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Using Your Raspi in Headless Mode

What it means to be in Headless Mode.

This means the Raspi is NOT connected to a keyboard,monitor, or mouse.

How can you use the Raspi if you are not connected to it?

The way this works is that you connect from another computer, either a desk top or a laptop through Secure Shell or SSH. During the initial setup you should have selected the SSH option from the raspi-configure window and turned it on.

What if you do NOT have a monitor or keyboard?

Luckily you can still set up SSH using your laptop or desktop computer system. The way you will do this is as follows:

  1. After you have installed the operating system on the new SD-card and it is still in your other computer open a file manager of your choice and look for a directory called “boot”. Do a “cd” to change to that directory. Once in that directory create an empty file using the command “touch ssh”. Now insert this card into your Raspi and power it up by connecting the power supply. Because that “ssh” file exists your Raspi will now have SSH enabled and you can access it from your other computer provided you know the Raspi’s IP address.

  2. There are several ways you can discover the Raspi’s address:

    1. Make sure that your Raspi is connected to the same network as your other computer. If you other computer is running Linux (as it should be) just enter the following command from a terminal “nmap -sn 192.168.1.0/24 (or 192.168.0.0/24 depending on how your router is configured)”. You may have to use “sudo” in front of the above command. When I ran the command with the sudo it showed the ip addresses and the words (Raspberry Pi Foundation) for 3 of my Raspis.

    2. You can also try the command “ping raspi” or “ping raspberrypi”. However neither of these commands worked on my systems, maybe because I had already changed the names of my Raspis.

Now from a terminal on your other computer enter the command “ssh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or whatever the ip address what that you found in the above steps. It will now ask for your Raspi password. Enter it and do whatever you need to do on the Raspi.