I'm thinking of buying a Raspberry Pi. Can I connect it (preferably by just one cable) to a PC, so that the PC provides power, keyboard, mouse, monitor and storage? Or, all of that except power at least. Will it connect to BT's WiFi Broadband service?
Please excuse my ignorance.
I think I am an Elephant,
Behind another Elephant
You can connect it to your BT box with a WiFi dongle or cable. You need a monitor, keyboard and mouse unless you choose to run VNC and/or a SSH such as Putty from your PC. You can power it from a PSU, USB or a power supply to the relevant GPIO pins but a dedicated PSU is probably more reliable. I use a PSU and WIFi dongle from Farnell and SSH using putty. Adequate for my own needs but not using all the potential
Nearest to what you want is probably PC running, say, VNC viewer and PuTTY, RR Pi running tightvnc server and ssh server. Plug your R Pi into you network (you could use a wireless 'dongle') and have a PSU for the R Pi.
The standard 'image' for the R Pi doesn't include the above but I have modified a version (originally for a school application) which I've made available FOC. You are welcome to a copy. You just need to 'burn' it to a 8G SD card and off you go. It also has a web server and FTP server. I forget who much of the 8G is used but not much, most is available for you use.
- Ethernet connection to my PC which gives me full terminal access via SSH: known as 'headless operation', so you don't need screen/keyboard/mouse attached to the RPi.
There are instructions for setting the SD card up for SSH access here:
This assumes you'll be running Debian Linux on the RPI rather than some other OS or another flavour of Linux. These tell you how to flash the SD card with the Raspbian flavour of Debian and then edit it so the sshd server is up and running when you first boot your RPi - i.e. you can just start up the SSH client on your PC and login in over the Ethernet connection.
I'm running Fedora 18 on my PCs and Raspbian Debian on the RPi. It 'just works'. I run the RPi at runlevel 3, so only have command line access: this is my preference. However, it is was running at the default runlevel (5) and had X11 forwarding enabled for the sshd server on the RPi and X11 forwarding enabled for the SSH client on my other boxes I could use the RPi's graphical desktop.
This will work if you're running Linux on your PC or a full X11 server on a Windows box: PuTTY is an excellent SSH client for Windows but is command line only because it doesn't include an X11 server and so doesn't do X11 forwarding. I don't know graphical Windows X11 packages well enough to recommend one.
martin@ | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
Peter, using the RPi as a headless system is covered here:
I've used both wired and wirelss network connections, and the PuTTY software on my (Windows) PC. I normally run just text, but I did try X-windows once and it worked across the network.
I've always used a separate power connection (like a mobile phone charger - 5V 1.5-2 A) as the power from the PC's USB port would not be enough for RPi plus peripherals. Storage is normally the SD card physically on the RPi.
It's easiest is to use 2 cables one USB for power and one network for the conrol and data.
Howeveer if you simply must have a single cable solution:
You could connect a FTDI usb-3.3V serial cable on the console port on the expansion connector to do a single cable connection using it for power and run SLIP or PPP over it for data and control but I'd consider that as more a novelty than a general purpose connection option.
Another option could be to hack a pair of usb-to-wired-network adaptors so that they share the same power bus and use that cable to connect the pi to your PC. Recent spins of the RPi platform allow power input via the USB "A" sockets.
Raspberry Pi breaks the USB spec for power consumption, howvewr it usually works fine powered off a PC USB socket, and should always work on a USB3 socket.