Getting a Raspberry Pi Up and Running

A few months ago I bought a Raspberry Pi starter kit that included a Raspberry Pi 3, a box for it, a micro-usb power supply and a micro-SD card with a suitable O/S loaded onto it.

Today I tried to get it up and running…

I put the SD card into the Pi, plugged the power in, the red light went on, solid – and nothing happened… Plug an ethernet cable from my Mac into the back – no lights there either…

I unplugged one of the boxes from the telly and shoved the HDMI cable in the Pi – zilch.

I tried to look at the SD card on my Mac – and it didn’t mount. Another Mac, and another “frame” to put the micro-SD card in… still nothing…

So I suspect, the SD card, which I’m guessing added about a tenner to the price, didn’t work at all… pile of crap.

Go digging around the Lego EV3 kits for another micro-SD card; find one; download an image of the Raspbian O/S, and unzip. Install the dead easy to use etcher app (discovered via the EV3 site) and copy the image onto to microSD-card again.

Try the new SD card, plug the pi into the mains – solid red and a bit of flickering of a second LED. Plug in the ethernet cable connected to my Mac – lights there… success…

But what’s the IP address?

Apparently, a discovery service is running on the Pi, so from the Mac command line:  ping raspberrypi.local

PING raspberrypi.local ( 56 data bytes


ssh pi@

yes to prompt, then password: raspberry

Enable internet sharing on the Mac…

sharing I can update the Pi…

Next up: see if I can get TM351 services running on it…

This looks like it could be a good place to start, though I’d need to add version numbers: –  a Jupyter server and a scientific stack, a recipe originally guided by this post, (though I’ll probably omit the TeX stuff…; it also includes some optimisations for improving performance, but doesn’t mention setting the gpu_mem? as per eg ? In correspondence, Eckhard has “GPU memory to 16MB (can conveniently done [sic] via raspi-config)”); or this:

Then it’s just(?) a case of adding the PostgreSQL and (32 bit) MongoDB (like this?) databases? And OpenRefine…. Hmmm… what else is in there too?!  Maybe I can get away with using my original installation scripts… (wishing I’d pulled everything neatly into .sh files for now…)

PS OpenRefine seemed to go in okay:

apt-get install -y openjdk-7-jre-headless

tar xzf openrefine-linux-2.6-rc1.tar.gz

(Should really specify the download path, and also delete the gz file after unpacking it.)

To configure the Raspberry Pi to autorun OpenRefine on boot, edit the /etc/rc.local startup file using:

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

and add something like the following to autostart the application on port 3333:

/home/pi/openrefine-2.6-rc1/refine -i -p 3333 -d /mnt/refine &

(Maybe should set the IP address to the actual IP address?)

PS I’m also starting to wonder whether a simple service like monit or supervisord might be handy for checking services are running an letting the user start/stop them via a browser UI. I think I also need a simple flask app on port 80 that can act as a homepage for all the browser accessible services running via the Pi?

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

One thought on “Getting a Raspberry Pi Up and Running”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: