Introduction: How to Use Raspberry Pi As a Server

Picture of How to Use Raspberry Pi As a Server

The main reason behind the incredible popularity of Raspberry Pi is its usefulness. The small computer can be used for a number of fun projects that not only satisfy certain needs but also are fantastic educational tools for people of all ages. One of the most popular things to do with the Pi is to turn it into a capable home server. Such server can host a website, give you an easy access to your music and video files, or let you share a printer between different computers. The whole thing can be finished in less than a day for a very low cost.

Why Raspberry Pi?

The price of the Raspberry Pi 2 B or B+ is hard to beat. For around $30, you get to enjoy the best raspberry pi 3 starter kit with built in WiFi, Bluetooth, fast Ethernet connection, full-sized USB ports, HDMI output, and a handful of GPIO pins that greatly extend the scope of what can be accomplished with this device.

What’s more, the unit consumes only a very little power and produces absolutely no noise at all. You won’t have to worry about your electricity bill skyrocketing or problems falling asleep due to high fan noise.

Finally, we cannot forget to mention the fantastic community of enthusiastic users. Pi owners are always very keen to share their projects and inventions with others, and you will never have a problem getting great answers to your questions.

What You’ll Need

Besides the Pi itself, you will also need a class 10 SD card for an operating system, 5V/2A power supply (a quality micro-USB smartphone charger is a great option), and a way to interact with the Pi. You can either plug in mouse, keyboard, and a monitor or use SSH for remote control.

Optionally, it’s not a bad idea to put the Raspberry Pi into a case to prevent any damage from occurring, and you can also think about buying an external hard drive to host all your media files.

Step 1: Install an Operating System

Picture of Install an Operating System

The first thing to do is to install an operating system. Beginners are encouraged to use NOOBS, which is a handy utility that will one of several operating systems for you.

Head over to the Downloads page and download the appropriate file. Simply copy the content of the file to your SD card, insert it into the Raspberry Pi, and follow the instructions. We strongly recommend you to install Raspbian. It’s well optimized, easy-to-use, and compatible with most tutorials out there.

Step 2: Configure Internet Access

Picture of Configure Internet Access

The simplest way how to connect to the Internet is using a wired network. Just plug an Ethernet cable leading from a router to your Pi and you are good to go.

Of course, this may not be the most practical solution. To connect via Wi-Fi, you need to purchase a compatible adapter and connect to your home network. But using the raspberry pi 3, there is no need of any wifi adapter.

Step 3: Install Apache and Change the Default Page

Apache is the world's most used web server software and installing apache on your Pi takes just a few minutes. All you need to do is follow the official instructions.

By default, Apache will display the content of a HTML file located at /var/www/html/index.html. You can edit this file directly, but it may be more convenient to change its location to, for example, your home folder. Once again, the official tutorial has you covered.

Comments

MikeK263 (author)2017-05-24

There are 2 main disadvantages:

1. RPi has only 100Mbit LAN

2. RPi has no SATA port, only USB2 is available

so it works but is way too slow for NAS

Turpialito (author)2017-04-01

Awesome project. Would recommend to anyone. For the nay-sayers: it's not only complete but, like she said, you can connect to it via SSH. If this is too complicated for you, then before you put the RPi in a case plug in a mouse, keyboard and monitor, make sure you have an internet connection to the RPi, open a terminal and type: "apt-get install xrdp". Then you can manage it via a remote windows desktop session.

CarlV10 (author)2016-03-11

Where can I buy a case like the one in the main image for the article? I've already built an RPi2 based server running a custom build of Raspbian-Lite, and would love to pair it up with a case that would allow for installing a harddrive.

rcgigessss (author)2016-03-10

i like it...but it doesn't seem complete

Technocat568 (author)2016-03-09

Is this complete? I would like to use this!

About This Instructable

12,811views

121favorites

License:

Bio: Hey! I am Jessica Ward. I love to write about technology and learn or thinking about latest techno. And my forever ever love technology project ... More »
More by preetyjess01:How to Use Raspberry Pi as a Server
Add instructable to: