We're going to get started using the latest Raspbian Lite, we don't need the graphical system which takes up precious CPU cycles. Start by downloading the latest Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) Lite operating system image.

Burn the operating system image to a Micro SD Card. Directions are available on the Raspberry Pi site.

Enable Networking

For networking, you can use either a cable or WiFi. You can find more information about this in our Raspberry Pi Network Setup guide.

Enable Interfaces

After properly unmounting ("ejecting") your card for you computer, go ahead and place the microSD card in the Pi and supply power to boot it up. It may take a few minutes before it's available.

On your computer, SSH into the card using the following:

ssh [email protected]

This is a great time to change your password.


Update the Raspberry Pi

Update the Pi

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


sudo apt-get install -y python3-pip


pip3 install --upgrade setuptools

Upgrade Script

We put together a script to easily make sure your Pi is correctly configured and install Blinka. Although Blinka isn't required for this to work, it's nice to have and this script also enables several other interfaces that are required for this project to work. It requires just a few commands to run. Most of it is installing the dependencies.

Download: file
cd ~
sudo pip3 install --upgrade adafruit-python-shell
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/adafruit/Raspberry-Pi-Installer-Scripts/master/raspi-blinka.py
sudo python3 raspi-blinka.py

If your system default Python is Python 2 (which is likely on a first install), it will ask to confirm that you want to proceed. Choose yes.

It may take a few minutes to run. When it finishes, it will ask you if you would like to reboot. Choose yes.

This guide was first published on Sep 04, 2019. It was last updated on Sep 04, 2019.

This page (Initial Setup) was last updated on Apr 10, 2021.

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