Burning an SD Image on a Mac

This post is unashamedly Mac biased, I use them day in day out, they are my work machine and until the Pi came along my play machine. I have some Linux and some windows some where, but they rarely get booted, so this post is about how to create a Debian image on an SD card that can be used to boot a Raspberry Pi

Step 1. Download the latest image from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

Step 2. Insert the SD card. It will appear on you desktop looking something like the following image. Make a note of the name of the card, in this instance below it is called ‘Untitled’

Step 3. Open a terminal. Everything we now dow will be from the command line

Step 4. Identify the SD Card.

Enter the following command into at the terminal and press return, df list all available devices

$ df

You’ll get something like that. Now look for the name of the card we recorded from Step 1. Here we can see something called /Volumes/Untitled. If you now look at the beginning of the line, you’ll see the name OSX has given the device, it will start with /dev and have something of the format /disk2s1 like below. Make a note of the first number, in this instance ‘2’

Step 5. Unmount the device. Before we can burn the image we need to unmount the SD card from the file system, issue the command

$ sudo diskutil unmount /dev/disk2s1

Remember to change the first number to the one we recorded from the step above.

If it all works, you’ll get a message saying the device has been unmounted as can be seen below

Step 6. Burn the image. Now we can burn the image that we downloaded from RaspberryPi.org/downloads. The command we use is dd and it takes the format

$ sudo dd bs=1m if=<path to image to burn> of=<path to device to burn to>

The path to the image to burn, is the path to file we downloaded in step 2

The path to the device to burn the image to, is of the format /dev/rdiskN, where N is the number we recorded from the previous step, in our instance 2

When you press enter, nothing should happen. OSX goes off and starts burning the image, but provides no feedback, eventually after 5-10 mins it will finish and return to the command prompt

Step 7. Eject the device. Now that the image is burnt, we can eject the device and then extract the SD card from the SD slot and place it in one of our Raspberry Pi’s

Thats it, if all goes well you’ll have an SD card that contains an image of the latest Debian release

The next post will show the boot process and initial configuration of the Pi



Building a Pi Case

Right, I have 4 Pi’s and 4 cases, its time to start building

The cases come as a kit, 6 parts, top, bottom, 2 sides and 2 ends and need to be assembled so that the last part added creates the stability. It helps a bit of you have small nimble fingers for this bit….. lol

First add one of the sides, and line up with the ports

Next add a bottom or a top

Then add the other side, again lining up with the ports and the edges of the top or bottom

The other top or bottom can then be added, at this point its a little bit wobbly so hold carefully

Add the first end, which clips into place

Then the other end and you have a stable Pi in a case

Another view of the case, end on

And another view

Repeat the whole process again and you have 2 Pi

Repeat 2 more times and you have 4 Pis in 4 cases ready to be wired up