The process is pretty simple.
Download the image
First, go to the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Download page and download the image you want.
I suggest the Debian Squeeze image if you are an absolute beginner, but watch out for the Raspbian image soon as it should run faster. The Arch Linux image is great if you want a minimal install or if you've had a bit of experience with Linux before.
Verify the Download
The Raspberry Pi Foundaton provide the SHA-1 hash of the download, which we can use to verify the file was downloaded correctly and wasn't tampered with on the way.
You can use a utility provided by Microsoft called fciv or another provided by Frozen Logic called Summer Properties.
sha1sum debian6-19-04-2012.zip. The generated hash should match the one given on the website; at the time of writing, it was 1852df83a11ee7083ca0e5f3fb41f93ecc59b1c8.
Extract the img file
.img file and remember where you put it.
I will assume your
img file is called
debian6-19-04-2012.img, and in the case of a Linux host, your PWD is the directory in which it is stored.
You can use
unzip from the command line.
The installation differs depending on whether you are using a Linux or a Windows host to flash the image onto the card.
- Insert your SD card into your computer and note down the drive letter it is assigned.
- Download and install the Win32DiskImager.
- Select the image file you extracted earlier and the drive letter of the SD card.
Warning There is a significant risk you could damage your file system if you select the wrong drive letter. Make sure you get it right!
- Click "Write" and watch the pretty progress bar.
- Insert your SD card into your computer.
- Locate the device, by running
sudo fdisk -l. It will probably be the only disk about the right size. Note down the device name; let us suppose it is
/dev/sdx. If you are in any doubt, remove the card, run
sudo fdisk -l again and note down what disks are there. Insert the SD card again, run
sudo fdisk -l and it is the new disk.
- Unmount the partitions by running
sudo umount /dev/sdx*. It may give an error saying the disk isn't mounted - that's fine.
Copy the contents of the image file onto the SD card by running
sudo dd bs=1M if=debian6-19-04-2012.img of=/dev/sdx
Warning There is a significant risk of damage to your filesystem if you use the wrong
/dev/sdx. Make sure you get it right!
Once you have installed the OS eject the SD card properly and insert it into the Raspberry Pi. Attach power and enjoy.
- RPi Easy SD Card Setup