I am trying to setup a headless raspberry pi (through ethernet) that I can SSH into. Everything I've seen on how to do this has said to put an empty file titled SSH in the 'boot partition' or 'boot folder' of the SD card when you first set it up.

I followed the guide on the raspberry pi website to setup the SD card, i.e. downloading the NOOBS zip file and extract the contents to the SD. It seems that this might be a relatively new way to set up the SD as I have seen a lot of people talking about flashing an image to the SD.

Given this setup method, my SD card has no partitions so there is no boot partition in which to place the file. I have also been unable to find a boot folder anywhere to place the file. The best attempt I could make was to create the ssh file in the root directory of the SD. When I turned on the pi with the SD card inserted I was able to find it on my network (with nmap), but attempting to SSH tells me the connection was refused.

Where is the correct place to create this file?

  • a noob wouldn't know what to do with a headless computer - stop using noobs :p Aug 13, 2019 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


NOOBS itself is not an operating system just an installer which can install an operating system like Raspbian.

As far as I know, NOOBS is not design to work headless.

If you really want a headless setup just flash Raspbian Lite on the SD card and place the file inside the boot partition. A good tool for flashing images to SD card is Etcher

For more information about how to flash Raspbian see the official installation guide: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/README.md


NOOBS can not be setup headless.

A screen and keyboard are REQUIRED to setup.

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