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DIY Guide

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Board

By popular demand, we are pleased to present this “Do it Yourself” (DIY) guide for the Start9 Embassy personal server!


This DIY guide has directions for EmbassyOS version 0.2.x. When 0.3.0 launches it will REQUIRE hardware updates, which you can find here. Please keep in mind that version 0.3.x is not yet available for purchase or DIY!! Please stay tuned to our community channels for updates.


There are four reasons you might prefer to build your own Embassy instead of purchasing one from us.

  1. You already own the necessary hardware and would like to re-purpose it.

  2. You live outside the US and want to save on shipping costs.

  3. You do not trust Start9’s supply chain.

  4. You do not want to share your shipping address.

  5. You just like building things.

Building EmbassyOS Versions 0.2.x

Hardware: Components

  1. Raspberry Pi 4B (8GB)

  2. Power supply for Raspberry Pi 4B

  3. Case for Raspberry Pi 4B (passive cooling recommended *)

  4. High endurance microSD (recommended 128GB or more)

  5. GPIO mini speaker/buzzer (We simply include an Amazon search here, as vendors often sell out)

  6. Ethernet cable

  7. MicroSD → USB adapter (or you may have a microSD port on your computer)

* If you use a fan, DO NOT use the official Raspberry Pi fan, as it requires the same GPIO pins as the audio speaker. Instead, we recommend this fan.

Hardware: Assembly Instructions

  1. Insert mini speaker/buzzer into GPIO pins 6/8/10/12 with the word “speaker” facing out, away from the board.

    Speaker board spec

That’s it. Place the Raspberry Pi 4 board (with speaker attached), into its case.

Getting EmbassyOS: Purchasing

You can purchase EmbassyOS here. This is by far the easiest path to get up and running.

Depending on your Internet speed, the download should take between 5 and 30 minutes.

Getting EmbassyOS: Building from Source

If you have the proper tooling and are comfortable using the command line, you can build EmbassyOS from source, which is made available under the Start9 Personal Use License.

Thanks to our community members who have kindly put together these guides!

Installing EmbassyOS

Whether you purchase EmbassyOS from us or build it yourself, you need to flash it onto a microSD card.

  1. Download balenaEtcher onto your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer.

  2. Insert the microSD card into your computer, either directly or using an adapter.

  3. Open balenaEtcher.

  4. Click Select Image, then find and select your copy of EmbassyOS.

  5. Click Select Target, then find and select your micro SD card.

  6. Click Flash! You may be asked to (1) approve the unusually large disk target or (2) enter your password. Both are normal.

    Balena Etcher Dashboard
  7. Once the image is flashed and verified, you may remove the micro SD, insert it into your Embassy, and power up the device.

  8. The Embassy is now ready for use, and you may following the normal setup instructions. *

* The first time you power it on, your Embassy will make more noises than future attempts, and it may take several minutes to finally complete.