Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH

This How To Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH helps you to setup a Raspberry without display whilst leveraging on a remote computer.

Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH

Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH


Index of Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH


If you like to install a Raspberry without a screen attached, then you will be happy for leveraging on this HowTo. It basically allows you to login to your Raspberry remotely after you have leveraged on the Raspberry Pi Imager to write the Raspberry Pi OS on the SD Card.

How To Setup Raspberry For Headless SSH Access

Step 1 – Setup

First of all, leverage on the Raspberry Pi Imager to write the Raspberry Pi OS onto your preferred SD card. Please ensure this SD card is empty or the data that you have on this SD card is not needed anymore. After leveraging on the Raspberry Pi Imager and writing with it the Raspberry Pi OS onto the SD card, all previous data will be lost!

Raspberry Pi Imager

Raspberry Pi Imager

Step 2 – Enable SSH

Second, once done, open the Volume on the SD card that is called /boot. To do so, and depending on your operating system and computer, you maybe have to unplug and plug again the SD card.

Raspberry Pi /boot Volume

Raspberry Pi /boot Volume

Save in this /boot volume an empty file that is simply called “ssh”. Do not add any file extension! This will allow to login remotely to your Raspberry, since the system will activate SSH. There is nothing to be written into this “ssh” file. Simply add an empty file called “ssh”. To do so, you could for example on a Mac open the command line and simply run the below command. On Windows you either leverage on the command line or (same as with the Mac) you create the file directly in the File Explorer. Command for the Mac Terminal:

touch /Volumes/boot/ssh

It would look like this:

Raspberry Pi /Volume/boot/ssh

Raspberry Pi /Volume/boot/ssh

Step 3 – Find IP Address

Find out the IP Address of your Raspberry Pi. To do so, plug the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and try via your internet router to find out the IP address that was attached to your Raspberry Pi. I suggest to have a view of the IP addresses that your router provided to the devices in the network before you switch on the Raspberry Pi and then you compare after you switched on the Raspberry Pi. You would like to do this step via LAN cable, hence plug the Raspberry directly via LAN cable into the router. 

In this example, the router attached the IP address of:

Step 4 – Connect by SSH

Since you know now the IP address, you are ready to go! I suggest for connecting via SSH to the Raspberry, you leverage for Windows on Putty, whilst you simply use the standard Terminal on a Mac or Linux system.

For connecting with a Mac or Linux terminal simply typ:


An example could be: ssh pi@

Username Password:

  • Since the Raspberry is newly setup, the default username is “pi” and the default password is “raspberry”. NOTE: You should change the password after first login!
  • For Mac and Linux and since you used to login “ssh pi@<IP Address of your Raspberry” you only need to type the password
  • For Windows you will need to enter both, username and password

Additional Information

Find more information about Raspberry on the official Raspberry page

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