Hackernoon logoHow to Set up Raspberry Pi Headless with Ubuntu 21.04 in 9 Easy Steps by@henri228

How to Set up Raspberry Pi Headless with Ubuntu 21.04 in 9 Easy Steps

Raspberry Pi Imager is used to install the Operating System to the microSD card. This software works for MacOS, Windows and Linux (click here to download) Depending on your computer setup, you will need a microSD Card reader. Flash the card with Ubuntu 21.04 with the right OS (64-bit vs 32-bit) and the right SD Card (be careful here, to select the right one!). Plug the card into the Raspberry Pi, and switch it on. Identify your Raspberry Pi IP address to connect us to our Raspberry Pi.
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Henri Rion

Entrepreneur, Founder @ Koopol, convinced about future of crypto

Step 1: 🍓 Download Raspberry Pi Imager

Raspberry Pi Imager is used to install the Operating System to the microSD card. This software works for MacOS, Windows and Linux (click here to download).

Step 2: 🔌 Plug your microSD card to your computer

Depending on your computer setup, you will need a microSD Card reader.

Being on a Mac, I’m using this docker:

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Step 3: 🔥 Flash the Card with Ubuntu 21.04

Launch the Raspberry Pi Imager tool.

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Depending on the Raspberry Pi you have, you will need to choose the right OS (64-bit vs 32-bit). In this case, I’m using the 64-bit version).

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Now let’s choose the SD Card (be careful here, to select the right one!).

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Now we are all set, and we can click on Write button to actually flash the SD card.

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After a couple of minutes (writing & verifying), your microSD card will be flashed.

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Step 4: 📡 Setup WiFi connection

Eject, and re-plug the microSD card to your computer.

Now, open the microSD card directory, and look for the “network-config” file (in the root folder).

Open it with your favorite IDE. I’m using Visual Studio Code in this tutorial.

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The initial content of this file should look like this:

#[...] some comments
version: 2
ethernets:
  eth0:
    dhcp4: true
    optional: true
#wifis:
#  wlan0:
#    dhcp4: true
#    optional: true
#    access-points:
#      myhomewifi:
#        password: "S3kr1t"
#      myworkwifi:
#        password: "correct battery horse staple"
#      workssid:
#        auth:
#          key-management: eap
#          method: peap
#          identity: "[email protected]"
#          password: "passw0rd"
#          ca-certificate: /etc/my_ca.pem

As you can see, a specific section about wifi is already written, and commented.

Now, change this file:

version: 2
ethernets:
  eth0:
    dhcp4: true
    optional: true
wifis:
  wlan0:
  dhcp4: true
  optional: true
  access-points:
    your_wifi_name:
    password: "your_password"

Save the file, and eject the microSD card properly from your computer.

Step 5: 🏁 Start the Raspberry Pi

Now, we have a properly flashed microSD card, and a wifi connection, let’s plug back the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi, and switch it on.

Step 6: 🏠 Identify your Raspberry Pi IP address

In order to connect us to our Raspberry Pi, we need to define its IP address.

Several methods can be used here. The easiest one consists in connecting to your internet provider box, and try to find the new Ubuntu Server from our Raspberry Pi.

Here we are:

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Step 7: 🛰️ SSH connection

Hold on, what is SSH connection? According to Wikipedia: SSH is typically used to log into a remote machine and execute commands

Now, open a Terminal command.

ubuntu is the default login, and the @192.. is the IP address we identified in the previous step.

The authenticity of host '192.168.1.45 (192.168.1.45)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:xxxxxx.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])?

Type Yes.

The default password is ubuntu as well. You will be required to change the password directly after first sign-in.

Once the new password is set, the connection will be automatically closed. You will have to restart the ssh connection, using the new password you defined.

Step 8: 🍿 Enjoy

You are all set.

Comment ☝

Don’t forget, that we didn’t define a static IP address for our Raspberry Pi. It means, that the IP address will be dynamically (DHCP) changed over time. If you need a static IP, please check my next article (soon).

Post Scriptum

If you prefer a good video detailing this process, I recommend watching this one 👇

Also published on: https://dev.to/henri_rion/9-steps-raspberry-pi-headless-setup-with-ubuntu-21-04-3el3

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