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Setting Up Headless Raspberry Pi 3 for INDI Focuser


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Procedures for installing Raspbian and INDI library etc. on a new Raspberry Pi 3 B and micro SD card.

I shall insert links where appropriate to places where various pieces of hardware and software may be obtained.  In most cases there are other sources of hardware which might be cheaper (but not necessarily better).

I shall describe the procedures as I do them with suggestions I think appropriate.  I shall post in fairly small steps to make things as clear as I can as I hope this will be useful to others.

The operating system is Raspbian Jessie Lite (Release date: 2016-09-23)  which is a minimal installation with no GUI and hence called "headless".  This will be installed on a new 8GB micro SD card using a USB card adapter and Win32DiskImager software to install using Windows (I'm using Win7).

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After downloading Raspbian Jessie Lite, the .img file is extracted from the .zip using Extract All from the right click menu on the .zip file.

Next stage is to write the .img file to the micro SD using Win32 Disk imager.  These screenshots show the process - firstly run Win32 Disk Imager and check that it has chosen the right device for writing.  Select the Image File (2016-09-23-raspbianjessie-lite.img) and Open it.  Finally, Write the image to SD.

Win32DiskImager 01.JPG
Win32DiskImager 02.JPGWin32DiskImager 03.JPG
Win32DiskImager 04.JPG

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Micro SD card inserted into Raspberry Pi 3 B and the latter powered from Raspberry Pi Mains Adapter.  RPi connected to router with Ethernet cable.

Run PuTTY and insert IP Address for the RPi - this may be obtained from your router management screen.  You may want to alter the text size of the PuTTY screen display from the tiny 10 point default - I changed it to 18 point.  Once things are set up, it's a good idea to Save the settings for future use - type the file name for the saved info in the Saved Sessions box and click Save.  These procedures are shown in the following screenshots.  Note - the Saved Sessions include my earlier sessions for other RPi sessions.

IP Address 01.JPGPuTTY 01.JPGPuTTY Configuration 01.JPGPuTTY Configuration 02.JPGPuTTY Configuration 03.JPG

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Next step is to Open PuTTY.  With the new SSH connection, PuTTY comes up with a Security Alert asking you to check that you're accessing the right host computer.  Click Yes to confirm and the SSH login window is displayed.  Log in as pi with password of raspberry and the initial text is displayed followed by the command line.


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We are now ready to apply any updates/upgrades and set up system files and install software.  First though we need to expand the file system to make room for installing software.  Details about this are here :-  raspi-config

Ran sudo raspi-config and Expanded Filesystem also changed password to a shorter one.  System rebooted to make changes effective with  sudo reboot.   Now need to re-run PuTTY as rebooting closes the session.

New session :-


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Next running sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade to update repositories and upgrade software.

Screenshots showing end of update and ready to upgrade.  With the "Y" a Return will answer yes and let the upgrade proceed.



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With the OS upgrades completed we can now install libraries.  We need the bcm3825 chip library to use the GPIO and the INDI and Astroberry libraries for the hardware drivers and INDI server.

bcm2835 library added using the following command lines, executed one at a time.

wget http://www.airspayce.com/mikem/bcm2835/bcm2835-1.50.tar.gz
tar xvfz bcm2835-1.50.tar.gz
cd bcm2835-1.50
sudo make install

Next to make this up to date with sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade.  And sudo reboot to finish the installation.


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NOTE - If at any time you want to shutdown the RPi rather than just unplugging and risking corrupting the system it's best to shut down the OS properly using sudo shutdown -h -P now.

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Installing the INDI library full edition next.

First to install the dependencies :-

sudo apt-get install cdbs libcfitsio3-dev libnova-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libjpeg-dev libusb-dev libtiff5-dev libftdi-dev fxload libkrb5-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev dcraw libgphoto2-dev libgsl0-dev dkms libboost-regex-dev libgps-dev libdc1394-22-dev

The instructions tell you to download the INDI library next but no instructions for using a headless RPi - only downloading with a graphical interface.  I ended up downloading the indilib file to my Win7 desktop and copying the file to the RPi using FileZilla to FTP across to the RPi. 

Just entered the RPi IP address in Host then Username and Password, Port 22 - then clicked Quickconnect.  Transferred from local window to remote window with drag and drop.

Here is a screenshot of the FileZilla window on Win7 and the resultant list of files on the RPi in the PuTTY window.  (Linux command ls lists files in current directory.)  Incidentally the file "index.html" is there as a mistake on my part.  I could have used FileZilla to delete it while I had it open but I didn't.

FileZilla 01.JPG


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That was yesterday and today I have tried an update and upgrade and new download of the indilib daily build file and run dpkg to install with the same errors! :(

Now I'm stuck and need advice, please.  Pretty please :)

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Excellent post but, just a suggestion, I wouldn't be advertising specific network information (as per your third post). 

Information can be trawled but not publishing it will at least make a hacker's job a bit more difficult ...


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Instructions to cure the problem were :- 

# apt-get install linux-image-generic
# apt-get install linux-headers-generic

but that has resulted in a different problem.  Maybe I shall have to install the full version of Raspbian and delete the GUI stuff afterwards :(

Errors 01.JPG

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Yes, I think that's what I'll have to do.  As I recall from previous installations, the full version is not all that big - something like 6 or 7 GB so I can still use an 8GB probably.

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11 hours ago, Gina said:

Google has come up with a result but I shall need to read it a few times to get my head round it :D

As you kinow, where any sort of linux is concerned I may be talking complete rubbish, but would it make any difference that the poster was installing ububtu and you are installing Raspbian - might this be why you got the additional error messages?

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Good point and well spotted - thank you :)  I hadn't noticed that.  Yes, I think that could well be why I'm getting the new errors.  The original error is probably from the same cause further back, maybe all the way to Debian on which all these forks are based.  Seems to be a question of version numbers which could be a bit difficult to sort out - and I'm not up to it!  The simplest answer must be to avoid the problem by using the full version of Raspbian as this seems to work.

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I downloaded the latest version of Raspbian Jessie with Pixel overnight but it won't extract - guess there's an error in the downloaded file.  Since I don't really want to wait several hours to try again I'm thinking of installing an earlier version and upgrading (sudo apt-get update - sudo apt-get upgrade - sudo reboot).  I think that should end up with the same result - but am I right?

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Depends :) 

If it is an earlier version of Jessie then it will upgrade to the latest.

If it is an earlier release (e.g. Wheezy) then it will only update as far as the final updates for that release.

Clever Analogy :D :  If you had Windows 7 then it wouldn't apply Windows 10 updates.

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