the end justifies the means, glad to hear you got there,
FWIW (a fuller explanation)
Copying an image to the SD card in Linux (command line)
Please note that the use of the “dd” tool can overwrite any partition of your
machine. If you specify the wrong device in the instructions below you could
delete your primary Linux partition. Please be careful.
Download the zip file containing the image from a mirror or torrent
[Downloads | Raspberry Pi](http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads)
Verify if the the hash key of the zip file is the same as shown on the
downloads page (optional). Assuming that you put the zip file in your home
directory (~/), in the terminal run:
This will print out a long hex number which should match the “SHA-1”
line for the SD image you have downloaded
Extract the image, with
Run df -h to see what devices are currently mounted
If your computer has a slot for SD cards, insert the card. If not, insert
the card into an SD card reader, then connect the reader to your computer.
Run df -h again. The device that wasn’t there last time is your SD card. The
left column gives the device name of your SD card. It will be listed as
something like “/dev/mmcblk0p1” or “/dev/sdd1”. The last part (“p1” or “1”
respectively) is the partition number, but you want to write to the whole SD
card, not just one partition, so you need to remove that part from the name
(getting for example “/dev/mmcblk0” or “/dev/sdd”) as the device for the whole
SD card. Note that the SD card can show up more than once in the output of df:
in fact it will if you have previously written a Raspberry Pi image to this SD
card, because the Raspberry Pi SD images have more than one partition.
Now that you’ve noted what the device name is, you need to unmount it so
that files can’t be read or written to the SD card while you are copying over
the SD image. So run the command below, replacing “/dev/sdd1” with whatever your
SD card’s device name is (including the partition number)
If your SD card shows up more than once in the output of df due to
having multiple partitions on the SD card, you should unmount all of these
In the terminal write the image to the card with this command, making sure
you replace the input file if= argument with the path to your .img file, and the
“/dev/sdd” in the output file of= argument with the right device name (this is
very important: you will lose all data on the hard drive on your computer if you
get the wrong device name). Make sure the device name is the name of the whole
SD card as described above, not just a partition of it (for example, sdd, not
sdds1 or sddp1, or mmcblk0 not mmcblk0p1)
dd bs=4M if=~/2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdb
Please note that block size set to 4M will work most of the time, if
not, please try 1M, although 1M will take considerably longer.
Note that if you are not logged in as root you will need to prefix this
The dd command does not give any information of its progress and so may
appear to have frozen. It could take more than five minutes to finish writing to
the card. If your card reader has an LED it may blink during the write process.
To forcibly stop the copy operation you can run pkill -USR1 -n -x dd in another
terminal (prefixed with sudo if you are not logged in as root).
Instead of dd you can use dcfldd; it will give a progress report about how
much has been written.
You can check what’s written to the SD card by dd-ing from the card back to
your harddisk to another image, and then running diff (or md5sum) on those two
images. There should be no difference.
As root run the command sync or if a normal user run sudo sync (this will
ensure the write cache is flushed and that it is safe to unmount your SD card)
Remove SD card from card reader, insert it in the Raspberry Pi, and have fun