Since Stretch is no longer the latest version of Raspbian, it's been removed from the Raspbian Downloads page. But you can still download Raspbian Stretch using our guide that contains links to the Raspbian Archive.
Either full or lite will work for this guide, but the version you choose depends on your project.
Choose Raspbian Stretch with Desktop if you want to have access to the Raspbian GUI; in other words, if you want to log in and be able to access a desktop, icons, etc. like you would with Windows or MacOS.
Choose Raspbian Stretch Lite if you only need to boot to the command line. For simpler Raspberry Pi projects, this is often a good choice since the Lite version uses less power and fewer resources.
The easiest way to flash Raspbian Stretch to your SD card is to download and install Etcher. After opening Etcher, select the Raspbian disk image, your SD card, and click Flash. After Etcher finishes running, you're good to go!
If you prefer to install Raspbian manually and learn a bit more, read on for alternate methods!
You'll need to format the SD card to FAT-32. To do so you'll need to click on the "Apple SDXC Reader" (or the name of whatever adapter you used) in the left column of Disk Utility.
Click the "Erase" tab.
Choose a name for the card (something like "Stretch" will do). For the format, choose MS-DOS (FAT).
Click "Erase" when you're finished.
Using the df command we're going to determine the mount point.
In the output, under the Mounted on column look for the name of your SD card. I named my STRETCH so I'm looking for /Volumes/STRETCH.
Then take note of the filesystem name in the first column. Mine is /dev/disk2s1. This is actually the partition name, but what we're really concerned with is the device name which is disk2. Copy this device name.
Navigate to the Downloads folder and pen up the Terminal application and type:
To locate the img type:
ls -lha | grep -i stretch
You should see some output like this:
[Downloads]$ ls -lha | grep -i stretch -rw-r--r--@ 1 tyler staff 346M Nov 8 14:51 2017-09-07-raspbian-stretch-lite.zip
Now unzip the image. Make sure to use the name of your file.
This will create the file 2017-09-07-raspbian-stretch-lite.img.
Still in the Terminal, type:
sudo dd bs=1m if=DISK_IMAGE_NAME of=DEVICE_NAME
Make sure to replace the values for DISK_IMAGE_NAME and DEVICE_NAME. Mine looks like this:
sudo dd bs=1m if=2017-09-07-raspbian-stretch-lite.img of=/dev/rdisk2
Enter your password, wait until it finishes, and you're done.
Note: You may have noticed that we're using rdisk2 instead of disk2. You can actually use either, but rdisk2 is significantly faster.
In the Win32 Disk Imager, click the blue folder icon and locate the Jessie image you downloaded. Then in the Device box make sure the drive letter for your SD card is selected.
Click the Write button to begin.
The Raspberry Pi Pico and Raspberries Pi Zero are miles apart when it comes to specs, form factor, and software support.