As far as I know, there are two options for setting up the Raspbian OS on Raspberry Pi:

  • Connect it via HDMI to a display, via USB to a keyboard and a mouse then you install the OS via the SD card, similar to what you would do it on a PC
  • Connect the RPi to the laptop via Ethernet and you install the OS via SSH

I also tried to connect the RPi directly to the router via Ethernet, hoping that it will connect to the network and then I can SSH to it, but the RPi lights under the Ethernet port did not light up.

I was wondering if there are other options, because in my case, right now, the first option is not doable because I don't have a keyboard, and the second option is not doable because the laptop does not have an Ethernet port and I am not able to get one right now.

  • 2
    The ONLY option is to copy an OS image to the SD Card or copy NOOBS files to SD Card (which I don't recommend - this needs screen and keyboard). You need to clarify your question.
    – Milliways
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 9:57
  • 1
    As Milliways says option #2 here is hallucinatory.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 11:45

3 Answers 3


Like others stated the only option is to copy an OS image or an installation util like NOOBS to the SD Card.

I would recommend to use Etcher for doing so, as it makes this step really easy and Etcher is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

However, you can setup your Pi without a Monitor and Keyboard. Plug the card into your computer and you should be able to access its Boot partition. Add an empty file named ssh to this partition to enable the ssh server.

When using WiFi, you would also need to setup the network connection. To do so, add a file named wpa_supplicant.conf to the Boot partition and add the following contents to it:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev


Make sure to change country, ssid and psk based on your location / setup.

Now plug the card into your Pi and start it up. The Pi should try to connect to the network and an SSH server should start up.

If your router supports Hostname resolution, you should be able to connect to it over ssh like this:

ssh pi@raspberrypi

The default password is raspberry.

Otherwise, you need to find out the IP address. The easiest solution is to connect the Pi to a monitor. It should print out the IP address when it is done booting up. You can do a Network scan alternatively.

I tested this yesterday on a RaspberryPi Zero with Raspbian Buster.


If you know someone who has the same version of Pi that CAN be connected to a monitor and keyboard, you could download the desired raspbian image to an SD card, set it up(including networking--using DHCP or static IP--and enabling SSH), on their Pi. Then power down, pull the SD card and put it in your Pi. Once it boots you should be able to SSH into your Pi. If you used static IP, you can SSH to the IP that was set up. If you used DHCP you'll have to either look for the IP assigned by the DHCP host (likely a router), or keep guessing until you get a response.


now the latest release is pi3 it has 1gb ram, bluetooth 4.0, soo over all the board configurations upgraded compartive to previous pi2 board.

ok coming to usage An SD card of class 6 or 10 is compulsory minimum 8gb but 16gb is best because if u tend to download or save any offline it will be useful under 8gb if it sucks with update MB's again worry.

if do not know nothing about raspberry pi

1) GOTO https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

2) Download NOOBS (new out of box) following instructions install/extract to formated SD card (for format u need not worry with all lengthy scripts and softwares do some possible quick fromat).

3) after doing all instructions succesfully insert SD card on to the pi module now switch on the pi with 5V 2amp adaptor upon usage of ur application u may need to increase upto 5v 2.5amp.

4) now after booting u need to see PIXEL name on screen. In NOOBS they pack with PIXEL as default OS. default screen saver of some black highway road close up.


while purchasing raspberry pi u get only the module and instruction manual. best is some shopping websites like amazon they are selling pi3 with adaptor SD card with pre loaded NOOBS HDMI cable ..etc soo if ur new better go for like this online purchase which is better. i struggled for adaptor and OS making it to work.

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