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Install Raspberry Pi (RPi)

Fri 02 January 2015

Where to buy?

I always buy mine from Adafruit, they have tons of other great stuff at great prices. They also make make lots of example code and drivers available for their products.


Raspbian is a Raspberry optimized version of Debian. The version installed here is based on Debian Jessie.

[kevin@raspberrypi ~]$ lscpu
Architecture:          armv6l
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                1
On-line CPU(s) list:   0
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    1
Socket(s):             1

Note this output doesn't really tell you much other than it is ARMv6.

Copying an image to the SD Card in Mac OS X

sd logo

These commands and actions need to be performed from an account that has administrator privileges.

  1. Download the image from a mirror or torrent.

  2. Verify if the the hash key is the same (optional), in the terminal run:

    shasum ~/Downloads/debian6-19-04-2012.zip
  3. Extract the image:

    unzip ~/Downloads/debian6-19-04-2012.zip
  4. Attach the SD Card to the computer and identify the mount point:

    df -h

    Record the device name of the filesystem's partition, e.g. /dev/disk3s1

  5. Unmount the partition so that you will be allowed to overwrite the disk, note that unmount is NOT the same as eject:

    sudo diskutil unmount /dev/disk3s1
  6. Write the image to the card with this command:

    sudo dd bs=1m if=rasbian.img of=/dev/rdisk3
  7. After the dd command finishes, eject the card:

    sudo diskutil eject /dev/disk3
  8. Insert it in the raspberry pi, and have fun


Once you download and install Raspbian you have to configure it for it to be useful.

  1. sudo raspi-config and change
    1. update raspi-config via the advanced option, update
    2. hostname
    3. memory split between GPU and RAM
      1. set local to en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 (the default is en-GB)
    4. resize the file system to the size of your disk
    5. set correct timezone via the internationalization option
    6. turn on I2C interface
  2. sudo apt-get update and then sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. sudo apt-get install apt-show-versions
  4. wget https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py and then python get-pip.py
  5. sudo apt-get install rpi-update and then sudo rpi-update to update the kernel
  6. Fix the pip paths so you don't have to use sudo (that is a security risk)
    1. sudo chown -R pi /usr/local
    2. sudo chown -R pi /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages
  7. Fix the pip compile issues sudo apt-get install python-dev
  8. Find outdated python libraries with pip list --outdated then update them with pip install -U package_name

Useful Software

Add the following software with:

sudo apt-get install <package> <package> ...

Some useful packages are:

  • cmake
  • build-essential
  • python-dev
  • nmap
  • arp-scan
  • htop
  • git

Add the following software with:

pip install <package> <package> ...
  • pyarchey
  • numpy


Raspbian is now posting images for a Lite version of Raspbian, I suggest you use that if you are doing headless.

SSH Login

To increase security, you can disable password logins and rely on ssh public keys. To do this, take a look here for details. Basic steps are:

  1. Generate an ssh key:

  2. Copy the public key (.pub) to the server you will connect to:

    ssh-copy-id username@remote-server.org
  3. Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config to disable password logins:

    PasswordAuthentication no
    ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

Bypass known_hosts

Since all RPi's hostname are raspberrypi.local, it sucks when you try to connect to a new one and you get the man-in-the-middle attack warning.

You can disable the check with:

ssh -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null pi@raspberrypi.local


On OSX install ssh-copy-id via brew and in a terminal window on OSX:

ssh-copy-id pi@raspberry.local

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