Using the Adafruit SD card to load a Linux distribution onto the Raspberry Pi couldn’t be easier. It’s nothing like the mid-90’s Linux experience of painstakingly writing 20+ floppy disks. Which leads to a all night long installation process. Following these instructions and you will be looking at a raspberry pi command line in less than 20 minutes.
Note: there are other linux distributions for raspberry pi, but debian squeeze is the recommended version at the moment.
The following example uses the ‘dd’ UNIX utility on a OS/X system. The process of loading the SD Card on Linux is almost identical except for device names. Windows users should use win32 disk imager. Different techniques for loading SD Cards is available here.
– Extract the image:
$ unzip ~/Downloads/debian6-19-04-2012.zip
– Verify the image is not corrupt:
$ shasum debian6-19-04-2012/debian6-19-04-2012.img
$ cat debian6-19-04-2012/debian6-19-04-2012.img.sha1
– Plug-in and find the Find the MicroSD card device name:
* Note: if nothing shows up it probably means your card reader is too old and not SDHC compatible
– Find the SD Card
$ df -H | grep Vol
/dev/disk1s1 3.9G 639k 3.9G 1% /Volumes/NO NAME
– Unmount device (you must unmount to write!)
$ diskutil unmount “NO NAME”
– write to raw device disk1s1 –> rdisk1s1
$ sudo dd bs=1m if=debian6-19-04-2012/debian6-19-04-2012.img of=/dev/rdisk1
(takes about 6 minutes with no output until complete)
– After the dd command finishes, sync & eject the card:
$ diskutil eject /dev/rdisk1
– Insert card, plug-in HDMI cable to a monitor, usb keyboard and power to see the raspi boot
* Username: pi
* Password: raspberry
– add a mouse and try running X if you want a graphical interface