When you first get ready to switch on your very first Raspberry Pi Single board computer. It can be just as intimidating as it is exciting. I am here to ensure you that this is actually an easy process. Let me show you how.
For the full guide look here.
Here you’ll learn about your Raspberry Pi, what things you’ll need to use it, and how to set it up.
You can also check out a three-week online course available on the FutureLearn platform, and a Raspberry Pi forum, including the Beginners section. If you’d need or want to ask any questions and get support from the Raspberry Pi community.
What you will need
A Raspberry Pi – Any Raspberry Pi will do, but for most people the choice would be the Raspberry Pi 4.
A power supply – All Raspberry Pi models have a USB port (the same found on many mobile phones) to connect to a power socket. Either USB-C for Raspberry Pi 4, or micro USB for Raspberry Pi 3, 2, and 1. We highly recommend sticking to the official Power supplies
A keyboard and a mouse – To start using your Raspberry Pi, you need a USB keyboard and a USB mouse, or a wireless set.
A TV or computer screen – To view the Raspberry Pi OS desktop environment, you need a screen, and a cable to link the screen and your Raspberry Pi.
HDMI cable – Your Raspberry Pi has an HDMI output port that is compatible with the HDMI port of most modern TVs and computer monitors. Many computer monitors may also have DVI or VGA ports. We have adapters for these.
A case – You may want to put your Raspberry Pi in a case. This is not essential, but it will provide protection for your Raspberry Pi. For the Pi 4 we recommend using one with Heatsinks and fan added, or the official case with the fan add-on
Headphones or speakers – The large Raspberry Pi models (but not Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W) have a standard audio port like the one on a smartphone or MP3 player. If you want to, you can connect your headphones or speakers so that your Raspberry Pi can play sound. If the screen you’re connecting your Raspberry Pi to has built-in speakers, Raspberry Pi can play sound through these too.
An Ethernet cable – The large Raspberry Pi models (but not Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W) have a standard Ethernet port to connect them to the internet; to connect Raspberry Pi Zero to the internet, you need a USB to Ethernet adapter. Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 3, and Raspberry Pi Zero W can also be wirelessly connected to the internet.
Set up your SD card
If you have an SD card that doesn’t have the Raspberry Pi OS operating system on it yet, or if you want to reset your Raspberry Pi, you can easily install Raspberry Pi OS yourself. To do so, you need a computer that has an SD card port — most laptop and desktop computers have one.
Using the Raspberry Pi Imager is the easiest way to install Raspberry Pi OS on your SD card. You are also able to download your image directly and write it on your SD card using the imaging tool by selecting to write a customer image.
Using the Raspberry Pi Imager
Anything that’s stored on the SD card will be overwritten during formatting. You may want to first backup any data, e.g. from an older version of Raspberry Pi OS, on the SD card, if it has any, to prevent you from permanently losing them.
On Windows you may receive a security warning. If this pops up, click on More info and then Run anyway
Note: You will need to be connected to the internet the first time for the the Raspberry Pi Imager to download the OS that you choose. That OS will then be stored for future offline use. You will always receive the latest version of the OS from the Raspberry Pi imager if you are online.
First select the OS you would like to install.
Then select the location that you have inserted your SD card.
Finally select write.
And that is it. You also have to option to do some of the setup as you write your image, for example adding your network details for your WiFi and changing your location settings. This is done by pressing on [ctrl+shift+x] with your Imager open. This opens the advanced options menu.
Connect your Raspberry Pi
Now get everything connected to your Raspberry Pi. It’s important to do this in the right order, so that all your components are safe.
- Insert the SD card you’ve set up with Raspberry Pi OS into the microSD card slot on the underside of your Raspberry Pi.
- Find the USB connector end of your mouse’s and keyboard’s cable. Connect the mouse and keyboard to a USB port on Raspberry Pi (it doesn’t matter which port you use).
- Connect your screen to the Raspberry Pi
- Note: Nothing will display on the screen, because your Raspberry Pi is not running yet.
Start up your Raspberry Pi
As soon as you connect your Raspberry Pi to a power outlet, it will turn on because it does not have a power switch. Plug the power supply into a socket and connect it to your Raspberry Pi’s power port. You should see a red LED light up on the Raspberry Pi. This indicates that Raspberry Pi is connected to power. As it starts up (this is also called booting), you will see raspberries appear in the top left-hand corner of your screen.
Finishing the setup
When you start your Raspberry Pi for the first time, the Welcome to Raspberry Pi application will pop up and guide you through the initial setup. Unless you chose to skip this step in the advance section of the Imager.
If you’re having problems with your Raspberry Pi, there are lots of places you can get help and advice:
- Check out the help section and the troubleshooting guide on the Raspberry Pi website
- The Raspberry Pi forum, including the Beginners section, is a great place to ask questions and get support from the Raspberry Pi community
- Call out on Twitter using the hashtag #rpilearn, or submit a question on the Raspberry Pi Stack Exchange
- You could also attend a free Raspberry Jam community event to talk to people about their experiences and get some first-hand help from fellow Raspberry Pi users
- Email [email protected]