Step by Step Guide to Install Raspberry Pi 64 Bit OS “Bullseye”

In this step-by-step guide, We are going to explore installing a 64-bit operating system on a Raspberry Pi4.

Overview

There’s been a demand for the Raspberry Pi 64 Bit Operating System for quite a while and the Raspberry Pi foundation has been hard at work at developing a new version of the Raspberry Pi OS that utilizes 64-bit.

While a GA version is yet to be released, Pi foundation has released several 64-bit Beta versions, the latest being dated 8th Nov 2021.

Please note that by running a 64-bit system on your Pi you will require software compiled for ARM64. Luckily, as many devices have moved on to strictly only using 64-bit, you should not have too many issues installing packages.

Pre-requisite

Before proceeding further with this guide, you will need to be using a Raspberry Pi 3, 4, or 400. Older versions of the Pi only have a 32-bit processor meaning you can not use the builds mentioned in this guide.

We will be using Raspberry Pi4 Model B for this exercise and Beta Image (2021–10–30-raspios-bullseye-arm64-lite) released on 8th Nov 2021 for Raspberry new Debian 11 version: Bullseye.

Step#1: Download the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS

You can download the 64-Bit Raspberry Pi OS image from here. It is a 1.1 GB zip file, In case you need to download torrents or other files you can download them from the parent repo here.

Step#2: Install Raspberry Pi OS using Raspberry Pi Imager

The next step is to install the Raspberry Pi OS image downloaded into Step#1 on a microSD card using Raspberry Pi Imager. In case you don’t have the Imager installed you can get it from here.

Once you have the Imager installed, Put the SD card you’ll use with your Raspberry Pi into the card reader and run Raspberry Pi Imager.

  • Select the operating system dialogue in the Imager Window
  • In the drop-down list select “Use Custom” to select the custom .img from your computer
  • Find the 2021–10–30-raspios-bullseye-arm64-lite.zip you just downloaded
  • Select the SD card. Here, we used a 32 GB SD card.
  • Start the Erase, Format, and write activities in one go.
  • You can follow the progress until successful

Step#3: SSH for Headless setup

For headless setup, SSH can be enabled by placing a file named SSH, without any extension, onto the boot partition of the SD Card as shown in the pic below.

Once done you can insert the SD card into the Raspberry and boot.

Open the command prompt (if windows) and SSH Raspberry Pi using the command “ssh pi@raspberrypi.local” and default password “raspberry” using a LAN cable for the first time until you set the wifi config.

Step#4: Check Version

You can check the version i.e. 11 bullseye by executing the command cat /etc/os-release, Also the python version will be 3.9.2 in this Pi version

The output of command uname -a will show that this is a 64-bit version.

Output: Linux raspberrypi 5.10.63-v8+ #1459 SMP PREEMPT Wed Oct 6 16:42:49 BST 2021 aarch64 GNU/Linux

Also, using df- h you can see that the used space for this OS installation (without any updates is 1.2G)

So we have now installed the Raspberry Pi 64-bit Beta Image on Raspberry Pi 4 using the above steps. Let’s use Beta Image until an Official GA is released.

Do let me know, in case you face any challenges with the above steps!

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