I used the “official” Rapspberri Pi Linux Distribution based on Debian, as can be downloaded at http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads – look for the “Raspian wheezy” section.
A stripped down, RAM only, svxlink optimised OS image would be great, but to start with I decided to go for the best supported distribution. You’ll be able to find a nice description on how to get started on http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2892 – just click on the Quich Start Guide link to download the PDF.
I did all my setup without any keyboard or monitor installed. The image is pre-configured to start up a DHCP client to get an IP address automatically and it will also start an SSH server. So connectibg it to your home network and connecting power will be all you need to get started. You will need to know the IP address that was assigned to you raspi. A good place to search could be in your home router. Many routers allow on their configuration pages to check for the IP addresses that where handed out by the router. Use your favourite SSH client to log into the raspi. A good SSH client for windows is putty.
Below you can find my steps to setup the OS after the downloaded OS image was copied onto an SD card, the raspberry pi booted and login (some basic linux skills are required 😉 :
sudo raspi-config boot_behaviour: straight to desktop = NO memory_split: GPU memory=16 change_locale: en_US.UTF-8 , en_US.UTF-8 change_timezone: Europe/Berlin reboot sudo raspi-config expand_rootfs: yes change_pass: xxx reboot sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo reboot vi /home/pi/.bashrc uncomment alias (ll, ...) sudo bash edit /root/.bashrc uncomment alias (ll, ...)