RPi A Method for ssh blind login

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This page describes a method for logging into a Raspberry Pi when the user has a networked computer but no suitable monitor for the Pi. Only an Ethernet connection and power are required for this method to work.

Note for those who have a compatible monitor

If you have a monitor attached to your Raspberry Pi you can still follow the instructions on this page to access the Pi remotely. Your Pi will run with or without an attached monitor.

As noted above, this method will also work without your mouse and keyboard; all you need is Ethernet and power.

In fact you can be logged in localy on your pi and at the same time be logged in from an external PC using putty and if you fire up startx from the putty login startx will run on your HDMI output.

This example uses and recommends Putty as the client software this is by no means the only available ssh client. It is however freely available on line for a wide range of operating systems, is open source and happens to be the one I have used.  :)

In the example quoted the student was using a "Virginmedia Super Hub model number VMDG-480"

Completey wireless control.

Recently, Farnell and Element14 have released a wifi dongle for the Pi. On Raspbian drivers are preinstalled whereas on debian manual installation is necesary. With this new device it is possible to have completely wireless control of the Pi.

The Router/Hub address

It appears that this Virginmedia Hub is a re-badged Netgear so like most (note not all) Netgear routers/hubs the DHCP embedded in the router/hub software should issue IP addresses that follow this pattern.


If this is the case the hub probably uses 1 in place of the x as it's own address. Making the hub address

The primary computer will probably use 2 giving it the address of and the then the later ones will follow in sequence.

For example I happen to know that a "Zoom X6 ADSL Router" uses an address of so a Warning here if the method using 192.168.0.x does not work and your router/hub is not Virginmedia or Netgear or some other re-badged Netgear then its likely that your router IP addresses lie in some other range.

You may have to resort to reading the manual (shock horror) for your router/hub.

Using a wrong address is highly unlikely to damage your hardware, this is more akin to dialing a non existent number on your telephone (you just will not get an answer).

Given a choice of operating systems for hosting the Putty client I prefer Windows XP and Ubuntu followed by almost any other Linux distro before resorting to Vista or Windows7 purely on grounds of ease of instalation I cannot speak for Mac issues but I am given to believe Cyberduck is an option.

If you have putty installed on a Windows7/Vista machine go ahead and use it (my concerns only relate to getting it installed and getting it running)

Get Putty ready

This is a screen shot of a Windows XP Putty login screen but the Ubuntu and other versions are not that different. Running Putty on Windows7 or Vista will probably require you to run putty as administrator see importantnote that follows.

Note Important for Win7 and probably Vista users too

  1. On the Start menu, locate the program that you want to always run as an administrator.
  2. Right-click the application’s shortcut, and then click Properties.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Compatibility tab.
  4. Do one of the following:

To apply the setting to the currently logged-on user, select the Run This Program As An Administrator check box, and then click OK.

To apply the setting to all users on the computer and regardless of which shortcut is used to start the application, click Change Setting For All Users to display the Properties dialog box for the application’s .exe file, select the Run This Program As An Administrator check box, and then click OK twice.

The application will now always run using an administrator access token. Keep in mind that if you are using a standard account and prompting is disabled, the application will fail to run.

(Extracted from TechNet web page).

Here endeth the important note.


Note this is a screen shot of a copy that has a saved session when you first start the "Host Name (or IP address)" box will be blank

The Saved Sessions box will be blank and there will only be "Default Settings" in the saved sessions largebox.

The entry shown was taken after I had saved an earlier session where I had provided the name RaspberryPi do not expect this to fill in automatically it is not that magical.

Hardware connections.

You will need to your RPi connected to your router/hub with a 10baseT (ethernet) patch lead. You may have received one with your router.

If you want to connect using a wi-fi connection for the RaspberryPi thats a whole other ball game and will require it's own Wiki page and a bigger geek than me.

You will need your Wheezy imaged SD card inserted and then power up the RPi.

On your RPi next to the usb sockets there's a set of tiny led's wait till you have at least a steady lit yellow two greens and a red this may not be essential but I'm sure it's good practice.

Ready to start.

Ok go to your putty screen as shown above and type in leave the port address of 22 as it is. It may be worth mentioning if you have managed to connect other devices to your router/hub for example smart phones the last digit will probably be 2 more than the number of existing devices. Be prepared to try other values.

Make sure the radio button SSH is selected

In saved Sessions type in RaspberryPi (you can type anything you like here but RaspberryPi seems sensible) Also select the radio button for "Only on clean exit" (not essential but again a reasonable choice)

Click the save button that will just give you a shortcut to those settings your putty should now look like the image above however the IP could well be different.

Click Open

If you get a terminal window and the following warning screen overlaid that means you have the connection if you click "yes" it will be the last time you see this warning unless you re-image the SD card.

Putty security Alert.png

If you do not see the warning and the connection times out try other values for the last digit don't go wild it's unlikely a home user will have a lot of wi-fi connections so the last digit is liable to be single figures.

Ok if you have this right the line Login: will appear in the terminal window. enter pi and wait till it asks for a password then type raspberry

Remember this is using the clean install of wheezy the login and password will still be the default settings.

If your screen then looks like this (numbers and codes will probably differ) you have been sucessfull

Logged in.png

You have a connection to your RaspberryPi

Some general information to wrap up

Like I say you may need to experiment with changing the last digit in the sequence 192.168.0.x if you only have an Ubuntu computer and a Windows7 PC connected then 4 is the most likely but if you have smart phones picking up wi-fi from your Hub look at it being two more than the number of devices connected (remember the hub itself is number 1)

Timed out connections probably mean you have the wrong address and obviously you are looking for the next free number. Don't forget the RPi may even be using 0,1 or 2 if you get a windows style pop up window and pi as a login and raspberry as a password do not work you may actually be trying to log into the router.

Don't worry it just won't connect unless you have a weird router with a login of pi and a password of raspberry.

make a note of the following commands

sudo su
shutdown -h -H now

"sudo su" makes you the super user temporarily which will then let you run "shutdown -h -H now"

These are the two commands you want to use to do a safe shut down and you will not want these till you have a login as shown on the previous screen shot.

If you are using a genuine clean image of wheezey and you have the login prompt and pi and raspberry (note the password does not echo on the screen) appears not to be working you can be confident it is more than likely your typing feel free to try several times remember caps lock OFF because it is all lower case

Look at the window make sure you are not typing the password when it is asking for the login.  :D

If you have failed and have decided to either re-image the SD card or just go off and read the router/hub manual again.

Try not to kill the power at the RPi end as you will be wearing out the socket.

I use a USB connection lead for a phone and I connect to either the PC or one of those cute plugtops with a USB socket so if I am powering down I unplug at the USB end not the MicroUSB end.

If you have run the shutdown command give it a while before you kill power as it looses and reports the ssh connection is down before it has acctually shut down the RPi.

I have found that with a HDMI connection this is about 12 seconds give it at least 20 seconds (Engineering estimate ref- Montgomery Scott, StarTrek)you should be ok.

Once you have the third screen shown above ignore the startx command it does start the X window but the output only goes to the composite or HDMI port whichever is connected.

You will not see it on your ssh screen it will lock up and because you cannot see the screen to shut it down.

Note you do not need a Mouse or a Keyboard connected to the RPi

Enter the command


You will get the menu that I talk about in the wiki page RPi raspi-config (DO NOT TOGGLE ssh It will cut you off) use the up and down arrows to highlight the menu entries and enter to select when you are finished


will drop you back to the command prompt


<Ok > 

will reboot

Have fun

Next steps

This tutorial showed you how to access the Raspberry Pi's command line from a networked computer. If you want to view the Raspberry Pi's GUI on a networked computer, you will have to install and run VNC.

Suitable Project

This links to a Wiki page with instructions on building a LAMP web server RPi A Simple Wheezy LAMP install You will not need a Composite monitor or HDMI to run this and it will give you more than command line stuff.