i want a raspberry pi so bad…

why?  well, my dad was the epitomic gadget man – in 1989 we had two home computers, a remote that controlled the power/dim of all the lights in the house, and a watch/graphing calculator/portable game system that connected to a keyboard wirelessly, just to name a few examples – and i followed closely in those footsteps.

so then why hesitate, right?  i mean a raspberry pi barely costs anything compared to some gadgets that i’ve snapped up without blinking…  i’m hesitant because i don’t yet know what i’ll do with it.  i mean, there’s apparently very little you can’t do with it, but i want to have a purpose for this thing.

so this week i’ve gone into full-on ‘solution-looking-for-a-problem’ mode: i’ve decided to build myself a virtual raspberry pi using my linux mint laptop to see if i can find a use for it.  😀


raspberry pi runs raspbian which is, from what i can gather, essentially a bare-bones version of debian that’s been compiled for an ARM processor. i’m far too lazy to find and set up an ARM emulator, so i just decided to install the latest debian (7.5) as a virtualbox guest. i created the vbox image with 512MB RAM and an 8GB hard drive to emulate those dimensions of the raspi.


i only installed the debian base system at first (no window manager, no extra frills), and once that was all done i installed a few things i knew came with raspbian that i knew i would want to use:

  • the mate fork of gnome 2
  • python
  • openssh server


i wanted to work more like i would with a physical raspberry pi, so instead of using the linux box itself to access the vbox image, i set up port forwarding so that i could access the virtual raspi from my primary machine (a macbook pro) via ssh.

next up, i’ll be looking to set up VNC so i can look at that 800×600 gnome 2 desktop on the ridiculously high res retina screen of my desktop work horse! ha!

the board is nearly set

so, now that this is almost ready, i’m back to my original question… what do i do with it?! 😀