in Projects, Raspberry Pi

After going through blog after blog trying to find a simple way how to set up a Raspberry Pi headless on the first boot, I figured out an easy way to do it. 


 What you’ll need:

  • A Raspberry Pi. Duh.
  • A router (DHCP server)
  • A couple Ethernet cables
  • Putty if you’re using Windows (Macs have built-in SSH functionality in Terminal since they run a Linux back-end)

Step #1

Plug the Raspberry Pi into your router and boot it up. Wait a couple minutes for it to go through its boot process and be assigned an IP address from your router. Also connect your computer to the same network (either via Wifi or Ethernet cable).

Step #2

Open up your handy-dandy browser, and point it towards your router. Google the address to log in to your router. I have a Netgear router and the IP to it was (yours might be too). 

You’ll be prompted to log into the router. The login info is written on a tag on the bottom of the router, and is usually something like:

Username: “admin”

Password: “password”

Step #3

Once you’ve logged into your router, navigate to the portion of the admin panel that lists all devices connected to the network. For my router, it was under “attached devices”. If your Raspberry Pi is connected properly, you will see the IP address that was dynamically assigned to it by the router. Remember this number (or if you’re like me, write it down). You’re now ready to remotely access your Pi! 

Step #4

Open Terminal on your Mac (or Putty if you’re using Windows). Type ssh pi@{the ip address that you just found} (mac) or type the IP address as the host name, select “SSH” as connection type, and enter “22” into the port section of Putty (windows). It will prompt you for a password. Enter “raspberry”.

Step #5

The first time you log in to the Raspberry Pi, it will prompt you that it hasn’t been set up yet.

Do what it says, and run ‘sudo raspi-config’

You will enter the system config menu.

Step #6

Time to set up your Pi! I like to configure mine by expanding the root partition in expand_rootfs, changing the password in change_pass, setting the local time zone, and slightly overclocking it. The ssh server is enabled by default, and I always leave it enabled- especially if I intend to use my Pi headless.


Once you’re done configuring your settings, you will be prompted to reboot. This will close your SSH session, so you will have to log back in via the terminal or Putty.

Once that’s complete, you’re done! 

  • Akash Singh
  • Algen Dela Cruz


    I can’t find any contact info in the site so forgive me for using the comment section. I’m Algen, I work with engineering website and would love to do an exchange of website links (with your website: and feature you as a site of the day on EEWeb (you can see an example here Is this of interest to you?

    Hope to hear from you soon.


    Algen Dela Cruz

  • Pawel

    Recent security uptade for Raspbian (end of Nov 2016) disabled SSH by default. You will see Pi’s IP but when you try to connect via SSH you will end up with “Connection refused” message. To enable SSH on fresh Raspbian image for headless start create file named “ssh” in the /boot/ directory. You can do it on Windows, Mac etc. right after you write image to sd card. On Windows make sure file does not have any extension.