HowTo: RaspberryPi – The first configuration

After in the article RaspberryPi – setup for nerdiys! described how to get a RaspberryPi up and running, here we explain which first settings have to be done before you can really start.

The RasperryPi is set to English by default and also to a non-German keyboard layout. This leads for example to the fact that the keys "Y" and "Z" are swapped.
How to fix this and make other important settings is explained in this article.

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

Affiliate links/advertising links

The links to online shops listed here are so-called affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and make a purchase via this link, will receive a commission from the relevant online shop or provider. The price does not change for you. If you make your purchases via these links, you support in being able to offer other useful projects in the future. 🙂 


Helpful articles:
Before you can start with the installation of the first setup of the RaspberryPi you should have prepared it so far that you can control the RaspberryPi via mouse, keyboard and screen. The following article describes what you have to do to prepare the RaspberryPi:
RaspberryPi – setup for nerdiys!

Required tool:

Required material:

In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

Open configuration menu

Then start the RaspberryPi by connecting the power supply and wait until you see the following picture on the screen.

This is the default desktop of Raspian. To enter the settings menu, click on the red raspberry in the upper left corner, then on "Preferences" and then on "Raspberry Pi Configuration".

This is the RaspberryPi settings menu. To work through all items we work from left to right through the menu tabs and start in the tab "System" and click there on "Change Password".

Set password

In the “Change Password” area you can set the password for the current user “pi”. When working locally, i.e. with a monitor and keyboard and mouse connected, you don't need it yet.
Since we control the RasPi later over the network, we should change the default password and set our own. This is especially important, because unchanged default passwords are a popular security hole for hackers and co.

To change the password, you have to enter the same password twice. Please note that you are currently still using the English keyboard layout of a QWERTY keyboard. This means various special characters and the letters "Z" and "Y" are swapped. If this bothers you, you can change the password later after the keyboard layout has been set correctly.
Otherwise click "OK" and your new password will be applied.

The remaining settings in the System tab

You can set the name of your RasPi under “Hostname”. The RasPi can then be found in the network under this name, for example. If you want to use the RasPi as a file server, for example, you could call it “Server” or “NAS” (for Network Attached Storage).
The remaining settings in the “System” menu tab can remain as shown in the picture. In most cases you don't need to change them.


Before clicking “OK” we switch to the “Interfaces” tab.

There you can select which RaspberryPi typical functions should be activated.
With such selection options one should always activate as much as necessary and at the same time as little as possible. So do not activate everything across the board, but really only the functions that we need for the specific use case of the RasPi.
In the current case, this is only the SSH and VNC service.
The SSH service allows us to access the RasPi later via SSH tunnel.
The VNC service allows us to virtually redirect the desktop to another PC and thus also control the RasPi from another PC.
Set both to “Enabled” and then switch to the “Performance” tab.


Only the “GPU memory” can be set in the “Performance” tab.
“GPU” stands for “Graphics Processing Unit”, i.e. the graphics card of the RaspberryPi.
This shares the memory with the CPU (Central Processing Unit) of your RasPi.
If you now have an application in which you use your graphics card more or it requires more memory, a little more memory can be “taken away” from the CPU and assigned to the GPU.
Unless you have a use case where you need more graphics card memory, I would leave this value at 64.


In the “Localization” area you can now set various settings for the location or language area.
First we click on “Set Locale” to set the system language, country and character set.

Localisation: Set Locale

The system language can now be set here under “Language”.
This should be set to de (Austrian Germany). I don't know if there is a difference between “Austrian Germany” and “German German”. So far I haven't noticed any, nor have I found another option for the German language.
Under “Country” the country should be set to “DE (Germany)”.
The “Character Set” should be set to the “UTF-8” standard.
Then we are finished with the “Locale” settings and can close the window by clicking “OK”.

Localization: Set Timezone

In order to set the correct time zone of the system clock you have to click on “Set Timezone”.
There you set the time zone under Location to “GMT+1”, which corresponds to the time zone of Germany, and close the window by clicking “OK”.

Localization: Set Keyboard

Now it is about the previously mentioned keyboard layout. In principle, this sets which letter is behind which keystroke on the keyboard. This varies from country to country. But since most German keyboards have a German keyboard layout, we will set it that way now.
To do this, click on “Set Keyboard”. A window will then open in which you must first set the country to “Germany” in the “Country” area on the left and then set the variant to “German” in the “Variant” area on the right.
Then click “OK” to save the settings and close the window.

Localisation: Set WiFi Country

The last setting that needs to be made is the “WiFi Country” setting.
This setting is also legally relevant, as it tells the radio part of the installed WLAN card in which country the WLAN card is operated. This is important because different radio frequencies may be used in the respective countries. To avoid interference with devices or the laws of the German state, you should also set this to the correct country.
To do this, we click on “Set WiFi Country” and then set the value “DE Germany” in the “Country” area. We confirm this with “OK” to save the setting and close the window.

Save settings and restart

Now all settings have been made. In order for the system to be able to take over this, the RasPi must be restarted once. To do this, please click on “OK” and “Yes” in the dialog window that then pops up.
The RasPi will reboot and you should find yourself back on the RasPi desktop after a few minutes.

Configure wifi connection

To make the RasPi accessible via the network, it must of course be connected to the network. This can be done by cable or much more comfortable (but also a little slower) via WLAN access.
Starting with the RaspberryPi 3, a WLan card is installed from the factory.

To connect to a wireless network, click on the icon with the two red crosses in the upper right corner. A list with all available wireless networks will appear. Select your network in this list, enter your password and confirm this with a click on "OK". The RasPi should then connect to your wireless network.
If the RaspberryPi is connected to a WLan you can see that the symbol with the two crosses has changed. It has now become a typical wlan symbol that also shows how strong the signal strength is. Because the RasPi has a small antenna on the board, its reception strength is not always the best. If it is not strong enough it might actually help to use a wlan dongle via the USB port.

This completes the first basic configuration for now.

If you want to know how to control the RasPi via SSH or VNC over the network, here are two more articles:
RaspberryPi – Control the RaspberryPi via SSH
RaspberryPi - Controlling the RaspberryPi via VNC

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

Buy Me a Coffee at       

Kommentar hinterlassen

Your email address will not be published. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.