Setting up a Raspberry Pi

Getting Started

First things, first. Setting up the Raspberry Pi from scratch. There are a load of tutorials and resources on the official site for doing this. You could always download NOOBS (their ‘starter’ version of the operating system, which is a simple copy and paste onto a memory card, then following some on screen instructions when the Pi boots) But my process is as follows:

Download Raspbian

The easiest place to do this is on raspberry.org from their Raspbian downloads page

Install Raspbian to the Micro SD card for the Raspberry Pi

The first stage is formatting the SD Card for usage. I am using a Mac so I use SDFormatter and I believe they have a windows version of the application too. Pretty simple to use. Plug in your SD card, and make a note of the name of your card from the App, notably the disk number before the main card name. In the screenshot below mine is “disk6” (either directly or via an adaptor) then click “Format” (See Below) 

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 15.09.33

After this you to install your raspbian image onto the card. On a Mac I use the built in command line tool “dd” to do this.

If you aren’t comfortable with command line tools like this, I would recommend using NOOBS.

There is a great tutorial here for installing Raspbian onto an SD card. I used the command

sudo dd bs=1m if=/Volumes/Media/Software/2016-05-27-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/rdisk6

As my img file was on an external drive called “Media” and as you can see the last portion says “rdisk6” as I mentioned above, that is the drive number from when I formatted my card.

If “dd” is working correctly, nothing will happen… I know that sounds counter intuitive, but there is no console feedback from “dd” and it can take a fair bit of time to write all the files to the disk. I usually leave for about 10/15 minutes and then come back. If there are no errors, chances are it is still working away. Don’t be tempted to hit return again, just leave it for a while, and when it eventually completes you will get some feedback and the cursor will return to wherever it was before.

That’s it! Plug the SD Card into the little slot on your Pi, power it on, and after the boot sequence it should log you in! The default user is “pi” and the password is “raspberry” if you are going to leave the Pi exposed and online outside a firewall, you might want to change this.

Once my Pi is up and running I launch “terminal” (the command line for Linux based systems) and run

sudo apt-get update

which updates my Pi’s records of what packages are available online, then

sudo apt-get upgrade

to actually upgrade any packages installed on my Pi (there are a bunch by default, not to mention the actual Linux kernel itself) to the latest version.

The “sudo” command at the start of these is the Linux version of “Run as Administrator”; it runs the command with elevated privileges as the updates are going to modify system files, and you don’t want non-admin users to be doing that.

You can access other Pi options by running

sudo raspi-config

From the terminal, which will save you editing config files manually.

At this stage, you are good to go with a fully working Pi. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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