First Time setup help

I need to preface this with the fact that I am extremely new to my Pi and Linux but I’m doing …ok (hopefully).
I’ve been able to do almost of everything in the Step-By step but there are some issues I’m having that I don’t understand.

  1. Is balenasound headless? - I pulled my NOOBS SD Card from the machine and put in the Balena flashed card (I haven’t learned how to put multiple OS’s on the same SD card yet), and on it’s (the PI) monitor it just show the Balena logo on a white background, should I see anything on it’s monitor?
  2. Is the dashboard “Terminal” the same as Balena CLI? If not, how am I supposed to get a another program onto a headless system without the proper commands and I certainly cant use VNC since it’s no on this card?
  3. SSH Keys? Do I really need an SSH key to deploy balena.sound to the Pi? I signed up for a Github account, thinking it was like a “token” and everyone gets one when you sign up… that’s not the case from what I’m seeing.

All in all, I feel like balena.sound is the answer to many projects I’ve been contemplating for a long time but I feel like I’m making 2 steps backwards for every 1 I take.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Hi, welcome to balena.
To answer your questions:

1 - by default, when you download a balena OS image from the dashboard and you provision your device with it, that’s what you will see on the screen: the balena logo. You then need to push code to it. Which brings us to point 2
2 - You can push code several ways. They are described here:
The terminal you see in the dashboard is basically a ssh connection which you can choose to make on either the hostOS or on any of the containers you have pushed to the device. You can also ssh to the device by using the balena cli. See here for ways available to make ssh connections:
3 - this is described in the first link in point 2: you can use the git push approach (older approach) or use the cli to deploy code to your device

Hope this helps!

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Hi @ReemyC,

Welcome to the forums! Hopefully these answers will get you moving along again. :slight_smile:

  1. Yes, balenaSound is headless. I’m not sure what you’re meaning about NOOBS and the “balena flashed card”. But it is correct that all you will get is the balena logo on the screen for balenaSound. The best way to check if balenaSound is working is to try it! You should be able to connect to your device over any one of the supported protocols. It may take a few seconds the first time you connect and start a song for the music to actually come out, because balenaSOund reconfigures itself for each protocol upon starting playback.

  2. The dashboard terminal is just a basic SSH/shell either on the balenaOS, or inside one of the application containers. I have only used balenaSound, so I can’t really comment authoritatively. But it’s my understanding that you would need to read up on how balena manages applications, and build a new Docker container for the new application and add it to the balenaSound application or merge the two into a new application and deploy that through the dashboard.

  3. SSH keys are not required to get balenaSound installed and running. But you may need them for some other, more technical efforts around developing your own application components or diagnosing issues. I have never needed any SSH keys so far, and I’ve hacked at balenaSound quite a bit lately.



It does. thanks

Thanks for all this, i think I have enough to try again this afternoon.
As for your other question, it was simply me explaining that I have’nt figured out how to run Rasbian (or any other OS) and balena on same SD card (if possible), that’s all.

Ah, gotcha. It is not possible (to my knowledge) to run balenaOS with another OS on the same SD card, and this is because of how balenaOS is one image that has to be written to the SD card. I suppose you could deconstruct it. But the way balenaOS uses read-only and redundant partitions seems like that would make it very hard to dual-boot OSes.

Got it. it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal to swap cards, or buy more PI’s (which is most likely inevitable) once I get multi-room going.

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Hey @koyaanisqatsi thanks for providing such detailed explanations to @ReemyC 's questions!
Hope you have enough to continue. Out of curiosity, did you follow any guide mentioning you still need to add ssk keys? We might have to update that if so.

Feel free to ask any other questions you might have.


Honestly, I hadn’t really looked. balenaSound set up really easy for me, and I started messing with the code base. And deploying via the dashboard has been OK, if a bit slow on the older devices. I haven’t really had to do anything that required a CLI, except pushing builds to the cloud.

I did check out setting up my SSH key, just for grins, using the link in a prior comment. I updated the config.json, but it’s not affecting direct or standalone access.

This works:
balena ssh <device_UUID>

But these don’t:
balena ssh <device_ip>
ssh -p 22222 root@<device_ip>

Both fail with a “Permission denied (publickey)” error.

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Maybe you can reference our docs on Using a standalone SSH client

Rebooting the device cleared it up. All SSH modes are working now.

Good to know it now works!
Don’t hesitate to post again if you need anything else.