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We have an upcoming project which will use a large number of R-Pis. They will have a lot of configuration in common e:g boot into desktop environment, enable SSH, individual static IP addresses etc.

Is there a technique/system which will help auto configure all these new Pis so the work doesn't have to be done manually?

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Consider this approach:

  1. Buy the exact same SDCard for all Raspberry Pi computers. Consider only buying the smallest size which will be large enough for your purposes. (You will appreciate the time you save.)
  2. Configure the 1st Raspberry Pi computer and shut it down properly.
  3. Extract the SDCard and create an image of the SDCard. There are many tools to do this on several platforms. Many are for the asking. This process will create one file with everything on the SDCard including blank space. This is why you should not buy SDCards larger than you need.
  4. Write the image to all the other SDCards. Now all the cards will be an exact match to the first SDCard. You should be able to plug in all the SDCards and all the Raspberry Pis should boot up identically.

individual static IP addresses

This you will have to do on an individual bases.

  • you can mount either the SD card after writing to it or mount image beforhand to adjust any values that might be unique to a certain Pi. IPs, serial numbers etc. A shell script might go a long way. – Christian Jan 8 '18 at 13:34
  • You may also want to re-generate SSH Server keys if you would like to use SSH. – Chetan Bhargava Jan 8 '18 at 18:06

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