poing
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:58 pm

So I decided to plunge into Linux as a preparation for my Pi (ordered March 7). FYI I'm an avid Windows user and certified spaghetti programmer first class, learned myself programming using GWBasic with DOS 3 and now migrated upto Visual Basic 10 with W7-64. And I still writing spaghetti code

I installed the latest Debian on an obsolete computer with an Atom board and I'm trying to install libgphoto2 as that is key in one of the first projects I want to try with the Pi. This proves to be a steep learning curve so far and I want to know at this point if the stuff I have to learn will be usable on the Pi when I get it and run Debian on it (so far the most stable/usable release?). Or should I go another route? And will libgphoto2 run on the Pi?

The project will be a wireless interface to a Nikon camera. The Pi is attached to the camera and through using a wireless adapter I want to interface with the camera through a webpage(?) visible on an Android phone or a windows netbook.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:30 pm

It might be easier to start with Ubuntu, just to ease you in a little more gently, and Ubuntu is based on Debian, just a bit more friendly.
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poing
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:42 pm

OK, thanks. Downloading Ubuntu now...

rpural
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:49 pm

In general, Linux is Linux, and Debian is Debian, so what you learn on the machine you have should transfer directly to the R-Pi without any "re-education" at all. I use Linux daily on both Intel servers and IBM zSeries mainframes, and there's really no difference from a user's standpoint.

If libgphoto2 is available for arm, then you should be able to get it to work on the R-Pi. It it's available as source, you should be able to get it and compile it to work on the R-Pi. That being said, I have no Pi to test this theory on as yet; I'm still waiting, just like you.

Your real trick may be the "wireless" portion, as many wireless dongles require non-opensource code that may not be available for the R-Pi. If you haven't bought a wireless interface as yet, be sure what you get is going to work with the R-Pi.

"In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, theory and practice are different."

poing
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks and yes, after looking around in Ubuntu (and finding out you can't be 'root') I went back to Debian. Have the camera connected now and it's recognized by the OS but can't yet control it after installing the graphical front of libgphoto2. Have to tinker with that.

I'll wait with the WiFi dongle until my Pi arrives and by that time I guess more is known on that front from the community.

The sad thing with controlling a Nikon over WiFi is the price of the Nikon solutions, and/or their functionality.

For the new D4 flagship only there's the WT5 with a propriety plug and a price tag of $789; this is controllable through the internal webserver from any device that can display a webpage:



For the other professional cameras there's the WT4 with a USB cable (carry over shoulder) and priced at $740; controllable only from Nikon software with a Mac or PC:

(This is the one I like to copy using a Pi and a webserver).

Then there's the new WT1a for the amateur D3200 camera only, using a USB plug, priced @ $60 and only usable in combination with an (amateur oriented) Android app:


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markb
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:09 pm

poing said:


Thanks and yes, after looking around in Ubuntu (and finding out you can"t be "root") I went back to Debian.


I agree, Ubuntu is aimed much more at 'end-users' who don't want to spend time understand how things work under the cover, in fact I find the latest versions particularly frustrating if you want to play around a bit.

If you want something quick and dirty to play, Puppy is fun - its so cut down you are forced to get stuck in if you want to try something out.

chenxiaolong
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:33 pm

If you ever want to find out where a package is available for the ARM architecture, just scroll down on the appropriate page at http://packages.debian.org and look for "armel"

libgphoto2 is available for the Raspberry Pi: http://packages.debian.org/squ.....bgphoto2-2

Chris.Rowland
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:29 pm

I don't understand why there needs to be so many different versions of Linux.  They all seem to be built using essentially the same core functions but with different front ends. They all seems pretty similar, but seem to be fundamentally different in that they all need different sets of applications compiled and delivered by different servers.

Why is this?  It seems terribly inefficient to me.

Yes, I know that applications compiled for the arm won't work on and x86 machine and vice versa but that doesn't apply to different distributions that are designed to work on the same hardware.

chenxiaolong
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:33 am

Chris Rowland said:


I don't understand why there needs to be so many different versions of Linux.  They all seem to be built using essentially the same core functions but with different front ends. They all seems pretty similar, but seem to be fundamentally different in that they all need different sets of applications compiled and delivered by different servers.

Why is this?  It seems terribly inefficient to me.

Yes, I know that applications compiled for the arm won't work on and x86 machine and vice versa but that doesn't apply to different distributions that are designed to work on the same hardware.

To me, a lot of the derivatives of the main distros are unnecessary. They share the same repos anyway, so providing a simple script can usually achieve the same result/experience.
I do like how there are a few major distros, though. For example,
Ubuntu - attempts to make Linux easier for newcomersFedora - makes a bunch of enterprise software to make Linux more useful in companies
Debian - makes a stable system suitable for servers
Arch Linux - for users and developers that want to run the latest software
Gentoo - for users who need extremely customized environments down to the compiler level
Puppy Linux - for super old computers
I think that the distros that have a clear purpose and are not a simple derivative should stay and the others should consolidate their efforts to make the big ones better

maddogdave
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Re: Is normal Debian a good start if you have no Pi yet?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:09 pm

As a newcomer myself I have also spent time loading bootable images of a number of variants to get a feel for the various flavours and trying these out on a laptop & netbook, whilst waiting for my Raspberry Pi. The difference in speed on my netbook using a cut down version such as Lucid Puppy compared to other versions (Ubuntu / Fedora / Gnome) or the default Windows XP was huge. There"s a lot of discussion on the forum about pushing the device to its limits and all the things that it may be able to do, but for many of us I think setting it up with a fast booting slimmed down OS and getting it working in a stable way will give us the confidence to move onto more complex stuff later. For me getting the device up and running with a web browser, followed by some form of media centre and then connecting wireless (once we know what devices / setups will work) is key. Having say 3 SD cards with a different image / OS that has been tried & tested to sample along the way before venturing into anything more complex is what I"m going to be looking for so I can get a feel for what the device and I am capable of doing.
Dave

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