Though I’m pretty late to the party, I thought it might be useful to post my initial experiences with the Rasberry Pi and Raspbmc specifically. This is far from an exhaustive guide and plenty of those exist on the internet, but this may help someone get around a few problems I had as a first-time Rasberry Pi user.
I should note that I just finished setting up Raspbmc and that I haven’t yet used it long enough to really form an opinion, but the platform seems incredibly neat once you get past some very rough edges.
Logging in would be nice…
The first problem I had after installing Raspbmc from both the auto-downloader image and the “full” image was that I couldn’t log in to a shell. All of the documentation said that the username “pi” and the password “rasberry” should work, but that consistently failed from both SSH and a local console. (Actually, it took me a few minutes to even figure out how to get to a local console. To do so, select the power icon in Raspbmc then select shutdown. Hit escape on the screen that pops up and you will be presented with a normal logged out console.)
Finally, I just dropped the SD card in another computer and manually edited /etc/shadow so that the “pi” user didn’t have a password. That let me log in – but don’t forget to set a new password if you do that.
There are three (blinking) lights…or one light blinking three times.
One of the intended uses for this box is a basic HTPC. I went ahead and ordered the MPEG2 license from the Rasberry Pi Store and received the code about 12 hours later. This is where I hit the second problem. I tried using the Raspbmc Settings program inside Raspbmc to set the code, but the Pi wouldn’t even boot after doing so. I simply got a solid red activity light and the green activity light blinked 3 times in a pattern. It turns out that Raspbmc had saved a config file without all of the necessary elements.
To solve that problem, I mounted the original raspbmc full image using the loop adapter (Protip: sudo mount -o loop,offset=$((4096*512)) raspbmc-final.img /mnt/image) and copying the contents of the original config.txt from the stock boot partition. I then manually added my MPEG 2 key line and the Pi booted fine. When it prompted me about a discrepancy between config.txt and an add-on’s config, I selected “No” not to fix it and it has been running fine since.
I have a number of other things I want to try with this platform and I will try to remember to post more tips as I do.