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Setting up Raspberry PI to run LinBPQ


These are the instructions for starting from scratch, on a Windows PC (which must have a SDHC card reader - either built in or USB)

Installing Linux OS

Acquire a flash card - preferably Class 10, but I've used Class 6. If you are intending to run the PI headless (without screen and keyboard) or only in text mode a 2 GB card is enough, but for full GUI system at least 8 GB is needed. Either 4 or 8 GB..You can use larger cards, but  anything over 8 takes a very long time to back up or create copies.

Download Etcher

Download Raspbian image from here. The Lite version is fine for a text only system and will fit on a 2 GB card, but a GUI system  needs the full version.

Insert SD card into PC card reader. Check (very carefully!) what drive letter it appears as in "My Computer".

Run Etcher. Select Image file and SD Device . (check device letter again)

Click "Flash!"

It will take a few minutes to write the image to the card. Once it has finshed check card in "My Computer" - it should appear to be about 55 Mb. The rest of the space is a Linux partition that Window can.t see.

With the latest images ssh defaults to disabled as a security precaution. If you don't have a monitor and keyboard on the pi and are planning to access it over ssh, you will need to enable ssh by creating a file called ssh (it can be empty) in the Windows partition..

Unmount and remove card. Place in PI, connect Ethernet, keyboard and monitor (if you have them).

Power up.

If you have a monitor attached, you should see the Linux Kernel boot sequence, and end up with the PI running either a text console or a GUI desktop depending on  the image used

If you don't have a monitor and keyboard, you can set up the PI using ssh. You will have to get the IP address of the PI from your router's DCHP table.(or use a network scanning tool to find it).

You can use any ssh client. I use Mobaxterm which incudes a clone of the putty ssh client, and a load of other nice stuff , including an X server and Remote Desktop client.

Using either the console or ssh, conect to the pi, and log in - user pi, password raspberry. Basic configuration is done by running sudo raspi-config. If using the GUI open a terminal session. At a minimum I suggest changing the pi user password as a security precaution.

If you intend to connect a TNC to the PI serial port, you must stop the system using it as a terminal interface. Use raspi-config (Interfacing Options) to disable login shell on the serial port and to enable the serial port hardware.

Enabling i2c

To use i2c, (which you need if you want to run more than one TNC-PI) you need to use raspi-config (Interfacing Options) to enable loading of the Kernel i2c module..

Install i2c tools - not essential, but useful when testing sudo apt-get install i2c-tools

Installing LinBPQ

I've written a simple script to download and install LinBPQ. The script can be seen here.

Download the script using wget, set it as executable and run it:

wget http://www.cantab.net/users/john.wiseman/Downloads/installLinBPQ
chmod +x installLinBPQ

This will create the directory linbpq and download linbpq and other needed files into it.

Copy a suitable bpq32.cfg file to the linbpq folder (if you are running MobaXterm, you can drag files to the PI). The format is the same as for Windows BPQ32, but the name must be in lower case.

run linbpq -


To exit, type ctrl/c

For more info on setting up linbpq, including the Mail and Chat features see here

John Wiseman G8BPQ
13th March 2013
Updated May 2017