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Home Server | How to Install OS on Raspberry Pi

This tutorial is for beginners to install an Operating System (OS) on a Raspberry Pi. This series aims to set up an affordable home server using Raspberry Pi. If this is your first time here, check out our previous post about home servers.

We’ll cover the following topics:

Getting Started with a Raspberry Pi as a Home Server

To start your Raspberry Pi journey as a home server, you’ll need the following components:

Essential Recommended Optional
Raspberry Pi board Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – 4GB Other RPi boards
Power Supply RPi power supply +5.1V 3A Type C USB cable
Storge Micro SD card 8GB or greater SSD or HHD of your choice


One Time Use Recommended Optional
Mouse and Keyboard Any standard USB Wireless will work if already paired.
Monitor or television HDMI input
A computer SD card reader


Others Recommended Optional
Ethernet cable CAT 5E n/a

Installing Raspberry Pi Operating System

Boot up your computer, connect to the internet, and then download and install the official Raspberry Pi Imager for this link. See Figure (1) and Figure (2. A and B) for instructions.

There are other methods for installing RPi OS; however, using Raspberry Pi Imager is the most convenient choice for most people because it will download the image and install it on your hard drive directly.

Download Raspberry Pi imager.
Figure (1) Download Raspberry Pi imager.

 Install Raspberry Pi Imager
Figure (2. A) Install RPi Imager.

 Install Raspberry Pi Imager
Figure (2. B) Install RPi Imager.

How to use Raspberry Pi Imager to install RPi OS

  • Step 1: Insert your SD card or USB drive into the computer.
  • Step 2: Run Raspberry Pi Imager, See Figure (3).
  • Step 3: Select your storge (SD card or USB drive), Figure (4).
  • Step 4: Choose the operation system, Figure (5. A).
    • 32 bit.
    • 64 bit, recommended for a home server, Figure (5. B).
  • Step 5: (optional)Preconfiger Operation System (CTRL+SHIFT+X) or click on the gear symbol, Figure (6. A-B).
    • Hostname.
    • Enable SSH.
    • Username and password.
    • Wireless configuration.
    • Time Zone.
  • Step 6: Write and verify your storage, Figure (7. A-B).
  • Step 7: Remove the storage drive, Figure (8).
  • Step 8: Connect your SD card or hard drive to your Raspberry Pi and turn it on.

Click to choose storage
Figure (3) Click to choose storage.

Click to choose the Raspberry pi Operation system
Figure (4) Click to choose the Operation system.

Select Raspberry pi OS (Other)
Figure (5. A) Select Raspberry pi OS (Other).

Choose Raspberry Pi OS 64 bit
Figure (5. B) Choose Raspberry Pi OS 64 bit.

Raspberry Pi imager Advanced Menu
Figure (6. A) Advanced Menu

RPi imager advanced options
Figure (6. B) Advanced options.

Raspberry pi imager Write and verify storage
Figure (7. A) Write and verify your storage.

Raspberry pi imager Write and verify storage
Figure (7. B) Write and verify storage

Raspberry pi image complete.
Figure (8) Raspberry Pi OS image completed.

Raspberry Pi OS First Boot Configuration

If you have not already configured your operating system in step 5 using the Advanced Menu of Raspberry Pi Imager, then when Raspberry Pi OS starts up for the first time, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Welcome screen and timezone configuration, Figure (9. A-B).
  2. Set up username and password,  Figure(10).
  3. Screen configuration, Figure (11).
  4. configure your wireless network, Figure (12).
  5. Update Raspberry Pi OS & reboot, Figure (13. A-B).

rpi os welcome screen and time zone configuration
Figure (9. A) Welcome screen and timezone configuration.

rpi os welcome screen and time zone configuration
Figure (9. B) Welcome screen and timezone configuration.

rpi os set up username and password
Figure (10) Set up username and password.

rpi os configuration
Figure (11) Screen configuration.

rpi os configure wireless network.
Figure (12) configure wireless network.

Update Raspberry Pi OS & reboot
Figure (13. A) Update Raspberry Pi OS & reboot.

Figure (13. B) Update Raspberry Pi OS & reboot.

Next Step

Now you have your RPi home server ready to install your first home server application (service).

For the list of services, check out this article.

For more tutorials about RPi home server services, click here.

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  • Mustafa is an Architect & Researcher in the Built Environment with a specialisation in Digital Architecture and Sustainability. He is expert in computer modelling, simulation, reality capturing technologies and Internet of things. Throughout his career, he designed domestic and non-domestic buildings. His latest research has focused on Digital Twin, Advanced Digital Technologies, simulation tools and VR/AR visualisation to support Built Environment Applications.

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