A Raspberry Pi is a super cheap ($35-60) computer. I spent a few hours setting up a Raspberry Pi, connecting it to my home wifi, enabling remote access and setting up WordPress.
My goal was to get a home network set up and give myself a platform to try things like hosting a WordPress locally, play with mini home automation projects (e.g. change the light outside my door when I’m in a meeting), or a long horizon timelapse of each day outside our window with a cheap camera.
What do you need?
I spent around $100 to get all these components (with Amazon links):
- Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB Ram)
- Micro SD Card (32GB)
- USB C SD Card Reader (for Macbook Pro)
- USB C Charger (for Raspberry Pi)
What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?
I read a bunch of articles, but here are my a few that I recommend:
- A couple on Hacker News with my favorite being the good samaritan who shared the live bus schedule with travelers
- Hardware add ons and corresponding use cases
- A good write up of all the home automation software options
- Home automation ideas here and here
- Set up a WordPress site
How do you set it up?
I pretty much followed this guide, which was pretty good, and it’s designed for folks who want to use their Raspberry Pi without a screen, as a stand alone device.
The main steps are:
- Install the Raspbian operating system on your SD Card (don’t bother with the Etcher step, you don’t need that)
- Set up your Raspberry Pi to connect automatically to your home WiFi (SD card slot is on the other side)
- SSH into your Raspberry Pi and change your login credentials
- Download Real VNC and set up and update the operating system
- Install and set up Docker to allow containerization of applications
- Install a web app (I installed WordPress afterwards)
A couple of other useful videos are:
- Raspberry Pi getting started beginners guide from Crosstalk solutions, but it assumes you have a screen plugged in.
- Useful video guide for explaining Docker and containers but it’s a little more technical and in depth.
How To SET up WordPRess?
I followed this guide which let me set up via command line (not using Docker). This was pretty straightforward except when installing MariaDB which needed s different command to install (updated below):
sudo apt install default-mysql-server php-mysql -y
I’m looking forward to playing around with this some more, and potentially investing in some light home automation in the future.