Raspberry Pi Getting Started Guide

By James Peret – 7 years ago in software

Install and configure

Creating the Raspbian boot disk on a Mac

Insert a MicroSD card to your computer and find out the disk identifier (ex: disk4):

diskutil list

Unmount the SD card using the disk identifier:

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4

Copy the raspbian img to the SD card:

sudo dd bs=1m if=Desktop/2015-05-05-raspbian-wheezy.img of=/dev/rdisk4

This command will take a while. You can check the progress using SIGINFO by pressing CTRL + T.

For more information on creating a disk image of the Raspbian OS on a micro SD card from a mac or other operating systems, read the official instructions here.

First Boot

The username and password for Raspbian “squeeze” or “Jessie” are:

$ Username: Pi

$ Password: raspberry

To start the Raspbian GUI, run the command:

$ startx

To enter the Raspbian system settings:

$ sudo raspi-config

Setting up Wi-Fi and Ethernet

To set up multiple wired and wi-fi connections using WICD-CURSES app, follow this instructions.

To set up a single wi-fi connection on a raspberry pi 3 with Rasbian Jessie, add the following to the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file:


For more information about setting the wifi, follow this tutorial.

If you want to disable the wifi power management, so that the wifi doesnt turn of due to inactivity, change the file /etc/network/interfaces and add
wireless-power off to your wifi connection:

auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
wireless-power off
iface default inet dhcp

You can also run the a command to turn wifi power management off until the next reboot:

sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

After changing the network configurations, reboot your pi:

sudo reboot

You can check your network status with the following commands. Check if inet addr is an IP in your network.

iwconfig wlan0
ifconfig wlan0

To manualy stop and restart your wifi connection, tun the following commands:

sudo ifdown wlan0
sudo ifup wlan0

Installing Apps

sudo apt-get update

This will update the repository on the raspberry pi with locations of software and general software updates.

To search for software by name type the following command

sudo apt-cache search

Example: sudo apt-cache search chromium

To install software by name

sudo apt-get install

Example: sudo apt-get install chromium

To uninstall software

sudo apt-get remove

Example: sudo apt-get remove chromium

Setting up SSH

To find out the ip address of the raspberry pi, run hostname -I.


Setting up VNC



apt-get install x11vnc

x11vnc -display :0 -noxdamage -ncache 10 -ncache_cr

Video Players

VLC media Player

To start a video, use the command the following command. The vvv is for verbose mode.

More information on VLC command line interface here and more advanced commands here.

vlc -vvv my_file.mpg

To play a video with VLC thru a ssh session, use the command:

cvlc --quiet --fullscreen --no-osd --loop playlist.xspf --x11-display :0


HPlayer is a OSC controllable and GPU accelerated video player for Raspberry Pi with OpenGL shaders support.

Prevent sleeping

To prevent the Raspberry Pi from turning off the screen or entering in power saving mode, change the following configurations in the file /etc/kbd/config and the reboot.



Useful commands

  • Shutdown - sudo shutdown -h now or sudo halt (more info)
  • Reboot - sudo shutdown -r now or sudo reboot (more info)
  • Copy files using ssh - (more info )
    • To copy a file from B to A while logged into B:
      scp /path/to/file username@a:/path/to/destination.
    • To copy a file from B to A while logged into A: scp username@b:/path/to/file /path/to/destination

Other Tools

  • termflix - Stream torrent movies to vlc thru the command line

Hello, I'm James Peret, a designer, programmer and filmmaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

My skills include developing games with unity and C#, coding web apps with node and javascript, designing user interfaces and 3d modeling for games and industrial design.

I'm available for work in the areas of programming, design and filmmaking assistance.