"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Setting-up the Raspberry PI 3 as a home server

It has been some time since last time I wrote, unfortunately my job stole most of my limited free time keeping me from experimenting and so posting about it. At last I managed to collect enough free time to complete Raspberry PI 3 installation and replace the older model I was using as home server.

Just like before? Not exactly

When I started configuring and installing the Raspberry PI 3 I was hoping it would have been a simple repetition of operation I already performed on the older Raspberry. Most of it has been that way but in some cases I experienced some relevant difference.

Configuring a static IP address

I've been configuring static IP address on Linux since I installed my first Pentium III based Linux, so I really didn't expect any problem here. Once I configured “/etc/networking/interfaces file” I instead noticed the Raspberry was visible on the network with two different addresses. After some searching on the Internet I discovered it's because of a different way DACP client works on latest Raspbian release. The problem can be solved in two ways: first is configuring DHCP client in order to let it set a static address on network interface alternatively it's possible disable DHCP client for one or more network interface. I chose the latter, at the end, since the Raspberry is going to be a DHCP server so there is no deal in keeping DHCP client active. I disabled DHCP client from assigning address to both wired and wireless network interface by adding the following line to “/etc/dhcpcd.conf” configuration file.
denyinterfaces wlan0 eth0

DHCP server and wireless access point

Like I did on my first Raspberry server I configured the new one to work as DHCP server and a wireless access point. It seem there are no relevant changes since first time I did it, I simply had to follow my own instructions.

Installing applications

Installing apt-ger based applications like LAMP sever and MiniDLNA server has been a quite easy task, while to install other applications like RPI-Monitor I had to look for the updated download link on the Internet. I also installed the updated version of SFPG picture gallery, it works but picures thumbnails don't show. I'll look for a solution later.

Power supply and cables

Once I had the Raspberry PI 3 installed and configured on my desktop I pit it in place of the old one and … nothing was working. It took me some time of testing and pinging before I noticed the board power led wasn't properly lighted-up. The phone/tablet charger I used to supply the old Raspberry wasn't up to the Raspberry PI 3 power requirement. I replaced the power supply with the one I used for desktop test but it wasn't enough to make the Raspberry PI 3 working, I had to replace micro-USB power cable with a shorter one in order to have it working, I think it's better I'll buy a dedicated Raspberry PI 3 power supply soon.