I bought my Raspberry Pi a few months ago, mostly out of curiosity. I set up HAP-NodeJS on it over the next few weeks and got this HomeKit project working. Recently I have been tinkering a lot with ESP8266/Arduino and decided to document some projects on this website. For the HomeKit project, I had chosen to use my Raspberry Pi as the HAP server. To help make a better guide for the project (and help me not to forget!), a few days ago I put in a new SD card into the Pi and set it up from scratch. Here are the steps I followed.

Note: I am not a software developer, so I might have made some newbie mistakes and taken some shortcuts. I would appreciate if someone can point them out.

“RPiKit”

NOOBS

My Raspberry Pi came with an SD card pre-installed with NOOBS, but this time I am using a blank one.

  • Download NOOBS here.

  • Here are the instructions for installing NOOBS and then Raspbian

    • In my case SD Card was mounted as disk1s1
    • Copied files from NOOBS Packacge to SD card
    • Insert SD card in to RPi, connect an HDMI display, mouse/KB and power up
    • Install Raspbian
  • If you did everything correctly you should have a working installation of Raspbian. At this point, you have an HDMI display, keyboard and mouse connected, so it is rather clunky. First thing, lets get WiFi working.

EDIMAX Wifi

My Raspberry Pi kit came with an EDIMAX wifi dongle.

  • Follow instructions here

    • First check if wifi module is detected: dmesg | more
    • Add your WiFi credentials

    sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces - The file should look as follows:

    auto lo 
    
    iface lo inet loopback  
    
    iface eth0 inet dhcp    
    
    allow-hotplug wlan0 
    
    auto wlan0  
    
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp   
    
    wpa-ssid "Your Network SSID"    
    
    wpa-psk "Your Password"
    
    • Connect to the network

    sudo service networking reload - Check if you have a valid IP address

    ifconfig - Should look something like this.

    wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 80:1f:02:aa:12:58
    
     inet addr:192.168.1.8 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
    
     UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    
     RX packets:154 errors:0 dropped:173 overruns:0 frame:0
    
     TX packets:65 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    
     collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    
     RX bytes:32399 (31.6 KiB) TX bytes:13036 (12.7 KiB)
    
  • Now that wifi is working, next step is to enable SSH, so you can get rid of the keyboard, mouse and HDMI display.

Enable SSH

SSH lets you remotely connect to your Raspberry Pi and get access to its terminal. VPN would be an option, but since most of your work is going to be in terminal, it is rather pointless (and sluggish).

  • Enable SSH in this menu

sudo raspi-config

  • Try to SSH in from you computer. Defaults password is raspberry

ssh 192.168.1.155 -l pi

  • Now that SSH is working, time for some customization.

Customizations

Customize hostname

The default hostname is raspberrypi, I wanted to rename it to something shorter like, say, AdyPi

  • Open the hostname file in nano

sudo nano /etc/hostname

  • Rename to AdyPi, save and exit

  • Ensure that hostname gets applied on boot

sudo /etc/init.d/hostname.sh

sudo reboot

  • When you SSH in the next time, you prompt should look like pi@AdyPi

Change password

More here

  • Basically just one command

passwd

TFT Driver


“RPiTFT”

I bought this super cheap $15 3.5" TFT touch screen. It is not really useful for the HomeKit project, but since I have it, might as well make it work!

  • First copy files to Raspberry

rsync -avz -e ssh Downloads/raspberry_35_inch_ts/LCD_show.tar.gz pi@192.168.1.155:TFTDriver/

  • Install the driver
 tar -xzvf LCD_show.tar.gz

 cd  LCD-show

 sudo ./LCD35_v1
  • RPi should reboot and TFT should start

  • If you want to use the HDMI, you can run command: sudo./LCD_hdmi

  • Note: When you update the sytem, you must prevent the bootloader from updating

 sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-bootloader
 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get upgrade

Some useful commands

  • SSH: ssh pi@192.168.1.155

  • Shutdown: sudo shutdown -h now

  • Reboot: sudo shutdown -r 0

  • Disk space: df -h

To do

  • VPN

  • screen: This helps to monitor multiple processes running on the RPi. Very useful when running HAP-NodeJS and mosca (MQTT broker) at the same time.

  • Start processes at bootup