I have a raspberry pi device and I am wanting to use it to drive a monitor at our workplace which will show operational stats and monitor service up time.

So I just want a base desktop plus chrome installed.

So far I have downloaded the desktop from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-desktop/ and I then flash this onto a memory card.

When I do this however the filesystem reports as iso9660 and the size of the filesystem is the same as the size of the image I downloaded.

This does not sound ideal as it sounds like it will not only be read only but might not have space to fit the extra installs that I need...

Please can somebody point me in the right direction...

  • Raspbian should expand the filesystem at first boot. If it doesn't you can do it by running sudo raspi-config --expand-rootfs.
    – jake
    Oct 9, 2018 at 11:01
  • 1
    What you've got there is Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop is the Foundation’s operating system for PC and Mac that won't work on a Raspberry Pi - what you'll want to download is raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian Oct 9, 2018 at 11:05
  • thank you, that's very helpful. That means I need to get a bigger sd card as I only have a 4 Gig Oct 9, 2018 at 11:18
  • @MichaelWiles you could use the lite image and setup the PIXEL desktop later by running sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends gvfs raspberrypi-ui-mods xserver-xorg-video-fbturbo lxterminal. That should fit on a 4GB card.
    – jake
    Oct 9, 2018 at 11:51
  • Hi @jake and Jaromanda, please note that answers should preferably provided using the Post your answer feature and not via comments.
    – Ghanima
    Oct 9, 2018 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


As already noted in comments by jake and Jaromanda X, there are a few components to this answer.

First, based on the link you provided, you have downloaded Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop, which is a version of the Raspberry Pi operating system for "regular" x86 PCs or Macs. This will not run on Raspberry Pi hardware.

Instead, you probably want Raspbian with Desktop (or maybe Raspbian Lite, which is more advanced and command prompt/terminal-only). You can get it on this page: Raspbian Downloads

Next, when you write the Raspbian operating system to your microSD card, you may not see all of the relevant partitions, and you will not see the microSD card using all of the available space on your microSD card. This is by design, as Raspbian will automatically resize itself on first boot to expand to the remainder of the microSD card.

Finally, as you noted, you really need an 8 GB or larger microSD card. As of Sept 2018, I would consider 32 GB microSD cards to be table stakes, and larger cards such as 128 GB or 256 GB are also very reasonable on a price per GB basis. Consider a card with an "A1" rating or better... these are optimized for Android application storage, which has very similar performance patterns to a Raspberry Pi.

  • larger cards such as 128 GB or 256 GB anything over 32GB are not at all guaranteed to work - see this answer Oct 10, 2018 at 4:02
  • I am running a SanDisk Ultra 400 GB microSD in my Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+. Model number is SDSQUAR-400G-GN6MA. No issues to report :) Oct 10, 2018 at 4:24
  • I'm sure you are - but I thought having a warning about SD cards > 32GB would be appropriate Oct 10, 2018 at 4:26

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