Raspberry Pi as a backup for a conventional PC


According to the specifications, both Raspbian and Pidora boot in a graphics desktop (Figure 1). However, when examined more closely, this desktop is quite sparse. You will find rudimentary browsers, a few games, and that's pretty much it.

Figure 1: The standard LXDE desktop of the Raspbian distribution offers only a rudimentary work environment.

The search for a configuration program specific to the desktop is also futile with Raspbian. The frugal LXDE desktop offers little in configuration help. The information box entitled X11 Base Configuration provides some guidance about a few very basic settings, such as the language.

X11 Base Configuration

Raspbian is not prepared for international users. The limited desktop interface does not include graphic capabilities for configuring the keyboard layout. However, it is nonetheless possible to accomplish the layout without encountering problems.

You can use the raspi-config tool to set the most important parameters during or after installation. For example, you can use raspi-config to change the default language, locale, or time zone.

If your desktop system will support multiple users, you might need multiple user accounts. Use the command line to create an account for the new user and then provide a password. In the example below, the new user is designated with myuser:

$ sudo adduser --uid 2001 myuser
$ sudo passwd myuser

The next step is to give the new user sudo rights. The command visudo, without further arguments, allows you to edit the appropriate configuration file. It is sufficient to duplicate the entry for the standard user pi and rename the new entry accordingly.

To set up the system to boot to the new user account, enter the new user into the file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf. In the line autologin-user=pi, replace the name of the standard user (pi) with the name of the new user account. This entry makes sure that the user is automatically logged in when the system boots up.

Edit the .xsessionrc file in the user's home directory will need to be edited in order to change the default keyboard layout used in graphical applications. If the file doesn't exist, you need to create it. Use the setxkbmap command to change the keyboard layout. For instance, the following command:

setxkbmap de

changes the keyboard layout to German. For another language or locale, replace the de with the 2-letter ISO-3166-2 country code for your location [2]. You'll need to log out and log back in again to use the new layout.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF

Pages: 6

Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Raspberry Pi Geek

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content