The MicroSD card serves as the Raspberry Pi’s primary harddrive. By default, the Pi will look on the MicroSD card for the operating system to load (though it’s possible to boot from other devices as well). Therefore, the first step is to grab the image and put it on the card.
Download the latest Raspberry Pi Fedora 17 Remix distribution, rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.zip, from the Seneca CDOT file server (972MB).
Extract the archive using the Archive Manager (file-roller) application or unzip from the command line. This will create the file rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.img.
Get the device name of the MicroSD card using the Disks (palimpsest) application or sudo fdisk -l from the command line. Most likely the SD card is named
Transfer the extracted image file rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.img to the MicroSD card using a terminal window.
Here’s the transfer command to execute in Step 4.
sudo dd if=rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1M
The command above assumes you saved rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.img in your home directory after extraction. If you saved the file elsewhere, you’ll need to change to the appropriate directory via the command line (
cd directory/name) before executing the
dd is a low-level copy command that can read and write complete disk images.
if stands for “input file”,
of stands for “output file” and bs tells
dd how many bytes to read at a time.
In our case, the input file is the disk image rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.img, the output file is the MicroSD card device
/dev/mmcblk0 and the block size is one megabyte (1M). This command will create the necessary file systems partitions on the MicroSD card, occupying 3.1GB of space, then copy the prepared operating system files to those partitions. A one step installation!
As you’ll learn later, the first boot wizard will allow you to resize the main partition to use all available space on the card.
dd command is also your friend if you need to move to a bigger MicroSD card. Simply reverse the
of values, insert a bigger card and run the above command again.
dd command doesn’t output any messages until the operation is complete, so be patient. The length of time to execute the command will vary depending on the speed of the card. With my Class 6 card, it takes about 8 minutes (7 MB/s). Here’s an example of the output you’ll see when the command finishes:
3000+0 records in
3000+0 records out
3145728000 bytes (3.1 GB) copied, 445.969 s, 7.1 MB/s
You can verify the operation worked by ejecting the MicroSD card, reinserting it, then browsing the contents using the file explorer. You should see two mounts, boot and rootfs. Once you’re done poking around, unmount boot and rootfs and eject the card.
The MicroSD card is ready. Now let’s prepare the Pi!