Introduction: Get Started With Raspberry Pi
Hello everyone. Welcome to my First Instrucatble. You may be asking yourself "I want a Raspberrry Pi, but I don't know how to start." If you have ever asked yourself this thought, than this is the right Instrucatble for you. In this guide you will learn what Pi is best for you, how to download the software, and how to set up the Pi's hardware. I hope you learn something and vote for it in the Pi/e day contest.
So What is a Raspberry Pi
"The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools" (Wikipedia).
This computer can be used for monitoring humidity and weather, automating your home, and it can also be used as a desktop computer. There are many types of Pis, in the next step I will give the details on each.
Step 1: Materials
The materials needed to start a Raspberry Pi are:
A Raspberry Pi (Look at step 2 to select one)
A monitor with an HDMI input (Any HD TV will work)
A SD/micro SD card (Depends on type of Pi)
Micro USB power cable
Ethernet cable/ Wifi dongle
USB hub for the model A+
Step 2: Deciding What Pi to Buy
The oldest two Raspberry Pis are the model A and B. The model A had one usb port and 256mb of RAM. This model is discontinued and was sold for $35. The model B is a lot like the model A, but it had two usb cables and 512mb of RAM. It can still be bought at Adafruit for $40. These two versions have a 26 GPIO pin input, allowing other boards to be placed on top of the Pi. Also they both use an SD card to load their operating systems.
The next revision of the Raspberry Pis are the + versions. The A+ is a much slimmer version of the model A. It has 256mb of RAM, one usb port, and 40 GPIO pins. It is priced at $20 and it can be bought at Maker Shed.
The model B+ has 512mb of RAM, four usb ports, and it uses a micro SD card to load software. It also has 40 GPIO pins. This is currently the most popular version of the Pi. It is priced at $30 and it can be bought at Chicago Electronics Distributors.
The most recent version of the Pi is the model 2B. This has 1gig of RAM, four usb ports, and it uses a micro SD card to load software. It has 40 GPIO pins and it is priced at $35 and it can be bought at Element 14.
Those are the versions of the Raspberry Pi, the next step is how to download the NOOBS software to a micro SD card.
Step 3: Downloading NOOBS
NOOBS, or the New Out Of Box Software, is an easy operating system install manager for the Raspberry Pi. The easiest way to get NOOBS is to buy an SD card with NOOBS preinstalled, it can be bought at various distributors. For the Model B, you need a regular SD card, and for the A+, B+, and 2B you need a micro SD card and an adapter to hook the SD card to your computer.
It is best to format your SD card before copying the NOOBS files onto it. To do this:
Visit the SD Association's website and download SD Formatter 4.0 for either Windows or Mac. Insert your SD card into the computer or laptop’s SD card reader and make a note of the drive letter allocated to it, e.g. G:/In SD Formatter, select the drive letter for your SD card and format it.
Using a computer with an SD card reader, visit the Downloads page. Click on the Download ZIP button under ‘NOOBS (offline and network install)’, and select a folder to save it to. Extract the files from the zip.
Once your SD card has been formatted, drag all the files in the extracted NOOBS folder and drop them onto the SD card drive. The necessary files will then be transferred to your SD card. When this process has finished, safely remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations! You have just formatted an SD/micro SD card and downloaded NOOBS!
Step 4: Getting the Pi's Hardware Ready for Booting
You must plug in a multitude of cables into the Raspberry Pi. Here is the order I recommend using.
1) Plug in the HDMI cable to both the Pi and your monitor.
2) Plug in the SD/micro SD card into the slot on the back.
3) Plug in the USB hub if needed.
4) Plug in the keyboard and mouse.
5) Plug in the Ethernet cable or the Wifi Dongle.
6) Plug in the micro USB power cable for power.
Step 5: Raspbian Setup
The Raspberry Pi should have just gotten power. These are the steps to complete to get the Raspian software up and running.
Your Raspberry Pi will boot, and a window will appear with a list of different operating systems that you can install. We recommend that you use Raspbian – tick the box next to Raspbian and click on Install. Raspbian will then run through its installation process. Note this can take a while. When the install process has completed, the Raspberry Pi configuration menu (raspi-config) will load. Here you are able to set the time and date for your region and enable a Raspberry Pi camera board, or even create users. You can exit this menu by using Tab on your keyboard to move to Finish.
Logging in and accessing the graphical user interface.
The default login for Raspbian is username pi with the password raspberry.Note you will not see any writing appear when you type the password. This is a security feature in Linux. To load the graphical user interface type startx.
Step 6: Final Notes
Thank you for reading my Instructable. I hope you learn about your new Raspberry Pi, and I hope you could set it up. Vote for me in the Pi/e Day Contest. I would also like to thank Dexter Industries for creating amazing products like the GoPiGo and the GrovePi. I hope you had fun learning about the world of the Raspberry Pi and watch out for some upcoming Instructables.