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I download the Raspbian image, write it to the SD card, plug the SD into the Pi, connect it to router, plug in the power adapter. I connect via SSH.

In what order do I have to run the following tools? Does the order even matter? Can a wrong order screw anything up (well, on a fresh system I can just rewrite the SD card)?

raspi-config
rpi-update
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
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That seems like a sensible order.

raspi-config should give you the option to expand the ext4 partition to use all the unused SD card space. You might need the extra space during the apt-get upgrade.

I'd be tempted to do the rpi-update last, as it might need certificates downloaded during the apt-get upgrade.

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