Setting up your SD card.

Setting up your SD card

Firstly, you need to download an image to install on your SD card to get your Raspberry Pi up and running. When I first got my Raspberry Pi it had NOOBS OFFLINE pre installed . NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) is a small image that comes installed on most SD cards that are advertised for the Raspberry Pi. It is preloaded with software that would download and install the distro of your choice.

If you want to go straight to a headless (no monitor or keyboard) Raspberry Pi, what I recommend is that you format the SD card and start from scratch.

These steps will guide you on how to install the Raspbian official distro on a Mac via terminal.

Firstly, we need to download the distro so we can flash it to the SD card. Go to the Raspberry Pi website and download the Raspbian file. Whilst the file is downloading you need to prepare your SD card. Open up Disk Utilities and format the card into MS-DOS format,  giving it a name in CAPITALS, I called mine SDCARD. Next open up the terminal and type in;

df -h

You should then see a list like the one below.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 12.25.10

Then look in the last column, and find the mount point of your SD card. Follow the row to the first column, make a note of this. In the picture above my mount point is “/Volumes/SDCARD” and my filesystem is “/dev/disk1s1”. Once you have this information you can then proceed to flash the SD card. Before we do that, we need to unmount the SD card from the system. To do this run this command (instead of /Volumes/SDCARD use your mount point);

diskutil unmount /Volumes/SDCARD

Once unmounted, the SD card is ready to be flashed. To flash the SD card, we need to use the filesystem of your card that we got earlier. “/dev/disk1s1” was my filesystem but to flash it we edit that to “/dev/rdisk1”, we have taken away the s1 from the end and added an r. We flash the card using the following command;

     sudo dd bs=1m if=~/path/to/img of=/dev/rdisk1

The command line should then look like it isn’t doing anything, but if you press ctrl + T you will see the status of the flash. Once the process is complete and the terminal goes back to the normal prompt, you have finished ! Simply disconnect your SD card from your Mac and plug it into the Raspberry Pi. Even though above I stated that this is a headless set up, you can still connect your tv, keyboard and mouse to your Raspberry Pi and have it running from desktop. All of my tutorials will be suited for the headless setup, I will not go through the desktop setup of any programs (unless requested).

If you have any problems or questions comment below and i will try and answer them as well as I possibly can. Also if you have any more specific tutorials that you would like please comment and I will try my best.



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