Network Engineering · Programming

Installing OS to Raspberry Pi without using an external keyboard, mouse and display Part 1

Figure 1: Raspberry Pi 3 Mode B

Raspberry PI is the coolest gadget in the planet to play. You can do some cool projects, learn Linux, and can do so may things. I am writing this post for the people who want to install an OS without external keyboard, mouse and external display. Most of the recommended blogs and even in YouTube channels it says for the beginner needs a keyboard, a mouse , a micro SD card reader and display and HDMI cable to connect to the display.You don’t need those anymore.. need only a cat 5 cable few meters ( 2 or 3 m), your android phone, your using desktop or laptop with a micro SD card and your phone charger..

1st thing you have to do is insert the SD or micro SD card which is compatible to your Raspberry pi. I am using Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and  it has micro SD card slot. For the memory, official raspberry pi site  recommend 4 Gb or more  and the OS recommended is RASPBIAN   can be downloaded here. After downloading the OS, you have to install it to the micro SD card. So when you are using older laptops you cannot find a micro SD card slot, mine also don’t have it. So I used my phone as a USB flash drive (any of android phones do have this facility).

After you download the OS, you have to format the memory card. For that, you can use a software SDFormatter from here.

Figure 2: Formatting SD Card

If you are using the phone as a USB mode, you must have to be careful with the exact drive to format. After quick formatting the drive, the second step is to install the image to the SD card for this task another software can be very helpful and  can download it from here.

After downloading and installing Win32 Disk Manager, run it as administrative mode.And exact the image from the OS and direct the image from Win32 Disk Manager and write to the SD card using “Write” button, the writing process may take 5-10 minutes

Figure 3:Writing the OS to the SD Card


After successfully completing the task, it shows a small space and the device maned as “boot”.Don’t worry, the file system we are dealing with is Linux so only the boot partition is viable when we are using windows file system.Open the boot: drive and  open the “cmdline.txt”file the content will show like this

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

When you are changing a file, best practice is to save the file as it is first. So save this “cmdline.txt” file as “cmdline.normal” and start to edit it by applying IP address at the end of the line. For the IP you can set any IP but in networking practice best thing is to set a private ip address [in the range of ( 192.168.X.X- or ( or (172.16.X.X-].For this i use IP address of my Raspberry PI as and put it at the end of the file


so the file “cmdline.txt” should be like this

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

save the file as “cmdline.txt” and insert it to the Raspberry PI. So we have hard-corded Raspberry PI eth 0 IP address to Then plug Cat 5 cable to Raspberry PI one end and other end to the Laptop. Then you have to change the IP address of the LAN in the same range of the raspberry PI.

Figure 4: Setting IP address same range of Raspberry PI

When you have configured correctly, LED’s of RJ 45 socket should be powered in green and amber. Then we are going to log Raspberry PI from SSH. For that task you have to install a terminal like putty. Putty can be downloaded from  here.After downloading and installing PuTTy, you have to put the assigned IP address of the Raspberry PI of the session tab on PuTTy.

Figure 5: Connecting Raspberry PI via PuTTY

Then Click “Open” button and it automatically opens a session with Raspberry pi. The default user name is “pi” and password is “raspberry”.After installing those credentials you can login to the Raspberry PI.

Figure 6: Logging to Raspberry PI

So we have logged to the Raspberry PI successfully. In the next post I will guide how to connect wi-fi , and  how to get graphical interface and log via remote desktop and vnc server software.


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