How to Make a Raspberry Pi Computer


Introduction: How to Make a Raspberry Pi Computer

This is an instructable that tells you how to make a computer with a raspberry pi. This is an easy thing to do if you know a lot about this kind of thing. If you know nothing about this, then follow the steps. (I am sorry if any of the pictures are bad.)

Step 1: Parts

Here is a list of parts you will need:

Raspberry pi $35 It is important that you get the model that I have shown. It has 4 usb ports that are crucial to this build. You will not be able to build this with any other model. Shown is model 2.

7 inch lcd screen $45

7 inch tablet case $7

hdmi cable $5

usb to micro usb cable $5

micro sd card $7 must be at least 8gb

Wireless mouse $7

wifi adapter $10

All these items will cost:$121

As of tools, you will need a scissors to unpackage all the items if you get them through the internet.

Now, this is just if you total the price without shipping and handling. All of the links go to The prices may vary if you get different things than what I have suggested. I do suggest that you buy the lcd screen from the amazon link I have provided.

Step 2: Setting Up Raspian

Raspian is the operating system that I will show you how to download.

  • First go to
  • Click the button that says "downloads"
  • Click on "Raspbian"
  • Download zip file for "wheezy"
  • When it is done downloading, put it on your sd card by plugging it into the computer and dragging the file to the sd card.
  • When it is done, take the sd card and plug it into the Raspberry pi.
  • Set that aside.

Step 3: Hooking Up the Screen

If you bought the screen I showed you, then follow this step. If you know how to set up a ribbon cable, then skip this step.

First, take it out of the packaging. There should be a few pieces. The screen, a driver board, a board with buttons, a cable, and a remote. The remote already has batteries in it, so you don't have to check.

To connect the screen to the driver board, pull the black piece on the corners out away from the main board slightly. Then insert the ribbon cable and close it. Be very careful. Also, there is some tape that you will have to remove before you are able to do this. If I have not explained this enough, you can go on youtube to find out how to do it.

Connecting the small board with the buttons should be simple. Connect it to the main board with the cable that is supplied with the other components.

Set that aside in a safe place.

Step 4: Connecting Everything

To start off, plug in one end of the hdmi cable to the raspberry pi, then the other end to the driver board for the screen. Plug the wifi adapter and mouse into the usb ports on the raspberry pi. Plug the micro usb into the raspberry pi. For the key board you will need some adapters. I used this one and this one. Use the adapters to connect the keyboard to the raspberry pi via the usb port.

Step 5: Power

You will need to power your raspberry pi and screen. For the raspberry pi, plug the usb end of the usb-micro usb into a wall outlet. For the screen, it is a bit different. You will need a 2 amp, 12 volt power source. I got mine from Menards.

Step 6: Done

You are now done! Enjoy your new computer. This computer is not a gaming computer. This is a coding computer. It comes with Python, Scratch, and much more! It does come with a early version of minecraft too. I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have a question, leave a comment. If you make it, leave a picture. Thank you for reading my instructable.

(You do have one extra usb port on the raspberry pi if you want to add a flash drive for extra storage. Or add anything else you would want.)



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    19 Discussions

    Please bear with my ignorance, but this does connect to the internet correct? I don't care if it is slow...

    3 replies

    Yes it does connect, but it would be like getting one bar on a phone that was made 10 years ago.

    Yes, in the picture you can see that right next to the usb ports, there is a place you can plug in ethernet. I have no idea how ethernet works, so I used a wifi dongle.

    Do u have a case for it apart from the tablet case? If not isn't the tablet case really flimsy?

    1 reply

    Well, the tablet case is what I am using for mounting it. It is only flimsy where the two pieces meet. If I didn't have the tablet case, I would have to buy something else to mount it on, as well as buy another keyboard for the pi.

    Please be patient with my ignorance: How does an SD card plug into a computer to download Raspian?

    2 replies

    Still looking trough the pictures for the finshed computer you built ,a bunch of pieces on the floor does not a computer make

    1 reply

    The final picture is the computer working. I will add a picture that shows the whole computer with all the components.

    I only put it on the carpet to have a good background for taking pictures. I don't keep it on the ground.

    Try setting it on a piece of white printer paper instead. :)

    I guess I could do that, maybe I will do that for future instructables.

    I just tried the Snappy Ubuntu Core this week. If you're casually using the pi as a personal computer, I prefer it over raspbian.

    1 reply

    I am not using it as a computer like most people would think of. It is slower than a regular computer, so I don't use it to browse the web or anything like that. I have never heard of Snappy Ubuntu Core, I will see what it is. Maybe I will look on my Pi computer. :)

    Well, it was difficult to make. I did have fun making it.