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Raspbery Pi Installation

Get set up in minutes with our custom Raspberry Pi image.

Note: If you would like to install Channels DVR Server directly on your existing Pi, you can do so by following the standard Linux instructions.


Our custom image was designed and optimized for the Raspberry Pi 4 to be flashed to a USB 3.0 hard drive. SD cards are not recommended.

2 GB of RAM is perfectly fine for a Pi that is dedicated for Channels DVR Server.

Protip: For more information, see this thread on our forum.

Download The Image

Download our custom Raspberry Pi image to your computer to flash it to your USB 3.0 hard drive.

Download Image

Prepare your Raspberry Pi for USB Boot

If your Raspbery Pi 4 is older, it does not have USB boot enabled. You will need to update its EEPROM firmware using an SD card.

If your Pi is already prepared for USB boot, you can skip to the next section.

  1. Using the Raspberry Pi Imager, click Choose OS > Misc utility images > Pi 4 EEPROM boot recovery, then select your SD card and click Write.
  2. Boot your Pi using the SD card and wait until the green light on the front starts blinking rapidly.
  3. Unplug the power and remove the SD card.
raspberry pi imager

Flash the Image to your USB 3.0 Hard Drive

Once your Pi can boot directly from USB, simply prepare your USB drive with the Channels DVR Server software and plug it in.

  1. Using the Raspberry Pi Imager, click Choose OS > Use custom > ChannelsDVRServer_PI4.img.gz.
  2. Click Choose SD and pick your USB3 drive, then click Write.
  3. Attach the drive to your Pi using one of the BLUE USB 3.0 ports.
  4. Plug your power supply into the Pi to boot up your new DVR.
  5. Wait for the light on the front of the Pi to turn solid green.

Your DVR is up and running. Visit http://dvr-server to finish setup.

Tips and Tricks

Our Raspberry Pi custom image doesn’t just get you going faster, it creates a whole operating system dedicated to Channels DVR Server.

Channels DVR Server has some extra features to help you manage your Pi.

Access Recordings

After shutting down your Pi, you can remove and connect your flashed USB 3.0 hard drive to any other computer to access files from it.

Do this to move files to and from it freely. Then just reconnect it back to your Pi and power it back up.

Share Files over the Network

Turn on file sharing so other computers can access recordings and other files.

samba share

Mount other Network Shares

Mount other network shares directly into your Channels DVR Server.

mount shares

Manage your Pi

Tell the Pi to reboot or shut down.

reboot pi