Initial Setup

We're going to get started using the latest Raspbian Lite, we don't need the graphical system and it takes up precious cycles. Start by downloading the latest 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.


Open a terminal and run

sudo raspi-config

Permanently Enable SSH through Interfacing Options → SSH
Enable the camera through Interfacing Options → Camera

After that, it will ask you to reboot. Go ahead and do that now.

Update the Raspberry Pi

Update the Pi

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


sudo apt-get install -y python3-pip


pip3 install --upgrade setuptools

PiTFT Drivers

Next we want to install the PiTFT Drivers. You can find directions in the Adafruit PiTFT 3.5" Touch Screen for Raspberry Pi guide in the Installer Script section.

When prompted, choose 90 degrees for rotation, No when asked if you would like the console to appear on the display and Yes when asked about HDMI Mirroring. This will cause it to install the FBCP drivers, which we will need.

Go ahead and Reboot when asked.

After it reboots, you should now see text on the display.

Install Requirement Packages

There are a few more packages that need to be installed:

sudo apt-get install -y libatlas-base-dev libhdf5-dev libc-ares-dev libeigen3-dev build-essential libsdl-ttf2.0-0 python-pygame festival

Initial Camera Test

Now to do an initial test with the camera. This should display what the camera sees on the display.

raspistill -t 0

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 Jul 13, 2020.