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Raspberry Pi Imager

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released a new version of the Raspberry Pi Imager. This tool, which works on Windows, Linux, and Apple, is a free and simple tool that creates Raspberry Pi Micro SD cards.

When it was first released, it allowed you to pick one of the recommended Operating systems and then to write it. However, hidden away in an undocumented panel were some useful settings.

These settings would allow you to pre-set the machine name, change the default password for the Pi user, set up WI-FI for the first boot, and turn on SSH on the first boot.

However, the latest version brings these features to the front and they are now documented.

Pick an operating system
Advanced Options

To find the options, you first need to pick a supported Operating system to write. Currently, this includes the official Raspbian OS.

What do all the options do?

  • Disable Overscan
    • Overscan is a legacy method to handle variable image presentation on CRT (cathode ray tube) TV’s and monitors, which is no longer needed on modern LCD monitors and TVs.
  • Set Hostname:
    • The hostname is a unique name for your Raspberry Pi. It allows you to connect to it without neeeding to know the unique IP address. So in the example above, if I have a web site running on the Raspberry Pi, I would go to http://studypi2.local/
  • Enable SSH
    • With this enabled, once your Raspberry Pi has booted up for the first time, you will be able to remotly connect to it using SSSH
    • The options below this enable to you use either password or SSL public Key
  • Set username and password
    • When you normally install Rasbian (Or Raspberry Pi OS) the default username is PI with a password of raspberry. These options allow you to setup a different username and password giving first boot security.
  • Configure wifi
    • If you plan on using your Raspberry Pi over wifi with no network cable, you can preset your wifi name (SSID) and the Password. You will also need to pick the correct country code.
  • Set Locale settings
    • You can pre-pick your Time Zone and Keyboard layout
  • Skip first-run wizard
    • Stop the first boot Raspberry Configuration screen showing
  • Persistent settings
    • Play sound when finished (Walked away from the computer – the application with make a noice to let you know it is finished.
    • Eject Media when finished: Allows you to quickly remove the SD card from the PC without needing to manually eject it.
    • Enable telemetry: Allows the Raspberry Pi Foundation to get some anonymised data about your setup.