Raspberry Pi and Raspbian "wheezy": How-to Setup a Raspberry Pi After Buying One

A step-by-step walkthrough for quickly setting up a Raspberry Pi (Model B)–hassle-free.  The Raspberry Pi is a low-power computer for only $35 (it ends up costing a lot more after you buy all the necessary parts/accessories).

Requirements For This Walkthrough


  1. Internet connectivity
  2. Mac or PC
  3. Raspberry Pi (Model B) (or a nice starter kit)
  4. USB Power Supply
  5. Micro-USB Cable
  6. Ethernet Cable
  7. SDHC Card (4GB or more)
  8. HDMI Cable (*optional)
  9. Keyboard (*optional)
  10. Mouse (*optional)
  11. Monitor with HDMI input (*optional)
  12. Case for the Raspberry Pi (**optional)
  13. USB Card Reader (***optional)

*If the Raspberry Pi is set up as a headless machine, you will not need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse–just another computer, which would be used to access it remotely over the network via SSH.

**The Raspberry Pi (RPi) does not need a case, but if it needs to be protected from the elements or people, it might be a good idea to get one.

**The USB card reader is only necessary if your computer does not have a built-in SD card reader


  1. Latest Raspbian “wheezy” image file (2013-07-26-wheezy-raspbian.zip at the time of this writing)
  2. Utility to format the SD card and install Raspbian.  This will vary depending on which method you choose.  Listed below are some of the links to tools you might need:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Ability to navigate throughout a computer OS
  2. Knowledge of basic computer terminology
  3. Ability to unzip files
  4. Ability and confidence to enter commands in the Terminal
  5. Experience with disk formatting is helpful, but not required

Setting up the RPi for the First Time

Installing the Operating System Onto the SD Card

The SD card needs to be formatted as FAT32 before installing “wheezy.”  These steps are necessary if you do not have a pre-compiled SD card.  Since there are so many methods on formatting the disk and installing the OS, it will be easier to follow the instructions that have already been made:

  1. Follow the instructions on the Raspberry Pi wiki to set up the SD card

Setting up the Hardware

Once Raspbian “wheezy” has been installed onto the SD card, connect the Raspberry Pi hardware as pictured below.

Configuring the RPi with Basic Settings

The following steps will be easiest if a monitor, keyboard, and mouse are available.  If not, it is still possible to set up the RPi using the Blind Login method and run it as a headless machine.

Blind Login Summarized

  1. Hook the RPi up to Ethernet and power
  2. Find the IP address of the RPi
  3. Log in via SSH using Terminal or PuTTY with the default username/password: pi/raspberry

Initial Settings on First Boot

Whichever method is being used, the following steps will be the same whether the RPi is accessed locally or remotely.

  1. Type sudo-raspi config  to go through the basic settings:
  • Expand the file system
  • Set a new password for the pi user
  • Choose a locale
  • Enable camera (optional)
  • Add to Rastrack (optional)
  • Overclock (optional)
  • Advanced Options (change the hostname and enable SSH)
  • Finish and reboot

What Next?