Installing GIMP on Raspberry Pi

About six months ago I wrote a post about trying out GIMP. For the people who don’t know, GIMP is a free and open source photo editing software. For more details on what GIMP does, read trying out GIMP.

Anyway, the point of bringing up that past article is because this post is about GIMP. More specifically about installing GIMP on a Raspberry Pi (I am using a Raspberry Pi 3). First we are going to install GIMP on the Pi, and then get into the answers of how GIMP works on the Pi.

Installation

Installing GIMP on the Pi is easy. As always, make sure that you have your Raspberry Pi device up-to-date before installing anything. To update the Pi, open Terminal and do the following commands.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Now that the Raspberry Pi is up-to-date, it doesn’t hurt to restart the Pi. Either use the sudo reboot command in Terminal, or restart through the menu.

After the Pi boots up again, open Terminal. Now to install GIMP just use the following command.

sudo apt-get install gimp

Since it is downloading and installing a program, this may take a while depending on your internet connection. Mine took about ten minutes to install.

Once Terminal finishes the command, it is a good idea to restart your computer. I found that GIMP doesn’t show in the menu unless the Pi gets restarted.

For the heck of it, I have also created a YouTube video showing how to install GIMP onto the Pi.

How is GIMP’s performance on the Pi?

The results were surprising. A slight lag was noticeable every once in a while, although it didn’t affect regular image editing. It also took a little longer to process things like exporting images.

Is the Pi version of GIMP different from the Windows version?

To my pleasant surprise, the Pi version of GIMP is identical to the Windows version. All the features appear to still be there and work the same.

Conclusion

Overall I was very impressed at how the Raspberry Pi handled GIMP. I was afraid it was going to crash every time I did something, but that was certainly not the case.

Wassup Pi Zero

After many months of waiting I finally was able to get my hands on a Pi Zero. Considering that it was released in November 2015 and has been constantly out of stock, I am happy to finally get one.

Below are some things that you should know before you buy a of the Pi Zero.

To start, the claim of it being a $5 computer is not accurate. First of all, that is £5, which means that for us Canadians it is more like the $9 computer. Secondly, that doesn’t allot for the shipping price of £5, if you order off of The Pi Hut.

That $9 price is also just for the Pi Zero. If you want to do anything with it you will need two adapters; a mini HDMI to HDMI, and a micro USB to USB.

I just ended up buying the Pi Zero and Essentials Kit from The Pi Hut for £27. I calculated it and if I were to order the adapters separately it would of cost about the same. Not to mention that the kit also comes with an 8GB micro SD and a power adapter.

Considering all that, the Pi Zero is still significantly cheaper then it’s friend the Raspberry Pi 3, which goes for around $50 CAD.

One of the main reasons why they were able to make the Pi Zero so small is because they cut the ports down. They went from four USBs, an ethernet port, audio jack, full HDMI, micro USB, camera mounting point and display mounting point in the Raspberry Pi 3, all the way down to just a micro USB for charging, micro USB for USB devices, mini HDMI, and a slimmed down camera port. Another difference in ports is that they switched to a friction fit micro SD card slot instead of the spring one that can be found in the Raspberry Pi 2.

As for comparing specs, check out the picture below.

The Pi Zero is noticeably slower then the Pi 3 and even the Pi 2. But it can still run Raspbian perfectly fine. I noticed the performance the most when booting up. The Pi Zero took 5 to 15 seconds longer to boot up then my Raspberry Pi 3. Also with half the ram it made it hard to do anything too powerful.

For example, with the Pi Zero I also ordered the Pi Camera and the conversion ribbon. It worked ok to just take a picture off of the camera when it was hooked up to the Pi Zero, but the second I tried to set up motion detection or anything along those lines the Pi Zero would just crash.

So I guess what I am trying to say in all this is that the Pi Zero is a great board for simple tasks. But for anything that is more complicated then playing Minecraft, browsing the internet, or simple projects, it is probably best to use the Raspberry Pi 3.

Matthew

Installing the Arduino IDE on a Raspberry Pi

Recently I acquired a 24″ monitor. Since I already have my main computer on a double screen setup, I decided to us the new screen for my Raspberry Pi. This way I could use my Raspberry Pi to do things as well as my computer.

Anyway, I decided that it would be easier if I could code my Arduino off of my Raspberry Pi instead of off of my main computer.

It is very simple to install the Arduino IDE on a Raspberry Pi. I suggest that you use Raspbian as your OS.

First, you will need to navigate to the Raspberry Pi terminal. You will want to make sure that your Raspberry Pi is up to date. To do that use the following two lines of command.

sudo apt-get update

and then use this

sudo apt-get upgrade

After you do that, you just need to simply use this command.

sudo apt-get install arduino

That will take a few minutes to process. Once that is done then the Arduino IDE should be installed. You can just click on the Raspberry Pi menu, and then wave over the new Electronics section and the Arduino IDE should be in there.

If you do not see the Arduino IDE there then you may have to restart your Raspberry Pi.

Hopefully this was helpful. Comment below if you are having any troubles.

Matthew

My New Raspberry Pi Media Set Up Part 2 – Other Media Setup Options

It has been about a week since I posted the My New Raspberry Pi Media Set Up post. If you haven’t yet read that post I would encourage you to do so.

The reason why I am making a part 2 of this is because I felt I left that last post a little open ended. I explained my setup but not all of you have the same setup. So in this post I am going to look at some alternative setups to create a full media server using only Raspberry Pi’s and software.

So to get started there are a few setups that we are going to look at today. They are OSMC, OpenELEC, Shairplay, and RasPlex. There are more out there but these are the ones that I am outlining today.

I covered OSMC a lot in the last post along with in a few other older posts. So lets quickly get that one out of the way.

OSMC is a simple media software that takes seconds to setup and install on your Pi. I personally like it because it has a simple easy to use interface and loads of settings to configure it.

In my opinion OSMC is best used as a interface. If you are not looking to use an interface then OSMC is not for you. The advantage of the interface of OSMC is that you can connect it to your TV, or stereo setup and then use the interface with your remote or a keyboard and mouse. You can scroll through movies, pictures, videos, and music. It is easy to connect to your network using Samba.

As for the disadvantages of OSMC. OSMC doesn’t work well if you are not connected to a screen. If you don’t have a screen to connect the Pi to then this is not for you. Also it is full of a lot of useless features that in a way just slow it down.

The same for OSMC pretty much goes for OpenELEC. OSMC and OpenELEC are basically the same thing. They are both built off Kodi so they have the same settings and features. The interface on OpenELEC looks way different then the interface of OSMC but they still have all the same features.

If it was up to me I would choose OSMC over OpenELEC just because it has a nicer interface IMHO. Also OSMC is a little more configurable. But over all if you are choosing between OpenELEC and OSMC it is your personal preference.

So OpenELEC and OSMC both has nice interfaces but what if you just want to play music. Now this is not technically a media setup seeing as the only thing you can do is play music through Apple Airplay but I think it is still very useful.

Shairplay is what I am referring to. Shairplay is a GitHub project that allows you to Airplay. It is that simple. The advantages to this is that you can Airplay through your TV, stereo, or whatever other setup you have.

The disadvantage to Shairplay is that it has no real interface because it doesn’t need one. The other disadvantage is that all it can do is Airplay.

So if Airplay is the only thing you want to do then I would encourage you to check Shairplay out. Otherwise I would look at the other options in this post.

Lastly is RasPlex. This is Plex for the Raspberry Pi. This has loads of advantages. If you already have a Plex setup then this is helpful. Also the RasPlex has the interface of Plex that we all know and love.

I put RasPlex as last because I think it is the ultimate media setup solution if you want to pull out the big guns. If you just want a simple interface for your TV then go for OSMC or OpenELEC, but if you want a full media setup then go for RasPlex.

So to sum this all up in a paragraph. If you want a simple, easy to maintain interface for your TV or stereo then OSMC or OpenELEC is the way to go. If you just want Airplay to use through your stereo or other music system then Shairplay is the way to go. And lastly if you want a full media setup then I would go for RasPlex.

Just one last note. I would recommend using a Raspberry Pi 2 B if you are using OSMC, OpenELEC, or RasPlex. On the other hand a Raspberry Pi B could probably get the job done for Shairplay.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the other media setup options out there for the Raspberry Pi. Comment below if you have any questions or comments.

Matthew

Setup a Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop on Windows

Lately (with my new Raspberry Pi 2 B) I have been fiddling around with different things. Lately I was looking at make a Raspberry Pi remote desktop when I came across this tutorial. http://www.raspberrypiblog.com/2012/10/how-to-setup-remote-desktop-from.html I would encourage you to check it out. It includes step by step instructions on how to setup the remote desktop.

Matthew

My New Raspberry Pi Media Set Up

About a month ago I made an attempt to use my Raspberry Pi 2 B+ (from Gearbest) to create a media server to run through my DAC and directly through my stereo speakers. This was to no avail. The OSMC software that I used was restricting my from running through my DAC in the proper format.

Nevertheless I made a second attempt last weekend. This one was a lot more successful from the last one. So let me get into explaining how I did it.

So first of all it is probably best if I tell you what I used. All I used was a Raspberry Pi 2 B+ and an optional Arduino Uno R3 with a cooling fan to cool the Raspberry Pi. I added in the Arduino Uno so that I could overclock the Raspberry Pi a little more without it overheating too much.

Anyway I then should tell you my stereo setup. I have a Emotiva Stealth DC-1 which I then ran though my regular stereo system and out the speakers.

So then I installed OSMC onto the Raspberry Pi 2 B+. I did this by downloading NOOBS onto the Raspberry Pi, connecting the Raspberry Pi to internet (via ethernet cable), and then selected the OSMC in the dropdown of programs to install.

Once OSMC was installed I updated OSMC to the most recent version. This is important to do. Then I enabled SSH so that I could access the Raspberry Pi via Putty on my Windows 10 computer. Lastly I installed a driverless WiFi USB, plugged in the USB from the DAC, and then restarted my Raspberry Pi. After that I selected in my settings to output through the USB instead of the HDMI or analog. Once all that was done, I overclocked my Raspberry Pi, plugged in the Arduino with cooling fan, and restarted the Raspberry Pi.

So lastly and most importantly I enabled Airplay on OSMC. Now as of September 2015 OSMC does not yet have support for iOS 9 Airplay, although, you can still Airplay from iTunes. So, I opened iTunes, selected the Raspberry Pi in Airplay, and then played a song. The result was clear sound coming through the stereo.

So, after it worked, I made sure that I could access the Raspberry Pi from SSH (which I could) so then I unhooked the screen, mouse, and keyboard from the Raspberry Pi.

Now you may be wondering why I did all of this. Well this way I can Airplay to my stereo from almost any device. Any device that runs iTunes or is an Apple product can Airplay it and run it through the system. And to add to it, I don’t need to have any monitor, mouse or keyboard hooked up which makes this solution possible for under $50 (if you already has the DAC).

The things that I would improve if I did this again would be to make sure that your Raspberry Pi is connected to wired internet when using the setup. The wireless USB works but it can skip because Airplay runs over the internet. The other thing is that I would want to create two Raspberry Pis doing it (one by the TV and one by the stereo) and make them both synced up. The last thing would maybe be to add to Raspberry Pis working together to make it go faster and clearer. This way it would put less strain on the one Raspberry Pi and maybe I could loud up lossless files through this.

Although, this set up (as much as it could be improved) is still a great and simple thing to do. The advantage is that you don’t need to store any files on the Raspberry Pi, you can play whatever music from whatever device you want, and it is cheep and easy to maintain.

I want to thank Gearbest for supplying the Raspberry Pi 2 B+ and the Arduino Uno R3. Without these boards this article would not make any sense.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little article. Have fun playing around with your Raspberry Pis!
Matthew