installing and first boot for my pi

if you’re after a great video tutorial, have a look at this great yourtube tutorial by tinkemut. It’s based around windows, but it’s short, succinct, and very well put together. 

I know there are quite a few “how to’s”, and this one isn’t so much a “how to” but a “how I did it.” It’s a record for my purposes in case I want to re-create what I’ve done. This page isn’t finished yet, so it is incomplete. As I add to my Pi, I’ll add more here.

First off, I’m using a MacBook Pro running OSX Mountain Lion, so these instructions are geared towards that. At the time of putting this together, I downloaded and installed raspian wheezy, dated 2013-05-25.

Step 1 — download the image file

Download the OS. Start here at

Step 2 — get the image onto the card

We need to find the raw disk number for the SD card (1). From there, we need to unmount that disk (2) and then dd the image to it (3). Load up terminal and:

diskutil list
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2 #use the disk number for YOUR SD card
sudo dd bs=1m if=2013-05-25-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/rdisk2 # change rdisk #

This can take a while (400.366225 seconds on my system). Don’t forget to run the unmountDisk again, as when the dd is finshed, the SD card will automatically be mounted.

Step 3 — First Boot

You’ll need a keyboard and monitor plugged into the pi. On first boot raspi-config runs allowing you to customise some options in the system. The notable ones here are: expand the file system to fill the card, locale settings and turning on ssh. You’ll need to reboot for the file system resize to come into effect.

shutdown -r now

Step 4—enable wifi

This step could be included in step 3 and done before the reboot (probably preferable as you can then log in remotely via SSH).

If you have a wifi dongle that is supported by the pi, you’ll want to enable that. Edit /etc/network/interfaces and add the following lines at the end:

auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
 wpa-ssid "<your ssid>"
 wpa-psk "<your passcode here>"

reboot and unplug the power (you probably don’t need to do this—I did though, just to be sure)

shutdown -h now

install your USB wifi dongle and plug the power back into the pi. It should connect to the network.

Once you’re on the network, time to update the distro…

Step 5 — apt-get update/upgrade

Let’s get the system up to date, pretty simple but can take some time.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


This is going to be a headless unit, so I wanted to remove a what I didn’t need. and I removed the following packages:

(To be updated… Sorry, this is a big entry in itself and will probably be moved to another page)


I added some python modules:

sudo apt-get -y install python-setuptools python-requests python-serial minicom

Some other pi related posts:

Leave a comment