But the device is not perfect. While using the NOOBS installer is easy enough to install one or more operating systems (Raspbian in particular), your first boot can be tricky, usually requiring a mouse, keyboard, and monitor to set it up.
What if you could set up Raspbian before you downloaded the Raspberry Pi? Wouldn’t it be great to set up a wireless network beforehand, or tweak some other settings to get the Pi and its preferred OS working right out of the box?
Proof of pudding in food
The solution is PiBakery, an excellent block-based configuration tool for Windows and Mac computers (a Linux version is in development) by 17-year-old David Ferguson, whose explanation of why he created this tool is one of those «Duh — why no one did it already?! » moments.
The idea for PiBakery came about when I went to a Raspberry Pi event. I needed to connect my Pi to the network, but I didn’t have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I needed a way to add a network to my Raspberry Pi that didn’t require downloading and manually connecting.
Scratch-style dragging blocks to specify a specific configuration for your Raspbian installation is particularly clever, and the software remembers your settings in your Raspbian configuration, which can then be written to an SD card. Even better:
If you’ve already made an SD card with PiBakery, you can insert that card back into your computer and continue editing blocks to add additional software, set up new wireless networks, and change other settings.
The significance of this for Pi users old and new should not be underestimated.
Start with PiBakery
Windows users will find that the SmartScreen service initially blocks the installation, so click » More»> «All equals run» . (This works for Windows 8 and Windows 10, but on Windows 7 just click » Yes» .) By the way, if Windows SmartScreen is not available, as it was for us, select the » Run» .
In a few minutes, you should have a copy of PiBakery on your computer. Spend a few minutes looking at the interface; You will see a menu at the bottom left that contains commands. They can be dragged to the workspace and instructions can be added. You will also notice the import, export and write tools on top. We will look at them later.
Now it’s time to customize Raspbian the way you want it!
Raspberry Pi network preconfiguration
A common problem with the Raspberry Pi is connecting to a new wireless network without a keyboard and mouse. Even using SSH, you need to first connect the device to an ethernet cable.
With PiBakery, you can easily get around this problem by first setting up your wireless network connection. To get started, open startup and drag OnFirst Boot to the right panel. Add to this Network > Wi-Fi Setup .