The Raspberry Pi is a success story through and through: Designed as a simple and inexpensive single-board computer for learning purposes, the “Raspi” has gained a large following over the years, even among hobbyists and home users. No wonder: The Pi is cheap, economical, especially in the current model 4, fast enough for simple desktop tasks and, last but not least, very quickly set up. The Linux version Raspbian, which is optimized for the Raspi, is particularly worthwhile for Pi beginners. We will show you step by step how to install and set up Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi .
Set up Raspberry Pi
Setting up Raspberry Pi: What you need It
doesn't take much to get started with a Raspberry Pi. In addition to the board itself, you also need a data carrier for the installation of the Pi operating system and a few basic hardware components. In the following we assume that you operate your Raspberry Pi on a monitor and operate it with a mouse and keyboard. If you want to use it “headless”, i.e. without a connected display and controlled via network via SSH, you can of course do without the components such as keyboard etc.
You will need these components:
- a micro-SD card with a capacity of at least 4 and a maximum of 32 gigabytes (the older Pi models use conventional SD cards)
- a USB power supply for the Raspberry Pi
- a network cable for connection to the router
- a PC or Mac with a suitable SD card reader
- an HDMI cable to connect the Pi to the monitor
- optional: a USB mouse
- optional: a housing for the Raspberry Pi
- optional: a USB keyboard
- optional: WLAN / Bluetooth USB dongle (already on board from Raspberry Pi 3)
When you have all the components together, you're good to go! How to set up Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi:
First, download the operating system that you want to use on your Raspberry Pi. There is now a fairly wide selection available, such as adapted versions of Kodi, a full-fledged Ubuntu or even a version of Windows 10 adapted for the Raspberry Pi, which is only of interest to developers. We use the current version of Raspbian for our instructions. This is an adapted version of the Linux distribution Debian, which is optimized for the Raspberry Pi and maintained by the official Raspberry Pi Foundation. You can find the current version of Raspbian at this link: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/ . In addition to the standard version called “Raspbian Stretch”, “Raspbian Stretch Lite” is also a reduced version of the system available for download. In addition to various additional programs, the graphical user interface of Raspbian is missing in particular. The Lite edition is therefore more suitable for Linux connoisseurs who feel comfortable in the terminal..
After downloading Raspbian, unzip the operating system image on your hard drive. Under Windows you may need a separate archive program such as the free 7-Zip.
Now you need to transfer the downloaded Pi operating system to an SD card. There are now a number of ways to do this. Etcher is particularly convenient to use (download from https://etcher.io/ ). The open source tool is available for Windows, Linux and macOS and makes the preparation of Raspbian easy. Download and install the latest version of Etcher for your operating system..
Now insert the SD card for the Raspberry Pi into your PC or Mac and start Etcher . Here click on “ Select Image ”. In the menu that now opens, navigate to the folder in which you unzipped the Raspbian image and select the file. Then select the target drive , i.e. the SD card. Note that Etcher also shows connected USB drives as a destination. Since these are formatted when Raspbian is installed, it is imperative that you make sure that you are using the correct drive. If everything is ready, click on “ Flash ” to start the installation.
As soon as the flash process is completed, the Raspberry Pi continues. Remove the SD card from the PC and insert it into the Pi. Also, wire the mini-computer to your router and monitor, and connect the necessary USB devices such as a mouse and keyboard. Then start the Pi by plugging in the USB power supply.
The Raspberry Pi now starts the Raspbian user interface for the first time. This can take a few minutes, depending on the speed of the SD card. Once the system is loaded, you can proceed with setting up the Linux environment. In the wizard that opens automatically after the first start, first set the Raspbian language settings . As a rule, you set “Germany” as “Country”. Raspbian adjusts the other settings automatically.
Now assign a password with which you can log into your Raspberry Pi. The password is requested, for example, for admin tasks or for remote access to the Raspberry Pi via SSH.
In the next step, Raspbian checks whether there are updated components of the operating system. You should not skip this point ! So click “ Next ” to get the updates. The system then automatically installs the new versions. This process can take a while.
As soon as the update process is complete, restart the Raspberry Pi with “ Reboot now ”. From now on you can adapt and use Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi according to your wishes. For example, we recommend taking a look at the “ Settings - Raspberry Pi configuration ” menu . Here you can set important functions of the Pi, for example the user password or the screen resolution. The easiest way to install programs is via the “ Settings - Add / Remove Software ” menu . Here you will find hundreds of programs that are optimized for the Raspberry Pi.