System S/W setup

[Updated 3/3/2017]

Changing password to something simple

For hopefully obvious reasons Linux / Rasbian forces you to use passwords of a minimum strength. But where you have Pi either offline or protected in other ways from online attach you can get this with

sudo passwd pi

Checking Kernel version 

uname -a

Upgrading Software

To just update the basis system and application files

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

To bring your Pi upto the latest standard including the new UI

[ NOTE  – I suspect you should NOT try this with the BrickPi moded image !]

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer
sudo apt-get install -y realvnc-vnc-server

changing back to plain screen – the old raspberry is still in there – it’s just not the default. Use the Appearance Settings application to select it – it’s in /usr/share/raspberrypi-artwork/raspberry-pi-logo-small.png

Stuff you can get rid of to save a bit of space, I tend to delete a few things that I never use, it saves a bit of SD space and also speeds up any future update

sudo apt-get purge -y wolfram-engine
sudo apt-get purge -y sonic-pi
sudo apt-get purge -y libreoffice*
sudo apt-get clean -y
sudo apt-get autoremove -y

Sticking with the ‘old wallpaper’

You can find the original wall paper in :-


Setting up pip and things

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y python-dev python-setuptools python-pip

to remove mathematica & Libra office – to save a bit of room [ about 500mb]

apt-get purge wolfram-engine
sudo apt-get purge libreoffice*
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove

Forcing time to re-sync on your Pi

sudo /etc/init.d/ntp stop 
sudo ntpd -q -g 
sudo /etc/init.d/ntp start


Auto start from GUI

Create a file called ‘’ on your desktop, this has the application[s] you want to auto auto run in, in this case a python app called ‘gentle’

#!/bin/sh -e
lxterminal --command="python /home/pi/snow/"

make this executable with the following command. The lxterminal bit ensures the screen info is sent to the default desktop rather than thin air

chmod +x

test your ‘’ script file from a terminal window to confirm it will work in the way you want.


Then in


Create a new folder called ‘autostart’

In this folder use nano to create a new script file called ‘auto.desktop’ with the following lines

[Desktop Entry]

The advantage to this 2 stage approach is that you can more easily edit and test your autorun file than if you tried to include everything in the single auto.desktop script



Turning off screen blanking   / timeout

In brief, this is what must be done for Raspbian…

Disable text terminals from blanking
change two settings in /etc/kbd/config
POWERDOWN_TIME=0Disable Xsession from blanking
Additional info … _Signaling
Add these lines to /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart
@xset s noblank
@xset s off
@xset -dpms

UpDate: (Jan 27th, 20115)
The file changed from /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart -to- /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart
If the file location has changed on the version you are using, the script will need to be edited