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raspberry pi tools

Installing and configuring Siriproxy on Raspberry Pi

Combine the awesomeness of Apple's Siri voice recognition capability with ability to tap into it using SiriProxy, and our favorite hacker friendly mini Linux computer Raspberry Pi and we have an excellent voice controlled home automation system which runs 24/7 waiting for voice commands to do assigned tasks. To get this super-geeky project working we need to install and configure SiriProxy on our Raspberry Pi setup, follow the instructions shared below to install SiriProxy on the official Raspbian “wheezy” distribution.

SiriProxy Demonstration

Pidora - Fedora Remix Optimized For Raspberry Pi Now Available For Download

While users can easily install and use multiple operating-systems on Raspberry Pi using BerryBoot, the beauty of an removable media card as operating-system loader is the simple plug-n-boot ease of use. The official Debian Linux port is the most widely used and supported distribution for Raspberry Pi, but specialized OS like RasPlex, Xbian and Raspbmc are also available for download with more and more Linux distributions getting ported for the platform by the developer community. Adding another excellent addition to the ever growing list of dedicated, RPi optimized builds of various Linux distributions; Fedora joined the club with release of Pidora - a Fedora Remix optimized build for the Raspberry Pi computer.

Pidora is an RPi optimized build of Fedora (Fedora Remix) featuring software packages from the Fedora Project compiled specifically for the ARMv6 architecture for use on the Raspberry Pi. Unique features of this build are Graphical firstboot configuration (with additional modules specifically made for the Raspberry Pi), Compact initial image size with auto-resize for maximum storage afterwards, unique feature allowing IP address information readable over speakers and flashed with the LED light for true headless mode on setups lacking a monitor or display, easy package management using Yum, included support for programming languages (like C, Python, & Perl) and libraries capable of supporting external hardware such as motors and robotics (via GPIO, I2C, SPI) out-of-the-box.

pidora Fedora Remix Installer For ARM

How to install and use Unrar on Raspberry Pi running Debian

Decompressing RAR achieves is one basic functionality one would need on there Raspberry Pi mini-computer, while users can always download and install unrar-nonfree package from aptitude using apt-get install unrar-free, a better solution is to download and install unrar 4.1.4. Sadly, Unrar 4.1 is not available as a package in the RasPi repo. However, users can still download and install it using the following commands :

How to power Raspberry Pi over Ethernet

The small, cheap, hacker friendly, internet-connected Raspberry Pi mini-computer is a perfect choice for numerous electronic projects, and one desirable factor for such an assembly is to have minimum clutter. The IEEE standard of Power over Ethernet (PoE) lets user shoot two goals with a single solution, provide internet connectivity and power over a single Ethernet cable. The new Xtronix Raspberry Pi Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Adapter achieves exactly the same by providing +5 Volts at up to 1 Amp to the Raspberry Pi over the standards compliant IEEE 802.3af POE specification. The add-on adapter plugs directly on to the Raspberry Pi GPIO, and is available for order via eBay now. Demonstration video and buy link posted at the end of this post.

RasPlex - The Plex Home Theater port for the Raspberry Pi mini computer

DLNA is a widely used, popular media sharing protocol for instant multimedia sharing across devices irrespective of the hardware/software platform they are running. To get DLNA working we need a server, which catalogs and serves the multimedia content for consumption, while a client consumes the content supplied by the DLNA server. MiniDLNA is a fast, simple to configure and easy to use DLNA server which can be installed in minutes on the Raspberry Pi, however it has limited features.

RasPlex Logo

Plex Media Server is yet another powerful DLNA multimedia server, the good news is - we now have a working Raspberry Pi port of Plex home theater as RasPlex. RasPlex enables users to enjoy multimedia content across every DLNA capable client on their home network, utilizing the Plex Media Server's friendly user interface.


Installing and Configuring MiniDLNA Server On Raspberry Pi

We have already setupped the Raspberry Pi to download files from internet and share them wirelessly over network acting as an NAS. Now it's time to further enhance this functionality to share multimedia content (audio/video/images) using DLNA protocol so our Raspberry Pi can act as an self contained multimedia downloader and server.

Enabling DLNA allows compatible networked device like TV's, cellphones, music systems and computers to enable seamless sharing and playback of digital media between devices. DLNA uses Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for media management, discovery and control. Follow the instructions ahead to install and configure popular Linux DLNA server utility MiniDLNA on Raspberry Pi running Raspbian.

DLNA server detected by Sony Bravia

aria2 - The Best Lightweight, Multi-protocol, Multi-source Download Accelerator For Linux

In search for the most stable yet low resource consuming download accelerator for my Raspberry Pi NAS, we have tested and written about excellent utilities like Transmission Bittorrent Client, pyLoad and FatRat which gets the job done. However, after extensive testing with all these I can now easily conclude that the best download manager for Raspberry Pi (or any other low-resourced Linux computer) is - aria2.

aria2 is an versatile multi-platform, multi-protocol download accelerator with lots of powerful features not available in any of the competing applications like the ability to download the same file from multiple URLS and protocols. Aria2 is available for Linux, Windows and Mac and supports multi-protocol, multi-segmented parallel accelerated downloads from HTTP,HTTPS,FTP,BitTorrent and Metalink protocols with download resume capability. Despite being a lightweight command line utility, you won't feel the lack of an GUI as it supports an XML-RPC interface for remote-control - there are quite a few handy GUI's available like web-interfaces, desktop clients and native mobile applications.


Installing and using the Watchdog Timer on Raspberry Pi

watchdogIn it's simplest definition watchdog is a hardware and/or software timer-register which can used to trigger an system reset or action if something doesn’t works as expected. The watchdog timer performs regular heartbeat checks and if failed performs the pre-defined corrective tasks.

The now hugely popular mini-computer Raspberry Pi features the BCM2835 SoC which has an built-in hardware watchdog timer, this can be used to check tasks like network connectivity, system load, system freeze and other metrics like temperature to perform corrective measures like automatic system reset. Just follow the steps as instructed next to get started with using watchdog timer.

RasPi Watchdog

FatRat - The Best Download Manager For Linux

fatrat logoIn my ongoing quest to get an free, lightweight and fast download manager with remote access ability for Raspberry Pi. I settled for Transmission to get torrent downloading and pyLoad for ftp/http downloading, however both of them have issues under limited resources of Raspberry Pi and had frequent crashes now and then.

After, a lot of research, tweaking and testing - I had finally found the best option for a perfect lightweight download manager on linux as "FatRat". Despite the name being FatRat, this open-source download manager for Linux is written in C++ and is slim on requirements, fast on performance and comes with all the bells and whistles one would need from an modern download manager including Segmented HTTP(S)/FTP downloads, FTP uploads, torrents and a super-fast web-ui for remote access.

Installing and using pyLoad Download Manager on Raspberry Pi

pyLoadpyLoad is an excellent cross-platform download manager with support for one-click file hosters, captcha decoding and excellent web-interface for anywhere remote control over internet.

After installing transmission torrent client on Raspberry Pi, pyLoad is an suitable choice to take of the other downloading needs like handling links from One-Click-hoster's, container formats like DLC, video sites or just plain http/ftp links. Here is an step-by-step guide to get pyLoad installed and working on Raspberry Pi.

PyLoad web interface


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