Installing Raspbian on Raspberry Pi

**These directions were done using Linux Mint. They can be done in Windows and Mac but will need to research equivalent commands.

  1. Make sure current SD card is clean and current partitions deleted. Format it using Gparted or command line if needed.
  2. Download latest Raspbian OS .zip file from
  3. Transfer the image onto your SD card.

You will need to extract the files from the .zip file you downloaded and then use Etcher SD Card Image Utility to burn the image onto your SD card.

Go to and follow the instructions.

A summary of the link above:

$ chmod a+x Etcher-linux-x64.AppImage
  • Execute:
$ ./Etcher-linux-x64.AppImage

Etcher will automatically set the boot to Desktop.

Windows has an equivalent called Win32DiskImager. See here for Windows instructions:

  1. Remove SD card and insert into Raspberry Pi. Connect a monitor to the Pi and then plug in the power to turn it on. You will need to connect the keyboard as well. If the keyboard is on when you plug in the power, you may need to turn it off and then on to get it to work.
  1. The Raspbian OS install will take some time. Once it finishes, it will take you to the OS desktop. Open the terminal from the top panel.
  1. Open Raspbian Configuration using Terminal
$ sudo raspi-config

To navigate, use the up/down arrow keys. When finished, use the left/right arrow keys. To select, press ENTER.

  • Press ENTER when Expand Filesystem is highlighted.

Ensures that all of the SD card storage is available to the OS.
Need to reboot for changes to take effect.

  • Change User Password

This will apply to default user ‘pi’

  • Internationalisation Options

Change Timezone

Change Keyboard

Change Language

    • Advanced Options

6.1 Overscan (will allow you to expand the screen to encompass monitor size. Only needed if you see black bars top, right, bottom, and/or left).

You can also set the overscan from the terminal by typing:

$ sudo nano /boot/config.txt

nano is the name of the terminal text editor

Information on how to use nano can be found here:

6.2 Change Hostname

6.3 SSH (enable)

  • Use right arrow to navigate to Finish and hit ENTER

Description of some of the menu items can be found here:

  1. Make sure Raspbian is updated with latest drivers:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
  1. Set up wireless connection to your Wi-Fi network
  • Open wpa_supplicant.conf file to add the username and password information if not already there:
$ sudo nano /etc/wpa-supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
  • Type in your necessary network information.

Press F3 to save your changes.

Press ENTER to save the changes to current file.

Press CTRL-x to exit from nano editor.

  • Reboot to have changes take effect:
$ sudo reboot

Instructions here:

  • Check that changes were saved:
$ sudo ifconfig

Look for wlan0. This is the wireless network information. If there is an IP address listed, then it worked. Write down the IP address to set up SSH in step 9 (if needed).

  1. How to remote into the Pi from your personal computer.

SSH should be enabled from step 6.3. If not, follow steps in step 6 to enable it.

  • On personal computer, open terminal and type:
$ ssh pi@

format is: $ ssh username@ip_address

It will prompt you for password to username ‘pi’

  1. Disable screen-saver.

Install xscreensaver.

 $ sudo apt-get install xscreensaver
 $ sudo reboot

Navigate to the ‘Start’ menu and click Preferences > Screensaver.

In the drop down, you can select ‘Disable Screensaver’.

  1. Install Raspbian version of Firefox called Iceweasel
$ sudo apt-get install iceweasel
  1. Open Firefox from ‘Start’ menu > Internet
  • Navigate to the website you want to display
  • Bookmark and set as home page

More info here:

  1. Make browser full-screen

Technical Interview Links

Received some great links to prepare for a technical interview. Here are just a handful that may help:

Questions you, as a developer, can ask at your next interview:



VirtualHosts with XAMPP

This is how you can change your URL from http://localhost/myapp to on your local machine using a Mac and using XAMPP. This is with Apache 2.4.

You will need to open two files:

  1. /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf
  2. /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/extra/httpd_vhosts.conf

The steps:

  1. Uncomment a line in httpd.conf
  2. Add your VirtualHost configuration
  3. Start Apache server
  4. Check the server is running successfully
  5. Edit your hosts file
  6. Navigate to URL browser to view your app

1.  In the first file, httpd.conf, find this line and uncomment it:

# Virtual hosts
Include etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

This will let Apache know that any changes you make to the httpd-vhosts.conf file will be included when you start the server.

2.  In the second file, httpd_vhosts.conf, add something similar to:

< VirtualHost *:80 >   
   DocumentRoot "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs/my_app"
   <Directory "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs/my_app">
        DirectoryIndex index.php
        AllowOverride All
        Order Allow,Deny
        Allow from all
        Require all granted
        Options FollowSymlinks Indexes
   </ Directory >
</ VirtualHost >

Where 80 is the port you will use. If another app is also using port 80, you should change this to another port. After changing to another port, for example port 8080, make sure to add: Listen 8080 to your httpd.conf file in the Listen section (you can do a search for this in an editor by pressing CMD + F (Mac) or CTRL + F (Windows)).

ServerName  this is the URL you want to redirect to
DocumentRoot this is where the directory for where your app files are
<Directory “path”> this will set permissions and configurations for the directory

Remember the closing tags.

3,4.  To check your Apache configuration, you can start your Apache server and type this into your Terminal:

$ apachectl -S

This will tell you if Apache was able to successfully load everything in the configuration or not.

5.  Once it’s working, to load locally on your computer, you will need to edit your hosts file. On Mac, it is found at /etc/hosts.

 $ sudo nano /etc/hosts

Add the following to the end of the hosts file:

CONTROL + O to save your changes
ENTER to confirm the file name
CONTROL + X to exit the nano editor

6.  Open your browser and go to and you should see your app running!