Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi tip: mount Raspbmc images

The problem

When you download a Raspmc (Raspberry Pi Media Center) image it’s a .zip file.
If you want to check the content of the file you must find a way to mount the image.


  • a pc with GNU/Linux
  • a user with root permissions on the pc
  • the image you want to analyze (download from the site)


  1. first of all unzip the archive$ unzip
  2. you’ll notice one file: installer.img that’s an image of a block device:$ file installer.img
    installer.img: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ID=0xc, starthead 0, startsector 2048, 131072 sectors; partition 2: ID=0x83, starthead 3, startsector 133120, 251904 sectors, code offset 0xb8
  3. create a mount point$ mkdir /tmp/mnt-installer
  4. if your “file” output gives you less informations, you can examine the image structure (sizes in Sectors) with the following command$ sfdisk -uS -l installer.img
    Disk installer.img: cannot get geometry
    Disk installer.img: 24 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
    Warning: The partition table looks like it was made
    for C/H/S=*/4/32 (instead of 24/255/63).
    For this listing I'll assume that geometry.
    Units = sectors of 512 bytes, counting from 0
    Device Boot Start End #sectors Id System
    installer.img1 2048 133119 131072 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    installer.img2 133120 385023 251904 83 Linux
    installer.img3 0 - 0 0 Empty
    installer.img4 0 - 0 0 Empty
  5. take a note of what you want to mount, i.e. img2 (Linux filesystem) as I highlighted
  6. with root permissions, mount the desired partition on the previous created path (133120 is the Start sector taken from the last output)$ sudo mount -o loop,offset=$(( 512 * 133120)) installer.img /tmp/mnt-installer
  7. check the content$ ls -lAtr /tmp/mnt-installer
    total 96
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jul 21 2010 selinux
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar 27 23:44 sys
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 7 17:28 proc
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 7 17:28 mnt
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 7 17:28 home
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 7 17:28 boot
    drwx------ 2 root root 16384 Jun 18 02:26 lost+found
    drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 root
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 srv
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 opt
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 media
    drwxr-xr-x 13 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 var
    drwxr-xr-x 10 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 usr
    drwxrwxrwt 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:27 tmp
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:31 sbin
    drwxr-xr-x 9 root root 12288 Jun 18 02:31 lib
    drwxr-xr-x 43 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:31 etc
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:31 bin
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Jun 18 02:31 dev
  8. when you have done, unmount the filesystem$ sudo umount /tmp/mnt-installer

Raspberry Pi tip: you can use your old CRT TV as a monitor

Maybe you don’t know, but you can use an old CRT TV as a monitor for the Raspberry Pi.
Find a SCART and some cables for audio and video and you are done.

You need:

  1. a cable for the video: it’s a cable with the same type of audio/video plug in each end. The standard color is yellow.
  2. a cable for the audio: in this case you must have an end with a 3.5mm stereo audio plug and the other one with 2 audio/video plugs. The standard colors are red and white.
  3. a SCART adapter suitable for input with audio/video

Than you have to connect the cables as you can easily imagine.
The only thing to keep in mind is to set the SCART adapter to “INPUT”:

The trick does not need any additional work if you use a NTSC TV.

If you are in Europe and you use PAL systems (like me), you must create a config file in the /boot/ path of the Raspberry Pi while it’s running and configure the appropriate parameter.
vi /boot/config.txt
# Set stdv mode to PAL (as used in Europe)

Overscan parameters allow you to set a proper margin if you see that the image is not centered.

The end.

Raspberry Pi Debian tip: enable ssh on boot

That’s an extremely easy tip.

I own a Raspberry Pi, but I haven’t a HDMI enabled TV, so I thought I couldn’t see any output from the system.

Stock Debian image doesn’t start ssh daemon on boot, but as you can see on the SD card, there’s a file named “boot_enable_ssh.rc”.

You should rename that file in “boot.rc”, and start everything. That’s all.

Now you must know that if you haven’t a HDMI enabled TV or monitor, you can still use Video OUT and an old CRT TV to see what’s going on. See my future tip.