The very first thing I needed to do as part of my Raspberry Pi Thermostat Project was get a headless Raspberry Pi working on my WiFi. There were a couple of gotchas I ran into here since it was my first time actually booting up a Raspberry Pi.

Hardware involved:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
  • A micro SD card with a capacity of at least 8 GB. This one should work.
  • A micro USB power adapter that serves 5V at at least 2 amps. If you try to use an old phone adapter, it likely won’t provide enough power and the Raspberry Pi will reboot itself periodically. I bought this one from Amazon and it’s been working great for me.

Things I had to do:

  1. Download the Raspbian Linux distribution. Get the “Lite” version because we are not going to hook a monitor up to this.
  2. Flash it onto the micro SD card
  3. Create a file in the root directory of the micro SD card called ssh. This tells the Raspberry Pi to enable SSH.
  4. Create a file in the root directory of the micro SD card called wpa_supplicant.conf and make it look like this with my WiFi SSID and password:
  5. Put the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi and boot it up.
  6. Log in to my router to find the IP address of the Raspberry Pi device.
  7. SSH into the Pi with ssh pi@ and password raspberry

And I’m in! Next step in the Raspberry Pi Thermostat Project: connect a thermometer.