Raspberry Pi!

I may have mentioned awhile back that I got a raspberry pi. It has been shamefully sitting on my workbench for the past couple weeks as I have been busy with other projects (and lacking some necessary items to get it up and running). Well now it is running and, lo and behold, I am posting this very post from it! For the sake of science (actually documentation) I am going to post my setup process.

Things you need:

– A raspberry pi

– An SD card that is at least 2GB. I got a 16GB card that runs up to 30 MB/s x 200x

– An hdmi to dvi cable or adaptor. You can get these for a couple bucks on monoprice or amazon

– A usb keyboard (I got one with USB ports on the back so that I am using only one from my Pi and leaving one spare)

– A usb mouse (mine has a spider encased in resin in it and also RGB LED’s so it changes colors and glows spooky… I may be a nerd, but I have refined tastes)

– An ethernet cable

You will also need another computer and an SD card reader. You can buy these separately and most laptops and some mac computers have them built in (comically, the iMac has one right next to the CD drive– for endless entertainment when you drop the SD card in the disk drive).

Once you have all of those things, get ready to party with the pi! (I am so sorry).

Your Invitation to the Pi Party!:

Engadget has a great article on getting started booting the native linux distro (raspbian) on your pi. I followed it for the most part but found a few hiccups along the way.

I loaded the disk image for the raspberry pi linux operating system from a Mac so those were the directions that I followed (for obvious reasons). The first hiccup I encountered was their click thru for the zip file download of the distro directed me to the raspberry pi main site. Here is the link to the actual download page. I went for the first distro version “Raspbian Wheezy”. As instructed, I cleared other items from my user download folder so that just the zip and img file were available.

I then opened the terminal app (which can be found in  the utilities folder) and entered

“cd ~/Downloads”

In order to navigate to my downloads folder, then entered


To verify that there was both an img and zip file in that location. Now, BEFORE you insert your SD card into the reader, in terminal, enter

“df -h”

This command will map out all available drives associated with your computer. You may recognise some of the sizes and types that are shown. Next, insert the SD card, and enter the same “df -h” command again. Now, at the bottom, you should see a new entry around the same size as your SD card. The name should be something like “/dev/disk2s1″ though the number after disk after “disk” varies. Make note of this name, you will need it later.

Now you need to unmount the SD card so that the “dd” tool will be able to write the disk image (your new linux operating system) onto the card.  To unmount the card, type

“sudo diskutil unmount /dev/disk2s1″

Again, the numbers at the end of your disk name may vary, so be sure to check. You will be prompted for your system password, this is the same password you use to login to the computer. Go ahead and enter your password and press enter. It should now say that the disk has been unmounted. Now we can write the Raspbian disk image to the SD card! First you will need to slightly alter the name of your disk so that it can be appropriately written to. So if you disk says “dev/disk2s1″ you will change it to “dev/rdisk2″ (note the addition of “r” and exclusion of “s1″).

Now type


Run that command (it will take a moment) and then safely unmount your SD card. Get your pi all hooked up to the appropriate hardware and plug in the SD card, then power on the pi by plugging it in. Now you can get started with the setup from the Raspberry Pi Configuration Menu. Go ahead and follow the engadget tutorial for this part because I don’t have screen caps and they do.

Anyway, here are some photos and a screen cap of my first python program!