Raspberry Pi Setup Lite

In this Wiki we look at setting up Raspbian Lite, which has no graphical desktop, GUI, and can be configured in ‘headless’ mode without a monitor and keyboard.  In essence this is command line driven only and can be accessed via remote SSH.

Why would you want to use Raspbian Lite?

Ideal uses could be embedded stand-alone designs, remote sites that do not need a monitor, lower current and power requirements.

Is software difficult to use with no graphical desktop?

One of the features of Raspbian Lite is that it runs a flavour of Linux. Linux is text based and so command line driven, by default.  This means that to control and run applications, this can all be done without a GUI.

Installing Python to Raspbian Lite is simple to do and so running Python code via command line, or auto booting, is straight forward.

How do I install Raspbian Lite?

  • Download the image of Raspbian Stretch Lite from Raspbian
  • Copy to the image to your microSD card, using a PC computer program such as imageUSB , Win32 Disk Imager or Etcher
  • Put the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi and power up with a monitor and keyboard connected.

How do I log in?

The login is the same as the Raspbian desktop, so user=pi and password=raspberry

Enabling SSH for remote access from network PC applications like WinSCP 

By default Raspbian Lite access via SSH is disabled.  You can quickly enable using the below command. This method will automatically disable upon reboot of the Pi.

sudo service ssh start

To make SSH permanently enabled, enter the below command.  This will create a dummy file in the /boot folder which is detected on power up and automatically enables SSH.

sudo touch /boot/ssh

Finding the IP address of the Pi on the network

With your Raspberry Pi connected to your network via a CAT5 cable, to find the IP address enter:


Running Python Code

To run Python code, you will need to install Python. This can be achieved by entering:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

Other pre-requisites maybe required to run Python code, such as SMBus. These will be explored in a Wiki update.

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