Raspberry Pi Headless Install In a Nutshell (Mac)

A concise guide for people who don’t need trivial things explained…

  1. Download the latest lite image from here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/
  2. Identify the disk number using diskutil list
  3. Unmount the disk using diskutil, eg: diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
  4. Clone the image to the SD card, eg: sudo dd bs=1m if=2016-03-18-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/rdisk3
  5. Add an empty file ssh to the newly created drive’s boot partition should be visible at /Volumes/boot
  6. Add the wireless configuration file wpa_supplicant.conf to the boot volume. (Note: it is also possible to configure this in the linux path /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf):
  7. Eject the disk, eg: sudo diskutil eject /dev/rdisk3
  8. Find the IP address of the Pi from the DHCP server
  9. Log in to the terminal using SSH (user pi, password raspberry), eg: ssh pi@

If the Pi can’t be found on the network connect it using the ethernet port. If found that way SSH in to it, then:

  1. Check which wireless networks are visible: sudo iwlist wlan0 scan | grep ESSID
  2. Edit the wireless config: sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
  3. Check if connected: ifconfig wlan0

Once it’s on the network you may want to:

  1. Set a DHCP reservation for the MAC of the wireless adapter
  2. Restart the adapter (sudo ifdown wlan0 && sudo ifup wlan0) or pi sudo reboot
  3. Run sudo raspi-config and expand the filesystem