For basic A2CLOUD use, I recommend going headless with your Raspberry Pi — that is, using it without a screen and keyboard. This will keep your USB ports free and reduce clutter, plus make it feel more like an Apple II peripheral. It’s pretty doable because you can always display your Pi’s screen on a newer computer on your network, and you can even log into its command line from your Apple II.
With that said, you may want a screen and keyboard attached if you want to use Apple II Pi, or you just feel more comfortable using it that way. So if you’re not ready to go headless, you can skip the rest of this post.
Log in to the Pi’s command line:
If you’re gonna go headless, then you’ll need to take a few steps so that you can control your Pi from another computer, which could be an Apple II, as I’ll explain in a few posts. But you can also use a current-day computer on your network.
On a Mac, open Terminal (in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder), and at the prompt, type
ssh email@example.com to connect. If you have Windows, you can install Bonjour Print Services, and then use PuTTY to connect to the address “raspberrypi.local”.
If that doesn’t work, try updating A2CLOUD by typing
a2cloud-setup. If it still doesn’t work, or you don’t want to install Bonjour Print Services for Windows, you will need to find your Pi’s IP address and use that instead. If you have a Mac, you can use Pi Finder to help with this; if you have Windows, you can use Advanced IP Scanner.
The username is “pi” and the password is “apple2” (or instead “raspberry” if you installed a fresh copy of Raspbian, rather than Raspple II). You should arrive at the Linux prompt.
You can access the Raspbian graphical desktop by using remote desktop software. Use the Remote Desktop Connection application included with Microsoft Windows, or its Mac version, to connect to your Raspberry Pi by putting in “raspberrypi.local”, or your Pi’s IP address. (If you would prefer to use a VNC client, configure tightvncserver. You could also use RDP or VNC clients for other platforms, like iOS and Android.)
Get a consistent IP Address
If “raspberrypi.local” doesn’t work for you for some reason, and you don’t want to have to use Pi Finder or Advanced IP Scanner every time you want to log into your Pi, I suggest you create a DHCP reservation in your router. This will make your router give your Pi the same IP address every time. Every router’s configuration screen is a little different, but they all require the same things: the 12-digit MAC (ethernet hardware) address, and the IP address that should be assigned to it.
Pi Finder and Advanced IP Scanner give you this info. Alternatively, from your Pi, type
ip addr and you’ll find the MAC address as six pairs of digits separated by colons, in a line that starts with “link”, and the IP address as four numbers separated by periods immediately after the word “inet”. If you need help creating DHCP reservations on your particular router, check the manual, or Google for it.
If your router can’t provide a DHCP reservation, you can alternatively configure your Pi to have a static IP address (which is permanently set, rather than asking your router for it) via the method discussed here.