I was interested to see if the Raspberry PI Model A board could run XBMC. From looking at the RAM and CPU specifications you may wonder why i am interested in this at all. People have been running XBMC on the previous board which only had 256 megs of ram, so of course it will run. The issue isn’t a ram or cpu issue. It’s the fact that there is not any LAN connections and it only has one usb port. Seeing as i do not have a powered usb hub i could either have a usb keyboard or a wi-fi adapter. Not both.
The solution i came up with was to get it fully setup on the B board and than just move the SD card over.
After installing raspbmc, I attempted to install wicd-curses, which failed repeatedly. I then tried installing the Edimax drivers manually, with almost the exact same issues as wicd-curses. After a little bit of research I found a post that mentioned that openlec has the wifi settings built into the os. So after rebooting to NOOB and copying openlec over I was able to get wi-fi running.
The last step was to make sure i could remotely control XBMC from my iPhone app.
After that it really was as simple as just moving the sd card over the model A and turning it on. Aside from a very slightly increased delay in remote button press to activation, it works really really well.
Only issue is if the wi-fi settings change you lose your remote control to change settings.
Setting up your Pi to connect to wireless AP’s can be a pain at times. wicd-curses is a nice command line program to get this going for you easily. Only issue i have found so far is it doesn’t seem to like accessing the network on both eth0 and wlan0 at the same time. Meaning if your eth0 is on a different subnet than the AP you are connecting to, you will immediately lose connection to your putty session when you tell it to connect to the AP. Other than that, really cool.
#Update and Upgrade your Pi first
- sudo apt-get update
- sudo apt-get upgrade -y
- sudo apt-get install -y wicd-curses
#you should see available wifi ssids. Options are listed at the bottom. If you just highlight and hit enter it should connect you right up. I recommend hitting P and adjusting preferences, like auto connect so it reconnects after a reboot.
wicd-curses man page
This is my personal experience in getting the Edimax EW-7811Un running with my AT&T Uverse Router.
#Shutdown and insert Edimax wifi usb
#Check for usb device connections
iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface wlan0 inet manual
iface default inet dhcp
#Add SSID and Password
#or WPA or whatever security your router is using
#If you are not sure if your device can see the network or you want to confirm the spelling/case of the ssid, use the following command to scan local wifi networks
#Raspberry’s included drivers should work. But to upgrade to latest:
#Do a final reboot and check for Ip address