No PC Needed: How to Install Raspberry Pi OS Online

As any experienced Raspberry Pi user can tell you, the popular single board computer does not come with an operating system preloaded. Unless you buy a third-party kit/card that came with a Raspberry Pi OS on it, you have to download the operating system to a PC or Mac and write it to a microSD card or USB storage device for the Pi. We have articles about How to set up a Raspberry Pi and how Create a headless Raspberry Pi that shows you how to do it.

But what if you don’t have access to a computer (or don’t have a card reader)? A new version of the Raspberry Pi bootloader, which is now available in beta, allows you to download the operating system and write it to a microSD card, using BIOS and an Ethernet connection.