Raspberry icon   Raspberry – Raspbian installation and initial setup

Some time ago I started reading documentation about Raspberry. Nothing related to my job but, as a hobby/challenge, I decided to buy one and start a project in future posts I will talk about…

Also owner of a Raspberry? Follow this minitutorial to perform the basic installation of Raspbian OS with remote access enabled via SSH using WiFi connection.

Required things

To start using tour Raspberry PI, you also need the following things:

  • Micro SD card (min 4GB) and a PC with card reader or a USB car adapter
  • HDMI device and cable
  • USB keyboard
  • micro USB power supply – 5V and 1,2A min
  • USB WiFi dongle (you can use cable but this howto covers the wifi configuration)

Download Raspbian image

Raspbian is a Debian Linux distribution based OS optimized for Rasbperry Pi.

It is also possible to install Rasbpian using NOOBS (an easy to use installer) but, wether or not being a begginer, installing the image is also easy.

Browse here and select and download the raspbian image file you want. I downloaded the ZIP format of the “Raspbian Jessie Lite” version here

Raspberry - Download Raspbian for Raspberry Pi

Unzip it to extract the img file.

Copy Raspbian image to SD card

There are multiple ways to copy the image to the SD card. Using windows is easy thanks to Win32 Disk Imager.
Simple select the Rasbpian img file, the SD card drive and “Write” option and wait the process to complete.
Raspberry - Raspbian Win32DiskImager 1

Raspberry - Raspbian Win32DiskImager 2
Now extract the SD from and insert it SD, connect HDMI, USB keyboard, WiFi dongle and the microusb power adapter

First run and password change

After Raspbian finishes starting, insert the default credentials:
Login: pi
Pass:  raspberry

And dont forget to change the default password (“passwd ” command) to avoid problems:

Raspberry - passwd

I know its not a good practice, but instead of prepending the sudo command before the commands that require administrator privileges, I prefer to change to root user:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo su

Wifi configuration

Lets check if Rasbpian detected the Wifi dongle by getting the ouput of the ifconfig command:
Raspberry - ifconfig without WiFi IP assigned
Nice! The iwconfig section of the command is the data related to the wifi adapter.

Scan networks

To scan networks:

# iwlist wlan0 scan

You can filter to list only the ESSIDs of the detected networks

# iwlist wlan0 scan | grep ESSID

Raspberry - iwconfig scan

Configure wpa_supplicant

Edit the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf (using nano editor for example) and add the following section at the end:


These results in the following the contents of my file:
Raspberry - nano wpa supplicant

DHCP or static IP

We also configure the interface to ask for an IP address (DHCP) or configure an IP statically.

Search for the “iface wlan0 inet…” line in the /etc/network/interfaces and change it this way to configure it as DHCP…
Rasbperry - network interfaces dhcp

…or with an static IP (you have to know the Wifi network address/mask). In this example, the IP
Rasbperry - network interfaces static
When using DHCP, everytime you start Raspbian a different IP can be assigned. Thats a problem if you want to connect to the Raspberry remotely. The static IP solves that problem but the best solution would be DHCP + configuring the router to assign the Raspberry always the same IP.

Now, you can bring down and again up the wlan0 so that the IP is requested and/or assigned (or reboot).

# ifdown wlan0 && ifup wlan0

Executing the ifconfig command again should show the IP assigned for wlan0 interface
Raspberry - ifconfig with WiFi IP assigned

Test the connection

I tested the conecctions pinging from my Laptop with Windows:
Raspberry - ping from Windows

Enable SSH daemon

Now the Wifi networking is configured, time for enabling the SSH daemon that allows us to connect remotely to the Rasbpian:

Launch the Rasbperry configuration utility:

# raspi-config

Follow the options “7 Advanced Options” – “A4 SSH” – “Yes”Raspberry - Raspbian raspi-config SSH 1

Raspberry - Raspbian raspi-config SSH 2

Raspberry - Raspbian raspi-config SSH 3

Raspberry - Raspbian raspi-config SSH 4

Connect using SSH client

Now use any SSH client like putty, ssh command or the multiprotocol MRemoteNG client (visit my post Sysadmin – Best system administrator tools: MRemoteNG)

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