Friday, 26 August 2016

Raspberry Pi: headless, windowless file management

I have a number of Raspberry Pi music players that I need to add more tracks to from time to time.

As these players only boot to text (not a desktop) I can't use folder shares or VNC to access the file system.

Fortunately there is another very easy way. I can browse the file system by using secure shell file transfer protocol (sFTP).

Let there be music

Of the three Raspberry Pi music player/internet radios that we now have, it is only the lounge Pi that I can easily remove the SD card from when I want to add or delete tracks. The other two (KitchenPi and the Insomniacs Bedside Radio) have to be dismantled.

The Raspberry Pi normally has secure shell (SSH) enabled by default. So using sFTP is the obvious answer.

File Manager Access

There is generally an easy way to connect using file manager on a remote Linux computer.

Using pcmanfm (on Lubuntu or on a second Pi) just go to the menu:-

 Go > Connect to Server...

...and set "Type" to SSH, and enter the details in the dialog for the Pi IP address, a suitable path and Login using the Pi user name:-

You will need to supply the Pi password when requested. You should now see files and folders for the Pi in the file manager.

Not sure how you do this on regular Ubuntu, but on Mate (which uses the excellent file manage Caja) go to the menu:-

 File > Connect to Server...

...and enter details as above.

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