First Boot Configuration for a Raspberry Pi Running Raspbian


Once you install an operating system into an SD card the next step is to boot the Raspberry Pi with the new operating system.

When the Pi boots for the first time with the new operating system, it will run a utility called raspi-config automatically. This starts before the windowing system and so you have to use the cursor keys, the tab key ans the return key to navigate the menu system.

There are many different options you can set with 'raspi-config'. I'll go through the ones I believe you MUST set before you use your Raspberry Pi.

Raspi-Config Main Screen

Expanding the SD Card Filesystem

When you install an operating system into an SD card, it only uses the amount of space the operating system requires. Even if you have used a large SD card the Raspberry Pi "won't see" the whole space available until you run expand the root filesystem. Use up / down cursor keys to select the 'Expand Filesystem' menu option and hit return/enter.

Once you do that, there will be some screen flashing as a script is run and then you will see the following confirmation:

Raspi-Config Expand Filesystem

Press Return again to return to the main menu.

Changing "pi" user password

By default the Raspberry Pi is configured with a user called "pi" with password "raspberry". If you want to change the default password, use the up / down cursor keys, select 'Change User Password' menu option and hit return/enter.

Raspi-Config Change Password

You will be asked to enter the new password and then enter it again. The password will be changed.

Booting into Desktop/Scratch

By default, when the Raspberry Pi boots, you just get a command line. No windows just a terminal where you can login and type commands.

If you prefer graphics environment or the Scratch programming environment then you'll have to change the boot behaviour in this section.

Use the up / down cursor keys, select 'Enable Boot to Desktop/Scratch' menu option and hit return/enter.

Raspi-Config Enable Boot to Deskto/Scratch

You will be presented with the following menu:

Raspi-Config Boot Options

Select one of the three options.

If you select the graphical desktop option, next time your Raspberry Pi boots will start in a windows like desktop. You can also select Scratch so the system starts in the Scratch programming environment. If you want to change the system back to console mode only, you can change it back here as well.

Internationalisation Options

Use this menu to setup your preferred language, time zone and keyboard layout.

Use the up / down arrows and select 'Internationalisation Options' and press return/enter.

Raspi-Config Select Internationalisation Options

You will be presented the following options:

Raspi-Config Internationalisation Options

Change Locale

This option will allow you to change the language of your Raspberry Pi.

If you're in Australia this is the option I would recommend:

Raspi-Config Change Locale

Change Timezone

This will allow you to set the timezone where you live.

From the options, first select the Geographic Area, then the Timezone within that area.

If you are in Brisbane, Australia, select the following options:

Raspi-Config Timezone Geographic Area
Raspi-Config Timezone

Running raspi-config After Booting

If you need to change the configuration of your Pi,  you can run raspi-config again.

Just click on the desktop icon 'LXTerminal' to open a terminal session.

Then enter the following command and hit return/enter:

sudo raspi-config

Running Raspi-Config in Raspbian


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