I created AutomatedRaspbianInstaller (back in July) because there was (at the time) no documentation or known solutions on how to create a completely automated installer for Raspberry Pi. Having tinkered with unintended installations of Linux in the past, I thought this could be an important addition to the Raspberry Pi community.
Creating a new image from scratch can take upwards of 45 minutes from my 3mbps Internet connection at home. I wanted a “fire and forget” solution that would download all the required files and install a minimal, base system without requiring me to check in on it from time to time to answer questions. Hence, AutomatedRaspbianInstaller.
However, it seems the individual that created the original installation file (that I based my script on) is no longer active on the (official) Raspberry Pi forums as evident by the updated instructions accompanying the Raspbian Installer. Although they have left instructions on how to obtain the old (2012) image my script is based off of, it would seem my script has become a bit dated.
When I announced it on the Raspberry Pi forums to solicit feedback from other users, I discovered another individual was working on the exact same thing, but from a different approach. User hifi was tackling the same problem and it appears my post spurred him into publishing his unattended installer too.
Where I had created a script to automate the process of creating a minimal installation with the default image, hifi had gone through great lengths to create a truly minimal installation from scratch. To me, that was truly impressive since I didn’t have the technical experience required to do such a thing. Apparently he’s gone about it in the right way, since Raspberry Pi crew endorses his installation process as the new “Raspbian Installer” method.
Having used hifi’s installation method, I can comment that it is indeed very lightweight. It both downloads and installs very quickly leaving you with the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM Linux installation. More so than my installation script, which is exactly what I was shooting for from the beginning. I think AutomatedRaspbianInstaller was short-lived, but I’m glad I was able to make a small contribution to the Raspberry Pi community for creating a device that has given me many hours of both entertainment and learning.