Sunday, May 12, 2013

SSH to Raspberry Pi first time without keyboard/monitor

Applies to "wheezy" version, not sure about other versions.
Raspberry Pi is mostly used as a remote machine and usually not tied up with any keyboard or a monitor, as in my case. Whenever you reimage a version of Raspberry Pi, connecting through ssh doesn't work.

Raspberry Pi's latest images come with "sshd" enabled by default. However, during first boot, "raspi-config" script (from /etc/profile.d/ kicks in and throws up a UI on the screen for the user to respond. This doesn't timeout and doesn't let the boot sequence complete; you would notice that Rsbpi has joined the network, but one cannot ssh to it (as the startup is stuck at this script and sshd is not started yet).

Once you reimage the SD card, mount the ext4 partition just created on the card. This will give access to the root (/) filesystem of the "wheezy" linux. Comment out the following line from /etc/inittab on that / filesystem:

1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f root tty1
/dev/tty1 2>&1 # RPICFG_TO_DISABLE

This disables auto-login of root and raspi-config doesn't run until an interactive login happens as root. Now you can boot the SD card on Rsbpi and you should be able to ssh to it. 

Worked for me!