This is a list of the free tools and utilities I use on a regular basis when messing around with Raspberry Pi development. They are quite specific to the type of projects I am working on but I thought people might be interested in what is available.
I would have liked this to be a “Top 10” but I only wanted to include applications I genuinely used on a regular basis. So there was no option but to make a “Top 8”!
All the tools listed are free to use but in some cases only for non-commercial use.
Notepad++ is a powerful text and source code editor. It is packed with great text editing features while maintaining the simplicity of Notepad. It recognises most source code file types and can colour code the syntax. This is great for HTML, CSS, PHP and Python source editing.
WinSCP is a SCP, FTP, FTPS, SFTP client. I use it to transfer files to and from my Pi and my external websites. Once connected it can also lauch a PuTTY session without having to enter the user name and password a second time. So I usually launch WinSCP first and then use it to launch a PuTTY window as well.
PuTTY is a free SSH, telnet and serial terminal emulator. I use it to connect to devices on my network and use SSH to complete command line based tasks. This is often file manipulation, reading log files or launching Python scripts. Combined with WinSCP I can avoid the need to connect my Pi to a monitor, keyboard or mouse most of the time.
Portable Python is a Python programming environment that has been preconfigured to run from a USB stick. I run it from a hard drive on my PC but like the fact it is easy to install and is easy to start using. I use it to test fragments of Python before merging them with my Pi code. This allows me do the hard work on a PC without worrying about monitors and keyboards for the Pi.
TightVNC Viewer is a utility that allows to view the desktop of another computer connected to your network. In my case my Raspberry Pi. The Pi needs to be running TightVNC as well but that is easy to install and run.
7Zip is a free compression utility very similar to Winzip. It is completely free so I now use it excusively for handling Zip, RAR and GZ archives.
Win32diskimager is the tool I use to write the official SD card images to an SD card. It is easy to use and allows me to make my own cards as required.
Advanced IP Scanner
As I often run my Raspberry Pi’s with no monitor when I power them up I don’t know what IP address they have been given by my router. I use this IP scanner to scan my network and identify all the attached devices. This makes it easy to find the IP address which I usually then use with WinSCP and PuTTY.