System S/W setup

[Updated 3/3/2017]

Changing password to something simple

For hopefully obvious reasons Linux / Rasbian forces you to use passwords of a minimum strength. But where you have Pi either offline or protected in other ways from online attach you can get this with

sudo passwd pi

Checking Kernel version 

uname -a

Sticking with the ‘old wallpaper’

You can find the original wall paper in :-


Setting up pip and things

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y python-dev python-setuptools python-pip

Forcing time to re-sync on your Pi

sudo /etc/init.d/ntp stop 
sudo ntpd -q -g 
sudo /etc/init.d/ntp start

Auto start from GUI

Create a file called ‘’ on your desktop, this has the application[s] you want to auto auto run in, in this case a python app called ‘gentle’

#!/bin/sh -e
lxterminal --command="python /home/pi/snow/"

make this executable with the following command. The lxterminal bit ensures the screen info is sent to the default desktop rather than thin air

chmod +x

test your ‘’ script file from a terminal window to confirm it will work in the way you want.


Then in


Create a new folder called ‘autostart’

In this folder use nano to create a new script file called ‘auto.desktop’ with the following lines

[Desktop Entry]

The advantage to this 2 stage approach is that you can more easily edit and test your autorun file than if you tried to include everything in the single auto.desktop script

Setting up RTC ( thanks to dfries for this on RPI forum)

All commands must be run as root.

Raspberry Pi Real Time Clock setup instructions for Raspbian Stretch. This version adds a new udev rule instead of editing /lib/udev/hwclock-set that is replaced on system upgrade.

Connect GND, 3.3V VCC, SDA, SCL from the RTC to corresonding RPI pin header.

RPI configuration:
Add configuration to pick up the RTC, this is using the ds3231 RTC, use the correct value if you have a different RTC.

edit /boot/config.txt


reboot to get access to the RTC and update with the system time

hwclock --systohc

remove fake hwclock

apt-get purge fake-hwclock

Create a new udev rule to set the clock (new file).

edit /etc/udev/rules.d/85-hwclock.rules

# On the Raspberry Pi the RTC isn't available when systemd tries,
# set the time from RTC now when it is available.
KERNEL=="rtc0", RUN+="/sbin/hwclock --rtc=$root/$name --hctosys"


Many instructions say to edit /lib/udev/hwclock-set and commit out an exit 0 line. The problem is you have to do that every time util-linux is upgraded. I’m adding a new udev rule in /etc where you only have to do it once.

Removing fake-hwclock is optional, it could be nice as a backup. I’m removing it to make it more obvious when the RTC isn’t working. The system time starts at 2016-11-03, so if you see this time it is a good indication the RTC isn’t working.

All commands must be run as root.


Turning off screen blanking   / timeout

In brief, this seems to work – older suggests don’t seem to work now

Update: (April 2020)

xset s off
xset -dpms
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

Sorting out disappearing folder App

this seems to work for me has something to do with removing USB drives (or eqv) the wrong way

  1. change sudo ‘sudo -s’
  2. change to config dir ‘cd .config’
  3. remove pcmanfm ‘rm -rf pcmanfm/’
  4. make sure it’s dead ‘sudo killall pcmanfm’
  5. get our of sudo ‘exit’

This should sort it out