I’ve been asked in emails and comments about what software I use on my 1942 Crosley Radio-Pi project.

I use the recommended Raspbian distro of Linux based on Debian Wheezy.  I normally do not start or use the GUI/X.  Many Raspberry Pi users use a Linux distro oriented around XBMC such as  OpenELEC or Raspbmc.  XBMC is a software media player that allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.

While I have a Logitech K400 keyboard with touchpad attached via a USB dongle for “local” use, I almost always ssh into the R-Pi from my Mac.  The Radio-Pi  is connected to my home Wi-Fi network via an Edimax EW-7811UN Wi-Fi USB adapter (US$10 at Amazon).

More info on my frequently used apps and utilities after the break.  


I like to display a slide-show and play accompying music on my Radio-Pi.  While the Raspberry Pi supports streaming via various apps, I usually download music and image files to the R-Pi.  Two indispensible apps are “Omxplayer” and “fbi”.  Omxplayer is a video, image and MP3 player specifically made for the Raspberry Pi by Edgar (gimli) Hucek from the XBMC project.  fbi (man page) displays the  specified  file(s)  on  the linux console using the framebuffer device.  Jpeg, ppm, gif, tiff, xwd, bmp and png are supported  directly. You can “sudo apt-get install fbi” on your R-Pi as it does not come with the distro.  “omxplayer” comes preinstalled with Raspbian.

“fbi” sample command that will run a background process that will display each  JPEG found in the current directory for 15 seconds and then repeat:

sudo fbi -T 2 -a -noverbose -t 15 *.jpg

“omxplayer” sample script that will play a series of MP3 music files found in the current directory:

pi@raspberrypi ~/MP3 $ more piPlay.sh
for file in *.mp3
# loop and do something on each "$file"
omxplayer $file