RaspberryPi Raspbian Minimal/Server Install

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I’ve been trying to make a smaller install of the RaspberryPi‘s distro Raspbian for use as a headless server/base as a minimal install. The default image contains a full desktop environment, development tools aimed at general users and firmware for most common WiFi chipsets which are entirely unessesary for a headless server for web and dhcp services.

I’ve decided to document what I did to save me time next time I reimage my Pi.

Re-activate Root

pi@rpi:$ [login as pi]
sudo su
[new root password]

Remove the user Pi

root@rpi:$ [login as root]
deluser pi
rm -R /home/pi
rm -R /home/Desktop

Update the repo and install screen and dropbear

root@rpi:$ apt-get update
apt-get -y install screen dropbear
nano /etc/default/dropbear
[change NO_START=1 to NO_START=0]

Remove uneeded packages

root@rpi:$ apt-get -y purge aspell aspell-en blt cifs-utils cups-bsd cups-client cups-common dbus-x11 dconf-gsettings-backend:armhf dconf-service desktop-base desktop-file-utils dillo ed fbset firmware-atheros firmware-brcm80211 firmware-libertas firmware-ralink firmware-realtek fontconfig fonts-droid fonts-freefont-ttf g++ g++-4.6 galculator gconf-service gconf2 gconf2-common gdb gdbserver gettext-base ghostscript gksu glib-networking:armhf glib-networking-common glib-networking-services gnome-icon-theme gnome-themes-standard gpicview gsettings-desktop-schemas gsfonts gsfonts-x11 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio:armhf gtk2-engines:armhf gvfs:armhf gvfs-backends gvfs-common gvfs-daemons gvfs-fuse gvfs-libs:armhf hardlink hicolor-icon-theme icelib idle idle-python2.7 idle-python3.2 idle3 ifplugd kmod krb5-locales leafpad lesstif2:armhf lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter lua5.1 luajit lxappearance lxde lxde-common lxde-core lxde-icon-theme lxinput lxmenu-data lxpanel lxpolkit lxrandr lxsession lxsession-edit lxshortcut lxtask lxterminal man-db manpages manpages-dev menu menu-xdg midori ncdu netcat-openbsd netsurf-common netsurf-gtk obconf omxplayer openbox parted pcmanfm penguinspuzzle pistore pkg-config plymouth policykit-1 poppler-data poppler-utils pulseaudio pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-module-x11 pulseaudio-utils qdbus raspberrypi-artwork rpcbind rtkit samba-common scratch shared-mime-info smartsim smbclient squeak-plugins-scratch squeak-vm strace sudo tcl8.5 tk8.5 triggerhappy tsconf ttf-dejavu-core ttf-freefont udisks unzip usbmuxd wireless-tools wpagui wpasupplicant x11-common x11-utils x11-xkb-utils xarchiver xfonts-encodings xfonts-utils xinit xpdf xdg-utils xserver-common xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-input-evdev xserver-xorg-input-synaptics xserver-xorg-video-fbdev zenity zenity-common
apt-get -y purge libfontconfig1 libqt4-network libqt4-xml libqtcore4 libqtdbus4 ttf-bitstream-vera libwrap0 ncurses-term tcpd openssh-server openssh-blacklist openssh-blacklist-extra openssh-client
apt-get -y autoremove

Refix networking

root@rpi:$ nano /etc/network/interfaces
[remove all references to wlan0 and add eth0 as an auto up device]

Minimise Logs

root@rpi:$ nano /etc/logrotate.conf
# Keep 1 week of logs
rotate 1


root@rpi:$ reboot

These are all the edits I’ve made and now my Raspbian images is down from 2GB to 675MB

Original Article Date: 18th Feb 2013
Last Edited: 22nd Feb 2013

CSS that shouldn’t work but does…

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I was messing about today with some CSS and actually wrote a snippet of CSS for the shits and giggles.

It works in Firefox and Chrome browsers but not IE; so I’m presuming it’ll work in all KHTML and Webkit browsers.

head, head title, head script, body script {display:block;}

If you know any reason why this does actually work then mail me explaining so. It shouldn’t work but for some reason it does which is crazy.

Social Media Icons…

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I had written this code a few years ago for use on a website although not the icon sprite I’m including… I needed to use it recently so I’ve decided to upload it here too..

I know it’s not the most elegant solution, but it works well over all browsers and fallbacks (no CSS) gracefully as a list, finally if there isn’t an actual icon available for your social networking site, then it will default to the ‘share this’ icon.


/* =================================================
 * @package: Social Links
 * @author: Adam Boutcher <adam@aboutcher.co.uk>
 * @link: www.aboutcher.co.uk
 * @copyright: 2013
 * @internal: Default icon is "Share This"
 * Icons are CC-Attrib3 - www.awicons.com
 * ================================================= */
.social_links{margin:0;text-align:center;}.social_links .social_t{display:block;font-variant:small-caps;margin-bottom:5px;}
.social_links ul{display:inline-block;*display:inline;*zoom:1;list-style-type:none;margin:0 auto;padding:0;}
.social_links ul li{float:left;margin:0;padding:0;}.social_links .social_i{display:block;width:36px;height:36px;overflow:hidden;margin-right:5px;color:transparent;text-indent:-9999px;background:url('/images/icons/social_sprite.png') no-repeat;}
.social_links .social_i:hover{background-position:0 -36px;}.social_links ul>li:last-child .social_i{margin-right:0;}
.social_links .fb{background-position:-36px 0;}.social_links .fb:hover{background-position:-36px -36px;} /* Facebook */
.social_links .tw{background-position:-72px 0;}.social_links .tw:hover{background-position:-72px -36px;} /* Twitter */
.social_links .gp{background-position:-108px 0;}.social_links .gp:hover{background-position:-108px -36px;}/* Google+ */
.social_links .rs{background-position:-144px 0;}.social_links .rs:hover{background-position:-144px -36px;}/* RSS Feed */
.social_links .pt{background-position:-180px 0;}.social_links .pt:hover{background-position:-180px -36px;}/* Pintrest */
.social_links .li{background-position:-216px 0;}.social_links .li:hover{background-position:-216px -36px;}/* LinkedIn */
.social_links .yt{background-position:-252px 0;}.social_links .yt:hover{background-position:-252px -36px;}/* YouTube */
.social_links .em{background-position:-288px 0;}.social_links .em:hover{background-position:-288px -36px;}/* Email */
.social_links .ad{background-position:-324px 0;}.social_links .ad:hover{background-position:-324px -36px;}/* Add */
.social_links .rd{background-position:-360px 0;}.social_links .rd:hover{background-position:-360px -36px;}/* Reddit */
.social_links .su{background-position:-396px 0;}.social_links .su:hover{background-position:-396px -36px;}/* StumbleUpon */
.social_links .dl{background-position:-432px 0;}.social_links .dl:hover{background-position:-432px -36px;}/* Delicious */
.social_links .dg{background-position:-468px 0;}.social_links .dg:hover{background-position:-468px -36px;}/* Digg */
.social_links .gh{background-position:-504px 0;}.social_links .gh:hover{background-position:-504px -36px;}/* GitHub */
.social_links .cp{background-position:-540px 0;}.social_links .cp:hover{background-position:-540px -36px;}/* CodePen */



<div class="social_links"><span class="social_t">Find us on:</span>
	<li><a class="social_i" title="Share" href="#" rel="nofollow">Share</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i fb" title="Facebook" href="#" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i tw" title="Twitter: @username" href="#" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i gp" title="Google+" href="#" rel="nofollow">Google+</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i rs" title="RSS Feed" href="#" rel="nofollow">RSS Feed</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i pt" title="Pintrest" href="#" rel="nofollow">Pintrest</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i li" title="LinkedIn" href="#" rel="nofollow">LinkedIn</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i yt" title="YouTube" href="#" rel="nofollow">YouTube</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i em" title="Email" href="#" rel="nofollow">Email</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i ad" title="Add This" href="#" rel="nofollow">Add This</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i rd" title="Reddit" href="#" rel="nofollow">Reddit</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i su" title="Stumble Upon" href="#" rel="nofollow">StumbleUpon</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i dl" title="Delicious" href="#" rel="nofollow">Delicious</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i dg" title="Digg" href="#" rel="nofollow">Digg</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i gh" title="GitHub" href="#" rel="nofollow">GitHub</a></li>
	<li><a class="social_i cp" title="CodePen" href="#" rel="nofollow">CodePen</a></li>

Image Sprite:

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icon Sprite


You can see a demo of it on the footer of this site too; I will try to include other sprites if I can find the time to make them.

Edit (6th July 2013):

Added GitHub to the icon list and changed the code to be a class over an id so it can be used multiple times in the same page; also added CodePen icon.

ldir 1.8.1 released!

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While using ldir within a different project, I found a couple of bugs releated to how it retrieves its own URL/URI so I figured out a better way of retrieving this information and updated ldir available to everyone else.

I have decided to deprecate the $GET parameter when using the function as it should now detect $_GET variables automatically and utilise them although this maybe still be a little buggy but the ultimate aim is for it to figure out the $_GET variables itself.

In the time it took me to write a post for version 1.8.0 I improved some of the $_GET parameter code so I incemented the version number to 1.8.1 and you can grab the latest version of ldir on its page as always


  • Automatic $_GET variable detection
  • Improved $_GET variable detection
  • Microtime generation time in HTML comments
  • Improved SELF detection for the link URL

Android DHCP IP Release

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Just because I spent about 2 hours looking for this info…

A rooted android device with busybox can easily release the DHCP allocated IP with the following commands

dhcpcd -k wlan0
dhcpcd -n wlan0

turn wifi on and off and now you should have a new DHCP IP rather than a renewed IP.