How to set up a Raspberry Pi without a PC in 2022 (a simple guide)

Rate this post

Earlier, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to connect your Raspberry Pi to your Windows laptop and set it up without a monitor or Ethernet cable. We also detailed various ways to remotely access your Raspberry Pi from your Windows PC, Mac, and other devices. However, all these methods require a separate computer. What if I want to set up a Raspberry Pi without a PC or other computer? Now, there is a way to use the latest network boot loader available in beta. This tutorial will show you how to update the Raspberry Pi boot loader and install Raspberry Pi iOS without a PC. Let’s get started without delay.

Set up a Raspberry Pi without a PC (2022)

This tutorial showed you how to set up your Raspberry Pi without using a PC, Mac, or Linux machine. At the same time, I explained what network booting is on the Raspberry Pi. You can expand the table below to go to the section you want.

What is a Raspberry Pi network boot?

Simply put, network booting How to install an operating system over the internet.. Simply connect your device to an internet source and it will automatically install a new copy of your operating system within minutes. macOS also offers this kind of internet-based recovery service, and even though it has the latest UEFI interface, Windows doesn’t have it yet. Nonetheless, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has enhanced the game and provided a way to install the operating system alone, but how exactly does it work?

For modern boards, EEPROM (A kind of memory, but read-only) Stores the boot loader or firmware. When you power on the board, the EEPROM kicks up and loads the boot loader from there. The Raspberry Pi Foundation uses this memory to store a new boot loader that allows you to install the Raspberry Pi iOS over the Internet. Therefore, when you insert a blank SD card, EEPROM will boot and the network installer will be loaded from there. And you can install Raspberry Pi iOS on your board without the need for a PC or another computer.

Requirements for using network boot on Raspberry Pi

  • Network boot Currently only supported on Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400.. Therefore, you will need one of these boards to test the new bootloader.
  • Next, you need an Ethernet cable that needs to be connected to your internet source.
  • Monitor with micro HDMI-HDMI cable.
  • Keyboard and mouse.
  • SD card.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

First, you need to update your existing boot loader on your Raspberry Pi 4 to a beta version that supports network booting. The new boot loader is in beta and you will need to perform this action manually. However, when the bootloader is out of beta, the new Raspberry Pi 4 board (and future boards) will ship with the updated bootloader. At the same time, updating the old bootloader to the new bootloader is a one-time process. Follow the steps below to learn how it works:

1. Go ahead and download Raspberry pie imager Tools from here. It can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers. You can use this tool to download and install a new boot loader.

2. Next, open the Raspberry Pi Imager tool and insert the SD card into your computer. afterwards,”Select storageClick to select the SD card. Be sure to make a backup as the SD card will be completely erased.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

3. Then, “Select OSScroll down. here,”Other utility images“Optional.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

4. After that, “Beta test boot loader“.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta network version

5. On the next page, “SD card boot“.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

6. Finally, “write“And the new bootloader will be flushed to the SD card in a few minutes.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

7. After the flash process, remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi. Next, Connect a monitor Turn on the board. You don’t need to connect a keyboard, mouse, or Ethernet cable here.

8. In 3-4 minutes, Green screen On the monitor. This means that the new bootloader has been updated on the Raspberry Pi board. You can now turn off the Pi board.

Update the Raspberry Pi boot loader to the new beta version

How to install Raspberry Pi OS without PC (using network boot)

After updating the boot loader, set up your Raspberry Pi without a PC. But first, remove the SD card from the board and insert it into your computer.Please be sure to format and create Empty SD card..

The next step is to connect all the peripherals.First, insert a blank SD card into your Raspberry Pi 4 board, then monitor, keyboard, and Ethernet cable It is connected to an internet source. You can connect if you have a mouse, but you don’t need to connect a mouse when installing the network. Then follow these steps:

1. Turn on the board and you will see the Raspberry Pi Network Boot installation page. here, Hold down the “Shift” key Start the installation process with your keyboard. Then press “Space” once to see the action.

Boot SD card with Raspberry Pi

2. If the board is connected to an internet source via an ethernet cable, you need to boot download Raspberry Pi Imager tool automatically.

Install the imager tool

3. After installing the tool, the Raspberry Pi will restart automatically. next, SD card From the storage section.You can also Change language and keyboard style From the bottom menu.

Set up a Raspberry Pi without a PC (using network boot)

4. After that, click “Select OS” and click “Select OS”.Raspberry Pi OS (32 bit)“. You can also install Ubuntu or other distributions on your Pi board.

Select Raspberry Pi from the installation screen

7. Finally, “write“And the installation will be completed within 10-12 minutes.

Write Raspberry Pi OS

8. As you can see in the screenshot below, the Raspberry Pi iOS will boot successfully. Here’s how to set up your Raspberry Pi without a PC, Mac, or Linux machine.

Raspberry Pi is installed

Install Raspberry PiOS using network boot

Here’s how to set up your Raspberry Pi without a PC or, for that matter, another computer. Installing over the network is very useful when trying to recover a Raspberry Pi board from boot failures, OS corruption, etc. All you need is an internet connection and you can reinstall your Raspberry Pi iOS without any problems. Anyway, that’s pretty much from our side. If you want to safely overclock your Raspberry Pi 4 after installing the OS, or if you want to build an Android TV Box using your Raspberry Pi, follow the linked guide. Also, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below.