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January 4, 2024

How To Set Up A Raspberry Pi For The First Time?

Setup Raspberry Pi For The First Time

Right after you pick up a Raspberry Pi from the market, the very first thing do should know about is how to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time. It is not just enough to know how to set up a Raspberry Pi. It’s always good to know a little information about it. That’s why we are going to cover what Raspberry Pi is. The components required to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time?

What Is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) that comes in the size of a credit card. It is developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based educational charity. The main goal of this foundation is to produce a low-cost computer for students. To say more about this tiny computer, despite its size, it is powerful. It can plug into a monitor, mouse, or keyboard and can be used as a lightweight desktop computer. What’s more, Raspberry Pi 4 Mod B is loaded with a quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU, Gigabit Ethernet, OpenGL ES 3.0 GPU, USB 3.0, WiFi ac, and Bluetooth 5.0, which make it more powerful and use this as a small server.

Increase in computing demand with compact size and low cost, SBCs are gaining more popularity these days. These are serving as perfect tools for many engineering works, mostly in the automation landscape. In the coming sections, we will share more information about Raspberry Pi, which will give you a chance to better understand and explore it for your needs.

Before you directly jump into its applications. We want to give you a nice background on this. As we said, a UK-based educational charity developed earlier this. Raspberry Pi Foundation shipped its first product in the year 2012. They have released many products as time passed. In the coming sections, we will explain, starting from how to power it on and going until the various applications can be used.

Prerequisites for setting up a Raspberry Pi:

  1. Acquire a Raspberry Pi device. The post specifically refers to using a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. Other models may also work but instructions could vary.

  2. Purchase required components:

  1. Download Raspberry Pi Imager software on your computer to write the OS image to the SD card. Compatible with Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux.

  2. Download latest Raspberry Pi OS image (.img file). The post uses the Raspberry Pi OS with desktop environment but you can explore other OS options.

  3. Insert SD card into your computer either directly or using external USB card reader.

  4. Install Raspberry Pi Imager if not already installed. Give permissions if on Windows 10.

  5. Ensure ability to connect Raspberry Pi to wired internet router with Ethernet cable or configure WiFi credentials for wireless internet access post initial setup.

In summary, having the Raspberry Pi device, accessories like power supply and SD card, necessary software on your computer, and internet connectivity prepared ahead of time will enable first time setup to go smoothly. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

What Components Are Required To Set Up Raspberry Pi?

This image is taken from the

Components required to set up Raspberry Pi!

It’s a good idea to know Raspberry Pi’s building cost along with the required components to set it up. Let’s break breakdown each of the components one after another.

  1. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: It depends on how much RAM you need, as it comes in three different variants. 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB. It costs $35 to $55.

  2. Power Supply: It needs a power adopter to power it on the device. Rpi 4 uses a USB type C power supply. Official branded power adopters may cost around $10.

  3. Case: You may wish to have a case to protect the device from physical damage. There are different types of cases from different vendors available in the market. The price range starts from $5. But. Please bear in mind; that it’s optional.

  4. MicroSD Card: This is where you are going to load the operating system to boot. Ideally, it doesn’t ask for more storage capacity. Keeping the available operating system in mind, it is enough to have 8 GB of space. But, it’s again up to your need. Although, there are other options to boot the device using USB. We are considering a micro SD card as this is more prevalent.

  5. IO Devices: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitors, and cables to connect these IO devices may be required based on your project’s demand. These are not mandated to have. It is possible to work on it without connecting to these peripherals.

  6. Other peripherals: There are plenty of supporting devices available to pick up from the market like heat sync, cooling fans, cameras, and sensors. There is no end to this list.

  7. Operating System: No hardware can function without the software. Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed an operating system called ‘Raspberry OS’. It is a customized form of Debian Linux. If you don’t want to use this OS, several operating systems are there to use. Most of them are open source.

In total, $65 to $85 is sufficient to set up a Raspberry Pi. Your cost could cross even more if you want to buy other optional components.

How To Install The Raspberry OS On Raspberry PI 4 Model B?

How To Install & Set Up Raspberry Pi OS — Pi4 Pi3 Pi2 by 

When you start building the Raspberry Pi, one thing always stands. The first is the operating system. Which operating system to choose? The answer is that multiple options are available. We encourage you to look at them when you have a chance. Just on alone, there are four versions of Raspberry Pi OS.

On top of that, most of the well-known Linux distros have released their own version of Raspberry Pi’s operating system. You can run Ubuntu, Mint, Manjaa, and Windows IoT Core, a strip-sown version of Windows 10. This is not the end. There are specialized versions of Linux, such as LibreELEC, which turns your Pi into a set-top box. PiNet is used to manage multiple Pis.

Let’s keep other operating systems aside for now and begin with the installation of Raspberry Pi OS.

1. Creating The SD Card:

  1. Raspberry Pi has developed a graphical SD card writing tool that works on Mac OS, Ubuntu, and Windows. It is the easiest option for most users as it will download the image and install it automatically to the SD card.

  2. Before you start, don’t forget to check the SD card requirements.

  3. Download the latest version of Raspberry Pi Imager and install it.

3.1. If you want to use Raspberry Pi Imager on the Raspberry Pi itself, you can install it from a terminal using sudo apt install rpm-imager.

4. Connect an SD card reader with the SD card inside.

5. Open Raspberry Pi Imager and choose the required OS from the list presented.

6. Choose the SD card you wish to write your image to.

7. Review your selections and click ‘WRITE’ to begin writing data to the SD card.

Note: if using the Raspberry Pi Imager on Windows 10 with Controlled Folder Access enabled, you will need to explicitly allow the Raspberry Pi Imager permission to write the SD card. If this is not done, Raspberry Pi Imager will fail with a “failed to write” error.

2. Download The Image:

Official images for recommended operating systems are available to download from the Raspberry Pi website downloads page. Alternative distributions are available from third-party vendors. You may need to unzip .zip downloads to get the image file (.img) to write to your SD card.

Note: the Raspberry Pi OS with a desktop image in the ZIP archive is over 4GB in size and uses the ZIP64 format. To uncompress the archive, a unzip tool that supports ZIP64 is required. The following zip tools support ZIP64:

  1. 7-Zip (Windows)

  2. The Unarchiver (Mac)

  3. Unzip (Linux)

3. Writing The Image:

How you write the image to the SD card will depend on the operating system you are using.

But, as we said earlier, we will show you the steps to write the Raspberry PI OS onto the SD card using Windows 10.

Step 1. Fire up the imager application on Windows.
Step 2. If you hit Choose OS, it shows several options to burn to the SD card.
Step 3. If you want to burn a specific downloaded image, then select ‘use custom and browse the downloaded image file.
Step 4. Browse the Raspberry Pi OS image
Step 5. Choose an SD card to write the image.
Step 6. Choose the USB storage to burn
Step 7. Write the image to the SD card.
Step 8. Imager completed the process of writing the image
Step 9. Your SD card has two partitions on it, of which one partition will through an error like this. Just ignore it. This is because your Windows doesn’t understand the second partition file system. It can’t read the file system.
Step 10. The Boot partition is readable and files on this would be useful for you. The config.txt file contains the startup configuration files for the Raspberry Pi. Like Video and over clocking settings. You can tweak these settings on the Raspberry Pi either. Anyways, we thought it is just fine to show this option to you.

4. Boot The Raspberry Pi:

Now it’s time to assemble the components and boot the Pi for the first time. Insert the SD card into the Pi, connect to the power adopter, Ethernet cable, mouse, keyboard, and a monitor with Pi, and power it up for the first time.

  1. As the Pi boots up, you will see a rainbow color followed by a number of raspberry icons which tells how many cores your Pi has.

An image of booting Raspberry Pi for the first time

Image of booting Raspberry Pi

2. Next you see a message that shows Raspberry Pi is resizing the file system.

A message that shows Raspberry Pi is resizing the file system

3. Once this operation get’s completed you are going to see the desktop.

Desktop of Raspberry Pi OS

4. Set the Country, Language, and the Timezone parameters and hit Next.

Setting the Country, Language, and Timezone parameters

5. Then it prompts you to set the password for the user ‘pi’. The default password is ‘raspberry’. We recommend to change the default password for security reasons.

Setting up the password for the user ‘pi.

6. Go ahead by hitting Next on the screen setup wizard.

Setting up the screen settings in Raspberry Pi OS

7. Then it’s time to setup wireless network. If you have connected your Pi through the Ethernet cable then you are already connected. Here I can see a list of all WiFi networks, but I am going to connect to my Lab network. 

Setting up the wireless settings in Raspberry Pi OS

An Image of connecting a WiFi in Raspberry Pi OS

8. Once the server is online, it search for any new  updates since the image created. Hit Next and let the system to fetch the update.

Update software in Raspberry Pi

Update software in process in Raspberry Pi

Software update completed in Raspberry Pi

9. Once the  system completes the update.  It asks to restart to save all the changes made so far.

Restart Raspberry Pi

10. Hit the Later button as  we have a couple of changes to make which also needs reboot to complete.  Go to main menu and select ‘preferences’ and  go to ‘Raspberry Pi configurations’.

Open Raspberry PI OS configuration windows

11. Just give a different name. All the  Pis  are given  a  same  default name.  It’s always better to change it to a different name as you may likely to have more Pis for your projects.

Display settings in Raspberry PI OS

12. There is  nothing much to change  on other  tabs so  you can  hit OK which asks for  reboot.

Reboot Raspberry Pi

13. This completes the initial Raspberry Pi configurations. That’s all.

As we said in the beginning, we have shown the complete guide on how to set up Raspberry Pi for the first time. Now it’s you who need to take action on this.

Thank you for reading this article. Please visit the below links to read more such interesting articles. Peace, leave your comments here below and let us know your feedback. This helps us to bring more such articles.

Arun KL

Arun KL is a cybersecurity professional with 15+ years of experience in IT infrastructure, cloud security, vulnerability management, Penetration Testing, security operations, and incident response. He is adept at designing and implementing robust security solutions to safeguard systems and data. Arun holds multiple industry certifications including CCNA, CCNA Security, RHCE, CEH, and AWS Security.

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