When we download the RPi operating system (anyone of them) images, is there a way to preset the RPi unit so that it takes a certain IP address?

Right now, my router leases IP addresses via DHCP, and so when I copy the OS image to the SD card, I have to hook up a keyboard and monitor to each RPi to log in and manually set the IP to a static IP.

I am building a cluster of RPi's and as I keep adding nodes, I have to repeat this cumbersome task for each new node.

Also, any way to preset the host name is also helpful.

Is there some software that can administer a cluster of RPi's? Assume I have a closed network RPi cluster (all nodes linked by a simple switch), can I setup a "master" node that will automatically setup the newly added nodes?

2 Answers 2


If you search this Forum you will find hundreds of posts about setting static IP including setting in /boot/cmdline.txt. I would recommend you don't do this, rather reserve in your router.

There is no easy way to preset host name, but it is stored in /etc/hostname, and you could set this if you mount the FS. I use a simple script to copy to this file.

  • Thanks, I think that static IP will approach might work, this will be a closed network/cluster of RPi's. When you use a script to manipulate the hostname, how do you know the IP a priori? I assume you use something like scp to copy the file?
    – Jane Wayne
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 1:33
  • I only have a couple of Pi, so I run manually. I did think of writing an automatic based on MAC, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. I mount using ssh to run.
    – Milliways
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 1:35

Yes there is. You might want to look at my project Nard SDK which has what you seek. Here is a link to the documentation explaining how to preset the SDcard static IP and host name with any standard Windows PC.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.