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Setup a Linux astroserver with Raspberry

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I have for a long time looking and read about those Linux astroservers. I'm a Windows user and don't know much about Linux. But now it's seems that they have come very far  with the functions they can do with a Linux and Raspberry (one card computer) system to control the telescope and connected equipment.

With a small Raspberry computer you lower the powerconsumption a lot, the weight is much lower and it's very small in size, you can mount it direct on the telescope. It's very cheap and you can divide the system on many computers if you wish. It's very amazing that a small thing like this can do so much! And the best of all, you can do a lot of the work in your Windows computer without any Linux installation, only Linux in the Raspberry computer, maybe later if I want to do more advanced things I have to install Linux in my PC, but not yet.

I just have to give it a try.

I will use the Kstars with Indidrivers and the Ekos software. One thing I must have is that the astroserver must be independent of the network and clients. Just use the client to start the process and have some overview. It doens't then matter if the network or clients goes down, the server will continue its work.

Do you find it interesting?

I have tried to document the steps I do when building this Linux/Raspberry system and have it on my homepage:



Just six days ago I know almost nothing about Linux and Raspberry, but now I'm almost there to have a working system. I had a massive help from the Swedish forum Astronet to achive this.

I update my homepage and correct it when I get more knowledge and experience.

Linux for astronomy use has evolved very much the last years, earlier it looks so complicated, now even I can setup a system, or at least I hope to get it to work, I'm not there yet. But it's the most exiting I have done for many years!



Edited by Astrofriend
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There are now a couple of active threads here on the subject. I am also going that route :)

Regarding one of the issue you mention on your website about resolution

"The screen resolution when I in remote mode with VNC is to low, I need 1920x1200 pixel"

there is a document in that thread on the INDI forum that gives a tip on how to fix this:



You should edit this document in the edit the following file in the Pi-boot partition which should have automatically mounted after the imaging process:

With the following options:
hdmi_mode=46 (1440 x 900@60Hz)

For the 3rd one, you can set your resolution to whatever you like. I set it to option 46 (1440 x 900) since that is my laptop resolution.

(The reason we are doing this is because when you connect via VNC from the remote computer and there is no HDMI device attached, you want it to have a decent resolution)


Hope that helps!

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Hi Vox,

Yes now I got it to work with your instructions and some help from INDi that you sugested. I replaced tightVNC with VinoVNC and then I got my desktop Raspberry on my remote VNC, then I changed the resoultion as you sugested and now I can run the Raspberry and test it.

Now I trying to start Kstars and connect to my Canon 6D camera. I get it to work but very slowly and it lockup sometimes. It feels like it is out of memory.

Anyway, with this I have come vary far. And I like this concept, if the Raspberry is slow now I just have to wait a halfyear and it will have com more powerful models.

I updated my homepage with the latest instructions if someone want to setup a Raspberry as I have done:


Most updates in part 3 and I have put in a lot of links to.


Thanks for the help!


Edited by Astrofriend
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Glad to know you worked it out!

So far I've found solutions for all the issues I had. That is the beauty of openSource ! Yes it takes time and ressearch and can be frustrating at time but I learned a lot and my setup is far more effecient than when I was running Windows ;)

Looks good to :)

Edited by Vox45
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I just want to share an elegant solution, that just came out (around august), for powering an external HDD and a PI

The issue has always been that powering an external HDD from the USB port of the PI is a bit problematic. Western Digital came out with an optimized drive for RPI with a proprietary cable that powers the drive AND the PI

The solution is quite cheap (cable and 341GB drive for ~50£) note that the cable and drive have proprietary connectors, the drive is specifically made for the PI

Here is the link for the accessories and drive: https://www.wdc.com/en-gb/products/wdlabs.html

and a youtube link showing how it all connects





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Hi Vox45,

Yes, that could be usefull in future for me and others, thank you for sharing!


I contiinue my setup of the Kstars/Ekos system. Now the control of EQMod mount working very well, but the Canon 6D camera lock, both Kstars and the camera itselfe. What I know there are others who use this camera with Kstars/Ekos so it's just something with my setup.

I had to redo my installation and setup from scratch, and now I used my own project instructions, the instructions is a collection from others and my text that connect them together with comments, I have update it a lot and I think it's pretty good now:




This instruction is when you have everything related to Linux, Kstars/Ekos & INDI installed on the astroserver and the client is a Windows machine, but you can use part of it for other configurations.


My problem to solve that is left now is:


Canon 6D camera communication, why does it hang the Kstars? It opens the shutter, the problem seems to be transfer of the image from the camera to Ekos.


When connection the camera it's mounted by automatic to desktop, I have disable it but still it's doing this. But very easy to unmount manually so I can it like this when testing.


How to replace ip number with hostname when connecting with VNC, I think I have tried every combination without success.




Edited by Astrofriend

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2 hours ago, Astrofriend said:


How to replace ip number with hostname when connecting with VNC, I think I have tried every combination without success.

Try <hostname>.local

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I still can't connect to my Raspberry.

This are my names:






On Raspberry in terminal window it display: rb01.raspberr: @


In UltraVNC I had tried every combination (local network)






and now





But with IP adress it connect as it should, but because it is a dynamic ip adress I don't know for sure what it is.




I'm cleary don't understand this how to connect in with a hostname.



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Can you connect with SSH using PuTTY? That would tell you if the problem is the VNC server. I use X11vnc as my server.

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You can set up a fixed IP address in the Raspberry OS.

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I think the VNC server work as it should becauser when I connect with IP number there isn't any problem. I will try SSH and PuTTY and see what it will say, just have to figure out how to used it.



Yes that's how I have solved it earlier with a fixed IP address. But then I have problem to connect to internet with the astroserver (over local network which is not only my own sometimes). Maybe that problem is something in the setup too.


Thansk for help and the ideas to solve it!



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Hi Jazza,


Always more combination to try :-) , it says that the display is defoult set to =0 so maybe it could work.









Sorry, no connection.




Edited by Astrofriend

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Have you tried:



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Hi Kens,


I tried





but also





Because in the UltraVNC windows thay have "host::port" as an example. I haven't seen anywere to use "::" as a delimiter earlier.


Didn't work.


Thanks for the idea!



Edited by Astrofriend

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If you can connect with an IP address but not with a name then it sounds like there is no name/ip mapping.

You can test this by noting the IP address and then adding an entry to the hosts file.

On Windows, hosts lives in Windows\System32\drivers\etc and is a plain text file.

You should see some examples in there, but basically:

x.x.x.x        raspberr

Its usually a tab char between the ip and name.

This sets up a mapping and then you should be able to ping raspberr.

Assuming that works then UltraVNC should as well, with a port number if needed.

So that only works with a static IP address. If you need dynamic then you will need to set up a DHCP and DNS pair so that a DNS entry gets created with the correct IP.

You should also be able to configure DHCP so it always gives your RPi the same IP address.

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Hi dwc,

It sounds that I shouldn't try another twohundred combination of usernames :-)

I don't have much knowledge of network setup even if I had spent many many years with computers.


26 minutes ago, dwc said:

If you need dynamic then you will need to set up a DHCP and DNS pair so that a DNS entry gets created with the correct IP.

My client is a windows machine and my astro server is a Raspberry with Linux. Shall I use your above information to setup both machines if I have dynamic address?


Many thanks!



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