There are differences between setting up a Raspberry Pi and installing an OS on any other computer, but one thing in common is that if you do enough of them, you seek to automate the process any way you can. That is the situation [Peter Lorenzen] found himself in, and his solution is a shell script to install and configure the Raspberry Pi for headless operation, with no need to connect either a keyboard or monitor in the process.
[Peter]’s tool is a script called
rpido, and with it the process for setting up a new Raspberry Pi for headless operation is super streamlined. To set up a new Pi, all [Peter] needs to do is:
- Plug an SD card into his laptop (which happens to be running Ubuntu.)
rpido -w -h myhostname -swhich downloads and installs the newest version of Raspbian lite, does some basic setup (such as setting the hostname), configures for headless operation, and launches a root shell.
- Use the root shell to do any further tweaks or checks (like launching
raspi-configfor additional changes.)
- Exit the shell, remove the SD card from his laptop, and install the card into the Raspberry Pi.
There are clear benefits to [Peter]’s script compared to stepping through a checklist of OS install and setup tasks, not to mention the advantage of not needing to plug in a keyboard and monitor. Part of the magic is that [Peter] is mounting the SD card’s filesystem in a chroot environment. Given the right tools, the ARM binaries intended for the Pi run on his (Intel) Ubuntu laptop. It’s far more convenient to make changes to the contents of the SD card in this way, before it goes to its new home in a Pi.
Not everything has to revolve around an SD card, however. [Jonathan Bennet] showed that it’s possible to run a Raspberry Pi without an SD card by using the PXE boot feature, allowing it to boot and load its file system from a server on the same network, instead of a memory card.