2 years ago

Configuration Tool: PIXEL’s raspi-config alternative

Learn your way around the configuration tool found in Raspbian Jessie

One of the best new features found in PIXEL is the desktop Raspberry Pi Configuration tool.

Located inside the Preferences option in the desktop Menu, this enables you to configure the hardware and software settings of your Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi Configuration tool works alongside the old raspi-config tool, which can still be accessed through the terminal using sudo raspi-config. However, the new Configuration tool uses a GUI, making it much easier for newcomers. It offers the same options, but with a neater interface. Adjustments made in one tool affect the other.

As a result, you can use either tool or both.

Using the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool

Presently, the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool displays four tabs:

  • System. Options to expand the file system and change password and hostname sit alongside various login choices.
  • Interfaces. Support for the various hardware and software features, such as Camera Module, SSH, and VNC.
  • Performance. Overclocking and GPU memory options can improve the performance of a Raspberry Pi.
  • Localisation Set up an international keyboard, global WiFi options, and adjust the locale and time zone.

System is where you’ll find the most useful tools. In this area, you can expand the file system, change the password, and adjust login options.

Interfaces contain options for activating hardware and software features. Performance is used to access overclock mode, and alter the amount of RAM allocated to the GPU. The final tab, Localisation, enables you to adjust the locale, time zone, keyboard, and WiFi country for your Raspberry Pi.

There’s a bunch of powerful features in the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool. As a result, learning its options makes you a better Raspberry Pi owner.

Step1. Expand file system

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Open Menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. If you’ve installed Raspbian via an image file (instead of NOOBS), then the first thing you need to do is expand the file system. Expand Filesystem makes the whole of the SD card space available. Click on Expand Filesystem, then OK.

Step 2. Hostname and password

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Customise your Pi by changing the hostname and password. Enter a new name for your Raspberry Pi and click Change Password. Enter the same password into both fields and click OK. Note that the hostname – used to identify the Pi on your network – isn’t the same as your user name (which remains ‘pi’).

Step 3. Login options

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Below the Hostname setting sit various boot options. Choose To CLI to boot into the command line instead of PIXEL. You can also opt to disable the splash screen and/or remove the auto login. You need to restart Raspbian for any of these to take effect. Click OK and Yes to reboot your Raspberry Pi.

Step 4. Interfaces

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Reopen the Configuration tool and click on Interfaces to view the available options. Set Camera to Enabled if you plan on using the Raspberry Pi Camera Module. Now you’ll be able to take images directly from the camera. Set VNC to Enabled if you plan on using VNC to remotely access your Raspberry Pi.

Step 5.  Performance

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Click on Performance to view the two options here: Overclock and GPU Memory. Overclocking isn’t available for the Raspberry Pi 3 yet, so this option will be greyed out. You can adjust the amount of RAM, in megabytes, allocated to the GPU (64 is the default, and is fine for most tasks). Set it to 128 to experiment with higher GPU memory.

Step 6 Localisation

The Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Under the Localisation tab sit various international options. Click on Set Keyboard if you’re using an international keyboard. If you own a US keyboard, click Set Keyboard. Now choose United States under country and English (US) as the Variant. Click OK and select Yes to reboot the Raspberry Pi.