You Big Jessie

While waiting for inspiration as to why the new ESP8266-based controller OTA coding is crashing the boards, I thought I’d have another go at rescuing my ill-fated Orange Pi.  After much time spend putting operating systems onto microSD and failing to get ANYWHERE, I gave up.

Having short of SDs meant that I needed to re-build one of my Raspberry Pi 2 boards and of course I’m into using BerryBoot now and loaded that onto the Pi… I was surprised to see that the first option was the new “Jessie” flavour of Raspbian. I’d heard some bad things about it on the forums, about it taking ages to load etc., but thought with a clean start I’d give it a shot to prove to myself if it was worth using.

Just moments ago having had Berryboot download the operating system overnight, I rebooted the board. Normally, the first order of the day for me when doing these installations, is to set up the Pi using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, using the automatic tool to set SPI, user password, root password etc.. before going off to use WinSCP so I can do everything from a more comfortable Windows environment.

So the first culture shock was… it boots up in graphical desktop mode without asking any questions!! Ooh, err… and it does it in record time – so I don’t know what the other guys were on about – maybe earlier versions of the software.

In the main menu under preferences, there’s a “Raspberry Pi Configuration” – so I thought I’d give that a go.

I changed the hostname from “raspberrypi” to “jessie” – just to be different and noted that it has auto-logon as user “pi” with the option to change the password. Somewhat dangerous in a group environment I thought, so I changed the password immediately. I was pleased to see that the password is visible as my little cheap keyboard has a tendency to “bounce”.

I enabled SPI, I2C and Serial – now this interface is WAY more friendly, I like it. But…

I’d set the timezone etc in Berryboot and so there was no need to make further changes. The operating system wanted to reboot after I ticked the boxes for serial etc and so I agreed.

There were a couple of badly formed failure messages at this point, but the board rebooted properly. WAY less in the way of the normal text power up gibberish and within seconds I was back in the graphical desktop. I checked the settings, they had stuck.

The serial tickbox however was no longer ticked – did I miss it the first time? On rebooting I didn’t see ANY error messages this time and only the briefest of text “stuff” before being presented once again with the graphical desktop.

Sadly – still no serial. I normally set this on first setting up the Pi so that when I come to install Node-Red, the serial Node is installed so this, for me is a slight issue. I checked again and again,no serial.

I loaded up the old traditional raspi-config in a terminal windows using win-SCP on my Windows PC – and set the serial there and rebooted. Nope – neither the graphical or traditional versions of raspi-config had stored my serial preferences.

Not a good start really..

In a terminal I ran the usual:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Some time later I rebooted the board and tried my serial setup again.

Off it went and installed 1/4 meg of updates…. and I then tried a reboot and another go at the serial. I do like the improvements to the responses… and so after updating, I tried again and ticked my little “serial” box under preferences – raspberry pi configuration.

This time the boot process showed more text – interesting, I had thought it was a good idea to get RID of it… and was it my imagination or did booting into the graphical environment take a little longer?

Anyway, it made absolutely no difference, serial still disabled.

Anyway, un-deterred I pulled up a terminal window and set the ROOT password…

sudo passwd root

This was accepted and using winSCP I tried logging in as root – no joy, it would not accept my root password. I went back in as Pi and set the root password again. Back in as root – no joy, it would not let me in.

No root, no serial? Not a good start.  I’m thinking… “Wheezy” ? That was a waste of a good hour…


2 thoughts on “You Big Jessie

  1. I can’t help with the serial issue but by default Jessie disables password login to root via SSH. You can still use key based authentication IIRC. You can either login as a normal user and use sudo or su. Or you can edit sshd_config in /etc/ssh. Of course you could also switch to using a key to authenticate yourself.

    1. Why on an educational toy would they want to make life MORE difficult.Well, I managed to get root access working and thank you for that James – but the serial is not having it. I would have thought by now someone else would have reported this – but I’m not seeing anything – but I’ve had this board working with serial from day one on Wheezy.. so – I guess it’s a re-install back to Wheezy. Oh, well….

      Thanks again for the feedback.

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