Booting Up & Configuring Raspbian

Now that we have a SD card with raspbian burned to it, we are ready to boot the raspberry pi for the first time. There is also some updates and configurations we need to make as well.

Booting Up & Configuring Raspbian for the First Time

We just prepared a SD card with raspbian OS. It’s now time to plug the SD into the raspberry pi for the initial boot. There are some first time settings we will also configure.

Insert the SD Card and Boot the Raspberry Pi

Now put the SD card we just burned the image to into the raspberry pi and boot up the pi. If you are using NOOBS follow the prompts to complete you installation.

Login to Your Raspberry Pi

By default your password is raspberry and the user is pi. You will want to change this for security reasons. Raspberry pi foundation provides a great page on more steps to Securing your Raspberry Pi

Connect the Pi to WiFi

We can do the rest of the steps remotely, but first you have to connect your raspberry pi to your WiFi. You can do this easily in GUI by clicking the internet icon in the upper right corner and selecting your network using the provided forms.

Method 1: Connecting WiFi using Terminal

If you are not using GUI or don’t have one installed (i.e. using a lite dist) you will have to use the terminal to connect to a network. Don’t worry its fairly straightforward.

First we want to backup the existing wifi config in case we mess things up.

sudo cp /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf.bak

Next you want to edit the wifi config file using the editor of your choice. We are using nano.

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

You will want to edit your file to look like this below. You will fill in YOUR_WIFI_NAME with your Wifi name and YOUR_WIFI_PASSWORD with your wifi password. Save and exit. Nano you can do this with CTRL + O and press enter to confirm.

ctrl_interface=DIR/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev update_config=1


Method 2: Wpa_cli

The other method is to use the wpa_cli to generate the file for you. I found this method helpful if your network name contains spaces.

To being enter the wpa_cli console by running


If you don’t know your SSID you can run

> scan
> scan_results

To begin run

> add_network

It should respond with a number which should be 0. This is the number of the network you created.

Now we want to add our network by running

> set_network 0 ssid "MYSSID"
> set_network 0 psk "passphrase"
> enable_network 0

Finally you will want to save your config file

> save_config

And now you should be connected.

Method 3: raspi-config

The easiest option is to just use the Raspberry pi config tool to update many of these settings. This tool is provided with raspbian.

To open the config tool run

sudo raspi-config

Now you can use the on screen menu to connect to wifi.

When you are done reboot your pi.

sudo reboot

You should now be connected to your wifi connection if you were not before.

Enable SSH

By default raspbian has SSH disabled. We will want to enable this allow remote access and make the rest of your work easier. Otherwise our connection will be refused why trying to connect through SSH.

Launch the interactive raspberry pi config tool by running

sudo raspi-config

Select Interfacing Options

Navigate to and select SSH

Choose Yes

Select Ok

Choose Finish

Alternatively, use systemctl to start the service

sudo systemctl enable ssh
sudo systemctl start ssh

We will continue the remaining guide steps remotely for the rest of this guide. However you are free to continue directly on the pi if you prefer. In the next step we will cover how to remotely access the pi.

Updating Raspbian

Now run and update and upgrade on apt to make sure everything is properly updated. We can then check to see we have the latest version of the needed software. Run the following commands to update.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade

Update Firmware (Optional)

If you downloaded the most recent version of raspbian it should be up to date with the latest firmware. However sometimes there is a chance a newer version is available. It never hurts to check. You can do so by running this command then rebooting.

sudo rpi-update
sudo reboot

Remote Access and Remaining Software Installs

Our raspberry pi is now ready for us to remotely access and finish installing any other software we would like.

Next Step >
Getting Started with a Raspberry Pi from Scratch
Preparing the SD Card 4:02
2 Booting Up & Configuring Raspbian 4:48
3 SSH and SSH Keys (Video Coming Soon)
4 Install Redis on Raspberry Pi from Compiled Source (Video Coming Soon)
5 Updating Python on Raspbian & Installing Useful Packages (Video Coming Soon)