Do you want to add one-click login with Google to your WordPress site? Allowing users to login with their Gmail account saves them time because they wouldn’t have to remember their WordPress username and password. In this article, we will share how to easily add one-click Google login in WordPress.
Why You Should Add One-Click Google Login in WordPress?
Most internet users remain logged in to their Google accounts. This allows them to quickly access all Google apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Photos, and more without signing in separately for each app.
Having one-click Google login activated on your WordPress login page allows your users to quickly sign-in to your website using their Gmail account. It saves them time, and they wouldn’t have to enter their login credentials each time.
If your organization uses GSuite for professional business email addresses, then your team members can use your organization’s Google apps accounts for login.
Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » Google Apps Login page in your WordPress admin area. Under the Main Setup tab, you’ll need to add Client ID and Client Secret code.
To get these details, you need to visit Google Developers Console. If you are not already logged in, then you will be asked to login with your Google account.
Next, you need to click on Start a project from the top menu. It will open a popup where you would click on New Project button to continue.
Now, you need to add a project name and select the location. Project name can be anything, and Location will be your organization’s domain name (example.com). If you are logged in with your company’s Google account or your GSuite account, then it will add the location and organization automatically.
However, if you are creating a project from your personal Google account, then you can leave the location with No Organization selected.
Next, click on the Create button to continue.
You’ll now be redirected to APIs & Services dashboard. On this page, you need to click on Credentials from the left menu and go to OAuth consent screen page.
In the Email Address field, you need to add your email address that you have used to create this project. Also you need to add your website URL in the Homepage URL field and click on the Save button.
After that, it will take you to the Credentials page again. Go ahead and click on the Create Credentials button to select OAuth client ID option.
After that click on the Create button, and you’ll see your Client ID and Client Secret information in a popup.
You need to copy and paste these keys on the plugin’s settings page in your WordPress admin area.
After that, you can simply logout from your WordPress admin account, and you’ll see a Login with Google button on your login screen.
Clicking on the button allows you to login with one-click into your WordPress account. However, keep in mind that users can only login with the Google account address that they have used on your website.
Creating a dropdown list in your Excel spreadsheet can help to increase the efficiency of your work. This might come in handy, especially when you want your coworkers to provide certain information that may be relevant to the company. By using an Excel dropdown list, you can control exactly what can be entered into a cell by giving the users an option to select from a pre-defined list.
When you add a dropdown list to a cell, an arrow will be displayed next to it. Clicking on this arrow will open up the list and give the user the option to choose one of the items on the list. This will not only save you space on your spreadsheet but also make you look like like a superuser and impress your co-workers and boss. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a dropdown list in Excel.
Step 1: Define the Contents of Your List
1. Open up a new Excel worksheet and put down the contents you want to appear on your list. Make sure each entry occupies one cell, and all entries are vertically aligned in the same column. Also, ensure there are no blank cells between the entries. In our case our dropdown menu will open a list of cities to choose from.
2. Once you’re done assembling the list, highlight all the entries, right-click on them, and select “Define Name” from the menu that will show up.
3. This will open a new window with the title “New Name.” Choose a name for your list and enter the same in the “Name” text box.
4. Click “OK.”
Step 2: Adding Your Dropdown List to a Spreadsheet
The next step is to add your dropdown list to a spreadsheet. Here’s how to do it.
1. Open a new or existing worksheet where you want to place your dropdown list.
2. Highlight the cell where you want to place the dropdown list. Click the “Data” tab, then locate the “Data validation” icon in the data tools section and click on it.
3. A data validation box will appear that has three tabs: Settings, Input Message, and Error Alert. In the Settings tab, select “List” from the “Arrow” dropdown list. A new option titled “Source” will now appear at the bottom of the window. Click the text box and then enter a “=” sign, followed by the name of your dropdown list. In our case it should read =cities.
The “Ignore blank” and “In-cell dropdown” boxes are checked by default. With the Ignore blank cell checked, it means it’s okay for people to leave the cell empty. But if you want every user to select an option from the cell, uncheck the box.
4. Click OK. That’s it. You have added a dropdown list to your spreadsheet.
With that completed, you can now proceed to the Input message tab.
Step 3: Set Input Message for Data Validation (Optional)
At times you may want a message (with description) to pop up when the cell containing the dropdown list is clicked. In that case you’ll need to click the “show input message” box in the Input message tab. You’ll also need to fill out the title and the input message in their respective boxes. Your dropdown list should now look something like the following image.
The last tab is for the error alert. Once defined, this one sends an error message if someone enters invalid data – data that is not on the list.
Dropdown lists are very common on websites and are very intuitive for the user. Their versatile nature renders them useful in virtually all industries. Be it in surveys, the business world or even in schools, you’ll always find the need to use Excel dropdown lists.
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Want to install RetroPie but don’t want to lose your existing Raspbian projects and environment? Not keen on the idea of dual booting? The answer is to install RetroPie as an application in Raspbian. In fact, it’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this way befor
You Don’t Always Need a Dedicated Disk Image
Raspberry Pi users have been sold the idea of having a single function for their computer. This single function is typically the Raspbian distro, which users are encouraged to reinstall for each major project. Not only does this reduce the lifespan of your SD card, it’s unnecessary.
In short, things have moved on since the Raspberry Pi first appeared in 2012. Dedicated disk images might be useful for Pi-based retro gaming projects, but if you want more of a versatile experience, Raspbian Stretch is more than adequate. We’ve already looked at how to install Kodi in Raspbian, so let’s find out how to install and configure RetroPie.
What You’ll Need
As ever for a Raspberry Pi project, you’ll need a reliable power supply, a microSD card (at least 8GB, with Raspbian Stretch pre-installed), and a HDMI cable (unless you’re using a touchscreen display).
You’ll also need an Ethernet cable connection to your router (or Wi-Fi connectivity), a keyboard and mouse, and a game controller. Whether you keep these connected or not will depend on the type of games you intend to play.
Indeed, if you’re interested in a very particular type of game (such as those released for the Commodore 64), then a keyboard and two-button joystick will be all you need.
Configure Raspbian to Install RetroPie
To get started, boot up your Raspberry Pi, and change the locale options. This can be done in the command line using:
Here, go to Localisation Options > Change Locale and scroll through the menu to select the en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 option. Select OK to confirm, and wait while the change is made.
Then, reboot the Raspberry Pi with:
You might prefer to use the desktop Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool, available in the Preferences menu. In this case, go to the Localization tab, select Set Locale, and choose the en_US.UTF-8 character set. You’ll be prompted to reboot, so click OK.
With the computer restarted, open a new terminal window and enter the command:
Check that each parameter has the en_US.UTF-8 value assigned.
Install RetroPie on Raspbian
Before you install RetroPie, you’ll need to ensure that git is installed in Raspbian:
The RetroPie-Setup folder will download, so change directory, and make the retropie_setup.sh script executable:
cd RetroPie-Setup chmod +x retropie_setup.sh
You can now install RetroPie using the setup script:
Wait while this runs. Some additional packages may be installed. Once this is done, the RetroPie-Setup Script menu will appear. Select OK to close the intro screen, then choose 1. Basic install.
This installs all packages from the core and main RetroPie projects; select Yes to proceed, and wait as the emulation suite is installed.
This will take a while, and once done, you’ll be returned to the setup menu. Select R Perform Reboot, and select Yes to confirm.
Log In and Configure RetroPie
When the computer restarts, you’ll see the desktop at first; then this will close and display the command line interface. Login with the usual Raspberry Pi credentials. Once you’ve done that, run EmulationStation:
The user interface to RetroPie will load up, and you’ll be prompted to configure your controller. If you prefer to skip this and navigate via your keyboard, you can deal with the controller later.
Next, if you’re using wireless networking, rather than Ethernet, you’ll need to connect to your wireless network. Go to the RetroPie menu, then choose WiFi. Select 1 Connect to WiFi network and select the correct network name. Click OK, then enter the passkey, confirming with OK.
When this is done, wait for the menu to appear again; if successful, it should display the IP address for the wireless connection. Select Exit to close the menu.
As things stand, you’re ready to install BIOS files and game ROMs on your Raspberry Pi. But you might need some emulators first. You’ll find these via RetroPie > RetroPie Setup > M Manage packages. Here, select opt Manage optional packages, and find the one that suits the platform you wish to emulate.
Along with recognizable gaming platforms like the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast, you’ll find old 8-bit systems and even arcade games (always labelled “MAME”). Meanwhile, classic games ported to the Raspberry Pi can be found in the list (such as Doom and Quake), as can the ScummVM program, which enables you to run certain point-and-click graphic adventure games.
When you find the emulator(s) you want to add, select them one at a time, using Install from source. This can take a while depending on how many (and which) emulators you have chosen. Click Back when you’re done until you return to the main RetroPie-Setup Script menu, then select R Perform reboot again.
BIOS and Game Files
In order to play games on RetroPie, you need a BIOS file for the emulator concerned, and ROM files for the games you want to play. Due to copyright law, we cannot link to these, but you should find what you need via Google. Note that if you’re using ROM files, you should already own a copy of the physical media.
When you have the files (ROM files should be saved to the appropriate emulator folder, BIOS files to the BIOS directory), you’ll be able to run the games in EmulationStation.
Usually, we would instruct you to do this via SSH or FTP from a second computer. However, this isn’t necessary if you can easily drop out of RetroPie and back to the PIXEL desktop in Raspbian. This way, you can use the Chromium browser to find and download your BIOS and ROM files, and save them to your Raspberry Pi.
To exit RetroPie, click the Start button (which you will have configured earlier) and select Quit > Quit EmulationStation, then when the command line appears, enter:
sudo systemctl start lightdm
This will restart the Pixel desktop on Raspbian, and you can continue using your Raspberry Pi as normal. Perhaps you have a project you’re developing? If not, there are many other great uses for a Raspberry Pi.
Whenever you want to launch RetroPie again, simply use the emulationstation command.
One of the most important skills you can learn as a Linux user is how to use a manual page, or “man page.”
This article will introduce you to those simple documents. You’ll learn how to open man pages and identify the contents inside, which will include special markings such as bold and underlined text alongside indicators such as ellipses (…) and brackets ([ ]).
Man pages are fairly easy to tackle, and your time is valuable, so let’s not waste another minute.
Opening Man Pages
In whichever terminal you have on hand, type
to open a man page. If you want to open the page for xterm, a terminal probably on your system, type man xterm.
Man pages are sorted into sections. Sometimes you will find them listed with their section number, like “tty(4).” The section number here refers to the tty controlling terminal under the “Special files (devices)” section, which is part of the standard sections of man pages listed in the link in this paragraph.
Any time you see a listing like “tty(4),” you can reach that section by typing
man <section number> <page name>
The syntax man 4 tty will reach the page reference here.
Finding a Specific Page
If you ever want to see if a man page exists, try
like whatis xterm.
Suppose you don’t know what page you need, but you know you want to read about terminals. You can search for a keyword by first refreshing your manual page cache with the command
Then search with
The syntax man -k terminal is appropriate in this situation.
You can pipe long output into the text reader less by using
That will make it easier to scroll and search for items.
Man Page Syntax
Speaking of text readers, you will probably find less‘s younger cousin, known as more, on your system. Bring up its man page with
It should look like the following image.
The reason more‘s man page works well as an example is because of the syntax shown in its Synopsis section. It reads “more [options] file…”
While that may not look complex, the variations in text style and form are all important to that line.
Any text in bold means that you should type it exactly as shown. When using the more utility, you will need to type the word “more” at the beginning of every command.
Text shown in brackets is optional. In more’s case, you can use options like -f to count logical lines or -c to paint lines instead of scrolling them. The beginning of a more command could then look like
Since those parameters are optional, you can omit them entirely.
Underlined or Italicized Text
Depending on your terminal’s capabilities, you will likely see underlined and italicized text in certain places. Sometimes such text may also be a different color. In any case, this type of text means you need to replace it with an appropriate argument.
In this example with more, you must replace “file” with a file name. more -c file.txt makes sense here.
An ellipsis shown after any argument — file... – or expression – [options]... – means that argument or expression is repeatable.
What you get with more in file... means that something like
more -f text.txt anothertext.txt
is allowed. In this case more will read “text.txt,” print it to screen, allow you to scroll if necessary, and then take action on “anothertext.txt.”
One other type of indicator you’ll see in man pages is the “|.” This symbol means “or,” and in a man page it shows you that, for instance, two options are not allowed together at once.
The more example used above doesn’t list any parameters as being exclusive, so there isn’t a relevant example to show for that utility. If you read a handful of other man pages, however, you will come across something like -a|-b, and that means you can use only -a or -b in a command.
Sections of a Man Page
You will also see various sections in man pages that repeat time and time again. Typically, you will see “NAME,” “SYNOPSIS,” “DESCRIPTION,” “EXAMPLES,” and “SEE ALSO” sections, all listed in capital letters for clarity. The “OPTIONS” and “COMMANDS” sections will often be present as well.
Most of the sections are self-explanatory in nature. You can typically start from the top of any man page and get a brief overview of its contents with the Name, Synopsis, and Description sections. Afterward, you can peruse its options and examples to get a look at common usage.
Terminals often use the less utility to read man pages, so you should be able to search for any phrase with /.
While man pages might not be fancy, they hold a wealth of information. Now that you’re primed with the basic syntax found in most man pages, you can easily make use of one the next time you’re stuck when using a utility.
Also, don’t forget that man man is your friend and will cover all the details not discussed here.
I’ve learned to code and want to start using GitHub to manage my projects. Despite the introductory lesson they provide, I still don’t understand how it works at all. Can you help me?
GitHub’s a great tool but it’s definitely a little confusing the first time around (and, possibly, a few times after that). That’s likely why GitHub created software (for OS X and Windows) to make the process a bit easier. Nevertheless, it’s good to learn the old-fashioned way otherwise your options in the simplified software won’t make sense. Let’s start by walking through the basics.
Step One: Sign Up for GitHub
Here comes the easy part: make yourself a GitHub account signing up on the front page. After completing the form, GitHub will sign you in and take you to your empty news feed. In the middle of the page, you’ll see the boot camp (pictured to the right). We’re going to go through it to set up your account and, later, create your first repository. Click on “Set Up Git” to get started.
Step Two: Install Git
GitHub exists because of a version control application called git. The site is based around how git works, and git is pretty old. It runs via the command line and has no fancy graphical user interface. Since it’s made to manage code you wrote, this shouldn’t sound too scary. (Of course, as previously mentioned, GitHub did make wonderful software to allow you to use their service without the command line but that won’t help you too much unless you know the basics.)
Git works by reading a local code repository (just a folder containing code for your project) on your computer and the mirroring that code elsewhere (in this case, GitHub’s servers). Initially we’ll commit (i.e. send) your entire local repository to GitHub, but that’s just a one-time affair. As you continue to work on your code, you’ll simply commit changes. GitHub will then keep track of the changes you made, creating different versions of files so you can revert back to old ones if you want (or just keep track of those changes for other reasons). This is primarily why you’d want to use a version control system like git on your own, but additional benefits surface when using git to manage code with other people working on your project. When multiple developers commit code with git, GitHub becomes a central repository where all the code that everyone’s working on can stay in sync. You’ll commit your changes, and other developers will pull them (i.e. sync them to their local repository). You’ll do the same with their code.
Git makes this all happen, so you need to download the latest version and install it. On OS X, you’ll just install the command line app. On Windows, you’ll get a few more items. We’ll discuss how they work in the next step.
Step Three: Set Up Git
To set up git, you need to make your way into the command line. On OS X, that means launching the Terminal app (Hard Drive -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and on Windows that means launching the Git Bash app you just installed—not the Windows command prompt. When you’re ready, tell git your name like this:
git config --global user.name "Your Name Here"
For example, mine would look like this because I’m using a test account for this example:
git config --global user.name "Adam Dachis"
You can put in any name you like, but afterwards you’ll need to input your email and that email must be the email you used when signing up for GitHub:
Now, to avoid always entering your login credentials and generating SSH keys, you’ll want to install the credential helper so your passwords are cached. If you’re on Windows, download it and install it. If you’re on OS X, you’ll need to handle this through the Terminal. To start, use this command to download the credential helper:
This will download a tiny little file and shouldn’t take too long. When finished, enter the following command to make sure the permissions are correct on the file you just download (and fix them if not):
chmod u+x git-credential-osxkeychain
Now it’s time to install the credential helper into the same folder where you install git. To do so, enter this command:
You’ll be prompted for your administrator password because the above command began with sudo. Sudo is shorthand for “super user do” and is necessary when performing a task that requires root access. The sudo command allows you to become the root user (a user with permission to do pretty much anything) on your operating system for a moment so you can perform this task. You’re asked to enter your password to prove you’re an administrator on the computer and should be allowed to do this. Once you’ve entered your password and the credential helper has been moved, finish up the installation with this command:
git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain
Now you’re all set and can move on to actually using git and GitHub!
Step Four: Create Your First Repository
Now that you’ve made it this far, you can actually use GitHub! As a first order of business, we’re going to create a repository (or “repo” for short). Head on over to GitHub and click the “New Repository” button on the top right of your account page. (Note: If you’re still displaying the GitHub bootcamp section, it’ll show up underneath it.)
When creating a repository you have a few things to decide including it’s name and whether it’ll be publicly accessible or not. Choosing a name should be pretty simple because you likely already have a name for your project. If you’re just following along for learning purposes, use “Hello-World.” Why “Hello-World” and not “Hello World”? Because spaces and special characters will cause problems. Keep it simple and easy to type in the command line. If you want to include a more complex name, you can add it to the optional description field beneath the name field.
If you’re creating an open-source project, you want a public repository. If you want to code by yourself or share only with specific people, a private repository will do. Make the choice that works best for you and your project.
When you’re all done, you can click the “Create repository” button but you might want to do one other thing first: check the “Initialize this repository with a README” checkbox. Why? All repositories require a README file. Ideally that file would contain a little information about your project, but you might not want to deal with that right now. By initializing the repository with a README, you’ll get an empty README file that you can just deal with later. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to leave the box unchecked because, in the next section, we’re going to create a README file from scratch to practice committing (sending) it to GitHub.
Step Five: Make Your First Commit
When you send files to GitHub, you commit them. To practice, we’re going to initialize your local repository and create a README file to commit as practice. Before you start, you need to know where your local code repository is on your computer and how to access it via the command line. In this tutorial, we’re going to assume there’s a directory called “Hello-World” in your computer’s home folder. If you need to create one, just run this command (same for Git Bash on Windows and OS X’s terminal):
Now change to that directory using the cd (change directory) command:
In case you were wondering, the ~ represents your home directory in Git Bash and Terminal. It’s simply shorthand so you don’t have to type it all out (which would look more like /Users/yourusername/). Now that your repository is ready, type this:
If you already had a repository ready to go, you’d just need to cd to that directory and then run the git init command in there instead. Either way, your local repository is ready to go and you can start committing code. But wait, you don’t have anything to commit! Run this command to create a README file:
Let’s take a break for a second and see what just happened. Go into the home folder on your computer and look at the Hello-World folder (or look at whatever folder you’re using for a local repository). You’ll notice a README file inside, thanks to the command you just ran. What you won’t see is a .git folder, but that’s because it’s invisible. Git hides it in there, but because you ran the git init command you know it exists. If you’re skeptical, just run the ls command in Git Bash/Terminal to display a list of everything in the current directory (which, if you’re following along, is your local repository).
So how does git know we want to commit this README file we just created? It doesn’t, and you have to tell it. This command will do the trick:
git add README
If you want to add other files to commit, you’ll use the same command but replace README with the name of a different file. Now, run this command to commit it:
git commit -m 'first commit'
While the other commands were pretty straightforward, the commit command has a little more going on so let’s break it down. When you type git, that’s just telling the command line that you want to use the git program. When you type commit, you’re telling git you want to use the commit command. Everything that follows those two thing count as options. The first, -m, is what’s known as a flag. A flag specifies that you want to do something special rather than just run the commit command. In this case, the -m flag means “message” and what follows it is your commit message (in the example, ‘first commit’). The message isn’t absolutely necessary (although you’ll usually need to provide one), but simply a reference to help you differentiate the various versions of a file (or files) you commit to your repository.
Your first commit should go by in a split second because you haven’t actually uploaded anything yet. To get this empty README file to GitHub, you need to push it with a couple of commands. Here’s the first:
This command tells git where to send your Hello-World repository. Now all you need to do is send it:
git push origin master
Once you run that command, everything (in this case, just your README file) will make it’s way over to GitHub. Congratulations on your first commit!
Using GitHub requires more than just committing a README file, but these basics should give you a good grasp on how to interact with the git app and the service. Now that you know how GitHub works at its core, you can use the GitHub apps to manage your code instead if you prefer. If you want to learn more about GitHub, there are some great tutorials. For starters, take a look at how to fork a repository and LockerGnome’s GitHub guide.
VLC Media player is hailed as the Swiss Army Knife of all media players, and its supremacy is not without reason. Just throw any media file at it, and this smart player will not only play but also give you endless options while allowing you to view all relevant file information, including codec info and FPS.
Apart from playing any file format, VLC Media Player can also stream videos. And besides that, VLC also has other lesser-known functions such as the ability to rip a DVD. And now we are taking a step further to use a lesser known, yet most interesting feature of this player, which is to record a desktop.
No version of Windows has a built-in feature to record a computer’s screen. Windows 10 came close to implementing that functionality with Game DVR. However, this feature can only record games and app videos. Game DVR cannot function outside apps. That means to capture your computer’s screen, you’ll need a third party application, and most of these apps are not free.
But why install an additional software when you can use an already existing app to record your computer’s screen? In this tutorial we’ll walk you through the process of recording your Windows 10 screen using VLC media player.
Record Windows 10 Screen Using VLC Media Player
To record the Windows 10 screen using VLC, simply follow the steps below:
2. Click the Media menu on the top bar of the player, then select the “Convert/Save” option.
2. A new window will open. Click the “Capture Device” tab, and under the “Capture Mode” section select “Desktop.” Down there you’ll also find the option to select your preferred frame rate for the capture. Choose a decent frame rate – we recommend between 5 to 15 for good picture quality.
3. Click the “Save” button to continue.
4. Clicking the “Convert/Save” button will open the convert dialogue box. This is where you will choose where you want your file to be saved. Click the “Browse” button in the destination section at the bottom of the window to select your preferred destination.
5. Click “Save” to continue once you’ve defined your preferred location, and the system will take you back to the convert dialogue. Now click the “Start” button to start recording the screen. Note that the “Start” button will only become active after choosing the destination file. It’s also worth noting that VLC will not show you any indication on the screen that it is recording.
6. Finally, to stop the recording, click the “Stop” button on the VLC player and save the file.
You can now open the file with VLC or any other media player to watch the screen recording.
While VLC Media player is a great tool for screen recording, it’s not the best tool for that functionality and is lacking in some areas. For instance, it only lets you record the entire screen in raw format. This means you can’t record a section of the screen, which leads to large-sized videos even for a short-timed screencast.
Also, it doesn’t let you use your voice in the screen recording. That means you’ll need to record your voice separately and then stream the audio along with the screen recording. Other than that, VLC media player is a great and convenient screen-recording tool that is free and easy to use. Also check out our article on how to add and sync subtitles in VLC Media Player.
Have you ever used VLC Media Player for screen recording? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
You probably already know that you can use your Raspberry Pi as a media center. You can even install Kodi on it for managing media offline and online. But what if you’re happier to leave it running Raspbian as the main operating system?
Well, if you have a mobile device you don’t mind using for managing your media, you could use this to cast a video to your TV. Yes: you can use your Raspberry Pi just like a Chromecast. You won’t be able to use the Cast button on Android, but YouTube videos, pictures, audio and images from your smartphone can be streamed to your TV.
Install the Raspicast App
Get started by installing Raspicast on your Android device. This is a free app that connects to your Raspberry Pi and streams data to it. As long as your Pi is connected to the HDMI input on your TV or display, you’ll be able to view the media on your phone. You’ll find Raspicast in the Google Play app store. Unfortunately, there is no reliable iPhone alternative for this.
It’s important to note that both the Android phone and the Raspberry Pi need to be on the same network for this to work. You can’t, for example, stream video from your phone to your TV if you’re sat on the bus. If you’re trying to share a video with someone sat at home, simply message them the link!
With the app installed, turn your attention to the Raspberry Pi. This should be already connected to your TV via HDMI, and powered up. We tested this on a Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian Stretch. However, you should find it works with other Raspberry Pi distributions (although some of the commands may differ).
As you’ll need SSH enabled, here’s a quick primer. You have three options to enable it:
Via raspi-config. You can run this from the command line using sudo raspi-config, then select Interfacing Options > SSH and use the arrow keys to confirm with OK.
Use the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool. From the Raspbian desktop, open Menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. In the Interfaces tab, find SSH and set it to Enabled.
Finally, if you prefer simplicity, you can enable SSH before you boot up your Pi. Insert the microSD card into your computer, browse to the boot partition, and create a new file. This should be called ssh, and have no file extension. Once you replace the SD card and reboot, SSH should be enabled.
Now it’s time to run some updates. Start off by opening a terminal window on your Pi and running:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
These commands will update your Raspberry Pi’s operating system, and find and install any software updates.
Install and Build OpenMax
With the updates installed, we need some prerequisite packages:
sudo apt-get install libjpeg9-dev libpng12-dev
The packages libjpeg9-dev and libpng12-dev are necessary for building programs that can handle JPG and PNG images. This will enable the media to be cast to your Raspberry Pi via the Raspicast app on Android!
Now, install OpenMax. This tool is the best option for casting video, audio and images from an Android device to a TV-connected Raspberry Pi. It’s available via GitHub, and you can install it by “cloning” the data repository to your Pi:
You’re nearly done; it’s time to build the OpenMax software. Begin by switching to the omxiv directory and using the make command.
cd omxiv make ilclient make
This will take a while. Once it’s done, you’ll be ready to install:
sudo make install
A few moments later, OpenMax will be installed!
Get Ready to Cast!
Everything you need to cast from your Android device to your Raspberry Pi is now in place. On Android, run the Raspicast app, and in the SSH settings input the Hostname or IP address of your Raspberry Pi. Follow this with your Pi’s username and password, then click OK.
To cast to your Raspberry Pi, you have two options. The first is to browse for the content within the Raspicast app and hit play. Alternatively, if you want to cast from YouTube, find the video in the app and tap the Share button.
Here, select Cast (Raspicast), and the video should automatically play on your TV! Meanwhile, to send videos, music and photos to your Raspberry Pi display, simply use the main Raspicast screen and select Cast. This will open a screen listing all videos on your Android device.
On one of the four tabs (along with Music, Albums, and Images), selecting a media file will prompt its immediate playback on your Raspberry Pi.
Need to change the IP address within the app (e.g. to cast to a different Pi)? Open the “three dots” menu and select SSH Settings. Simply input the new IP address and credentials.
More Raspicast Options
Also in the Raspicast menu, you’ll find a check box to Repeat the currently playing file. Further down the list, Audio output can be customized, using HDMI (default), local, both, or alsa. This will prove useful for anyone using an external audio solution with their Pi.
You should also check the Advanced options screen. Here you’ll find options for managing a queue of files, managing volume (audio volume offset), using HTTP if necessary (HTTPS is the default), specifying custom commands, and more.
Meanwhile, on the main Raspicast screen, use the Files button to navigate and play media stored on your Raspberry Pi!
You Can Also Cast With Kodi!
Now, there is a downside to all of this: you can’t run Raspicast with a Raspberry Pi running OSMC (a popular Kodi distribution). Unfortunate as this is, there is an alternative: the Kore remote control app for Android devices.
Usually, you’ll use this to remote control Kodi, but it’s also capable of casting to a Kodi system, including OSMC. Simply install the app, set it up with the IP address of your Raspberry Pi, and then head to YouTube. As with Raspicast, tap the Share button on the video you want to cast, then select Play on Kodi.
This will immediately stream the video to your TV via Kodi!
Other Chromecast Alternatives
The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only alternative to a Chromecast. You might already have a solution that you were unaware of, such as a set-top box or smart TV with YouTube compatibility. In this situation, casting videos from the YouTube app to the TV is usually possible as long as the receiver is on the same network.
At some point, you may need to record video of your desktop. Maybe you want to grab footage of a favorite game, or record steps of a problem you’re having. There are plenty of dedicated tools available for screen recording, but you probably already have one installed without knowing it.
Open VLC Media Player by searching for it in the Start Menu.
Click the Media tab on the toolbar and select Convert/Save.
Switch to the Capture Device tab. Here, change the Capture mode dropdown box to Desktop.
Set a number of frames per second in the Desired frame rate box. For basic screen recordings, 15FPS should work fine. If you need a high-quality recording, try 30FPS. A higher frame rate means a smoother recording but larger file size.
Click the Convert/Save button to open the next dialog box.
Select Browse next to the Destination file box and choose a place to save the recording.
Click Start once you’ve done this to start the recording. VLC will record everything on the screen, with no indication that it’s doing so.
To stop the recording, click the Stop button on VLC’s interface and it will automatically save the file. You’ll find it waiting in MP4 format at the location you specified earlier.
That’s all it takes to make a quick recording of your screen. VLC doesn’t offer advanced features like dedicated recorders, but it’s easy to use in a pinch. Now you can share what’s on your screen anytime—no more using your phone’s camera!
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The Raspberry Pi is a great way to learn both DIY tech and programming on a budget. They are also great cheap computers for kids, with plenty of great learning resources included to help young minds grasp useful concepts for the future.
There are many great beginner projects out there which use the Pi’s GPIO (general-purpose input/output) pins. It’s great for coding too, since the Raspbian operating system comes with Python built-in. There is even a version of Minecraft for the Pi which can help you learn both beginner electronics and Python!
While this is great for people with some coding experience, what if you wanted to teach someone how to use the Pi’s GPIO pins without having to learn a programming language?
With Scratch, you can.
Today we will use Scratch to turn on an LED attached to our GPIO pins, while learning about some basic animation and programming ideas—all without having to type any code! This tutorial is perfect for getting kids involved with DIY electronics and programmatic thinking from an early age. Both the video and the article are perfect for the home or classroom.
What You’ll Need
1 x Raspberry Pi with Raspbian installed. A Pi 3 is used today, but any Pi will do
1 x LED
1 x 220 Ohms or higher resistor
1 x breadboard
2 x hookup wires
Setting Up the LED
We want to set up our LED and resistor on the breadboard like this:
Here is a diagram of that same setup. Notice that in this diagram the LED is the other way around, but the circuit is still exactly the same.
We want to set it up so that the hookup wire from GPIO pin 5 connects to the leg of our resistor. The resistor’s other leg attaches to the positive side of our LED. If you are wondering which side that is, look at the top of your LED. One side should be curved, and the other side should be flat. The curved side is positive, and the flat side is negative. Use a piece of hookup wire to connect the negative side of the LED to a GND pin.
To open scratch, click on the Raspberry Pi start menu and navigate to Programming > Scratch 2.0. When scratch opens it will look something like this:
There is a lot going on here, but it’s quite simple to get the hang of. The left side of the screen is where the action happens. Anything we code will play out in this box.
Just below it is the sprite window where you can load images into your program, or paint your own sprites if you are feeling creative!
In the middle panel, you’ll find all of the blocks you can use to make your programs. You’ll also notice two tabs called Costumes and Sounds which you can use to customise your project even more, but today we won’t be using them.
On the right is where you can drag these blocks to make the magic happen!
The right side is currently empty. Let’s do something about that!
Before we go any further, we’ll need to add a few blocks to our toolkit to access our GPIO pins and turn on our LED. In the middle panel, click on More Blocks.
Now click Add an Extension and choose Pi GPIO. This will add blocks we can use with our Raspberry Pi pins.
Now that we’ve got all the tools we need, lets make a program!
Light Emitting Cat
Since we already have a cat sprite loaded in, let’s use it. We are going to make a program which makes the cat take a step whenever a button is clicked, and make the LED light up for one second every time. Start by grabbing the move 10 steps block from the Motion tab, and drag it to the empty space on the right. Now click on the More Blocks tab and drag the set GPIO output to to the right and connect it to the bottom of the first block. It should look like this:
You’ll notice that there is a number 5 in my GPIO block, click on the white circle and enter the number of your GPIO pin here. If you set up your LED the same way as was shown above, it will also be number 5. Now if you click on the code block it will glow for a moment. This means it is running, so you should see your cat move, and the LED will turn on. Progress!
Making It More Complicated
Now that we have a basic start, let’s add some more logic to our code. Right now, our light comes on and never goes off again. What we want is for it to wait a moment before going off again. We are going to use a wait block for this.
Under the Control tab, grab a wait 1 secs block and attach it to the bottom of your stack. Now the program knows to wait for a second every time it gets there. To turn the LED off again, grab another set GPIO output to block and drag it to the bottom.
This time we want it to turn the LED off, by setting the GPIO to output low. Click the little drop down arrow next to output high and change it to output low. Don’t forget this block also needs the same GPIO number as the one above it!
It should look like this:
Now when you click the block of code, the cat should move and the LED should turn on for one second before turning off. Right now, this only works when we click our code block. Let’s make a button to do it instead.
Button, Button, I’ve Got the Button!
We need something to click to tell our cat to move. An arrow should do the trick! In the Sprites window on the bottom left, click the button next to New sprite. This will let us choose from a library of sprites that comes with Scratch.
We are using the sprite Arrow1 as it seems appropriate for our program, but you can use whichever sprite you like. You can even draw your own sprites in Scratch, or upload images you have made elsewhere to use. Once you have added your arrow it should appear in the same pane as your cat on the left. Drag the cat to the left side of the screen and your arrow to the top like this:
We need to give our arrow its own set of blocks. Double click on the arrow sprite, you should see that the pane on the right is empty now. We want our cat to run their block of code every time the arrow is clicked.
To do this, grab the when this sprite clicked block from the Events tab. This means that whenever you click on the arrow, its block will start running. Now we need to send a message to our cat whenever that happens. Luckily, Scratch will let us do exactly that.
Receiving You, Loud and Clear!
We will send a message to our cat using the broadcast block. Grab it from the Events tab and slot it under the when this sprite clicked block. This block will send a message to every other sprite in our program. Right now it says message1, but lets add our own message by clicking the drop down arrow next to message1 and selecting new message. Type go into the window that pops up and click ok.
Now double click on the cat again. We need to tell the cat to listen for this broadcast message. Drag the When I receive block to the very top of the stack we have already made, and make sure the drop down menu reads go as well. Now, every time you click the arrow in the left pane it broadcasts go, the cat receives go and moves, and the LED should light up.
Well done! It’s looking good! There is just one final thing we can do to make it even better.
Never-Ending Cat Story
If you’ve clicked your arrow enough times, you’ll probably notice that your cat has gone off the right side of the screen. We could just grab it and drag it back each time, but good programmers are lazy, and they make the code do the work for them. Lets be good programmers and use blocks to make our cat move back by itself.
Drag the cat back to the left side of the screen, and make sure it isn’t touching the edge. Place your mouse pointer over the middle of the cat sprite, and look in the bottom corner of the left pane. There will be an x and a y there followed by two numbers. Write these down, we will need them in a minute.
Every time our cat moves we want to tell it: if you are touching the right side of the screen, go back to the start. We can use blocks to tell it this. Start by grabbing the if then block from the Control tab and drag it under your code blocks. This one looks a bit different, it has a diamond gap at the top, and a gap in the middle. We use these gaps to tell it what to do.
Now go to the Sensing tab, and select touching mouse-pointer? block. You will notice it is a diamond shape, which fits perfectly into the diamond gap in the if then block. If you are having trouble getting it to fit in, drag it to the right side of the if then first, and move it left until you see the diamond shaped gap glow. You’ll also notice it says mouse-pointer which isn’t what we want. Use the drop down menu to select edge instead.
So far, this part of the block is saying If the cat touches the edge do… nothing so far. Let’s change that.
Back to the Beginning
Our if <touching edge> then block has a gap that needs filling. Go to the Motion tab, and select the go to x: y: block, and drag it into the gap in our if <touching edge> then block.
Scratch is quite clever, and will have put the x and y numbers where your cat sprite is positioned already, but check that these numbers match the ones you wrote down earlier. If they don’t, change them by clicking on the white boxes next to x: and y:.
The full code block for your cat should look like this.
This is now a fully functional program! When you click the arrow enough times that your cat hits the other side of the window, he will pop back to the start again.
That’s it, we are finished. Well done!
Now You Can Use Scratch on Raspberry Pi
Today you have created a program which incorporated animation (when the cat moved), DIY electronics (building an LED circuit and controlling it), and some programmer’s logic to make your life a little easier.
All without having to write a single line of code.
Arguably, Kodi’s most significant selling point is that it is open-source. Because it’s open-source, a vast community of programmers and developers has built up around the app. If you’re a skilled coder, you can even make changes to the source code yourself.
The community is responsible for all the good stuff the app offers. Kodi by itself is an entirely underwhelming shell and provides nothing beyond the interface.
Let’s stress that again because Kodi newbies often overlook it: if you don’t have any locally saved media, and you don’t have any interest in learning how to use repos and add-ons, you don’t need Kodi. No media is included in the app. 7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users If you’re just starting out on your Kodi journey and don’t have a clue where to begin, we’re here to help with these essential Kodi tips for newbies. Read More
Lastly, be aware that Kodi’s customizability comes at a cost. It requires a lot of user input to make the app run the way you want it to, and it necessitates more effort to keep everything working as time goes by. If you want a plug-and-play app, Plex might be a better choice.
How to Install Kodi
Kodi is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (mobile and TV), iOS, and Raspberry Pi.
If you’re running the app on a desktop machine or Android, you just need to grab the app from either the website or the associated app store. Windows users can also use the Windows Store version, while Android can download the APK file and sideload the app. Sideloading will make it more difficult to update the app, however, so we recommend using the Play Store method.
If you want to install Kodi on iOS, the situation is a lot more complicated.
Kodi is not available in the Apple App Store. Instead, you need to compile an app using XCode. To get started, you need iOS 10.9 or higher, a copy of Kodi’s DEB file, XCode 7 or higher, an iOS app signer, and an Apple ID.
It’s also possible to install Kodi on iOS by using Cydia on a jailbroken device, but many users don’t want to risk voiding their warranty. However, if you have an older iOS gadget that you’re willing to take a few risks with, it’s certainly the easier approach.
For the other platforms, just get the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions. You will have Kodi running on your device in minutes.
Hopefully, you’re now looking at Kodi’s main interface. But there’s no content there, no setup wizard, and no hint of how to use add-ons and repos.
Don’t worry, we’re going to explain everything, but let’s get some basics out of the way first.
On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see shortcuts for all the different media classes. They are Movies, TV shows, Music, Music videos, TV, Radio, Add-ons, Pictures, Videos, and Weather. If you’re not planning to use all the shortcuts, you can remove some by heading to Settings > Skin settings > Main menu items and sliding the appropriate toggles into the Off position.
As you use Kodi more, you will probably find it’s easier to navigate through the app using your keyboard rather than your mouse.
There are more than 100 different keyboard shortcuts you can use. Some even perform different functions depending what’s on the screen. For example, Page Down will skip to the previous queued video (or previous chapter) if you’re watching a video, but will decrease the rating of a song if you’re listening to audio.
Nonetheless, there are some important keyboard shortcuts that all users should know about. Here are some of the most common:
F9 or –: Volume Down
F10 or +: Volume Up
Spacebar or P: Play / Pause
F: Fast Forward
Leftarrow: Jump back 30 seconds
Rightarrow: Jump forward 30 seconds
I: Show information about the currently playing video
T: Turn subtitles on or off
Note: You can use a keymap editor add-on to change which keys perform which function. Advanced users can also change the shortcuts by editing the userdata file.
Adding Your Media to Kodi
If you’re just starting your Kodi journey, there are probably three forms of media that your keen to add to the app as soon as possible: videos, music, and photos.
We’re going to look at each one individually.
Adding Videos to Kodi
Kodi is a supremely powerful app which skilled users can force to perform all manner of tricks. However, for the vast majority of users, the principal reason for installing the software is to watch videos.
If you want to maximize the enjoyment of watching videos on Kodi, there is an exact process you need to follow.
Prepare Your Video Files
Preparing your video files is crucial because Kodi uses scrappers to search for the appropriate metadata for your videos. Metadata includes artwork, synopses, show/movie descriptions, season numbers, episode numbers, cast lists, directors, and a whole lot more.
This data isn’t essential to being able to watch your videos through Kodi, but it’s the only way to build your library into a vibrant and dynamic list.
So, if you’re naming a TV show, place the files in the following folder structure:
/ShowName/Season XX/ (for example, Friends/Season 05)
For single episodes, name each file as sXXeYY, and for multiple episodes, name the file as sXXeYY-eYY. For example, S05E02.
Specials should be put into the following folder structure:
Movie files can either be saved as standalone files or each saved in their own sub-folder. Use the following structure for the movie file itself:
[Movie Name] (Year) (for example, The Hurt Locker (2008))
Therefore, the folder tree should look like either Movies/ The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4 or Movies/The Hurt Locker (2008)/The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4.
If your content is a disorganized mess, you could try using FileBot. It’s a TV show and movie renamer; it’ll scan online databases and do all the hard work on your behalf. However, FileBot does cost $19.99.
Note: You should keep your movie and TV shows in separate folder trees.
Add Your Videos
Now it’s time to add your video files into Kodi.
To begin, select Videos from the menu on the left-hand side of Kodi’s home screen. On the next screen, choose Files. Finally, click on Add videos.
Now you need to add the video source. “Source” is a word you will come across frequently while using Kodi. It can refer to many different things. In this case, it just means you need to select the folder on your hard drive when you have saved your video files.
You can give your source a name. Typically, you should name it Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos, or something else that’s similarly descriptive.
Now you need to tell Kodi what type of videos are in the source folder. It will allow Kodi to scan the correct online database for metadata. It uses TheTVDB for TV-based metadata and TheMovieDB for film information.
On the final screen, you can set some additional options. They include how frequently Kodi will scan the folder for new content and some movie naming conventions. When you’re ready, hit OK and Kodi will start importing your content. If you have hundreds of TV episodes and movies, the process might take a long time.
Repeat the above steps for each type of video content you want to add.
Adding Music to Kodi
Once your video collection is up and running, it’s time to turn your attention to your music library.
Prepare Your Music Files
Like with video files, if you want Kodi to find the metadata relating to your music, you need to prepare your music collection before you can add it.
Kodi uses the open-source MusicBrainz database for music tagging. The database includes more than 1.2 million artists, 1.8 million albums, and 17.5 million songs.
If MusicBrainz cannot correctly tag your music, you can do it yourself. The file tree of your music needs to follow the Artist > Album > Song structure. For example, Michael Jackson > Thriller > Billie Jean.
Correctly tagging all your music is a painstaking process. But when you’ve finally finished, you’re ready to add your music collection into the Kodi app.
Adding music to your library is a two-part process. Firstly, you need to scan your collection so Kodi can import it. Secondly, you need to scrape your library for additional information. You must finish the first step before you can move on.
To start the scanning process, you need to tell Kodi where your music collection is saved on your hard drive. Go to the Kodi home screen and click on Music in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. On the next screen, go to Files > Add music. Click on Browse and choose the folder when your music is located.
Now give your music collection a name. If you’re going to import multiple collections, choose something recognizable.
On the next screen, Kodi will ask whether you want to add your media source to the library. Click on Yes and the app will start scanning.
Again, if you have an extensive collection, this process could take a while.
Next, it’s time to scrape your collection for additional information. The additional data comes in many forms: it could include artist style, the formation date of a band, the theme of an album, or even the date and location where the artist died.
To scrape more information, start by clicking on Music on the Kodi home screen. On the next screen choose Artists. Right-click on any artist name to pull up the context menu and select Query info for all artists to start the scrape.
The scraping process could take many hours to finish. It will cover about 300 artists per hour. When it’s complete, you should run it for a second time to make sure any “server busy” responses are fixed.
Adding Photos to Kodi
You will be pleased to learn that adding photos and pictures to Kodi requires much less preparation and time than adding music or video files.
To add a folder of photos, select Pictures from the menu on the left-hand side of the Kodi home screen. On the next screen, choose Add pictures.
A new window will pop up. Click on Browse and point to the folder which contains the images you want to add. When you’re ready, click on OK.
Kodi offers a few features to make viewing pictures more enjoyable. They include a slideshow, a randomizer, and zoom.
A repo (or repository) is a library of add-ons. The add-ons themselves are what allow you to access and watch content. You need to add a repo before you can install an add-on.
Kodi offers an official repo, but you can also find many third-party repos from people who create their own add-ons. The Kodi repo is included in the app automatically.
Sadly, given the recent clampdown on Kodi by the authorities, many once-popular repos have disappeared for good. It’s no longer possible to direct you to “must-have” repos because the situation is so fluid. We can, however, explain how to add repos.
Using the Official Kodi Repo
The official Kodi repo contains loads of add-ons, and many users won’t even need to consider using third-party repos. Available add-ons include BBC iPlayer, Pluto TV, Crackle, SoundCloud, Arte TV, Bravo, BT Sport, and the Disney Channel. Most importantly, all of the add-ons in the official repo are entirely legal.
To browse the official repo from within the Kodi app, select Add-ons from the left-hand side of the Kodi home screen. On the next screen, click on Download (again, on the left-hand side of the screen).
You will now see a list of add-on categories. You can click on any of them to see what’s available. In the image below, you can see the list of video add-ons.
To install an add-on, click on the name of the item in question and choose Install. Once the process is finished, you can launch the add-on from the relevant section of the Kodi home screen.
Installing Third-Party Repos
Before you can install a third-party repo, you will need to do some research online. You cannot simply browse a list of repos from within Kodi.
When you’ve located a repo you want, download its ZIP file onto your hard drive.
Now, head to your Kodi app and navigate to Settings > System > Add-ons. Mark the checkbox next to Unknown Sources.
To install the ZIP file, follow the step-by-step instructions below:
Click on Add-ons on the Kodi home screen.
In the top left-hand corner, click on the box icon.
A new screen will pop up. Select Install from ZIP file.
Use the browser window to point Kodi at the ZIP file.
Highlight the ZIP file you want to install and click on OK.
Installing an Add-On From a Third-Party Repo
The add-ons from any third-party repos will be mixed together if you go to Add-ons > Download > . However, it’s possible only to see add-ons from a particular repo. It makes it much easier to find add-ons you want to install.
To see add-ons from a specific repo, go to the Kodi home screen and click on Add-ons. Next, in the top left-hand corner, click on the box icon.
A new list of options will pop up. Click on Install from repo, and finally, click on the name of the repo you want to browse. To install an add-on, click on its name and choose Install.
As with any app, things can occasionally go wrong.
You can’t do much about buffering on live TV you’re streaming, but buffering issues on locally saved media and on-demand video are quite straightforward to cure.
Usually, the cache causes the issue. Specifically, the amount of memory the cache can use. You can change the cache settings by tweaking the Advanced Settings file.
Black and White Screen When Playing Video on Windows
DirectX is often responsible. Either you don’t have it installed, or you’re running a very old version. Grab the latest copy of the software from the Microsoft website.
Audio Delay Issues on Android
The Android version of Kodi is notorious for audio sync issues. If updating your app does not help, you can adjust the delay manually by going to Audio Options > Audio offset while a video is playing.
No matter what issue you encounter, there are some tried-and-tested steps you can take that frequently make the problem go away.
Updates: Always make sure both the Kodi app and any add-ons you’re using are running the latest version.
Delete recently installed repos and add-ons: Sometimes the code in add-ons can interfere with other add-ons or the Kodi app itself.
Have You Got Kodi Working?
This guide should be enough to get everyone up and running on the Kodi app. To recap, we’ve covered the essential parts of the app, including the initial setup, adding your videos, music, and photos, and installing add-ons and repos.
Did this guide to setting up Kodi answer all of your initial questions? If you’re still unsure about anything related to getting started with Kodi, please leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer it.
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