Raspbian – VNC

Installing VNC on the Pi

We’re going to use Tight VNC here (server on the Raspberry Pi and Viewer on Windows).

There’s an excellent tutorial over at Penguin Tutor if you need more information.

First of all install the Tight VNC Server from the command prompt:

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

Let it finish installing (if you’re asked to confirm anything, just hit ‘y’ on the keyboard). When complete start the server:


You’ll be asked to create a password, enter one and confirm. I used raspberry for ease of use, but probably not the most secure!

When asked to create a view only password, say No.

Every time you start VNC you’ll see something like:

New 'X' desktop is raspberrypi:1

Note the :1. This is the desktop session created. You can add more by running VNC again.

Head over to TightVNC on your windows box and install the viewer.


Source: http://www.neil-black.co.uk/raspberry-pi-beginners-guide#.UTk0TDC9t8F

Raspbian – Misc To-Done

Misc things I’ve done to configure my Pi for my personal usage.

Most have to be done via “sudo”

  • Create a new user, separate from “pi”
    • Command:  ‘adduser’
    • Appears to be a Debian specific command, different than the usual Linux ‘useradd’
  • Make new user’s primary group be “users”
    • Since I’m connecting to my Synology NAS over NFS, this allows any files I create as the new user to be part of a common group between the Pi and NAS
    • Command: ‘usermod -g users <newuser>’
  • As “pi” user, give new user ‘sudo’ access
    • Command: ‘visudo’
  • Create RSA key for authentication
    • Command: ‘ssh-keygen’
    • Be sure to keep your key safe and retrievable so that access is not lost… Don’t lose your key!
  • Add pub key to “~/.ssh/authorized_keys” file for new user
  • After achieving access via key authentication, disable SSH password authentication
    • Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • “PasswordAuthentication no”
  • Optional, specify SSH access for accounts
    • Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • At bottom of the file, add:
      • AllowUsers newUser1 newUser2
    • Good way to leave default “pi” user “active”, but not directly accessible via SSH
  • Changed hostname
    • nano /etc/hosts
    • nano /etc/hostname
    • reboot
  • Install rsync
    • aptitude install rsync
  • rsync backup script caused an error
    • Error: Too many open files
    • Testing solution: edit /etc/security/limits.conf
      • @users     hard     nofile     32768
  • Configure NTP to sync with NAS
    • Edit /etc/ntp.conf
    • Comment out existing lines starting with “server” that look like “server 0.debian.pool.ntp.org”
    • Add line like “server <nas IP>”
    • Save
    • service ntp restart

To be continued…

Raspbian – SSH Keys

Very important note: once you get access to your Pi, do regenerate the SSH keys.
Since Raspbian (and basically all the other distributions) are distributed as prepared images to copy onto the SD card, it is not safe to keep the default SSH keys.
To regenerate the keys proceed as follows:

# sudo rm /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server

Source: http://www.slblabs.com/2012/08/16/rpi-ssh-ip/

Raspbian – Updating & Upgrading

Updating and Upgrading Debian Raspbian “wheezy” Linux Distribution

Before you begin to install any software it’s best to make sure the package index files are up-to-date (essentially just a file pointing to the latest version of compatible software – for example when we install VNC later in the guide). Make sure you have an internet connection and run the following command. It may take a few minutes.

sudo apt-get update

Followed by:

sudo apt-get upgrade

Now’s also a good time to make sure the whole Linux distribution is up-to-date. You can do this now, or later (it may take a while). Again make sure you have an internet connection and run:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

You can run these commands every now and again to make sure you have the latest software. If you’re asked to confirm anything, just hit ‘y’ on the keyboard.


Source: http://www.neil-black.co.uk/raspberry-pi-beginners-guide#.US1NQTC9t8F