8. Final RPi Setup Steps


The Micro SD card you purchased for the Raspberry Pi operates as your Pi's hard disk. Frequently programmers will distribute an image file, or a fully configured Operating System, for others to duplicate as necessary. Using someone else's image often involves a three-step process:

  1. downloading a .zip file from somewhere
  2. unzipping that file (resulting in a .img file)
  3. writing the .img file to a Micro SD card from your laptop

If you completed HMWRK #1 and #3 you should have already completed this process with the image I prepared for this class.

Personalizing Your Pi (pt. 1)

We need to perform a few extra steps in order to more easily distinguish one person's Pi from others on the WIFI network. I have brought an external PC monitor into the classroom, and given it a keyboard and mouse, to facilitate this.

Changing Your Hostname

A computer's Hostname is label a device is given on a WIFI network for easy reference. Right now all of the Pi's have the same Hostname: creativetech. Using a unique hostname will allow us to connect directly to our Pi without accidentally connecting to someone else's.

  1. Plug your Pi into the PC Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse I brought into the classroom
  2. Plug the Pi's power adapter into the wall. After a moment you should see lots of text appear on the screen
  3. At the login prompt, enter the following credentials:
    • username: pi
    • password: adventures
  4. Execute the following command: sudo raspi-config. You should see something like this:

  5. Using the arrow keys scroll to Network Options and click [ENTER]

  6. Select Hostname and click [ENTER]

  7. Select OK and click [ENTER]

  8. Change your hostname to something unique (note: you can only use letters and numbers in hostnames, no symbols), hit [ENTER]

  9. Using the arrow keys click [RIGHT ARROW] twice to select Finish, click [ENTER] to reboot your Pi

  10. When the login prompt appears again you should see your newly entered hostname appear

Connecting to Your Pi (via SSH)

The most convenient way to go back and forth between your Laptop and the Pi is connecting your laptop to the Pi over WIFI. In order to do this, we need to use a tool called ssh, which stands for secure shell. In order to do this one needs to check a few things first:

  1. The Raspberry Pi and Laptop must be on the same Wifi Network
  2. The hostname or IP Address of the Raspberry Pi
  3. The username of the Raspberry Pi
  4. The password for the user in step 3

Here is what the command should look like (replace words in caps between brackets with information to suit your situation):


If your information is correct you should see a prompt to enter the user password in the terminal. Click [ENTER] once you have done so and you should be able to interact with your Pi from your laptop.

Personalizing Your Pi (pt. 2)

I generally recommend creating a new user on your Raspberry Pi in addition to the general pi user. This way you have a user you can load with all kinds of personal information in addition to a generic user you can revert back to in a worst-case-scenario.

Make a New user

  1. Issue the following command in the terminal: sudo useradd -m -G pi,sudo,gpio,audio,video [NEWNAME]

    using -m with useradd checks to see if there is already a home directory for user [NEWNAME] and creates one if there isn't one.

    -G specifies which groups the new user will be added to by default. If you want to be able to install things (sudo), access the general-purpose input/output (gpio), or use audio or video, you have to add your user to each of the relevant groups to do so.

  2. Next change the password of your new user by issuing the following command sudo passwd [NEWNAME]

  3. When you are done restart your raspberry pi with the following command sudo reboot now and login to confirm that your new user exists.