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302 votes
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Prepare SD card for Wifi on Headless Pi

There are some great answers here, but many are out of date. Even this one has aged somewhat. There are now (at least) two ways of doing this: 1: Raspberry Pi Imager The Raspberry Pi Foundation's ...
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  • 8,888
124 votes
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Installing Raspbian from NOOBS without display

This no longer works since ssh is not enabled. Using only the laptop's screen and keyboard (both before and after installation), install and configuration for headless operation using SSH is possible ...
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33 votes

How could one automate the raspbian raspi-config setup?

This is still not documented anywhere, but the rc_gui tool (I'm assuming it would be a graphical user interface to the raspi-config if I were to ever install the full desktop) uses command line ...
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32 votes
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How could one automate the raspbian raspi-config setup?

At least nowadays, raspi-config seems to support noninteractive mode: cat /boot/cmdline.txt # show original cmdline.txt raspi-config nonint do_serial 1 # disable serial console cat /boot/...
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22 votes

How do I get the serial number?

/sys/firmware/devicetree/base/serial-number seems to be more universal nowadays. And it doesn't require any additional processing. # SN=$(cat /sys/firmware/devicetree/base/serial-number) # echo $SN ...
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  • 426
21 votes
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Set up a Raspberry Pi Zero W without monitor or ethernet module

That's a tough one. The WiFi won't automatically connect. So I would try the following: Image a micro SD card with the Raspbian OS image using Win32DiskImager. Manually configure your WiFi from ...
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  • 1,008
19 votes

How do I install an OS image onto an SD card?

There is a tool called Etcher for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It has a simple GUI. A screenshot from the website: (source: etcher.io)
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  • 447
16 votes

Prepare for ssh without a screen

Following massive botnet attacks in 2016 due to IoT devices being easily hacked with default passwords, Raspbian once again comes with SSH turned off by default (source). The fix is pretty easy, you ...
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  • 288
15 votes

Prepare SD card for Wifi on Headless Pi

Since November 2016 SSH has been disabled by default in standard Raspbian images for security reasons. To re-enable it, create a blank file called either ssh or ssh.txt on the sd card boot folder ( ...
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15 votes

Set up a Raspberry Pi Zero W without monitor or ethernet module

You are looking for information on running "headless". There are details on this on the raspberry pi site. https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=161202 Basically put a file, ...
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13 votes

What password to use to log in after the first boot?

Distribution | Username | Password ---------------|------------|------------- Debian Squeeze | pi | raspberry Arch | root | root QtonPi | root | rootme ...
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  • 181
13 votes

How to set up Raspberry Pi without a monitor?

Edit 1/1/2019: Since this answer continues to be popular, going to incorporate a change per bigjosh's comment. Around April 2017, Raspbian introduced a security change that no longer starts the SSH ...
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11 votes
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Do You HAVE To Use SDFormatter Before Installing NOOBS?

There is no requirement to use the tool provided by the SD Association. Formatting the card in Windows using the Windows formatter may also work. However, there is a strong recommendation to use the ...
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  • 465
11 votes

Initial setup without a monitor or keyboard

For those of you running into this with the newer Raspbian images: there is a sshwitch systemd target, that checks for /boot/ssh, and if that file is present, it regenerates the SSH host keys and ...
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10 votes

Installing Raspbian from NOOBS without display

For a headless setup, SSH can be enabled by placing a file named ssh, without any extension, onto the boot partition of the SD card. When the Pi boots, it looks for the ssh file. If it is found, SSH ...
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9 votes

Installing Raspbian from NOOBS without display

The short answer is, make sure you download the offline install version of NOOBS, then edit the file recovery.cmdline and add silentinstall on the end of the first line. That will auto install ...
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9 votes
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Switch between AP and client mode

It is possible, I suggest you to use a lighttpd with a webservice for your app. After that - just switch between hostapd(AP mode) and wpa_supplicant(client mode). It is as simple as stop one service ...
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8 votes

How do I find out the IP address of my Pi?

You don't mention which OS you are using, but there area couple of ways to do this: You can try ssh pi@raspberrypi or ssh raspberrypi.local (this will may need to be adjusted if not using Raspbian - ...
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7 votes

How do I get the serial number?

NodeJS For anyone interested here is a way to get the Raspberry Serial Number using NodeJS: function getserial(){ var fs = require('fs'); var content = fs.readFileSync('/proc/cpuinfo', 'utf8');...
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7 votes

How do I install Arch Linux?

Jivings answer holds true if you happen to have an image of Arch Linux around. As of now however such images are no longer issued by Arch Linux. Instead the full file system is provided as a .tar.gz ...
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  • 15.5k
7 votes

Set up a Raspberry Pi Zero W without monitor or ethernet module

You can drop in a wpa_supplicant.conf file in the boot directory before installing the SD Card into the Pi. When the Pi boots up, the file /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf will be overwritten (...
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7 votes
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Is the SD card needed just to flash the Raspberry Pi, or does it need to remain in the device?

The Pi has no (usable) persistent memory. The SD card is used to perform the functions of the BIOS and hard disk drive of a standard PC. I.e. it is used to boot, hold system software, and store any ...
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  • 67.3k
6 votes

What password to use to log in after the first boot?

Beware if you are using a German keyboard: In this case you have to use pi / raspberrz
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  • 169
6 votes

How do I create a new user?

To add a new user in raspbian: sudo useradd -m -G pi,sudo,gpio,audio,video steve Then: sudo passwd steve Explaination: -m - Create a new home directory -G group1,group2,group3 - Add the user to ...
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6 votes

Forcing one of two wifi dongles

I found out myself...it is actually very easy: I just have to add rules to the udev system to assign explicit names to the usb dongles (depending on their mac address). Then interfaces can be set up ...
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  • 111
6 votes

Is it possible to build a Raspberry Pi yourself?

If your idea is to make an exact carbon copy of the Pi 2, you won't succeed. While @joan stated that the OTP contents are not shared to the public, the actual SoC is also not available. The BCM2836 ...
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  • 1,661
6 votes
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Why is it necessary to "expand the file system"?

People are commonly confused by the difference between three distinct things: A random access block storage device such as an SD card (or HDD). A storage partition which is a section of a device; ...
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  • 56.1k
6 votes

How to set up Raspberry Pi without a microSD adapter?

No, you cannot set up Raspberry Pi without first writing an image of the operating system to the microSD card from which the device boots. Even if you had a memory card with a pre-installed system, ...
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  • 4,244
6 votes

Enable SSH in NOOBS before install

You just need to add a file named 'ssh' to the noobs partition (you can do it right when copying fresh noobs files to a clean sd card) and it will enable ssh for raspbian when you install it from this ...
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  • 161
6 votes

Set up a Raspberry Pi Zero W without monitor or ethernet module

You can SSH in from USB after some configuration. This assumes you're not using NOOBS. Doing this with a NOOBS SD card is a little harder and (to my knowledge) impossible on Windows. First, the ...
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