Introduction: Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi

Welcome to our instructions for setting up a brand new Raspberry Pi! Despite what it looks like, a Raspberry Pi is a computer; it just lacks a majority of the bells and whistles most computers come with. While the uses for this device are many, one common reason people purchase them is because they are learning how to program or how to work with computers. The Raspberry Pi is an extremely cost efficient machine for practicing the use of Linux software and programming in a variety of languages, as well as exposing some users to actually assembling hardware components. Since the Raspberry Pi does not come with a preinstalled operating system, we will explain a simple process by which one can set up a Raspberry Pi, transforming this enigma of a machine into a fully functional tool.

Step 1: Purchase Raspberry Pi and Accessories

Purchase a Raspberry Pi (recommended Model 3), a MicroSD Card (at least 32 GB), a HDMI Cable, Ethernet cable (if necessary), and Micro USB cable with wall port. You will also need a Monitor or First Party Touch display and keyboard and mouse.

NOTE: One cannot actually buy a Raspberry Pi from the official website; they are only sold through third party distributors. One may choose to buy through a retailer that they already know, such as Amazon, but may also find a list of retailers on the official website by clicking the link shown below, and clicking "Buy from our Distributors". This may be the best option if one already has the accessories needed. If not, go to step 2.

Step 2: Purchase Raspberry Pi Starter Kit

If one does not have any of the required equipment, Amazon sells a Raspberry Pi starter kit that comes with everything needed to get started, which can be purchased at the link below.

Step 3: Download a UNIX OS

A Raspberry Pi is designed to work with a UNIX operating system; until one is installed, the device can't do anything. There are a variety of free Linux distributions (Linux-based Operating Systems) that one can use, and a tech savvy person may choose to use their preferred distribution. We will show how to use Raspbian, which is a Linux distribution specifically designed for use with a Raspberry Pi. One may choose to install Raspbian manually, in which case one may download Raspbian directly from the Raspberry Pi website, at the link below.

Step 4: Install NOOBS

For our demonstration, we will be using a program called NOOBS, which contains Raspbian and an installer wizard to make the installation process as easy as possible. One should install NOOBS onto an SD card and plug it into the Raspberry Pi; in this case, the installation will be as simple as following onscreen instructions.

Step 5: Format Your SD Card

Format the SD card and wipe it clean use the SD Association's Formatting Tool, which can be downloaded from and follow the download instructions to successfully install the program. Insert the SD card into your computer’s card reader. Use the SD formatter on your computer and select the drive formatter. You will need to set "FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT" option to "ON" in the "Options" menu to ensure that the entire SD card volume is formatted.

Step 6: Transfer Files From NOOBS to Your SD Card

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 files will then be transferred to your SD card. When this process has finished, remove the SD card from your computer.

Step 7: Plug the MicroSD and SD Card Into Your Raspberry Pi

Insert the microSD card into the bottom of the Pi in the SD Card slot.

There’s only one direction it can be plugged in.

Caution: If you didn’t purchase a case, hold your Raspberry Pi from the sides at all times to avoid risk of damaging the device.

Step 8: Plug in Other Necessary Devices

The Model 3 has WiFi built in, so an Ethernet cable is not completely necessary.

The Model 3 also has Bluetooth, so you can use compatible keyboards and mice if applicable.

NOTE: The microUSB cable should be plugged in last. The Raspberry Pi has no power button, so it will start automatically

Step 9: Install Your Operating System

Once the Raspberry Pi boots up, a pop-up window will appear that shows the different installable operating systems.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation suggests installing Raspbian, so check the box next to "Raspbian" and click "Install".

Installation will start immediately, and it may take up to 20 minutes. Afterwards, click "OK" and the system will reboot and the command line will open.

Step 10: Launch Your Operating System

Type “startx” in the command line to launch the Raspian OS.

Step 11: Open the Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool

Enter "sudo raspi-config" into the command line to open "raspi-config", the Raspberry Pi configuration tool.

Step 12: Up to You!

From the "raspi-config" menu users can set and reset all Raspberry Pi's settings.

And that is it! Clicking “Finish” will exit the setup and boot into the Raspberry Pi!

Note: If you didn’t change the username and password, the default one is “raspberry” and “pi”, respectively.


topan2 (author)2016-07-16

how to connect to lcd monitor... is there any setting..? because every time i connect to lcd the monitor was blank screen... i do not know what was the failure... can you give me the solution..

Bakerd1 (author)2016-06-14

wow thanks!;)

WonderWomen (author)2016-04-05

I bought for the first time raspberry Pi and it is so cool because I use it for my smart toy, so I build my own toy using raspberry pi and other hardware like (EPU) components and now my toy can feel emotion and respond emotionally. But I must say it wasn't easy to set up.

caperjack (author)2016-04-01

Nice intractable ,no need for startx with the latest raspian Jessie,it defaults to the desktop now ,also on the noobs start screen be sure to change language and keyboard to your desired language ..

wold630 (author)2016-03-28

Great information, thanks!