Yet Another Install Guide For Raspberry Pi 3


I found the installation & setup of the raspberry pi to have quite a few pitfalls, so here’s my own guide for a headless Pi installed through a MAC.

Step 1: Format your SD Card properly!

Use the Disk Utility to format the drive (MS-DOS, Masterboot Record).


When you then type diskutil list into your terminal, the SD Card should be formatted like so:


It’s important that the type is DOS_FAT_32. Otherwise you might run into error messages like Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(179,2) later on. If it’s not yet formatted like this, you can try the following app (SDFormatter)

Step 2: Download the OS

On you find the images available. I strongly recommend to use the Raspbian Lite image (for headless use of the PI!), unless you know what you’re doing. For example, if you install Ubuntu Snappy, you’ll have no chance to follow any tutorial later on, as they all rely on apt-get install, which is not available on “Snappy”.

Step 3: Install the image

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk<NUMBER>
sudo dd if=<myfilename.img> of=/dev/disk<NUMBER> bs=1m

where <NUMBER> refers to the disk number of the SD Card you see when you run diskutil list. The installation takes a long time (~1h). It doesn’t display any verbose output, so you’ll just have to be patient. Once finished a success message is displayed:


Step 4: Power UP & Enable SSH

Insert the micro SD Card into your PI, then connect the following things:

  1. Ethernet / LAN cable
  2. Monitor (only during setup)
  3. Keyboard (only during setup)
  4. Power

It seems to be possible, yet troublesome, to enable ssh without a monitor / keyboard, so here’s the way with keyboard + monitor. Once started up, login to the Pi using user pi and password raspberry. Then type sudo raspi-config and go to “Interfacing Options”. There, enable SSH and reboot the PI.

Step 5: Login via SSH

First, you’ll have to find your PI on your network. If you connected a monitor, you’ll see the IP of the PI in the boot log. If not, you can find it’s IP by typing arp -a and checking which devices might be the pi.

Then login using ssh pi@<Pi’s IP>

The password is raspberry.

Step 6: Passwordless Access to the PI

On the PI:

cd ~
install -d -m 700 ~/.ssh

On your mac:

cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh pi@ 'cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys'

(replace the IP by the IP of your PI).

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