Set up Raspberry Pi using only a PC/Laptop.

Set up Raspberry Pi using only a PC/Laptop.

There are many articles showing how to set up your Raspberry Pi for the first time. Most of them are uses components like HDMI cable, Ethernet cable, keyboard. In some situations, you won’t have access to those components. In this article, I will be covering step by step procedures to set up your new/old raspberry Pi board only using your Laptop or PC.

Table of Contents

Things you need

Hardware

  • Raspberry Pi Board (Obviously 😅)
  • SD Card 16/32 Class 10 Recommended
  • Card Reader
  • Laptop

Software

  • Rasbian OS
  • Etcher for Flashing OS to SD card
  • SD Card Formatter
  • VNC Viwer (Optional)

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Downloading the required files.

  • Rasbian OS image file for Raspberry from the official website Raspberry.org
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/
    The OS comes in 3 type
    1. Raspbian Buster with desktop and recommended software: This image file comes with the desktop interface and pre-installed recommended software
    2. Raspbian Buster with the desktop: This image will have Rasbian buster OS and desktop interface
    3. Raspbian Buster Lite: The minimal one, you won’t get the desktop UI with this image. Everything will be done using a terminal window. If you are having running on low memory. This one is highly recommended but if you have no experience with the terminal. The go for the second image.

Flasing Rasbian OS to SD Card

  • Format the SD card using the downloaded SD card formatter
  • Open etcher software and select the downloaded Rasbian OS. The SD should be automatically detected by the software. Flash it !!
    It will take around 2 mins to flash the OS, it depends upon the write speed of your SD card

Enabling SSH

  • Once the flash is completed successfully, create a text file, and rename it as SSH without any extension. this is very important. This is to enable SSH. and copy this file to the SD card
The SSH file should be like this, without any extensions.

Configuring Wifi

You need to add a file called wpa_supplicant.conf .In which you will initially hardcode the SSID and password of the wifi network you wish to connect.

  • Create a new notepad file called wpa_supplicant.conf
  • Copy the below code and paste it in wpa_supplicant.conf file
  • Replace the SSID and Password with your network’s credentials.
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
update_config=1
country=in

network={
	ssid="SSID"
	psk="Password"
	key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
}

Setup multiple Wifi network [Optional]

You can even add store multiple wifi networks. It would be useful if you’re working from two places like from College and Home. It will connect to the available Wifi network automatically. Copy the below code to wpa_supplicant.conf

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

network={
	ssid="SSID 1"
	psk="Password"
	key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
	id_str="home"
}
network={
	ssid="SSID 2"
	psk="Password"
	key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
	id_str="College"
}

Replace SSID 1, Password, and SSID 2, Password with your network’s credentials.

Find the IP Address of your Raspberry Pi

You need to know theIP address of your Raspberry pi, then only you can SSH to it. To find the IP Address follow these steps.
1. Open the router settings using any browser look for connected devices.

In my case the IP is 192.168.1.4

If your Raspberry Pi is successfully connected to the wifi network, then it will show here. In my case the IP Address if 192.168.1.4 .

If you are craeating Wifi network using mobile hotspot, then install any IP scanner application to find the IP Address

Connecting to Pi

Open command prompt or terminal if you’re using Linux

  • Type the command ssh pi@<strong>192.168.1.4</strong> .

NOTE : The IP address will be different for you

  • The default password will be raspberry
  • Congratulations, you have successfully set upped your Raspberry Pi

Setup Desktop View

  • You need to enable VNC first, for that type sudo raspi-config
  • Select Interfacing Options > VNC
  • Enable VNC

If you don’t have much experience with usage of command line or terminal. Nothing to worry about you can still have the same Windows like desktop user interface.

Enter the command vncserver in the terminal.

  • At the end it will project one IP address, it will be same as your Raspberry Pi IP address, but will have Port number like:1 :2 at the end
  • Open VNC Viwer and type the above IP address and connect.
  • It will ask for username and password

Now you can use it as you use your PC normally.

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