raspberry pi

Fresh Raspberry Pi 400, but package-manager ‘dead’

Written by  on March 10, 2022

It’s never early enough to inspire, so my firstborn got two days ago her first own computer. I don’t want that she grows comfortable with touching a smartphone, but not knowing what happens in the “back”, so she got a Raspberry Pi 400.
I did not expect that the red-white color-combination of the keyboard-like module with it’s raspberry-button will spark so much joy!
The first evening we unwrapped everything and she put all cables in and we booted it right from the preconfigured sd-card. Nice, very comfortable.

Then I wanted to run ‘apt-get’ to fix the updates and maybe install a paint-like program ..

Repository ‘http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-updates InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘stable-updates’ to ‘oldstable-updates’

So neither apt-get update or any of the first tips I checked, worked. Until I found this:
sudo apt-get update --allow-releaseinfo-change

Problem solved, but – would a newcomer or young person be able to fix this?
I doubt it. This isn’t really user-friendly ..

Anyway: Since update of the distribution from ‘buster’ to ‘bullseye’ by editing two package lists did not really go well, I’ve deployed a ‘real’ bullseye-image onto the sd-card and we fixed the rest of the configuration in minutes 🙂

external backups pt. II

Written by  on February 23, 2022

The worst archivist?
Of course, I know him.
It’s me.

So, some month ago I was writing about how to create and maintain some external backup [link] from data stored on the NAS.
I’ve also put some fancy commands, but when I wanted to do the scheduled refresh of the backup, I noticed, that my ‘documentation’ is without any value.
And this is due to continued iterations of the setup and the used commands, but not updating the documentation.


* activate the rsync-access on the DS213 via UI (else ‘permission denied’ is reported even when you can SSH in and check the rsync-version and then wonder what fails ..)
* plug the external HDD to the Raspberry Pi 3B

* run via VNC-remote-login in a bash on the RPi

rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/Photoshare_privat/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/Photoshare_privat/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/homes/Marcel/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/homes/Marcel/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/homes/ruzica/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/homes/ruzica/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/homes/admin/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/homes/admin/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/Camera/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/Camera/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/photo/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/photo/ && rsync -avrh admin@ds213:/volume1/Musik/ /media/pi/1.42.6-25556/Musik/

to copy all relevant partitions

keep the catcam up to date

Written by  on July 10, 2018

Logging in to the raspberry(ies) to update them on a regular basis takes time and effort. Both are currently dear.
Also: while the catcam is taking pictures, you can’t update the rpi-binaries.

So I made this nice script, which first suspends the catcam-operation while renaming the script from the cronjob, then does all updates, reverts the renaming and then reboots the MCU.

Make it executeable via ‘sudo chmod +X updateCatcam.sh’ and also add it as cronjob (once a day).

netdata for monitoring several (headless) Raspberries

Written by  on March 13, 2018

I had netdata already recommended once two years ago, but .. it was quite helpful to track down the issue with the camera on the catcam-raspberry. Yes, of course I could login via SSH or VNC and then manually check if it is still running, or just call “catcam:19999” in the browser.

Install on Raspbian Jessy via:

Catcam upgraded!

Written by  on March 13, 2018

Terminator is watching you!

Finally! The old catcam-setup of a RPi 3 with a NoIR v2.1-camera was working for almost one and ahalf years without any issues. I’ve had improved the PiCamGifForTumblr-script several times, also changed location – never any issues. More than 40.000 GIF were uploaded.
But then I decided to buy a new, fancy case in black (of course) which should add some camera-support. And then two weeks afterwards it stopped working. Sporadically frozen. Sometimes 10 min after start, sometimes during the night. I checked the casing, if all power connectors were tightly fit, I installed netdata on it, I did longterm temperature-measurements (never over 54 °C even with closed case), I ran with minimal setup or with cam attached.
Then it became clearer: the camera was working for singleshot-mode, but for the 30 pictures every ten minutes, it broke. So, it was time to order a new camera, 1080p (5 MPixel) were enough, but for four more Euro I could get two IR-illuminators … so, why not? The focal distance of the objective is adjustable, it looks like it works (long time-test needed). But I am happy. And we can watch cats (and family) in darkness :3

tracking bugs in complex systems ..

Written by  on March 6, 2018

Some weeks ago I’ve replaced the case of the ‘catcam’. A Raspberry Pi 3 which was running for 1.5 years without interruption with the nice script & python-upload triggered by a cronjob. And now the device freezes. Still running, but neither accessible via SSH nor VNC (of course, if SSH is not working ..).
I left the case open; removed the camera; upgraded kernel and Raspbian: nothing helped.
My last guess is that the camera stopped working. But to be sure I want to let the RPi3 long-time with temperature-logging. So … we need a simple program:

executed like this, because else the output is buffered up to 4 or 8 kByte:

and the content of the textfile is something like:

backup your Raspberry Pi-sd card

Written by  on February 28, 2018

Newer versions (8.24+) of coreutils dd have also a progress-option, but not the one bundled with the current distribution ..
add param: “status=progress”

The moment you login the first time remotely via app to your Redmine <3

Written by  on August 7, 2017

aka: Accessing Redmine outside your local network via Android-app.

I set up port-forwarding via the router. Dynamic name is set via the Synology NAS.
So the url to use is: http://metrik.myds.me:5002/redmine

And after testing 5 (in words: FIVE!) apps with really mixed results, I choose:
Redmine Mobile app made Easy

Redmine on Raspberry Pi 3

Written by  on August 6, 2017

There was the need to write down in a structured way all the ongoing (private) projects. Keeping track, assign them to the members of my family, etc ..
From former working experience I knew OTRS, Redmine and JIRA. All with their respective benefits and drawbacks. (tl;dr .. I prefer Redmine.)

Hardware: RPi3; 32 GByte SD-card; keyboard; mouse, 1920×1080-monitor; power-cable
Software: running Raspbian; then follow this tutorial

Since this does NOT yield success, add those steps:

Et voila: working version. Go on, create accounts, roles, projects and tickets 🙂

Enforce HDMI with 1920×1080 on Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspbian

Written by  on August 6, 2017

Ok, we have a brand new RPi, an SD-card with the latest Raspbian, some brand new monitor with HDMI-input only.
Everything is set up, the power plugged in, one LED shines, another one, then “no signal” on the monitor.
0. SSH-access not possible due to the fact that because of those botnet-takeovers of RPi in the past the default access was disabled for fresh images.
1. Wifi with VNC also impossible, because how to set the Wifi-credentials if you can’t see something?
2. VGA not possible due to hardware-limitations.
Great 🙂 I love when soft-/hardware does not work out of the box :’)

After a while of tinkering I remembered that I had to enforce the HDMI-ouput on the first RPi (the one for the catcam).
Can be set inside /boot/config.txt (leafpad is the current default editor on Raspbian).