Installing Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi

raspberryPiIf you've bought a Raspberry Pi, with the operating system (OS) already installed, it is likely that you are already using Raspbian.  It's the recommended OS from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.  This article describes the process of installing a fresh copy of Raspbian (known as flashing the SD card) using Mac OSX.

Visit the Raspberry Pi site for more information. 

Delete any partitions

Start by taking your SD card, and removing all partitions.

  1. Use the Disk Utility (you can find it in Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
  2. Choose the Partition tab for your flash card.
  3. Under Partition Layout, select 1 Partition.
  4. For Format select Free Space.
  5. Click Apply

This process usually only takes a few seconds.


Discover the SD card

Next you'll need to discover the location of your SD card.  In a Terminal session (this is in Applications > Utilities > Terminal) type the following command...

diskutil list

You should be able to ascertain your SD card, typically by its size.  Mine was located in /dev/disk1


Flash the SD card

Now you are ready to download and flash the Raspbian OS onto the SD card.

  1. Browse to
  2. Download Raspbian Wheezy from either the torrent or direct download.
    1. Note that you shouldn't usually need to download the Soft-Float Debian Wheezy OS.
  3. Unzip the downloaded .zip file, to get the .img file.
  4. Go to the Terminal and browse to the location of your extracted .img file.
  5. Enter the following command...

dd if=2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/disk1 bs=2m

This process might take about 20 minutes.  When it's finished you'll be able to insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi, and start it up for the first time.


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