Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Everything Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Project Ingress 2.1

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Project Ingress has been up and running for about 3-4 months now, and has been fairly successful. The hardware setup has gone through a number of variations and revisions, but all have basically come back to the same design. Some of the electronic components are required to be on a short tether, which makes it difficult to manage.

In the last few weeks, I have rewritten much of the code, using a more modular approach. Doing this, I have also added a lot more functionality. I am hoping to start field testing the new version of the software in the next few days.

While working on the new software, I came up with an idea on how to shift the hardware components around. Some of the parts will need to be fabricated on a 3D printer. This will have to be a v3.0 upgrade at a later date.

I hope to start getting pictures and details posted soon.


Raspberry Pi

What software do I need to update and how?

There are two different sections of the Raspberry Pi that require updating. These two different items are the firmware and the operating system:

  • rpi-update is a tool to upgrade the firmware for your Raspberry Pi. Firmware is a small package of code that usually lives on a special chip of a computer that helps the software know how to talk to the hardware. However, in the case of the Raspberry Pi, the firmware will live on the first partition of the SD card.
  • Raspbian is an operating system or the core software for your Raspberry Pi. Software (including the OS) lives on second partition of the SD card and is all the stuff that gets executed when you use your device.

Both of these need updating independently. For convenience, the rpi-update tool is included in the Raspbian distribution of Linux because it is a useful software tool that manages the firmware of your Pi’s. You should run it periodically to make sure your devices have the latest firmware. Separately, you need to keep your software up to date using the standard Debian software management tools. The following line will do both:

> sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Each of these functions is separate, and updating one will not update the other. Upgrading your distribution to the latest software packages might get you a new version of rpi-update, but unless you RUN rpi-update your firmware will not get updated.

Since the place the firmware is stored is actually flashed to the first partition of the SD card (sort of like a BIOS), you will not need to run this on every device. Once you load a new version of software or firmware onto an SD card, any device you plug that card into will be running that version.