Picture of Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide
The Raspberry Pi is a great thing: it is real computer, it is cheap ($40), it can interface with electronics, talk to the web and has full HDMI support.

However it runs on Linux, which I have a love-hate relationship with. I love the idea of Linux, but when I start messing around the command line and downloading packages and installing things, I often get lost.

I've assembled bits and pieces from various online posts and guides into this Instructable, which is what I call the "Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide".

What this Instructable does is to set up a wireless Raspberry Pi that allows you to:
  • ssh into from the Terminal window on the Mac (or equivalent on another machine).
  • run wirelessly with a static IP for each SD card.
  • automatically startup, no log in
  • set your the time zone
  • skip the GUI of the Raspberry Pi, which bogs things down and is unnecessary for most tasks
  • minimize any external monitor use, specifically never having to lug a monitor over to where the ethernet router lives
  • clone a "basic settings" SD card so that we can have as many base-level installations as we want.

Right now, I have 3 Raspberry Pis running in my closet, each with a different purpose: one runs 7 Twitterbots, one is a Git server and one is an experimentation device for electronics. I plan to add more. 

I wrote this Instructable for someone who has a secure home newtwork. You should have a router that can accept a direct ethernet cable. If you are working at an office, the network configuration settings I've outlined here might have to be adapted for your specific company's network/firewall.
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Hi, I recently bought a Raspberry Pi and sd card preinstalled with NOOBS,I plugged it in to a TV via HDMI and plugged a 5v micro USB in and it does not boot up, I have tried everything on the Raspberry PI website.

Please Help,

Only once everything is plugged in and powered up should you plug in the keyboard USB. I found that with mine, it was drawing too much power from being plugged in initially thereby preventing the Pi feom powering up
scottkildall (author)  Spannerman1077 months ago
Interesting. I saw this problem but only when I was using the HDMI camera and a bunch of other peripherals of the USB. I found that the Pi would reboot when the camera module was activated. Ended up running the USB off a separate power supply, which solves the problem.

When you power it on, cycle through keys: 1 -> 4 and F1 -> F4

scottkildall (author)  Jacoby Yarrow1 year ago
Hi Jack,

This guide is for a blank SD card, starting from scratch so that you can do command line work with Python.

I've never used NOOBS, but I think you probably want to check out the forums on the Raspberry Pi ssite:

Good luck,
thanks for sharing. what else have you done with your Pi?
scottkildall (author)  askthecableguy1 year ago

I'm working on a project called "Bot Collective" — series of Twitterbots with the Raspberry Pi, that have physical "bodies". Some of which will be mobile with electronics. Website (under development) is

PatrikAa made it!1 year ago

good guide. but I have a problem with Raspberry pi, when I use sudo apt-get install in LXTerminal I get the error E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1) Do you have any tips.

error code 1.JPG
scottkildall (author)  PatrikAa1 year ago
Hmmm....I'm not familiar with this error, but this post seems to cover some possibilities:

Some things to check:
1. I'm not sure what sudo apt-get install is supposed to do. Try sudo apt-get update then sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Try: sudo apt-get clean

3. The post suggests that the SD Card could be damaged, maybe try a different one.

Beyond that, I'm not too sure — you can always ask in the Raspberry Pi forums to get some more seasoned Linux folks to jump in.
winkleink1 year ago

Raspian SSH is enabled as standard.For Headless configuration I plug my Raspberry Pi into the Router with an Ethernet cable and use my routers control panel (web interface) to get the dynamic IP address for the Pi.

I can then SSH to the IP address and log in. (You might have to press [enter] to make the login prompt appear)

Once logged in the rest of the customisation here can be done.

For my personal setup where I have my laptop next to my Raspberry Pi I do static IP on a different subnet for my laptop Ethernet port and the Raspberry Pi Ethernet Port and then DHCP for wifi on the laptop and the Pi.

In this way I connect to the Pi over 100Mbs connection rather than wifi (I know shares the same USB bus on the PI, but should make a little bit faster) and both my computer and the Pi can use their wifi to connect to the Internet.



Ethernet Port IP: Do not set Broadcast or Gateway otherwise the computer thinks it can use this IP address to connect out.

Wifi (DHCP): in the range: 192.168.1-100

Raspberry Pi:

Ethernet Port IP: Do not set Broadcast or Gateway.
Actually you only need address and subnet

Wifi (DHCP) in the range 192.168.1-100

scottkildall (author)  winkleink1 year ago

Thanks, you know more about network settings that I do.

Q: I have two scenarios for my Raspberry Pi setups:

(1) A Pi which is a Twitterbot, and needs to connect to the larger world
(2) A Pi which is a GitPi server and needs to connect just to my home network

What would you advise for network, broadcast and gateway settings for each?

Currently, I have these — which are working fine:


Hi Scott,

Maybe a little, but only from tinkering.

Scenario (1)
Maybe add the netmask (usually
Then your adaptor knows for IP addresses outside of and it needs to use the gateway

Scenario (2)
You should be able to remove the gateway and broadcast assuming the Pi doesn't need to connect externally.
It doesn't really make a difference as the Pi with the static IP is still listed on the router, so computers can connect to it.
If this Pi doesn't request external (Internet) traffic then the extra settings aren't doing anything.

Personally I'd leave the settings as they are and add the netmask.
For Scenario 2 if you want to do a sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade or a sudo apt-get install you can do it without messing with your settings.

have fun with the Pi.


I'm a mac user too, and I found, through all my searching for ways to do it, Apple Pi baker -

Its a nice easy GUI way to format an sd card in preparation for flashing an img onto, flashing imgs to sd cards, and cloning them for backups.

Flashing a NOOBS image takes only a few minutes, and works perfectly every time.

scottkildall (author)  Musclebear2b1 year ago

Thanks for sharing! Looks like NOOBS is a solid, useful GUI solution.

My guide is definitely all about the command line, which is good...if you want to get in deep and learn more about the command line.

This will flash any img to an sd card, not just noobs. But it only works on mac

I'm pretty much a noob myself at all things pi, and I recently ordered an lcd touch screen for mine, and the instructions given aren't particularly in-depth for installing it onto an existing build, so I was practicing on a new build.
There is an img with the lcd driver already, but being a noob, each tweak I made changed something that stopped the screen working properly, so I reflashed the sd card a lot. Not something I'd want to be doing if it took 45 minutes each time!

I'm all for learning to get to grips with the command line - in fact, I've just installed debian onto an old vista laptop so I can practice - but when you're new to something, you want quick and easy successes which encourage you to learn more, rather than drawn out boring processes...
rpotts21 year ago
I thought they were .img files. Did they change? good compilation!
scottkildall (author)  rpotts21 year ago

Good catch, fixed!

Tex Arcana1 year ago
fantastic instructable, people need to link to this in all their RaspberryPi projects.
bob30301 year ago
Thank you for sharing.