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hpr2023 :: Setting up my Raspberry Pi 3

I bought a RPi 3, a case, a heatsink and an SSD and have set the Pi up as a server

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Hosted by Dave Morriss on 2016-05-04 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Raspberry Pi, SSD, Raspbian. 6.
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Duration: 00:28:36


Setting up my Raspberry Pi 3

I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 in March 2016, soon after it was released. I want to use it as a server since it's the fastest Pi that I own, so I have tried to set it up in the best way for that role.

In this episode I describe what I did in case you want to do something similar.

Refer to the full notes for the details:


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Comment #1 posted on 2016-05-04 08:02:18 by Mike Ray

Pi3 in a Metal Box

If you put a Pi3 in a metal box it acts as a good Faraday cage and the WiFi and Bluetooth RF cannot get in or out.

Good episode. I bought one of the PiBow cases recently and the layer pieces snapped apart in several places. Very poor quality in my opinion.

Comment #2 posted on 2016-05-04 14:53:06 by JWP

GNU Nano Editor

The GNU Nano Editor is a real hardcore editor for people who do not want to hurt themselves with an editor.

Comment #3 posted on 2016-05-04 18:29:43 by Dave Morriss

Faraday cage, Pibow and Nano

Hi Mike!

Thanks for confirming: yes I thought a metal case would block both WiFi and Bluetooth as you say. However, these are being sold as suitable for the Pi 3, though I imagine this is more to do with the size. Seems odd though.

The Pibow cases are made of quite thin acrylic - 2.8mm thick according to my digital callipers. Some layers have quite narrow pieces which wrap around items on the board like the USB connectors. Also you have to remove a protective film from each layer, which can put strain on these narrow parts as you peel it off. I have nearly snapped them on occasion, but the trick is to be slow and steady as you peel and support the weaker pieces. Once assembled the layers above and below keep everything nice and firm I find.


There's nothing inherently wrong with Nano, it's simple to use and does the job. I used Pico (on a VAX Cluster running VMS where it was the editor for the Pine mail client) for many years. However, it was a tremendous relief to move away to a more powerful editor like EDT and TPU on the VAX, then Emacs and Vi/Vim on Unix.

Finding myself presented with Nano is a shock when my fingers and brain are trying to operate in Vim mode, so I want to install Vim as soon as I can - preferably with my own .vimrc and all the plugins I normally use!

Comment #4 posted on 2016-05-07 14:01:47 by Mike Ray

Metal boxes and Emacs

I suppose there may be enough holes in a metal Pi case to let some of the RF in or out but as the antennas are on the PCB it would be very inefficient compared to being put in a plastic case.

Editors? Emacs of course is the only true editor, Emacspeak doubly so.

Comment #5 posted on 2016-05-16 19:36:32 by Beeza

Alternative Pi Server Setup

Hi Dave

Thanks for a very interesting show.

I am using a Pi2 as a file server but avoided a lot of complexity buy using SSHFS. I can connect a client to the server with one line typed in a terminal window. From then on the server can be accessed as if it were a local folder on the client. Very simple, very reliable.

I'm not sure I followed the rationale for booting from the attached SSD, given that you still have to have a microSD card in the Pi.

Whichever way you connect, a Pi + SSD is a great low-cost server solution. I'm staggered that small businesses aren't so far buying them in huge numbers.

I always enjoy your shows, Dave. Please keep them coming.

Comment #6 posted on 2016-05-16 21:50:52 by Dave Morriss


Thanks for the comments Beeza!

I tend to use NFS out of habit. I spent many years setting up NFS between Unix systems and others at my work, so it's what I do. I have used SSHFS briefly, but not as a permanent thing. I will consider using it more.

My thinking about using the SSD was that it's built for long-term repeated use, whereas a microSD is not engineered to the same standards. I have heard of SD cards failing in the past and I don't want that to happen with this server. I reasoned that the microSD would get very light use in this configuration so would last longer. My information might be out of date though!

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