Raspberry Pi is one of the popular development board which is available in mid-range. Raspberry pi is an OS-based development board and we require to install OS to use Raspberry Pi. We can perform initial OS set up in two ways, with a monitor, and without a monitor. Setting up Raspberry Pi without a monitor is also known as “Headless Setup”.

Steps to setup Setup Raspberry Pi

1. Download Raspbian OS from Official Website

You can download the latest version of Raspbian OS from here. On this page, you will find three types of OS for your Raspberry Pi as below:
1. Raspbian Buster with desktop and recommended software
2. Raspbian Buster with desktop
3. Raspbian Buster Lite
The prime difference between these versions of OS is size. Raspbian Buster with desktop means it has all essential GUI that needed for Desktop and its lite version is packed only with the CLI version. There is no GUI in the lite version. In simple language, you will only able to view the terminal. You can choose any OS depending on your application.
After downloading, don’t forget to extract the file from the zip.

2. Download and install Essential Softwares

Now, we will need some software for the headless setup of the raspberry pi. Download the following software (for Windows).
Click to Download:
1. SD Memory Card Formatter
2. Win32 Disc Imager
3. Putty (For headless setup only)
4. Advanced IP Scanner (For headless setup only)
5. VNC Viewer (Optional for with Monitor Setup)

3. Format SD card

Insert SD card in laptop/PC with a card reader or SD adapter. Open SD Memory Card Formatter. Select your drive and perform a quick format.

4. Flash OS using Win32 Disc Imager

Now, open Win32 Disc Imager, and open the directory where OS is located after extraction in Step 1. Select the OS and then click on Write. It will pop-up with a warning of the SD card can corrupt. Click ok on warning. Then the process of flashing OS will start. DO NOT REMOVE SD CARD BEFORE COMPLETION OF WRITING PROCESS. After 100% completion, you can remove the SD card from the laptop/PC.

5. Insert SD card in Raspberry Pi and Power ON!

Done! You have just completed the setup of your Raspberry Pi. Turn it ON and follow the instructions on Monitor! First, connect it with your WiFi. So that, you can access your Raspberry Pi remotely with a VNC viewer. You can follow the next steps to find it. If you don’t have a monitor, proceed ahead for a headless setup.

6. Continue for Headless setup

Now, insert the SD card again in Laptop/PC. Download this zip file and extract the contents of this file. There will be only one file named as “ssh“. Copy-paste this file in the SD card.

7. Connect Raspberry Pi with Laptop/PC and Open Advanced IP scanner.

Now, first, turn ON Raspberry Pi and then connect it to laptop/PC with the ethernet cable. Use Advanced IP Scanner to get the IP of Raspberry Pi. Open the Advanced IP scanner, and start scanning. You can find the IP address of your Raspberry Pi.

8. Open Putty and enter the IP address

Now, Open Putty and enter the IP address and click on open.

9. Login to your Raspberry Pi

After opening SSH port, you will yet a new popup terminal window for login. Use below default credentials:
Username: pi
Password: raspberry
Please note that the password will not be visible when you type, just type and enter.

10. Start VNC server and view with VNC Viewer

Now, type below command in terminal and press enter.
After this, the VNC server will start. You will get an IP address on the terminal to access the VNC viewer.
Now open VNC viewer on laptop/PC and enter the IP address shown in the terminal. Here, you will be asked for login credentials, again you have to use the same as previous. Now you will get a new window with your Raspberry Pi Desktop. Now as a first step, connect to your WiFi, so that you will not need LAN/Ethernet cable again.Raspberry Pi Setup with VNC

Hurrey, you just have completed Raspberry Pi setup without Monitor!

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Aishwarya Patil
Aishwarya Patil
8 months ago

Great.. this article is really very helpful and easy to understand

Kartik Patil
Kartik Patil
7 months ago

Such a quick tutorial for setting up raspberry pi

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson
5 months ago

I had Been using a monitor since the beginning. There were a lot of tutorials confusing about the installation process! But this one helped ! Thanks for the website actually. I checked out all your blogs! Great work Man !