Pi-hole DNS Server

Vote For Your Favorite New Pi-hole Logo - Pi-hole®: A ...
Network-wide Ad Blocking

I have had a Pi-hole set up near my cable modem for at least 1-2 years now? Time moves differently for me for the last 18 months. Regardless, my Pi-hole device just sits there, filtering out ads from the network. I highly recommend setting up a Pi-hole for your home. It’s cheap, easy, effective and efficient!

What is it?
A cheap Raspberry Pi computer with an SD card. Gets power from a phone charger and connects with a simple Ethernet cable. Runs passively without any fans at about 37 degrees C.

How do you use it?
You can set it up as a Wifi source, or you can add the IP address in your wifi settings for DNS server. Use the same IP address in your web browser to see a web interface. From there you can modify the whitelist/blacklist and see in real time how many ads are being rejected.

Pi-Hole on Docker using OMV Raspberry Pi 4 "Network Wide ...

How do you set it up?
There are many guides. Here is a good one:
https://www.instructables.com/Pi-Hole-Setup-Guide/

Essentially, what is involved?
You flash a linux OS for Raspberry Pi onto your SD card using something like the Balena Etcher. I prefer “dietpi”, which is a low resource Debian distro.
https://dietpi.com/
A simple 8GB or higher card will suffice. Then you install Pi-hole on it.

How do you maintain it?
Every now and then, it’s good to log into it with SSH and run a “sudo apt update/upgrade” (if you choose a Debian distro). That’s it.

I have over 4 million domains on my blocklist and it makes a HUGE difference when I load websites without Pi-hole DNS configured in my wifi settings.

Bonus: You can SSH into it and install lynx, mc and any other useful linux terminal programs and have fun with it. As a double-bonus, you could even host web services like subsonic or ftp using it!

Setup a DIY Retro Gaming device with all of your favorite games

Using a Raspberry Pi, create a Retro Gaming device that can connect to a TV or computer monitor (HDMI or RCA).
Equipment needed:
*Raspberry Pi 3 B+ or Raspberry Pi 4 with Power Adapter
*Micro SD Card & Reader
*PC to setup the SD Card
*USB Keyboard
*HDMI Cable or 3.5MM Video AV Component Adapter

Migrate from Windows to Ubuntu with 3 lines in a terminal

You can obviously tailor this list to your needs, but with this post you can install at once these programs in a Debian-based distribution (x86 or Raspberry Pi!):
FTP, audio editor/streamer/player/tagger, office suite, radio streamer, remote desktop client, video editor, web browser, social media, disc utility, bit torrent client, email client, virtual machine, photo editor, CAD, CD burner, comic/ebook reader

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

sudo apt install filezilla audacity vlc rhythmbox thunderbird lynx mc krita libreoffice brasero gparted picard freecad transmission remmina obs-studio kid3-qt sound-juicer snapd p7zip-full p7zip-rar

sudo snap install freac foliate telegram-desktop

At the end of the page is an explanation of which programs do what.
Note: Every program on this list works on almost any Debian-based Raspberry Pi distribution, including Kali, Ubuntu Mate, Ubuntu Desktop, Raspberry PI OS

Tip for games and tweaks:
There’s a CLI program called pi-kiss that can install multiple games, emulators, system configurations, tweaks, tools, scripts, etc.

curl -sSL https://git.io/JfAPE | bash

Launch the program:
cd /root/piKiss
./piKiss.sh

Continue reading “Migrate from Windows to Ubuntu with 3 lines in a terminal”

Install nifty Raspberry Pi Imager program on any Debian distro

The Raspberry Pi Image program that comes with Raspberry Pi OS allows you to install an OS (similar to Etcher but with Pi images incorporated into it) to SD card, SSD, etc. Has lots of stock images, including Retropie, several Ubuntu variants, Raspberry Pi OS and more. You can also flash a custom image and wipe drives.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install rpi-imager

My64 – mini ITX system in a *new* c64 case

This is a project that I definitely WILL do early next year:

I thought the whole setup was great except for one annoying thing: I don’t like cables coming out the sides of anything.  I know this is standard procedure – even a macbook pro costing thousands of dollars does this. Would have been nice to have the power on the back. But this is a clean setup, looks great and isn’t too expensive, relatively speaking.
When I got to the end and saw what the function keys did I almost spit my coffee.
Outstanding!
The mainboard/CPU mini-itx combo was really interesting. I didn’t know those existed, especially at that low price. I tried to find the board and they are out of stock everywhere but even better – the highest end version of the board is available for only $120:
Now that ARM processors are coming to the market for desktop computing, I wonder what kind of mini-computing setups we will see in the near future. I can picture something that looks like a 5″x5″x1″ shape that people shove behind a monitor that has Windows 10 and an SSD drive for under $200. We’ll see…

Raspberry Pi OS Update December 2020

There are many great improvements to Raspberry Pi OS for the Pi enthusiasts.

  • Chromium browser updated to version 84, which allows smoother video playback in sites like Youtube.com.
  • PulseAudio sound server instead of ALSA, which allows for simultaneous playback and improves Bluetooth options.
  • CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System was added so that wifi printers are now accessible.
  • For the visually impaired: The screen reader audio can now be played through Bluetooth devices and improvements to Orca screen reader support.

To update your Raspberry Pi to this new OS update, open a terminal and type:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

Then, install the PulseAudio Bluetooth support:

sudo apt purge bluealsa
sudo apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth

Next step is to reboot your Pi. Enjoy! 🙂

For those having issues updating the audio, the Pi Foundation created this guide:

To swap over the volume and input selector on the taskbar from ALSA to PulseAudio, after your Raspberry Pi has restarted, right-click a blank area on the taskbar and choose Add / Remove Panel Items. Find the plugin labelled Volume Control (ALSA/BT) in the list, select it and click Remove; then click the Add button, find the plugin labelled Volume Control (PulseAudio) and click Add. Alternatively, just open the Appearance Settings application from the Preferences section of the Main Menu, go to the Defaults tab and press one of the Set Defaults buttons.

Some people have reported that some applications are ignoring the effect of the PulseAudio output switcher. This is probably caused by an old ALSA configuration file still being on the system. Once you have updated, execute the following in a terminal window, which should fix this:

rm ~/.asoundrc

To remove the old Audio Preferences application, which will not work with PulseAudio, do:

sudo apt purge pimixer

Using a Raspberry Pi 4 as a daily driver

During the Covid lockdown, I have challenged myself to use a Raspberry Pi 4 as a daily driver computer and so far, it has lived up to the task.

The Pi 4 is using Raspberry Pi OS (formerly ‘Raspbian’) running off of an SSD. I have a DAC/ADC, CD-RW, external SD card reader, and several other accessories connected to it using a powered USB hub. This hub is connected to and taking full advantage of the USB 3.0 capabilities. The case it’s housed in has full HDMI ports and spreads the connections out in the back, so there’s no cables going in at all angles. I created a guide so you can build and of course, customize your own system.

I take a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I’m using a very inexpensive computer to do all of my tasks, even audio/video editing and CAD/3D modeling! There’s even a section telling you how to run Retropie on top of Raspberry Pi OS for all of your video gaming needs. Please check out the guide. There are plenty of great tips and tricks for using a Raspberry Pi 4 as a PC.  If you see anything I missed or any issues, leave a comment and I’ll make additions/corrections. Posted on Categories Linux, Raspberry Pi, Retro Games, Streaming MusicLeave a comment on Using a Raspberry Pi 4 as a daily driver

Install SDR (Software Defined Radio) Software GQRX on a Mac

So, you are interested in using an SDR module and SDR software on your Mac?
Homebrew is the easiest install method I have found. The other method involves MacPorts. I was successful using this method on one Mac. On the other… nope.

GQRX is a great open-source program that will do the trick.

First you will need homebrew (if you don’t already have it). It’s a great source for open-source software!

xcode-select --install

The first command may not work in your system. If not, proceed to the second one.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"

Verify the install worked.

brew doctor

Then you will need to run the homebrew command in a terminal.

brew cask install gqrx

Install Spotify Connect on your Raspberry Pi with ‘raspotify” on Raspberry Pi OS

Setting up Spotify Connect on the Raspberry Pi

First update your Pi’s OS:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Install ‘curl’ and ‘apt-transport-https’

sudo apt install -y apt-transport-https curl

Add the raspotify repository and the GPG key:

curl -sSL https://dtcooper.github.io/raspotify/key.asc | sudo apt-key add -v - 
echo 'deb https://dtcooper.github.io/raspotify raspotify main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspotify.list

Install ‘raspotify’:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install raspotify

You should now be able to go into the Spotify app on your phone or tablet and select your pi from the device choices.

Tweaking:

You can change your Pi’s device name and the bit rate of the stream by editing the configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/default/raspotify

Look for the device name and bitrate strings and make any desired edits. Then save and restart the raspotify service:

DEVICE_NAME="raspotify"
BITRATE="160"
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart raspotify

Troubleshooting:
raspotify – no sound even though phone is connected to Pi

Source for further investigation: https://github.com/dtcooper/raspotify/issues/31

Use aplay -l to see devices. Sample output:

pi@lab9:~ $ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: b1 [bcm2835 HDMI 1], device 0: bcm2835 HDMI 1 [bcm2835 HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 3/4
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3

card 1: Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones], device 0: bcm2835 Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones]
  Subdevices: 4/4
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3

card 2: sndrpihifiberry [snd_rpi_hifiberry_dacplusadc], device 0: HiFiBerry DAC+ADC HiFi multicodec-0 [HiFiBerry DAC+ADC HiFi multicodec-0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Edit the raspotify configuration:

sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/raspotify.service

Find the “ExecStart” line and add the device.
In this case (example above), desired device is sndrpihifiberry.
Card is 2 and Device is 0. Use “–device hw:2,0” in configuration.

ExecStart=/usr/bin/librespot --name ${DEVICE_NAME} $BACKEND_ARGS --bitrate ${BITRATE} $CACHE_ARGS $VOLUME_ARGS $OPTIONS --device hw:2,0

Restart the service:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart raspotify