Download operation system image

After unboxing the Pi, we need to prepare the operation system for it. There are some options for installation, you can choose the foundation’s official supported operation system or the third party images. It depends on your target, but for easy to start, let rock with the official one – Raspbian. You can download the latest Raspbian image from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/. The version 2015-11-15 is 1.4GB zipped file.

Which SD card we should use with raspberry pi

As the specification, the Raspberry Pi should work with any SD-compatible cards. But for the general requirement of an IoT projects, we should consider the space(1) and speed(2) of the SD card.

(1)The SD card size should be 8GB because of following reasons

  • For installation of NOOBS, the minimum recommended card size is 8GB
  • 8GB is quite enough space to install almost all necessary packages to work with IoT projects.
  • It’s still relaxable to install Windows 10 IoT core with 8GB.
  • 8GB is balanced between need and cost.

(2) The speed of SD card should be 20MB/s, or class 10.

  • This speed is enough for file read/write if you use Pi as a server.
  • This speed is enough for loading the huge text file (sometimes the log file is up to 1GB) into editors like VIM or Nano.

I choose this Micro SD card with adapter which I can use on any Raspberry Pi model: http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Class-MicroSDHC-Card-Adapter/dp/B0019J4U3E

Flash Operation System image into SD card on Mac

(1) unzip file 2015-11-21-raspbian-jessie.zip to have 2015-11-21-raspbian-jessie.img

Unzip Raspberry Pi Image
Unzip Raspberry Pi Image

(2) Connect card reader to the Mac and format the card as FAT32. Make sure the card is detected by verifying the “devices” list in Finder, look for “NO NAME” device. Then, of MAC, use Disk Utility to format the card as FAT32. On Windows, just format by right click on the card icon.

Format SDCard For Flashing Raspberry Pi Image
Format SDCard For Flashing Raspberry Pi Image

 

Press “Erase” and wait for the process is completed. Eject and inject the card again to check if the flash operation is successfully or not.
You should see this screen, then the card is ready to flash.

 

Erase SDCard Successfully
Erase SDCard Successfully

(3) Unmount the partition to flash it:
Find the RASPBIAN_20 partition and press eject button next to it.

Unmount Disk
Unmount Disk

 

Flash the partition with terminal

$>diskutil list

/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *240.1 GB disk0
1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS OSX_SSD 239.7 GB disk0s2
/dev/disk1 (external, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk1
1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1
2: Apple_HFS KennyHDD 999.3 GB disk1s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk1s3
/dev/disk2 (internal, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: FDisk_partition_scheme *8.1 GB disk2
1: DOS_FAT_32 RASPBIAN_20 8.1 GB disk2s1

Note the /dev/disk[number] that we will flash the partition. In this case, it is /dev/disk2
Here is the command to flash:

$> sudo dd bs=1m if=/Volumes/KennyHDD/RaspberryPi/Images/2015-11-21-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/rdisk2
Password:[enter your password]
Sit back and wait about 8 minutes for flash operation. Till you see those lines
3752+0 records in
3752+0 records out
3934257152 bytes transferred in 470.519583 secs (8361516 bytes/sec)
Now your card is ready to plug into Raspberry Pi for the first boots.
Have fun!
How to install the Raspbian into SD card for Raspberry Pi on MAC
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