Setting up Raspberry pi without monitor

We will cover working with Raspberry pi without monitor from a laptop or other system.

Connecting to Pi without monitor using ssh

Requirements: Raspberry Pi, 8GB Sd card, Sd card reader, 5V 2A power supply.

Installing Raspbian OS

You can install ubuntu on Pi but Raspbian is the recommended and optimised OS for Pi. Download the images from here. Download SD card formatter from here. SD card formatter is required to format the SD card.

Open the Pi imager and burn the Raspbian OS onto SD card.

Choose OS for burning on SD card
Choose OS and Sd card

Once the OS is installed on the SD card, open the SD card in file explorer. Create a file with name wpa_supplicant.conf inside SD card and add the following content.

country="Country code"
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev


Enter your country code, wifi name and password.

🗒️ Create an empty file with name ssh without any file extension. wpa_supplicant.conf will connect to the wifi and ssh file enable ssh connection on the Pi.

Connecting to Raspberry Pi using ssh

Power up the Pi. Use any ssh client of your choice to connect to Pi. You can use open ssh if you are on linux or mac or Putty on windows.

SSH into pi using Putty

As we don’t know the IP of Pi, lets use the default host name, ie, raspberrypi and port is 22 by default for ssh. Username is pi and password is raspberry.

After login type raspi-config which opens up a window with Pi configuration options. Enable vnc from Interfacing options.

Enable vnc

Once done get back to command line and type hostname -i to get the public IP of Pi.

Install vncviewer application to connect to the desktop of the Pi. Currently we just connected to the command line of the Pi but using vnc viewer we can connect to the UI of the Pi from either laptop or any other system without the need of an extra monitor.

Enter the public IP of the Pi from before into vncviewer application. If prompted use the same username and password as pi and raspberry respectively. Finally you will land into something like this.

UI of Pi

⚠️ IP will change if you change the network, so check the ip before you try connecting to Pi from vncviewer.

Hope this content was of some use

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