The default "pi" user in Raspberry Pi OS has been removed, and you must establish a user account during setup. - Raspberry Pi Projects, Tutorials, Learning DIY Electronics - Makergenix



The default "pi" user in Raspberry Pi OS has been removed, and you must establish a user account during setup.

 Bullseye, the Raspberry Pi OS, has been updated.

Security is one of the topics on which we spend a lot of work here at Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks and hacking are on the rise, and Raspberry Pi computers are just as much of a target as any other, simply because there are so many of them out there today!

Raspberry Pi steadily increased the security of Raspberry Pi OS over the years, not in reaction to specific threats, but rather as a precaution. However, there is always a balance to be struck, since security advances normally come at the expense of usability, and Raspberry Pi attempted to make the system as user-friendly as possible while maintaining an appropriate level of security.

Until today, all Raspberry Pi OS installations featured a default user named "pi." This isn't much of a flaw; if someone wants to hack into your system, they'll need to know your password, and you'll need to have enabled some type of remote access in the first place. However, it might make a brute-force assault significantly simpler, and as a result, several nations are enacting legislation that prohibits any Internet-connected device from having default login credentials.

As a result, the default "pi" user has been deleted in this version, and you will need to create a user the first time you boot a freshly-flashed Raspberry Pi OS image. While this may cause a few difficulties when software (and documentation) anticipates the presence of the "pi" user, it seems like a reasonable move to make at this point.

Raspberry Pi Setup Wizard

By now, you should be comfortable with the Raspberry Pi setup wizard. It was released a few years ago and runs on the first boot, defining international settings, connecting to a wireless LAN, and installing any software updates; it also invites you to alter the default password. The wizard, on the other hand, has always been optional; if you pressed "Cancel" on the first page, it just disappeared, and you were not obligated to utilise it. 

The default pi user in Raspberry Pi OS has been removed, and you must establish a user account during setup.

Working through the procedure is no longer optional because it is how a user account is established; you cannot log in to the desktop unless you create a user account. As a result, instead of operating as an application on the desktop, the wizard now starts in a specialised environment.

The wizard environment will appear when you boot a fresh image. You can't run any apps from here because the menu button and application launcher have been removed; the taskbar now just enables you to control volume and link Bluetooth devices.

The process is substantially same as before, with the exception that instead of being requested for a new password, you will now be prompted for a user name and a password. (If you really want to, you may set these to "pi" and "raspberry" as before - you'll receive a warning saying it's not a good idea, but it's your option — some applications may require the "pi" user, so we're not being fully totalitarian here.) However, we strongly advise you to go with something else!)

The other options provided in the wizard have essentially remained unaltered. The only other difference is that if you have a second monitor connected, the page that allows you to apply compensation for monitors with overscan – a black border around the image – now has separate settings for both monitors, and changing the setting now takes effect immediately; previously, changing the overscan setting only took effect after a reboot.

The machine will reboot and the familiar Raspberry Pi Desktop will appear, signed in as the user you just established, after you reach the last page of the tutorial and push the "Restart" button. Everything will operate as usual from here on out. 

Raspberry Pi OS Lite image

You will still need to establish a new user account if you are running the Raspberry Pi OS Lite image, which does not include the wizard. When you first boot a Lite image, text prompts at the command line will ask you to register an account.

Raspberry Pi headless Setup 

The Raspberry Pi Imager tool allows you to preconfigure an image with a user account for users who run their Raspberry Pi headless and so can't work through the wizard. When an image built this way is initially booted, it will pop up on the desktop, signed in as the user created in the Imager.

To preconfigure an image like this, click the "settings" button – the picture of a cogwheel – before clicking "Write," and use the Advanced options menu to specify a username and password, as well as any other preconfiguration you like, once you've picked the source image and destination in Imager.

Raspberry Pi headless Setup

Without utilising Imager, there are other ways to preconfigure a picture. Create a file called userconf or userconf.txt on the boot partition of the SD card to set up a user on first boot and bypass the wizard altogether. This is the part of the SD card that can be seen when it is mounted in a Windows or MacOS machine.

This file should only have one line of text, with username:encrypted-password – that is, your preferred username, followed by a colon, and then an encrypted representation of the password you wish to use.

The simplest approach to generate the encrypted password is to use OpenSSL on a Raspberry Pi that is already running — Activate a terminal window and type

echo 'mypassword' | openssl passwd -6 -stdin

This will generate what appears to be a random string of characters, but is really an encrypted version of the provided password.

Installations already in place

After reading the above, some individuals may be asking if they can rename the "pi" user on their current photos. We've introduced a method for doing so as part of this upgrade.

Make sure you're logged in as the "pi" user after upgrading as instructed below, and then open a terminal window and type

sudo rename-user

After a brief wait, you'll be requested to reboot, and the Raspberry Pi will boot into a stripped-down version of the first-boot wizard, allowing you to merely modify the user name and password.
change the user name and password.

You'll be requested to restart after entering a new username and password, and your Raspberry Pi will reboot to the desktop, with your previous user (and home directory) changed but no other changes. One word of caution: most Raspberry Pi software should handle having the home directory renamed and continue to operate as before, but some applications may have been created with a hard-coded path to the /home/pi directory, which will need to be adjusted in order to work correctly with the renamed user.

On a Lite image, the same rename-user command may be used to rename the existing "pi" user; in this instance, it will execute the same command-line prompts as when the Lite image is first booted.

Bluetooth accessories

We chose to fix a long-standing issue when developing the new wizard. If you wish to use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with your Raspberry Pi, you've always had to connect the Bluetooth peripherals with a USB mouse and/or keyboard, which is inconvenient.

In the updated wizard, that need has been deleted. When it's finished, the first screen will ask you to link any Bluetooth keyboard or mouse you want to use, and then wait. As long as you stay on the first page of the wizard, the Raspberry Pi will begin scanning for pairable Bluetooth mice and keyboards and pairing the first one it finds.

You'll see messages appear to indicate that a Bluetooth device has been found and is being paired – the newly-connected device may take a few seconds to wake up and start being used by the system after the final "connected" dialogue appears, but you can now set up a Raspberry Pi from scratch using only Bluetooth peripherals.

This works with the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4's built-in Bluetooth adapter, as well as USB Bluetooth adapters for older Raspberry Pi models — just make sure the USB adapter is installed before the Raspberry Pi is loaded.

Just one more thing...

Some of you may be familiar with Wayland, a planned successor for the X Window System, which has long been the backbone of most Unix desktop environments. Wayland offers some advantages over X, most notably security and speed, although it is still a young technology that is continually being developed. Wayland is presently used by a few Linux distributions, but it hasn't yet gained widespread adoption; still, Wayland appears to represent the future of desktop Linux.

We started using mutter as the default window manager instead of openbox when we launched the Bullseye version of Raspberry Pi OS last year, and one of the reasons for this was that mutter supports the Wayland protocols. We've made it feasible to run the desktop on top of Wayland in this version as an experimental option for anyone who want to give it a shot.

It's simple to switch to Wayland. Using a terminal window, run the raspi-config programme.

sudo raspi-config
Simply choose the Wayland option from the Advanced Options menu, activate it, and reboot. You shouldn't notice any differences, but if you want to be sure you're on Wayland, open a terminal and perform the following command.

This will return "x11" if you're using X, and "wayland" if you're using Wayland. If you wish to go back to X, deactivate Wayland using the same option in raspi-config. (While using Wayland should not cause any lasting changes to your system, we recommend making a backup before enabling anything experimental like this.)

For the time being, Wayland is more of a curiosity than something that would be of interest to most people. But if you're intrigued, go ahead and try it!

The updated file may be downloaded from the same location as before: the downloads page.

Use the standard terminal command to update an existing image:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
You'll additionally need to perform the following if you wish to use the experimental Wayland support:

sudo apt install rpi-wayland
please leave your thoughts in the comment box below.


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