Raspberry Pi

Recently I got myself a raspberry Pi as a ‘quarantine gift’. It is my first experience with chips or boards. It is a small kid with all the functions of a linux machine. I do encounter some difficulties like its poor audio with 3.5 mm Jack output and have to figure out something else to get around it. But over all, I enjoy exploring all of its functions.

What I have built on it include a website server, syncronized cloud storage, NAS, media center, server monitor, etc. I listed all those entertainments and some tools I used in the homepage of the website.

home page of the website hosted on the raspberry pi
home page of the website hosted on the raspberry pi

Media Center

jellyfin

jellyfin is a media server. I used it to manage libaries for musics, movies and MVs, and stream to the home network.

plex

plex is something similar to jellyfin. I don’t know which one is better so just let both running.

installation

kodi

kodi is a media player. Both jellyfin and plex has their own web interface for online streaming. The streaming works in two ways, either transcoding in the server or on the player. Becuase raspberry is actually very weak on transcoding video, the latter just don’t work. Since some video format has to be transcoded before playing, I need to ensure the transcoding happens on the player side. Here Kodi fulfill the needs. Kodi is a home theatre player, with plugins to connect to jellyfin and plex seamlessly. In this way, the playing add little over head to the raspberry Pi and is very smooth.

jellyfin
jellyfin
kodi
kodi
bt - server monitor
bt - server monitor

NAS storage - samba

samba uses the smb protocal to share files. All machines in Windows, Mac and Linux can connect to it. For now I just add an old 500G hard drive for it. It is mainly for media files.

Bit Torrent - Transmission

It is a bit illegal but I am still using bit torrent service for high quality movies. The service comes from my undergraduate school, which is one among the few still avaliable in China. Many of its user are all over the world, so the speed is quite good in US as well.

A 24/7 bt client would be very helpful for upload/doanload ratio. I haven’t set up port forwarding yet, cause I don’t have access to the route yet. Not sure if the uploading is working. Lets see…

syncronized storage - NextCloud

samba provide huge storage on the server. But in order to synchronize your folders in many machine and let you work offline sometimes, one need service like dropbox or google drive. Google drive has huge space but some times is slow in real-time sync. Dropbox only give 2G space for free. NextCloud solve all these for you. It is real-time and one can use upto all the space you have in the server.

It is quite annoying to set up next cloud on your own. Luckily they have provided a docker image. That took one minute to set up.

Monitoring tools

bt

bt is very powerful on monitoring a server. It also let you install many sevices by one click. I used it to

VNC

The virtual desktop can be viewer from any other machine, including my 7 years old android phone.

installation

html webpage for download and logfile

I setup an html page for logfile. It prints a particular log file on the web and refreshes every 2 seconds. That is a quick way to monitoring a job without log into the machine.

I also set up another page for downloading files. Some times I need to find some apk for android apps. It is easier to download in my mac and get it from the web on my phones. Sounds more complicated, but it is simple when the flow has been set automatically. In such way I get rid of those Ads in those apk downloading website.

Tips - Other thing I learned along the way

zsh and oh-my-zsh

those are just a cool replacement for bash

Github is quite useful for my projects, and help me to maintain only one version in multiple machines. But how about the configuration files? Can you synchronized them? How?

I wasn’t able to do it, cause I don’t know where to put the git repo? Most configuration file are in the home directory with a . prefix. It is definitely too big to put a repo in my home direcory….and dot files are hidden and are ignored by git…

Any way, now I figured out how to do it. I just create a repo in my normal directory like ~/Documents/GitHub/some-config/. I remove the prefix, so .bash_aliases would be named as bash_aliases. Then I create a soft link ~/.bash_aliases, which points to the file in the repo and replace the original file with same name. In such way, I can easily maintain those configuration file over multiple machines. And the files are not hidden by default.