Raspberry Pi: Setup Debian with SanDisk Extreme

Raspberry Pi: Setup Debian with SanDisk Extreme

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Finally my RPi has been delivered! After unboxing it I really couldn’t image that is was that tiny. First thing I did, was grabbing my 8GB SanDisk SD-Card and copying the rootfs debian6-19-04-2012 onto it.

After plugging the sd card in the RPi and connecting power supply the problems came up…

This article is not a detailed guide how to set up your RPi. It just describes my second afford to get the RPi booting flawlessly in a few words I can refer to in the future.

Problems I had

  • device didn’t boot at all
  • no serial output on the GPIOs
  • login failures with definitely correct password
  • mouse/keyboard stopped working after startx


Prepare the SD-Card as described here:
After replugging it I used gparted on my laptop to resize the partitions to fill the card.

My card is an 8GB SanDisk Extreme class 10, which is too fast for the stock kernel and the RPi doesn’t boot. Therefor we need a newer kernel. Grab the tarball from and overwrite the files on the sd card.

Now plug the card into the RPi and boot it. At this time I saw it was alive, I got the kernel output on the serial interface!

You should be able to login with pi:raspberry
Well, I wasn’t… So sd card back into my laptop. I just edited the last line in /media/xyz/etc/shadow to another password. Then the login worked for me.

If you want to be able to login as root (make sure to change pw) type

To get the right timezone type:

Change the update server to one nearby:

Then upgrade your installation:

If I now try to start the GUI with startx mouse and keyboard stop working. Due to the incredible fast sd card we need a newer kernel one more time. Get rpi-update as shown at
Maybe you get dependency issues

Another thing I noticed is that overscan is activated by default (maybe tv specific?). There are several things that can be set in the config.txt:
For me it’s fine with these lines in /boot/config.txt

Update 22.07.2012: config.txt

Thanks to Patschi, he posted a link to a really nice description on the config.txt! You can read it here: