This tutorial goes over the steps in cleanly setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 through the installation of a new operating system.
In order to successfully install an operating system, you will need a micro-SD card, as well as an additional computer which is capable of reading/writing to one.
The first thing to do is flash a copy of Raspberry Pi OS to a micro-SD card. You can do this with an app called Raspberry Pi Imager, which is available for free on the official Raspberry Pi website.
Here are some installation methods for your operating system:
brew install --cask raspberry-pi-imager
sudo apt install rpi-imager
Start by inserting your SD card into your computer.
Open the disk imager, and select your preferred version of Raspberry Pi OS. This installation guide will work with both the Standard (Desktop) version and the Lite (Headless) version.
A headless operating system means that there is no GUI - only a terminal screen is available, and every operation you perform on the computer must be done over the command-line. This is great for reducing system overhead, but not recommended for beginners.
On the bottom-right section of the disk imager window, click the "gear" icon to open the advanced settings page. You will have access to several configuration options.
Make sure to enable SSH, and set a username, hostname, and passord. Optionally, you can preconfigure wifi connectivity. If you must connect to eduroam, ignore the wifi option and instead follow this guide:
Save your changes, select your micro-SD card, and flash it. This will wipe any existing data on the micro-SD card, so ensure that no valuable data is stored on it before continuing.
Upon completion of flashing the operating system, eject the SD card and insert it into the Raspberry Pi.
When the Pi is plugged in, it will immediately begin booting. If a monitor is plugged in before the boot process begins, you will see a "rainbow" screen show on the monitor, followed by command-line outputs.
If all goes well, you should be able to log into your new Raspberry Pi. Make sure that a keyboard and mouse are plugged in - they should work without needing to manually install drivers.