Install the Raspberry Pi OS for SmartServer Pi

This section lists the prerequisites necessary for a SmartServer Pi Raspberry Pi OS installation and provides the steps to prepare a Raspberry Pi SD card image. This section can be helpful for both new and experiences users when setting up the Raspberry Pi OS. These instructions describe the tested and targeted configuration for the SmartServer Pi 4.2 release.

SmartServer Pi release 4.20.016 was tested on Raspberry Pi OS Lite, 64-bit, kernel version 6.1, Debian version 12 (bookworm), release date October 11, 2023. This operating system configuration meets system performance goals and is not typically pre-installed. Other versions may work as well. For Raspberry Pi OS downloads and documentation, go to

The Setup Steps provided in this section also describe how to fully enable SSH on your Raspberry Pi (step #10 in the Setup Steps below). And, for reliability in software operations and consistency with the SmartServer IoT, these instructions include the creation of the default apollo user (step #7b in the Setup Steps below).

This section consists of the following:


The prerequisites for installing the Raspberry Pi OS for SmartServer Pi are listed below.

  • Raspberry Pi Imager software; version 1.8.5

  • An 8 GB Raspberry Pi 4

  • Raspberry Pi OS Lite, 64-bit, kernel version 6.1, Debian version 12 (bookworm)

  • A 32 GB SD card; see Best microSD Cards for Raspberry Pi 2024 | Tom's Hardware (

  • A PC that includes a micro SD card slot, or a USB to micro SD card adaptor

  • PC with Internet connection (for the Imager software to work)

  • A wired LAN connection for your PC and the Raspberry Pi where there is a DHCP server available to assign device TCP/IP addresses

  • PC requires multicast DNS (mDNS) support to resolve .local hostnames. Newer Windows 10 and 11 releases provide mDNS support. You can add mDNS support to your PC using Bonjour Print services. See Download Bonjour Print Services for Windows v2.0.2 (

Setup Steps

To install the Raspberry Pi OS for SmartServer Pi, follow the steps below:

  1. Insert the micro SD card into your PC.

  2. Go to

  3. Download and install the Raspberry Pi Imager application for your PC operating system.

  4. Launch the Imager application. If you are using Windows, run as administrator, otherwise the SD card formatting may fail.

  5. From the Raspberry Pi Imager application:

    1. Click CHOOSE DEVICE and select Raspberry Pi 4.

    2. Click CHOOSE OS and select Pi OS Lite (64-bit). Drill down through the Raspberry Pi OS (other) tab to find this option.

  6. Select your Storage target and click NEXT.

  7. Use the EDIT SETTINGS button to make the following customization settings:

    1. From the GENERAL tab, set a your hostname and time zone.

    2. From the GENERAL tab, set the username to apollo and set the password to your choice.

      Apollo User create.png
    3. From the SERVICES tab, select Enable SSH with password authentication.



  8. Click SAVE to store the configuration settings.

  9. Click YES to the dialog boxes for applying OS customization setting. Your SD card will be imaged after several minutes. When completed, click CONTINUE and remove the SD card.

  10. Insert the SD card again into your PC. If you do not see the file ssh.On in the root of the SD card, then create an empty text file with the name ssh.On (note the character-casing).

  11. Safely eject the SD card and insert it into you Raspberry Pi.

  12. Connect the Raspberry Pi ethernet port to your LAN and power it up. Allow several minutes to boot and to acquire a TCP/IP address.

  13. Test connectivity to your PC using the command ping <your Pi hostname>.local. For example:

    ping rpi-smartserver.local
  14. Log into the Raspberry Pi using an SSH client application. Use the apollo username and the password that was configured in step #7b. Refer to the section Connect to the Raspberry Pi.