Upgrading to Pi-Star V4

Revised: Feb 2019, CC BY-SA = open in new tab ]
Most up-to-date version: amateurradionotes.com/pi-star-upgrading-to-v4.htm PDF: 7-Pi-Star_upgrading_v4.pdf

Note: This is an extract from the full Pi-Star notes article.

21) Upgrading to Pi-Star V4

If you're upgrading an existing hotspot from Pi-Star V3.#.## to Pi-Star V4: Due to the complexity of the OS upgrade, you can't just click the Upgrade link or run sudo pistar-upgrade. (Yep, Andy has spoiled us!) However, there's a shortcut that can make the upgrade easier. Just watch this short (3 min) tutorial video by Craig, W1MSG: Upgrade to 4.0.

I've tested this on Mac and Windows 10, and it worked well. Here are the steps:

  1. Backup the Pi-Star configuration on your existing hotspot. For more info, see Backing up and restoring Pi-Star
  2. Download the Pi-Star V4 image:
  3. Insert a microSD card into your computer and flash a download of the Pi-Star V4 image to a microSD card. For more info, see Flashing Pi-Star
    Note: If using Windows, dismiss the system Format Disk message.
  4. After flashing the Pi-Star image to the microSD card, eject it, and then reinsert it.
    Note: If using Windows, once again dismiss the Format Disk message.
  5. Copy the backup zip file to the boot partition of the freshly imaged microSD card, and then eject it again.
  6. Insert the microSD card into the RPi and power it up. The first boot up will take a bit longer than usual because V4 now automatically expands the filesystem (sweet!) and then unpacks and restores your backed up configuration. The good news is that subsequent boot ups are even quicker than they were previously.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Hint (thanks to Larry, KF7L): If the image doesn't connect to your WiFi network and instead goes into Auto AP mode, the issue could be because your router doesn't broadcast SSIDs. In that case, try adding:
    scan_ssid=1
    to the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file, between ssd and psk:
    network={
       ssid="YourNotBroadcastedSSID"
       scan_ssid=1
       psk="12345678"
       id_str="0"
       priority=100
  7. Log into Pi-Star in order to open the Configuration page.
    • User Name – This your hotspot's hostname, either the default, pi-star, or whatever you changed it to in your backed up configuration.
    • Password – Even if you used your own Remote Access Password in the configuration you backed up, for security reasons, the Pi-Star backup does not back up this password, so you must use the default password to log in: raspberry.
  8. It's a good idea to double-check your configuration settings. Some settings are not backed up, so if you changed them to something other than the default, you'll find that they are back on the default settings of a new install, for example:
    • General Configuration – Dashboard language (default English_uk)
    • D-Star Configuration – Time Announcements (default: On) and Use DPlus for XRF (default: Off). If you change the Use DPlus for XRF setting, you must run a Pi-Star Update to put the new setting into effect.
    • Firewall Configuration – Auto AP (default: On)
    • Remote Access Password – Since Pi-Star backup does not back up this password, if you want to use your own password, which is a good idea, you'll need to enter your own password.
  9. It's also a good idea to make a new backup of your Pi-Star V4 configuration. For more info, see Backing up and restoring Pi-Star.