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Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:37 pm
by oceansparx
Hi guys

I am new to the world of Raspberry Pi. I have been reading lots and finally decided to buy a Pi 2 with a cool rainbow "Pibow" case. Just ordered it today.

I am currently working at sea so just getting everything ready for when I get home in 3 weeks time.

The first thing I want to be able to do is set up my Pi as a web browser. In another words just a terminal I can use to surf the web. I understand the Pi 2 has ethernet but I want to set it up to use wireless.

Can somebody please point me in the right direction? What is a good product to buy to use WiFi? Would you connect it to a powered USB hub? What do you have to do to set it up initially? What if I want to download something bigger than my SD card, is it difficult to plug in an additional thumb drive?

Thanks in advance and please bare with me. I am only a "noobie" in the world of Pi as well as a relative newcomer to Linux, however I am keen to learn more.

In the meantime I am going to continue reading "Raspberry Pi for Dummies" and another mag book I bought on the Pi.

Can't wait to get my Pi! :D

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:58 pm
by fruitoftheloom
Start at the RPF Web Site:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/help

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:05 pm
by oceansparx
Thank you for the reply.

I have done some further reading now.

I am curious. How do users find using a Pi as a basic web browser?

Basic for me is surfing the web, checking gmail, facebook, forums and buying things online occasionally.

I don't really download much or play games.

How does it compare to say an average laptop doing the same tasks? I see Midori supports Java script but can be a little slower than conventional web browsers (according to "Raspberry Pi for Dummies).

Be very interested to hear feedback. Thanks in advance. :)

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:24 pm
by GTR2Fan
oceansparx wrote:I am curious. How do users find using a Pi as a basic web browser?

Basic for me is surfing the web, checking gmail, facebook, forums and buying things online occasionally.
I find it to be fine when using Iceweasel as a web browser, especially if the Pi2B in question is harmlessly overclocked. Iceweasel is the Linux-flavoured version of Firefox and seems to make good use of all 4 cores on the Pi2B, whereas many of the other available web browsers won't.

Bear in mind that there's no Flash support in any of the available browsers, so BBC iPlayer and such won't work. Youtube and any other video sites using HTML5 will play video just fine though.

I've been carrying out an experiment over the past few weeks where I've replaced my main PC (a bit of a powerhouse) with a homebrewed dual-boot Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre as detailed in my sig, and the electricity-guzzling PC has only been on for a total of less than an hour in all of that time whilst I've been gradually adding more capacility software-wise to the Pi to replace the main PC's functions one-by-one.

Power consumption for desktop work/play (including a 3.5" hard drive) has dropped from around 90 Watts with the 'real' PC to around 10 Watts with the Pi setup, and I'm not having to make any sacrifices other than the loss of BBC iPlayer that I can think of.

All-in-all, I'm very impressed. :)

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:25 pm
by gkreidl
It won't be as fast as with your laptop, especially with web pages making heavy use of Javascript or using all kinds of slides and animations.. Playing web video is also restricted (only possible with epiphany and kweb3, no flash video, only HTML5), but there are better methods.
You should also avoid opening too many web pages at once.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:55 am
by gychang
I am also rather a newbie, installed ubuntu-mate for RPi, it is faster than the Raspian, using firefox youtube plays but on full screen with HD it stutters occasionally on wifi setup. I ran it overclocked a bit in Raspian but I am not sure how to do it in U-Mate... I like to use chrome web browser which can not be installed as far as I know. Chromium browser I can't seem to get the youtube working...

You maybe able to use it for some web surfing but it is slow with occasional hicuups.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:35 am
by Denngray
oceansparx wrote:Hi guys

I am new to the world of Raspberry Pi. I have been reading lots and finally decided to buy a Pi 2 with a cool rainbow "Pibow" case. Just ordered it today.

I am currently working at sea so just getting everything ready for when I get home in 3 weeks time.

The first thing I want to be able to do is set up my Pi as a web browser. In another words just a terminal I can use to surf the web. I understand the Pi 2 has ethernet but I want to set it up to use wireless.

Can somebody please point me in the right direction? What is a good product to buy to use WiFi? Would you connect it to a powered USB hub? What do you have to do to set it up initially? What if I want to download something bigger than my SD card, is it difficult to plug in an additional thumb drive?

Thanks in advance and please bare with me. I am only a "noobie" in the world of Pi as well as a relative newcomer to Linux, however I am keen to learn more.

In the meantime I am going to continue reading "Raspberry Pi for Dummies" and another mag book I bought on the Pi.

Can't wait to get my Pi! :D
The PI2 B is great as a webserfer, and you can use a bigger SD card for storage or add a thumb drive.
and you can get a good wifi dongle on ebay for about $7 that works great.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:59 am
by fruitoftheloom
oceansparx wrote:Thank you for the reply.

I have done some further reading now.

I am curious. How do users find using a Pi as a basic web browser?

Basic for me is surfing the web, checking gmail, facebook, forums and buying things online occasionally.

I don't really download much or play games.

How does it compare to say an average laptop doing the same tasks? I see Midori supports Java script but can be a little slower than conventional web browsers (according to "Raspberry Pi for Dummies).

Be very interested to hear feedback. Thanks in advance. :)
IMO you have to try it yourself, everyone has different ideas about what is acceptable, but if one accepts the limitations and compares it to a 6 year old XP PC you should not be disappointed.

Though as a Learning Tool it is way ahead of anything else for the money................

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:56 am
by oceansparx
Thanks for the feedback guys. I appreciate it.

I have found myself a WiFi Dongle on RS online I was looking at:

http://au.rs-online.com/web/p/wireless- ... s/7603621/

What do you guys think? Should do the job ok? I would be best to plug this into an external USB hub as opposed to one of my available USB ports yes?

Also I noticed this appears to be the only WiFi dongle RS offers in Australia. Is it equivalent to the one recommend by the RPi website??:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/usb-wifi-dongle/

The only problem I can see is it says:
System Requirements:
Windows XP/Vista/7

Not Raspbian?

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:21 pm
by kusti8
The official Raspberry Pi WiFi dongle is the recommended one and will work fine. I would recommend that if you can get it.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:31 pm
by oceansparx
Unfortunately it was not available on the website link found on the Raspberry Pi website. I guess they ran out of stock... :?

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:45 pm
by kusti8
oceansparx wrote:Unfortunately it was not available on the website link found on the Raspberry Pi website. I guess they ran out of stock... :?
You mean on RS or Allied or element14? The Foundation doesn't sell it, these companies make and sell it.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:54 pm
by oceansparx
nah from the Swag store here:

http://swag.raspberrypi.org/collections ... ifi-dongle

But not to worry. Found it on the Oz RS webstite:

http://au.rs-online.com/web/p/wireless- ... 3030313226

Their search engine sucks. It didnt come up under wireless adapter or similar. Had to find the RS stock number from the UK website and then search for it that way in the Oz website.

Found it now though. Cheers.


So do most of you guys plug your wireless adapter into a separately powered hub or straight into your RPi USB port? Much difference in performance? (I suppose it depends what else you have hanging off your RPi)

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:07 pm
by kusti8
Most, including that one, will not need a powered USB hub, providing you have a good power supply. There shouldn't be any performance changes, just convenience.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:15 pm
by GTR2Fan
With a decent power supply running your Pi2B (preferably 1.5A or above, 2A is nice), it can be helpful to add the following line to config.txt...

Code: Select all

max_usb_current=1
...as this can negate the need for a powered hub in most circumstances by increasing the maximum total current the USB ports can deliver to 1.2A.

Don't worry about this now though as it probably won't be necessary. I'll just leave it here for your future reference.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:40 pm
by oceansparx
Cheers guys. I appreciate the feedback.

I am going to use my Samsung Mobile phone charger to power my RPi.

It is 2A and I already have a USB to MicroB cable so I am guessing it will be adequate.

That is cool about increasing your power output via editing the config file but I am just curious....

If you type =1 does that equate to 1.2A capacity?

What would you type for 2A?

thanks again

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:15 pm
by kusti8
That means that the maximum current just for the USB is 1.2A. The Pi still takes 0.8A so that totals to 2A. You can't push it higher because the fuse is only rated for 2A. The Pi will only take what it needs.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:28 pm
by rpdom
oceansparx wrote:That is cool about increasing your power output via editing the config file but I am just curious....

If you type =1 does that equate to 1.2A capacity?

What would you type for 2A?
It's an on/off setting. 0=0.6A 1=1.2A There are no other options.

Re: Setting up my Pi to surf the net.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:34 pm
by oceansparx
oh cheers guys. Makes alot more sense now :D