Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and errata

In this page you can find the Frequently Asked Questions and the pending errata on the image creation scripts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you add package foo to the image? I think it’s quite important!

    Most likely, my answer will no. I am trying for the images to be as minimal and close to a base Debian install as possible; while most of us do use console-tools and bash-completion (two of the most common requests), it is not always required. Keep in mind the generated images should work for the most minimal Raspberry Pi model 1A (128MB RAM). And, all in all, it’s just an apt install away for you anyway!

    If there is anything you really need and cannot easily get done from the provided images, do contact me. But I don’t want to change the images offered to everybody just because a feature is missing!

  2. How do I get wireless working?

    Given we are shipping a minimal installation, I don’t want to carry all the burden of network-manager, wicd or the like. The easiest way is to create a /etc/network/interfaces.d/wlan0 file with the settings for your network. I have found the following to be useful for –by far– most network settings I’ve encountered:

     allow-hotplug wlan0
     iface wlan0 inet dhcp
         wpa-ssid my-network-ssid
         wpa-psk s3kr3t_P4ss

    Given it contains the very sensitive s3kr3t_P4ss, I suggest you to set up this file to be readable only by the root (administrative) user:

      # chown root:root /etc/network/interfaces.d/wlan0
      # chmod 0600 /etc/network/interfaces.d/wlan0

    Of course, there might be other options you need — If that’s the case, I suggest you look at the different options mentioned in the WiFi/HowToUse page of the Debian Wiki.

  3. What about supporting the Raspberry Pi 4 family? You know, they are sweet machines!

    Of course they are sweet, and of course we want to support them! But its support will only come after there is a kernel in Debian Unstable that works for them and has a wide enough hardware support.

    There is, of course, work underway to get there — Last reports I’ve heard is that 5.6 is able to boot, but does not yet have support for USB. I think this severely limits usability, far enough for me not to consider yet building with it.


  1. The images are set to boot the kernel with consoles in /dev/tty0 (keyboard/HDMI) and /dev/ttyS1 (serial port, configured to 115200 bits per second). The correct console for the Raspberry pin headers is /dev/ttyAMA0.

    You can fix it by editing cmdline.txt in the first (FAT) partition, or in /boot/firmware/cmdline.txt if your system has already booted, and changing ttyS1 for ttyAMA1.