Pi Set Up

The long list of instructions here, when followed in order will result in a raspberry pi running the lastest version of raspbian, that you can operate wirelessly thru another computer. We will also back up the Pi so we have a clone of it. Further instructions on the website will enable you then to turn this base Pi into many different tools.


the best place to start is always the official raspberry pi website. heres what they have to say

the equipment we will defiantly need is as follows, it’ll cost you around fifty quid

raspberry pi – i would suggest at least a version 3

power lead  -worth getting the official, most problems with raspberry pi’s come from insuffient power- it can cause programs to behave unpredictably

2 memory cards – 32 gigs is good, but no smaller that 16gigs. you will also need a card reader.

Notice i havent listed a moniter,keyboard or mouse, the following set up will set the Pi up in a headless mode, that is you don’t need a monitor , mouse or keyboard. We will use a computer to access the Pi and its desktop, if you want to use the Raspberry Pi as a standard computer with its own screen, you can just plug in a keyboard ,mouse and use the HDMI output to plug into a moniter. There are other things we will need to plug in the pi when we come to make stuff (such as a soundcard,camera,arduino) but these will be detailed when required for a project

Getting it working- Burning a memory card

The raspberry pi brain exists on a memory card. The first job is to burn the operating system on the memory card. This is very simple with the Raspberry PI imager.

download it from here


and here’s the official video of telling how to burn

Before you go of and burn theres a few settings we should change, so we can connect wirelessly to the raspberry pi and use our own computer to access its desktop.

first with Raspberry Pi imager open before we hold down

control ,shift, x

this will bring up a dialog box, fill it out so it matches this

advanced setting

Set password for “pi” user – i have left as the defualt password , raspberry

under the configure wifi spot put your own wifi network details in

press save then burn the card.

First Boot to the Raspberry Pi

when finished place the card in the pi, and power up.

wait for a few minuets, (until the green light stops flashing) , then open up a Terminal window and type

ping raspberrypi.local

this will tell us the IP of raspberry pi (so we can communcate with it wirelessly) you can see on my machine its (to stop it printing numbers press (alt . )

ping a pi



A bit of housekeeping here. We have to get rid off any old “ssh keys” you might have used communicating with a raspberry before. In the terminal on the mac type


cd .ssh

nano known_hosts

this will bring up a box.Delete the entry for the ip number you’ve just noted down. then save (ctlin X, y , return)



next (on a mac) we go to connect to server . for a Pc use putty, here are the instructions


and type in ssh://pi@ YOUR IP NUMER HERE and press connect


both on a mac or windows machine this will then bring up a new terminal window, which asks do you want to join up with the raspberry pi?, type yes, then it will ask for the raspberry pi’s password, which is :   raspberry

ssh1 ssh2

now it’ll join onto the pi. in the terminal window again type sudo raspi-config and this brings up the raspberry pi configuartion pages.


choose number 3 .interface options


the number 3 again , for VNC and enable



choose <Back> then <Finish>

finally go back to terminal and type

sudo reboot


we’ll wait a while for the pi to boot up again (when the green light stops flashing) and will now join onto the pi with VNC


download VNC for your computer here

open it and you’ll see this box, type in the pi’s IP number


then the username (pi) and the password (raspberry


you will then get this warning, press continue


then the raspberry pi desktop will appear in a vnc window! congratulations you’re talking to your pi wirelessly


VNC is a great little program and let you do everything on the pi, but using you normal laptop or computer. You can transfer files over to the pi with it and you can copy and paste from your home computer to the pi (remember the key combinations from a mac to a pi are different,so i always use copy and paste from the drop down menu). For more info about how you can use VNC to transfer files wirelessly between computers  go here.

a couple of other housekeeping things, then we’ll copy off the card.

firsts we’ll get rid of the annoying password warning (i never change the user or password from the defualt  user pi and password raspberry)

open a terminal window and type

cd /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/

sudo mv sshpwd.sh old_sshpwd.sh

next set the screen resolution to the largest.

go to the raspberry (top left hand corner), go to preferences, go to raspberry pi configuration, then displays, then set resolution

p1ser reso

finally we’ll copy the card , if the memory card becomes currupted we’ll have a copy of the original that we can then use instead. A good tip is to get your pi how you want it, then copy the card,it’ll save you a few hours if you ever have to re-install the operating system.

copying off you raspberry pi card

Realy easy this.First attach a memory card reader to one of the pi’s usb slots. Then put in a blank memory card the same size as the one already in the raspberry pi.

Next go to the raspberry (top left hand corner) choose Accessories, then SD Card Copier , which will launch the card copier application.


copy from device – choose the raspberry pi card

copy to device – choose the card in your card reader

press start,ok everything, and in about 10 minuets you’ll have a copy of your card.


there you go!