Receive Raspberry Pi’s ip address on boot

I do a lot of Raspberry Pi projects – often creating them in one place and using them in another. While it is easy enough to use SSH, VNC or HTML to access a device, if it’s being moved from one network to another, it can be challenging to know its ip address. Sure, you may be able to log into a local router and look it up, but I thought it would be easier if I just had the RPi email me with its current ip address.

Thankfully, Cody Giles created a tutorial on elinux.com outlining how to do this. His Python script runs on the RPi on startup, finds its ip address(es) and then emails this information to a predetermined address. I’ve replicated his project (and code) below to ensure I’ll have access to it in the future.

In order to allow a Python script to send email through a Gmail account, you may need to enable an “App Password” for your sending account.

Step #1: Create the Python Script

Copy the following and paste it into a text editor. You must change the ‘to’ address, as well as the ‘gmail_user’ and ‘gmail_password’ for the sending account in the lines below the pound sign lines about 25 lines from the top. Save this file as a python script in the home directory named startup_email.py.

__author__ = 'Cody Giles'
__license__ = "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License"
__version__ = "1.0"
__maintainer__ = "Cody Giles"
__status__ = "Production"

import subprocess
import smtplib
from email.mime.text import MIMEText
import datetime

def connect_type(word_list):
    """ This function takes a list of words, then, depeding which key word, returns the corresponding
    internet connection type as a string. ie) 'ethernet'.
    """
    if 'wlan0' in word_list or 'wlan1' in word_list:
        con_type = 'wifi'
    elif 'eth0' in word_list:
        con_type = 'ethernet'
    else:
        con_type = 'current'

    return con_type

########################################################################
## Change the 'to' address,'gmail_user', and 'gmail_password' below.  ##
########################################################################
to = 'username@email.com' # Email to send to.
gmail_user = 'username@gmail.com' # Email to send from. (MUST BE GMAIL)
gmail_password = 'gmailpassword' # Gmail password.
smtpserver = smtplib.SMTP('smtp.gmail.com', 587) # Server to use.

smtpserver.ehlo()  # Says 'hello' to the server
smtpserver.starttls()  # Start TLS encryption
smtpserver.ehlo()
smtpserver.login(gmail_user, gmail_password)  # Log in to server
today = datetime.date.today()  # Get current time/date

arg='ip route list'  # Linux command to retrieve ip addresses.
# Runs 'arg' in a 'hidden terminal'.
p=subprocess.Popen(arg,shell=True,stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
data = p.communicate()  # Get data from 'p terminal'.

# Split IP text block into three, and divide the two containing IPs into words.
ip_lines = data[0].splitlines()
split_line_a = ip_lines[1].split()
split_line_b = ip_lines[2].split()

# con_type variables for the message text. ex) 'ethernet', 'wifi', etc.
ip_type_a = connect_type(split_line_a)
ip_type_b = connect_type(split_line_b)

"""Because the text 'src' is always followed by an ip address,
we can use the 'index' function to find 'src' and add one to
get the index position of our ip.
"""
ipaddr_a = split_line_a[split_line_a.index('src')+1]
ipaddr_b = split_line_b[split_line_b.index('src')+1]

# Creates a sentence for each ip address.
my_ip_a = 'Your %s ip is %s' % (ip_type_a, ipaddr_a)
my_ip_b = 'Your %s ip is %s' % (ip_type_b, ipaddr_b)

# Creates the text, subject, 'from', and 'to' of the message.
msg = MIMEText(my_ip_a + "\n" + my_ip_b)
msg['Subject'] = 'IPs For RaspberryPi on %s' % today.strftime('%b %d %Y')
msg['From'] = gmail_user
msg['To'] = to
# Sends the message
smtpserver.sendmail(gmail_user, [to], msg.as_string())
# Closes the smtp server.
smtpserver.quit()

Step #2: Make the script executable.

Using Terminal, navigate to the home directory and make the script executable.

cd ~
sudo chmod +x startup_email.py

Setp #3: Run the Script on Startup.

We’ll add a line to boot.rc to run the script whenever the RPi boots.

sudo nano /boot/boot.rc

Add the following lines to boot.rc

python /home/pi/Code/startup_email.py

Now, reboot the Pi and in about a minute, you should receive an email with your device’s IP address.

Forcing DNS on macOS in Recovery Mode

When resetting a 2020 MacBook Air, we ran into an issue where the device just wouldn’t connect to Apple’s servers. It felt like a DNS issue, but I couldn’t find a way to see or set DNS values. After some searching, I came across this Stack Overflow post with the solution. As that site was sold to a tech investment firm in June, 2021 (promising not to change a thing), I thought it best to preserve it here.


Here it is:

Usually DNS-server setup in the shell is done with sudo networksetup ... – a tool not available in the Base OS X System of the Recovery Mode.

You should still be able to change the DNS server with scutil in Terminal.app:

  1. Open Terminal.app in the menubar > Utilities
  2. Enter scutil --dns to get your current DNS config
  3. Enter scutil to reach interactive mode
  4. Enter list to get a list of all keys in the data store
  5. If you have several interfaces (you’ve found several State:/Network/Service/SERVICE_ID/IPv4 entries) determine the one connected to the Internet (based on e.g. your router and its internal network IP settings) – example:get State:/Network/Service/EB40E2FC-8248-48F2-8567-257D940A31EB/IPv4 d.show Example output:<dictionary> { Addresses : <array> { 0 : 192.168.0.8 } ConfigMethod : Manual SubnetMasks : <array> { 0 : 255.255.255.0 } } If your router has the IP-address 192.168.0.1 this should be the proper interface. If your router has e.g. the IP address 192.168.1.1 the interface found above would be the wrong one and you have to search for an interface with an IP in the range 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.254.
  6. Enter get State:/Network/Service/EB40E2FC-8248-48F2-8567-257D940A31EB/DNS use the service ID of the interface connected to the Internet you have found previously (here EB40E2FC-8248-48F2-8567-257D940A31EB)Entering d.show should show something like:<dictionary> { SearchDomains : <array> { 0 : some.domain } ServerAddresses : <array> { 0 : 192.168.0.1 } } Depending on the DHCP setup of your router the SearchDomains entry and array may be missing.
  7. Enter d.add ServerAddresses * 8.8.8.8 9.9.9.9 – add one or more DNS-server (here Google’s 8.8.8.8 and quad9’s 9.9.9.9)
  8. Enter set State:/Network/Service/EB40E2FC-8248-48F2-8567-257D940A31EB/DNS
  9. Enter d.show to check the modified dict entry. It should show something like:<dictionary> { SearchDomains : <array> { 0 : some.domain } ServerAddresses : <array> { 0 : 8.8.8.8 1 : 9.9.9.9 } }
  10. Enter quit to leave the interactive mode of scutil and return to the shell.
  11. Enter scutil --dns or dig to verify your new DNS config.