What is raspi-config?
Raspi-config is a configuration tool that you should always run on any new Raspberry Pi before you do anything else, it does things like expanding the filesystem to take up the whole SD Card which means that if you put a 32GB card in your Raspberry Pi but don’t follow these commands you will only use a tiny amount of that space and quickly run out of storage space.
How do I use it?
Very simply, after you start
raspi-config you just need to know how to move around the menu as you won’t be able to use your mouse to point-and-click as you might be used to.
- The up and down arrow keys will move you up and down the menus
- Pressing enter on an item that is coloured red will select that option
- Pressing the tab key will move between different elements on any particular page, so you will definitely need to use it when you’ve finished because you will want to select the option
But don’t worry about it, It will become more obvious as we go through the process.
Show me How!
First we need to ssh into our remote Raspberry Pi, doing this is outside the scope of this post but I covered it in another post called Generating SSH Keys. Once you are logged in to your Pi, invoke the following command to start
Helpfully first task we want to accomplish is already highlighted for us, simply press the Enter key ↩ to select the
Expand Filesystem option.
The screen will go white for a few seconds and when the process has successfully been completed you will be shown this screen with the word
<Ok> highlighted, you just need to press the Enter key ↩ to return to the main menu.
The next thing we are going to do is change the default password from
raspberryto something more secure, so press the Down Arrow ↓ once until
Change User Password is selected and then press Enter ↩.
You’re going to be asked on the next screen to provide a new password for the current user, which in this case is the default
pi. Just hit Enter ↩.
Now it is time to pick a good password, I recommend you use four short words with spaces in between which makes an easy to remember but very strong password. When you are typing in your new password you won’t get any feedback from the Terminal, when you finish typing just hit Enter ↩.
To make sure you’ve got the right password, the program asks you to retype it. Do this and then hit Enter ↩.
After that process has finished we find ourselves back at the main menu.
Use the Down Arrow ↓ until you reach option number nine called
Advanced Options, once it is highlighted in red press the Enter ↩ key to select it.
You’ll find yourself in a new menu, from this menu the first thing we are going to do is change the Hostname of the Raspberry Pi. The Hostname is the name by which your devices known on the network, the default is pretty boring so we are going to change it to
Wi-Pi. So use the Down Arrow ↓ until the option
Hostname is selected in red and then press Enter ↩ to select it.
Page you will see some instructions about which characters and digits you can and can’t use when creating your new Hostname, you don’t have to use
wi-pi, you can use anything you like but I just thought that name was funny. You will see that
<Ok> is already selected so by now you know to press Enter ↩ to select it.
This is what the default Hostname looks like, we are going to change this:
After you’ve chosen your amazingly funny new Wi-Fi name, hit the Tab key ⇥ and select
<Ok> then press Enter ↩.
Here we are back on the main page, select the
Advanced Options option again and press Enter ↩.
We now want to choose
Memory Split from the following menu and press Enter ↩.
This option decides how much of the GPU is used to process graphics on the Raspberry Pi, you can devote as much of it or as little of it as you want to the GPU. It’s my understanding that if you don’t devote it to the GPU then it is available for processing by your Raspberry Pi thus allowing you to do more things with it. Seeing as we are not going to be doing anything that involves graphics we are going to set this to a very low number.
you can see the default is set to
I chose 16 just in case I had to log into VNC session or anything like that, Sees the backspace key and delete the number
64 and replace it with the number
16. You can technically choose
0 here, but that caused some unexpected results for me that you could probably do without.
Here we are again, that’s it the Tab Key ⇥ followed by Enter ↩.
This should be the last time we returned to the main menu, go ahead and select
Advanced Options again and press Enter ↩.
Use the Down Arrow ↓ key to select the option
SSH and then press ↩.
We most definitely do want the ssh server to be enabled, so we hit the Tab Key ⇥ followed by Enter ↩.
Yayy! SSH server successful enablation! Press Enter ↩ to go back to everybody’s favourite main menu:
That’s it, we are finished, all you need do is press the Tab Key ⇥ until the word
<Finish> is selected followed by Enter ↩ to move to the next menu.
The answer is definitely
<Yes>, so just press Enter ↩.
All done, you will be automatically logged out of your Raspberry Pi and dropped back into the shell on your local machine.
All done, we are now logged out and let’s take my favourite command and type the word
clear) to get back to a nice clean Terminal to start the next job.
Mmmmmmm, All clean and shiny, just the way the command line should be!
No, really? ↩