Easy Raspberry basics: Project 28a Raspberry PI Zero W board - How to boot to command line

of Acoptex.com in Raspberry Pi Zero W

Raspberry basics: Project 28a

Project name: Raspberry PI Zero W board - How to boot to command line

Tags: Raspberry, Raspberry PI Zero W board, vers 1.1, v 1.1, SSH, How to boot to command line

Attachments: None

In this project, you needed these parts (Dear visitors. You can support our project buy clicking on the links of parts and buying them or donate us to keep this website alive. Thank you):

1. Raspberry PI Zero W board or full kit 1 pc

2. Micro SD card with NOOBS and SD card adapter 1 pc

3. Micro USB power supply (2 A 5V or 5V 3A) 1 pc

4. USB keyboard 1 pc

5. USB mouse 1 pc

6. TV or PC monitor 1 pc

7. HDMI cable 1 pc

8. T-Cobbler Breakout and GPIO Cable 1 pc

9. Micro USB 2.0 OTG Cable 1 pc

10. Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter (HDMI to Mini HDMI Adapter) 1 pc

11. 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub 1 pc


We will learn how to boot to command line on Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi graphical user interface (GUI) is useful when making programs or writing documents, but if you are using the Raspberry Pi as a processing unit, then disabling the Raspberry Pi GUI could be very beneficial. It will save a lot of CPU processing time and RAM usage.

Understanding the Raspberry PI Zero W board

You can read more about it here.

Signals and connections of the Raspberry PI Zero W board

Step by Step instruction

We recommend using a high-performance SD card for increased stability as well as plugging your device into an external display to see the default application booting up.

1. Setup and preparation

We assume that you have Windows 10 installed on your PC and Raspbian OS installed on your Raspberry Pi Zero W board. 

  1. Do wiring.
  2. Insert your micro SD card with Raspbian OS into the TF card slot on the Raspberry Pi Zero W board. It will only fit one way.
  3. Connect Raspberry PI Zero W board mini HDMI port to your TV or Monitor HDMI (DVI) port (use HDMI cable and mini HDMI to HDMI adapter and/or HDMI to DVI adapter).
  4. Make sure that your monitor or TV is turned on, and that you have selected the right input (e.g. HDMI/DVI,  etc).
  5. Plug in micro USB 2.0 OTG Cable to USB data port of Pi Zero and 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub to micro USB 2.0 OTG Cable. 
  6. Plug in your USB mouse and USB keyboard to 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub.
  7. If you intend to connect your Raspberry Pi Zero vers 1.2 or vers 1.3 to the internet, connect a WiFi dongle to one of the 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub ports.
  8. Connect Micro USB power supply to Raspberry PI Zero board micro USB input.
  9. The Raspberry PI desktop will start up.
  10. Open Terminal window and type the command: sudo apt-get update
  11. Then type the command: sudo apt-get upgrade -y
  12. Adding -y to the end of apt-get commands instructs the program to automatically answer yes to any questions rather than waiting for you to type Y or N.

2. Enable SSH from Raspberry Pi desktop


  1. Go to the Terminal. Type the command to access the raspi-config tool: sudo raspi-config

  2. When the raspi config tool menu loads select 3 Boot Options and press Enter button.

  3. Select B01 Desktop / CLI and press Enter button.
  4. Then select B2 Console Autologin option which will force the Raspberry Pi to boot in command line mode and automatically log in using the default user pi and press Enter button.
  5. You will return to the main menu. Click on Finish button.
  6. You will be asked if you want to restart the Raspberry Pi. Just click on Yes button.
  7. When the Pi reboots, you will see the command line.
  8. Getting back to a desktop environment is very easy. Just use the command in Terminal: sudo raspi-config , go to the 3 Boot Options in the menu, and, this time, select option B4 Desktop Autologin, which will boot into a graphical environment instead.


We have learnt how to boot to command line on Raspberry Pi.

Libraries in use

  • None


  • None

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Published at 14-04-2019
Viewed: 2195 times