Debian stretch on the Raspberry Pi 3 (update)

published 2017-03-22, last modified 2019-02-04 in tag debian

I previously wrote about my Debian stretch preview image for the Raspberry Pi 3.

Now, I’m publishing an updated version, containing the following changes:

  • A new version of the upstream firmware makes the Ethernet MAC address persist across reboots.
  • Updated initramfs files (without updating the kernel) are now correctly copied to the VFAT boot partition.
  • The initramfs’s file system check now works as the required fsck binaries are now available.
  • The root file system is now resized to fill the available space of the SD card on first boot.
  • SSH access is now enabled, restricted via iptables to local network source addresses only.
  • The image uses the linux-image-4.9.0-2-arm64 4.9.13-1 kernel.

A couple of issues remain, notably the lack of HDMI, WiFi and bluetooth support (see wiki:RaspberryPi3 for details. Any help with fixing these issues is very welcome!

As a preview version (i.e. unofficial, unsupported, etc.) until all the necessary bits and pieces are in place to build images in a proper place in Debian, I built and uploaded the resulting image. Find it at To install the image, insert the SD card into your computer (I’m assuming it’s available as /dev/sdb) and copy the image onto it:

$ wget
$ sudo dd if=2017-03-22-raspberry-pi-3-stretch-PREVIEW.img of=/dev/sdb bs=5M

If resolving client-supplied DHCP hostnames works in your network, you should be able to log into the Raspberry Pi 3 using SSH after booting it:

$ ssh [email protected]
# Password is “raspberry”