Getting Started with Raspberry Pi

1. Get a SD Card, consult to compatibility page on

2. Plug it in to linux machine.

3. sudo cfdisk /dev/mmcblk0

4. Delete every partition from there, don’t forget to select “write”.

5. Download Raspbian from here, check the sha1sum, then unzip. You’ll get a image file named something like 2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img

6. Write it into your SD card, make sure you write it into the SD card device (e.g. /dev/mmcblk0, /dev/sdd), not the partition of the SD card (e.g. /dev/mmcblk0s1, /dev/sdd1).

$ sudo dd bs=4M if=./2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

Wait until it finishes. There will be no progress bar or indicator whatsoever, other than the SD card reader’s LED.

The Raspbian image is about 2GB in size. No matter how big your SD card, when you use it as it is after flashing it won’t be able to utilize the rest of the freespace. Then you need to expand/grow the partition. We do this later on below.

7. Flush the buffer (NOTE: at the first time I skipped this part, then random block reading error pops out everywhere. Segmentation fault, filesystem panic, etc. So make sure you do this.)

$ sudo sync

8. Remove the SD card, put it on the Raspberry Pi and fire it up!

9. First boot it will take some time, after then a blue screen (of life) will come up. It’s actually the “raspi-config” program.

10. Select the second option from the top to expand the free space of your SD card the next time Raspbian reboots. Configure other options as needed (other than expanding the partition, mostly not really necessary).

11. Select finish, then your Raspberry Pi will reboot.

12. Log in with username pi and default password raspberry (if you didn’t change it before in raspi-config). Check out the desktop environment by:

$ startx

Enjoy your Raspberry Pi.


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