First-Time System Setup

If you’re using a TTL printer (not USB), DO NOT connect it to the Raspberry Pi yet! It will spit paper like mad. Some system configuration is required first…

Download the latest version of Raspbian if you haven’t already. This guide requires the full version of Jessie — not the “Lite” edition — as some of the setup requires the graphical user interface. You’ll also need a keyboard, mouse and monitor attached. Write the OS to an 8GB or larger SD card, insert in the Raspberry Pi and power it up. After a minute or two you’ll see the Raspian desktop.

From the “Pi” menu at the top left, select Preferences→Raspberry Pi Configuration. Or Linux guru types might be more comfortable opening a terminal window and running raspi-config from the command line.

The following settings are required:

  • Expand Filesystem
  • If using a TTL (not USB) printer: Under “Interfacing Options,” select “Serial.” Turn OFF the login shell over serial, and ENABLE the hardware serial port. NO and YES, respectively. This is vital!

The following are optional but recommended:

  • Change hostname to distinguish it from other Raspberry Pi systems on the network
  • Change password (everyone knows the default)
  • Disable overscan
  • On "Localization" tab, set up Locale, Timezone, Keyboard, etc.

 Set up any other options to your liking, click “OK” and then reboot when prompted.

After rebooting, you can set up networking. Ethernet is usually a simple matter of plugging in a cable. Wireless networking is more involved and beyond the scope of this guide…you can search for other guides on this topic, or many networks are easily accessed by clicking the network icon in the status tray at the top-right of the screen.

This guide was first published on Apr 19, 2016. It was last updated on Apr 19, 2016. This page (First-Time System Setup) was last updated on Nov 16, 2019.