way, it will also create a backup of the existing empty ssh file.

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    1. I do remember something about that from the Raspberry Pi User Guide. Didn’t seem to work for me for some reason. But that was over a year ago when I first booted my Raspberry, so my memory of the exact issue I was having isn’t very good. I definitely haven’t tried the ssh-keygen command though. Usually the Raspberry Pi makes things super-easy to set up so you don’t need to use a lot of commands. That’s just been my observation based on doing things in different Unix/Linux systems.

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