Installing Raspbmc on your Raspberry Pi

raspberryPiOne of the first projects that you might try with your Raspberry Pi, is to build a Media Centre using Raspbmc.  This article describes the process of installing a fresh copy of Raspbian (known as flashing the SD card) using Mac OSX.

Visit the Raspbmc 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 Raspbmc OS onto the SD card.

  1. Browse to
  2. Download the Network Image link.
  3. Extract the installer.img.gz file that you've downloaded.
  4. Go to the Terminal and browse to the location of your extracted .img file.
  5. Eenter the following commands...

sudo dd if=installer.img of=/dev/disk1 bs=2m

The process typically takes a few seconds.  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.  Note that this is a minimal install on the SD card, and further downloads occur once you start your Raspberry Pi, so you'll need to make sure that your Raspberry Pi is connected to the internet.

The installation typically takes about 20 minutes, while the remaining data is downloaded from your internet connection.

You are now ready to configure your Raspberry Pi.


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