How to Access the Raspberry Pi with SSH

SSH Window

After following my guide about how to set up the Raspberry Pi, you still need a way to access the Raspberry Pi.  My favorite way of accessing the Pi is using SSH to access the command line.
To get SSH working in Windows you’ll need to get the PuTTY utility found here.  Use the “Windows installer for everything except PuTTYtel” from the <a href="”>download page.  Install PuTTY and you can use it to SSH into the Raspberry Pi.

Finding the Pi’s IP Address

Without a monitor to ask the Pi for its IP address, you’ll need to log into your router and see what IP address was given to the Pi.  For the example I will use my Linksys e2000 as a reference.  The instructions will likely be similar for your router.

  • Go to your router’s IP address in the browser, which is usually, and login.

Router Login Screen

  • On the “Basic Setup” page click on DHCP Reservations.

Router Config Screen

  • You’ll see there is a client with the name “raspberrypi” connected on LAN.  Select it and add it to the DHCP reservation list.  Finally note the Pi’s IP address as we will use it to log in to the Pi.  After adding the DHCP reservation the Raspberry Pi will be assigned the same IP address every time it boots.

Add DHCP Client

Logging in with PuTTY

  • Launch PuTTY from the Start Menu.

Login with PuTTy

  • Enter the IP address that you wrote down earlier into the “Host Name” box.  Note that the default port for SSH is 22.
  • Click “Open” to start the remote session on the Raspberry Pi.
  • You will be prompted to accept a security key.  Click “Yes” to accept.

Accept unknown key

  • PuTTY will then prompt you for your username.  These are the default credentials:
Username pi
Password raspberry
  • You should now have a command prompt!

SSH is Successful

A Better Way to use PuTTY

  • Open notepad to create a new text file.
  • Write these two lines in that file:


  • where <IP_ADDRESS> is the IP address from the DHCP reservation earlier and <PATH_TO_PUTTY> is the path to the PuTTY exe which is usually “C:”Program Files (x86)”PuTTYputty.exe”
  • Save that file to your desktop.
  • Now when you double click on that file, it will launch PuTTY with your username and IP address and ask for a password.  Since the Pi has a DHCP reservation, the IP address should not change.

Completing the Pi Configuration

  • As your new shell suggests you should type “sudo raspi-config” to complete the configuration.  You will get a window like this:

Finish Configuration

  • Use the arrow keys to navigate and enter to select an action.
  • First you really should change the password to something you know, so arrow down to “change_pass” .

Finish Config Screen 2

  • Hit enter to continue.

Enter new password

  • Enter the new password twice to reset it and hit enter to save the password.

Password changed successfully

  • Hit enter to continue.
  • Back at the config screen arrow down to “change_timezone” and hit enter.
  • Select the right time zone here and hit enter.

Geographic Area
Time Zone

  • Back at the config screen, arrow down to and select “boot_behavior”.
  • If you plan to use the Pi with SSH like I do, select “” and hit enter.

Go straight to desktop?

  • And finally arrow down to and select “update” to update all the packages to the latest.
    • By selecting this it will return you to the shell and download a bunch of updates.
  • After the update is done it will return you to the shell.

Config Done
That will do it!  Now you can SSH into the pi with your new password and do whatever you want.  If you are new to the BASH Linux shell, here are a few commands that are useful.  Also don’t forget that if you type part of a command or directory the tab key will auto complete what you are trying to type.

sudo shutdown –r 0 Restart in 0 seconds
sudo apt-get update Update all packages
ls List current directory contents
cd Change directories
pico Edit file in a text editor
sudo apt-get install <APP_NAME> Installs application <APP_NAME> from the internet repositories
exit Exits the shell session

Note that if you prepend “sudo” to any command it runs it with the highest privileges, known as root in Linux.
What’s next?  That’s up to you.  Maybe try to install Webmin, for a browser based console.  Or try to install the packages for a LAMP server and start writing some PHP or Python code.  Have fun!


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