[AN] Anup Narkhede

Programmer, Hobbyist, Jack of many trades, Master of some

Raspberry Pi: Getting Started


After a wait of over 4 weeks, I finally received my raspberry pi from RS components. This tiny motherboard comes with a great number of features for a modest price of 30£ and is already being considered as a hacker’s paradise. Getting started with Raspbian ‘Wheezy’ was simple, thanks to the quick start guide. However, I came across raspbmc, which is a minimal distribution of debian linux with xbmc pre-configured and optimized for your raspberry pi. This blog post is about my experience to get raspbmc up and running.

My setup:

  • Scandisk SD card
  • My HTC desire charger to power the board (you can even use an iPad charger)
  • HDMI to DVI-D adapter, to connect my BenQ monitor
  • Speakers
  • Ethernet cable
  • USB keyboard

Unlike Wheezy, raspbmc doesn’t come with a complete bootable OS distrubution. Instead, it provides an installer images which requires a working internet connection to download and configure the OS.

Configuring SD card with the installer is simple. Insert the SD card and run:

wget http://svn.stmlabs.com/svn/raspbmc/testing/installers/python/install.py
sudo chmod +x install.py
sudo python install.py

Proceed with the on screen instructions and select the SD card (for me it was disk1s1). Once it finishes, you’ll see a message ‘Raspbmc is now ready to finish setup on your Pi, please insert the SD card with an active internet connection.’.

Plug the SD card in the pi and power it up. It starts with downloading and installation of kernel modules & libraries, and it reboots. For some reason, the pi wouldn’t come up after the reboot. As suggested by the good eggs from internet, I replaced the bootcode.bin on the SD card with this version and then it booted properly.

Next, I was stuck at the following message:

Raspbmc Updater
Downloading a new XBMC build.. (stuck at 21%)

Turning the power off and on fixed it (Worked in the 3rd attempt).

And here’s my raspberry pi running xbmc!