4. Headless Setup


You do not need to do this setup is you are using a screen and keyboard. If you have a screen and keyboard available, move onto the next chapter.

It can be useful to set up a new Pi even when you don’t have a monitor and keyboard spare to do a normal set up. Fortunately, there is a way to set up a new Pi without using these peripherals. This is called ‘setting the Pi up headless’. The following guide is derived from the official Pi documentation.


This method is slightly more advanced, so if you are a little unsure of how to do it, ask someone to help you with it.

  1. Download the latest Raspbian disk image from the Pi website.
  2. Format the SD card using SDFormatter.
  3. Use Etcher to flash the Raspbian image (.img) to the SD card.
  4. Open the boot folder on the SD card.
  5. Copy the example wpa_supplicant.conf file (see Accessing Networks) into the boot folder.
  6. Copy the ssh file into the boot folder.
  7. Insert the SD into the Pi and power on.