RaspberryPi physical web beacon

I recently got the RaspberryPi Zero W which comes with WiFi and bluetooth integrated and since I’ve been willing to play with the physical web using my new toy as bluetooth low energy beacon, it seemed like the right candidate for easy prototyping, right?

I use Arch linux for everything so for the ZeroW it wasn’t going to be the exception. I go here as I’ve done in the past with my other raspberries, quickly set-up the SD card, plug it in and boot my rpi. I don’t have a monitor and keyboard so I plug an ethernet cable with a USB adapter I got from my laptop, scan the network with nmap to know what its IP address is and finally ssh alarm@<ip> into it. I’m in!

Now let’s check what makes it special, wifi and bluetooth. First I want to connect to my wifi network so I don’t have to keep it connected with the ethernet cable. Oups! no wireless interface is listed, maybe updating the system and rebooting … yeah, let’s create a netctl profile for my network and enable the systemd service so it connects automatically on boot. Done, I ssh again through the wifi interface and now it’s me, my laptop and the rpi without any extra ugly cables :) But where was I … ah yes, Bluetooth, Pysical web, BLE beacons!


At this point I don’t know much about the Linux bluetooth ecosystem but let’s see what we need. The arch wiki is awesome and sould have the answers.

To be continued …