You may be thinking, “Hey, this has nothing to do with Android!”. You’re not entirely right.
The Raspberry Pi is a great device for an Internet of Things (IoT) hub. Earlier I wrote a post on how to install the Android OS on the Raspberry Pi which may come into play for the Android part of the IoT environment. This time, however, I’ll be showing you how to install Raspbian.
Why you ask? The Raspberry Pi isn’t just great for being a hub, it can also be used to communicate with serial devices often used in IoT. Raspbian just happens to be the Linux distribution commonly used for the Raspberry Pi. It’s easy to use and comes with valuable configurations for the components.
I chose the Raspberry Pi 3 B because it is the newest of the generations. It also happens to come with built in Bluetooth and WiFi. A great little device for 35$* (not quite). This is the USD price of the board itself with no MicroSD Card or power adapter which is the bare minimum for getting the board up and running.
Let’s Start Installing Raspbian!
First you’ll want to head to the Raspberry Pi’s download page for Raspbian.
In this tutorial we’ll be using the Raspbian Jessie with Pixel because I like to use a desktop from time to time. The filename used is 2017-01-11-raspbian-jessie.zip so you can follow along with yours.
In your terminal, change directories to the one containing the newly downloaded zip of Raspbian.
Unzip the file
unzip 2017-01-11-raspbian-jessie.zip -d .
Figure out your Micro SD card’s file descriptor with
sudo fdisk -l
Similar to the Android OS installation tutorial you’ll want to use the descriptor of the drive and not the partition. For instance if your card is located at /dev/sdb with partition /dev/sdb1 you’ll use /dev/sdb
Now to write the image to disk using the dd utility, commonly referred to as disk destroyer (don’t be scared, unless you’ve targeted the wrong drive).
sudo dd bs=4M if=2017-01-11-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/sdb
This should take a few minutes depending on the speed of your Micro SD card. A class 10 UHS-I is recommended.
That’s it! You can now plug the MicroSD card into your Raspberry Pi and boot it up. After the boot process is complete, you should be greeted with a nice desktop like the following.
Check back soon for communication to serial devices such as sensors and maybe standalone WiFi modules!