CS160A Media Server Challenge with Raspberry Pi

Getting started with the Linux system on the Raspberry Pi is easy and straightforward. This semester, we'll be in step with the material presented in CS160A by building a RasPi media server. Our course lasts for only 7 weeks and it is a detailed introduction to using Linux systems. Our goal will be to build a personalized Raspberry Pi Media Server using what we learn each week.

Week 1

Acquiring a Raspberry Pi is easy, there are many sellers and resellers online. I currently use a Raspberry Pi that I bought from Amazon. There are many places to purchase though:

  • Element14
  • Adafruit
  • Canakit
  • and many many others

      As a fun touch, I also went shopping for a nice enclosure and ended up with a nice enclosure from Etsy

      I already had a keyboard, mouse and display for temporary use so these components weren't necessary for me. All together, I spent about $50 on a fully functional computer.

      Getting an OS installed. Getting a Raspian image imaged can be tricky. I followed the instructions with a little bit of extra googling. Some kits come pre-installed with a distribution of Linux (Raspian). Canakit comes pre-loaded with noobs which is quite useful.

      Week 2

      Getting familiar with file systems to get a media server ready

      Turning on your local web server

      Some things I ran into right away:

      • My keyboard mapping was wrong and so I couldn't write things in like "@". This is because by default, the keyboard is "gb". change this by editing one line in your /etc/default/keyboard file. I did this by accessing a text file using:

        sudo vi /etc/default/keyboard

      • Then, I modified the one line that says XKBLAYOUT="gb" and changed it to XKBLAYOUT="us"

      Also, using the default browser ended up making my little rasPi freeze a lot. As a result, I installed lynx using the package manager i.e. a classic Linux command-line only utility

      Week 3

      File manipulation to organize your media files on a Linux system

      Week 4

      Filter, moving and searching for your files in bulk

      Week 5

      Give your media server boot-up access

      Week 6

      Searching media files

      Update: October 3, 2018

      For additional projects that you might want to implement into your Raspberry Pi Media Server, you could consider these features that have come up as "annoying things about Linux/Unix. For the most part, these are all things that can be customized using shell scripting and customization of the .bashrc file.

      • By default, there is no way to "go back" once a command has been executed.
      • By default, a "rm" command is a permanent "rm" and the system does not ask you again whether or not this is something that you actually want to do.
      • Always having to type in "pwd" to know where you are.

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