Introduction: Install and Setup Raspbian Lite on Raspberry Pi 3

About: 16 years old student from germany love maths, chemistry and physics interested in photography, arduino and raspberrypi

Hey there,

Set up my Raspberry Pi a few hours ago and thought about making an instructable about how to install and setup Raspbian Lite on Raspberry Pi 3 or older versions.

So here it is :)

Step 1: Download Raspbian Lite

Step 2: Write the Img.xz to Your SD-Card

Cause I use Linux, I can't show how to write the file to the SD under Windows or OSX.
But I know, that there are many more programs for different platforms doing the same like gnome-disk-utility

Linux: gnome-disk-utility (sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility)
Windows: UUI (Universal USB Installer) -> Can be downloaded at chip or sourceforge
OSX: Don't know which programs can be used...

Visit to check out the best alternatives to gnome-disk-utility


  • Open your formatting program (in my case: Gnome-Disks)
  • Choose your SD-Card
  • Delete all partitions (format it)
  • Click on Restore Disk Image
  • Open the file dialogue and choose your file
  • Follow the instructions
  • Perhaps it could be possible, that you have to type in your user password to authenticate
  • When the writing process is finished close the program

Step 3: Allow SSH

  • (In case you're using Linux the partitions will be opened after successful writing)
  • Open up a new Terminal and change to root with sudo su
  • Create a file named ssh on the boot partition: touch /path/to/boot/partition/ssh

Step 4: Change WIFI Settings

  • Open up the file wpa_supplicant.conf and type in your network settings (like in the picture above)
    nano /path/to/root/partition/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

    <br>network={ ssid="YOUR WIFI SSID HERE" psk="YOUR WIFI PASSPHRASE HERE" }

  • Save with CTRL+O, RETURN, CTRL+X


  • Open up the file interfaces and type in your DNS method
    nano /path/to/root/partition/etc/network/interfaces
  • Change all manual methods to dhcp
  • Save with CTRL+O, RETURN, CTRL+X

Step 5: Safely Remove Your SD-Card

  • Unmount the root and boot partition to safely remove your SD-Card from SD port
    umount -fl /path/to/root/partition /path/to/boot/partition
  • Remove the SD-Card from SD port and plug it into you Raspberry Pi's SD port

Step 6: Commissioning and Connection Check

  • Power on your Raspberry Pi and wait for some seconds
  • Open IP-Scan tools like Angry IP Scanner or something else (You could also use the command ping -c3 raspberrypi )
  • Scan your network for your Raspberry Pi's IP to see if he's connected to your WIFI

- Check your WIFI settings (Perhaps you have a typing error in your passphrase or something else)
- Check if you touched the ssh file on the right partition
- ...

Step 7: SSH Connection

  • Exit from su-mode via CTRL+D or exit or open a new Terminal
  • Start a ssh-connection to your Raspberry Pi with:
    ssh pi@raspberrypi or
    ssh pi@<The Raspberry Pi's IP-Addres>
  • Because it's the first time you try to connect with the new and at the moment unknown device it could be, that you have to confirm with yes that you trust the device
  • Type in the Raspberry Pi's passphrase which is raspberry by default
  • Now you should be connected with the Raspberrypi via SSH (Secure Shell Protocol)

-> In the next step we're going to make the most important settings!

Step 8: The Most Important Settings

  • Type in sudo raspi-config to start the Raspberry Pi Software Configuration Tool
  • Reference:
    • Move with the ARROW-KEYS
    • Select with RETURN
    • Flag with SPACE
  • Press Expand Filesystem to expand your root partition (at default there are more than 25GB free space which we make available for the Raspberry Pi while expanding the root partition)
  • When it's finished you will be back in the start menu
  • Press Change Password to change the default password to a custom one
  • Finished, you Press Internationalisation Options to set your locales, your keyboard, your timezone and WIFI country
  • Follow the instructions while being in the Internationalisation Options and nothing can go wrong :)
  • When you've made all important settings move with the arrow-keys to Finish and Press Return
  • You'll be asked if you wanna reboot the Raspberry Pi now
    You can work further if you want to, but its recommended to restart the Raspberry Pi one time, so that all settings could be implemented correctly


Hope, this instructable helped those who want to use Raspbian Lite instead of the PIXEL version...