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Setting Up Your New Raspi

Now that you have your new Raspberry Pi computer this article will show how to get it set up and operational.

  1. If you did not get a micro-SD card when you ordered your Raspberry Pi computer you will need to:

    1. Get a blank micro-SD card

    2. Download the operating system of your choice from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/ to your desktop or laptop. Here you will have a choice of 3 versions of the Raspian operating system plus one named “NOOBS”. These are Linux versions based on the Debian operating system. They are all available as a Torrent download or as a ZIP download. The versions available as of the date of this are:

      1. NOOBS

        This is known as: “New Out Of the Box Software” and consists of Raspian and well as several other operating systems. I have looked at it and would recommend not using it and instead use one of the below options.

      2. Buster Full

        This version contains over 35,000 additional applications that will increase your productivity while using your Raspberry Pi. The size of this file is 2530 MB.

      3. Buster Desktop

        This version contains fewer applications and the file 1136 MB. The application included provide for a general purpose computer system.

      4. Buster Lite

        The smallest of the files weighs in at only 434 MB. This version is designed to be used in the Headless Mode such as for a web server or an embedded system.

      5. Third Party Operating System Images

        Located at https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/ are 11 other operating systems that can be installed on your Raspberry Pi.

    3. Download and install Balena Etcher . This is an application that will allow you to easily burn/copy the above software you have downloaded to your micro-SD card. The above link will tell you everything you need to know about the program and how to install and use it. By using this program you will NOT need to unzip the file before installing it on the card or memory stick. If you will be using your computer in the headless mode, before you remove it from your main computer create a empty file in the “/boot” directory called ssh. Just plain ssh without any extension or anything else.

    4. Once you have the software copied to the micro-SD card insert it in to your Raspberry Pi computer. Then plug the PSU to the computer and the transformer to the electrical outlet.

    5. If using either option 2 or 3 at the top left will be a raspberry icon. It will say: “Click here to open applications menu” Click on it and it will give you a menu list of options. Scroll down to “Preferences” and select “Raspberry Pi configuration”

      1. On the screen that pops up select the “Localisation” tab. Here will be 4 options that you should change, especially if you use “#” or “!” in your password and you do NOT live in the UK.

        1. Set Local: Here you will set:

          1. Language

          2. Country

          3. Character set. I have chosen UTF-8

        2. Set Timezone

          1. Area: Mine is Asia

          2. Location: Mine is Manila as I am now living in the Philippines

        3. Set Keyboard

          1. Model: This will give you a list of keyboards to select from. Mine is not included in the list so I chose “Dell 101-key PC” which seems to work OK with my off brand keyboard

          2. Layout: I chose English(US)

          3. Variant: The same. If these don’t work for you, just experiment until you find an option that matches your situation.

          4. Set WiFi Country: This will give you a list of countries for where you live.

        4. After making each of the above changes, click the “OK” button to make your selection stick

      2. Then select System tab to:

        1. Change password

        2. Set a hostname

        3. Boot to either Desktop or CLI (Command Line Interface) ie Terminal

        4. Auto login as ‘pi’: Either check or uncheck the box

        5. Network at boot: I leave the “Wait for network” box UNCHECKED

        6. Splash Screen: Select either “Enable” or “Disable”. Your choice. If Enable it will show a multicolored screen when you reboot the system

      3. Display tab: I have all set to disable

      4. Interfaces: I have “SSH” enabled as I use my laptop to Secure Shell (SSH) to my Raspberry Pi computers. All others I have set to Disable. You might want to enable Camera if you have a camera attached.

      5. Performance: I have GPU Memory set to 16

      6. The above are what I currently have set on my Raspberry Pi 4. If you have other models or have problems with your setup don’t hesitate to experiment.

      7. After making the above changes just click the “OK” button at the right bottom of your screen. It will then ask if you want to reboot. Just say “YES”

    6. Now if you have selected option #4 and installed Buster Lite the setup will be different as there won’t be a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to use.

    7. Without the GUI you will have to SSH to your Raspberry Pi computer from another computer, either a desktop or a laptop.

      1. The command you will use to do this is: “ssh pi@its> ip address”

        1. There are several ways to find the ip address

          1. One ZZZZ

          2. Two ZZZZ

      2. It will ask you for the user name. Enter “pi” and for the password enter “raspberry” without the quotes.

      3. Then enter sudo raspi-config and will bring up a screen similar to the above.



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