Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ras Pi: Installing an OS

Installing the Raspbian image to your SD card from Linux. 

[windows/OSX users click here] - I can write these instructions up, but I feel like most of you who are playing with a Pi must already be using linux machines. However my blog stats show that almost all of you readers are win/mac guys so I continue to try to include Windows instructions... I strongly suggest checking out my guide to installing linux for beginners! You wont regret it!

Download the Raspbian image here and save to your home directory.

Open your terminal and get ready for a few simple commands:

unzip the image (note:the file name listed below may not match yours exactly. Just insert the correct date for your download!)

unzip 2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.zip

Check the mounted file systems.

df -h

Insert your SD card and check again to verify the device label.

df -h

You should now know the label for your device: mine was "sdb"

Unmount any partitions on the device.

unmount /dev/sdb1

Write the image to the SD card. (note: remember to use the correct file name for your download. Double Check your device label!!!)

sudo dd bs=1M if=/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdb

NOW WAIT! This will take a while and no indication will be given for activity!

Errors at this command:
  • The if= command should point to the unzipped img file. If you are getting an error here it is probably because you are not using the correct directory. Is your img extracted to "/home/user/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img"? If your image was extracted elsewhere then please use that directory with the if= argument. 
  • Note: that because we extracted to the home folder initially, we do not need to type in /home/user/... because the terminal opens to that directory automatically.

If you experienced no errors, the terminal should be ready to accept a new command.

sudo sync

This will make sure that the write cache is completely flushed and that you will not lose any data when removing the SD card.

You should now be able to insert this SD card into a raspberry pi and apply power. The device will boot into Raspbian CLI and will start automatically into the first boot configuration script. You must be connected to a monitor at this point to complete the installation.

The most important option for me was removing the "Start X Server" from first the start after boot list. There is an easy option in the config script to disable Start X after boot. Disabling this will stop the GUI from running. This frees up more resources for your server functions.

You can set up the rest of the options as you like.

The script can always be rerun by typing 

sudo raspi-config

Once everything is set the way you like, you can reboot to see if the device behaves the way you like!

PASSWORD: raspberry

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