What is DietPi? | How to install DietPi Raspberry Pi and other SBCs

What is DietPi? | How to install DietPi Raspberry Pi and other SBCs

17 August 2023 0 By Harshvardhan Mishra

What is DietPi?

DietPi is a basic and highly streamlined version of the Debian Linux operating system. At its core, DietPi is quite light, and it’s also very simple to set up and operate.

It takes time and expertise to set up a single board computer (SBC) or even a computer for regular or server use. DietPi offers a simple method for setting up and running your preferred applications.

How to install DietPi Raspberry Pi and other SBCs

The installation of DietPi consists of few steps:

  • Provide an installation media (e.g. SD card for single board computer or USB stick for PC)
  • Get the DietPi image (and put it on the installation media)
  • Boot up the DietPi device and go through one time installation steps

Following these steps you will be able to initially setup DietPi and install additional software packages you would like to use, using dietpi-software.

Select the following tabs for the installation description of your target.

The popularity of single-board computers (SBCs) built on the well-known Raspberry PI’s ARM-based architecture has grown over the past few years. These SBCs are ideal for embedded systems, such as cloud applications or home automation, due to their low cost, power, and hardware flexibility.


To follow this tutorial, you will need the next hardware list:

  • A Raspberry Pi, Odroid or other SBC – open the list of all supported SBC
  • An SD card, USB flash drive or eMMC of at least 4 GiB size, and a way to write it
  • Optional: Ethernet (network) cable

Note: Following this guide you could run the installation directly from a console via keyboard and screen, via SSH client or serial console.

1. Download and extract the DietPi disk image

Open dietpi.com, select your SBC and click on Download. The disk image will be downloaded locally.

Unzip the downloaded file to a local folder.

It is a 7z archive format so you will need to install either 7zip for Windows or The Unarchiver (Macintosh). Both are free of charge and have been tested to unzip the image correctly.

Linux users will need to download and install p7zip (the terminal version of 7zip).

2. Flash the DietPi image

At first, download and install balenaEtcher. This application flashes OS images to SD cards and USB drives, safely and easily on Windows, macOS, Linux.

Start balenaEtcher and make sure you have your drive or SD card inserted into your computer. Locate and select the DietPi image. Once you have confirmed all the details are correct, proceed to flash the SD card. This process may take a while.

3. Prepare the first boot

Remove the drive resp. SD card from the PC and insert it into your SBC device, preparing to boot for the first time.
Power on the SBC to login and execute the first boot procedure.

4. First logon on DietPi

The hostname of the system will be: DietPi.
You might change the name before the first boot within the configuration file dietpi.txt.

After the system has booted up, you can continue following the instructions on the screen, or connect via network:

  • If you have a keyboard and a monitor connected to your system you login via this console.
  • If you have a headless system without keyboard and monitor attached, you can use an SSH client like PuTTY to connect from a remote system. The SSH server Dropbear is installed and enabled by default on DietPi.
  • Most SBCs alternatively allow to connect a serial console via UART, which is by default enabled on DietPi as well.

A login prompt will appear. Use the initial credentials:

  • login: root
  • password: dietpi (resp. the one you set via dietpi.txt)

Please folow these terms if you are using Headless mode (Without screen, keyboard and mouse)

IP Scanning tool

For the following steps we require an IP Scanning tool to determine the IP address of the Raspberry Pi.

  • For Windows, you could try Advanced IP Scanner. Download the tool from here.
  • For Linux, you can use the nmap command:
  • sudo apt-get install nmap # for installing Nmap
    sudo nmap -sn # for scanning IP address in the eange -

Alternatively you may also determine the IP address in the DHCP status page of your DHCP server (often included in a router): Search for the hostname DietPi and obtain the IP address.

Connect to DietPi via SSH

A popular SSH Client for Windows is PuTTY. You can download PuTTY from here. Enter in the Host Name field the IP address found during the scanning, select SSH and then click on Open button.
Depending on your DHCP configuration, also just dietpi may be sufficient as the hostname.
Sometimes it needs to be followed by your router’s domain (e.g. dietpi.fritz.box).

Most Linux distributions come packaged with an ssh client. Type in your Terminal next command (replace the sample IP address with the one found via scanning the network):


ssh root@dietpi

The installation of updated software packages will then start right away on DietPi and take some time to complete.

DietPi will ask you to confirm whether you want to enable user analytics after updating the packages.

DietPi Survey

DietPi Survey is optional, and not enabled by default. It is anonymous, secured and requires a minimal data transfer. ALL the shared details are published on the dietpi.com/survey page. Checkout and see how DietPi is used!

The default DietPi password is public, so you’ll be asked to change this at the next stage for both the root and dietpi user accounts. Select OK and hit Enter, then provide your password (twice) to confirm.

You can change the password again later by typing passwd at the terminal or also via the command line script dietpi-config (within the “Security options”).

5. Further steps

The base installation of DietPi is minimal by design, allowing you to choose what software you want to install and use: Just run dietpi-software and install DietPi Optimised Software.
You can return to the DietPi-Software tool to make further changes at any time by typing dietpi-software at the terminal, or enter dietpi-launcher and select DietPi-Software tool.

If you want to make further changes to your DietPi configuration, you can run dietpi-launcher at the terminal to view all the available DietPi tools, including DietPi-Update to update your device and DietPi-Backup to back up your device.


References: https://dietpi.com/docs/