Difference between revisions of "RPi Beginners"

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[[Category:RaspberryPi]]
 
[[Category:RaspberryPi]]
 
{{Template:RPi_Startup}}
 
{{Template:RPi_Startup}}
 
There is some restructuring going on , we are sorry for the inconvenience. '''
 
  
 
=Where to start?=
 
=Where to start?=
 
Any easy question to ask, but a very difficult one to answer!
 
Any easy question to ask, but a very difficult one to answer!
# '''If you are looking for any information related to SD Cards and setup look [[RPi Easy SD Card Setup | here]]
+
# If you are looking for any information related to SD Cards and setup look [[RPi Easy SD Card Setup | here]].
# If you need to get a RPi, the see the [[RPi Buying Guide|Buying Guide]].
+
# If you need to get a Raspberry Pi then see the [[RPi Buying Guide|Buying Guide]].
 
# If you need to know what equipment you will need and how to set it up, see the [[RPi Hardware Basic Setup|Basic Hardware Setup]] page.
 
# If you need to know what equipment you will need and how to set it up, see the [[RPi Hardware Basic Setup|Basic Hardware Setup]] page.
 
# If you need to install/setup an SD card see the [[RPi Easy SD Card Setup|Preload your Card]] section.
 
# If you need to install/setup an SD card see the [[RPi Easy SD Card Setup|Preload your Card]] section.
 
# If something is not working, check the [[R-Pi_Troubleshooting|Troubleshooting]] section.
 
# If something is not working, check the [[R-Pi_Troubleshooting|Troubleshooting]] section.
# If you need help with Debian, try the [http://wiki.debian.org/FrontPage Debian Wiki].
+
# If you have imaged a SD card with the Raspbian image and started your RPi here's some help with what you need first - the raspi-config menu [[RPi_raspi-config]].
# If you have imaged an SD with the Debian Wheezy image and started your RPi here's some help with what you see first - the raspi-config menu [[RPi_raspi-config]]
+
# If you don't have a composite monitor or HDMI then it may be worth you looking at [[RPi_A_Method_for_ssh_blind_login|Blind Login Method]].
# Help for Noob's with a quizical disposition and Wheezy or Raspbian instalations [[RPi_Noob_Guides_for_Wheezy_using_2012-16-18_beta|here]]
+
# VNC connection for remote access [[RPi_Wheezy_VNC|VNC for remote access]]; a GUI when using the Blind Login.
# If you don't have a composite monitor or HDMI then it may be worth you looking at [[RPi_A_Method_for_ssh_blind_login|Blind Login Method]]
+
# If you've done all that, and you are wondering what next... '''welcome and read on!'''
# Build yourself a Wheezy [[RPi_A_Simple_Wheezy_LAMP_install|LAMP]] webserver.
 
# VNC connection for the monitorily challenged Noob [[RPi_Wheezy_VNC|VNC for a wheezy install]] (noobs that are using the Blind Login)
 
# If you've done all that, and you are wondering what next...'''welcome and read on!'''
 
  
 
References needed (idea for new section Living Without RPi, which can guide users or link to info to users who haven't got RPis)
 
      Link to emulation builds or live linux cds setup for beginners (RacyPy2 for example)
 
 
If you don't have a Raspberry Pi yet, you can still try things out, see [http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpiqemuwindows/ Windows RPi Emulator] for details.
 
If you don't have a Raspberry Pi yet, you can still try things out, see [http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpiqemuwindows/ Windows RPi Emulator] for details.
  
 
=What is Linux and why not use Windows?=
 
=What is Linux and why not use Windows?=
Linux is an operating system just like Windows, however, unlike Windows (which needs a set hardware requirement to run i.e. One Size fits or get different hardware), Linux comes in many varieties and configurations which means you can usually find a flavour (or Distribution) which fits your hardware big or small / fast or slow.
+
Linux is an operating system just like Microsoft Windows, however, unlike Windows (which has a minimum hardware requirement to run i.e. if it does not fit, get different hardware), Linux comes in many varieties and configurations which means you can usually find a flavour (or Distribution) which fits your hardware big or small / fast or slow.
  
The Raspberry Pi is not suited to running Windows due to its hardware, but there are plenty of Linux Distributions which fit nicely. In addition to this, most Distributions of Linux are free, however Windows can cost many times the price of the Raspberry Pi itself.
+
The Raspberry Pi is not suited to running Microsoft Windows due to its hardware, but there are plenty of Linux Distributions which do fit nicely. In addition to this, most Distributions of Linux are free, however Microsoft Windows can cost many times the price of the Raspberry Pi itself.
  
Chances are you already have Linux running in your home without you even knowing it, since it is commonly used in Kindle ebook readers, Android smartphones, modern TVs, Freeview and cable boxes to run things and ensure your recording of '''Inbetweeners''' or '''Prison Break''' gets done!
+
Chances are you already have Linux running in your home without you even knowing it, since it is commonly used in Kindle ebook readers, Android smartphones, modern TVs, Freeview and cable boxes to run things.
  
For more information about Linux see  
+
For more information about Linux see the
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux Wikipedia]
+
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux Wikipedia] page.
  
Also see [[RPi_End-user_FAQ End-User|FAQ]]
+
Also see [[Will_RPi_Run|Running XXX on the RPi]]
And [[Will_RPi_Run|Running XXX on the RPi]]
 
  
 
=Basic Raspbian Setup=
 
=Basic Raspbian Setup=
When you first turn on your Raspberry Pi with it's fresh Debian image on the SD card, you will likely want to tweak the system settings. Luckily, there's a tool called [[RPi_raspi-config|raspi-config]] which makes everything super-easy to set up. This automatically launches when you first boot Raspbian up, and (for the most part) it is in plain English.
+
When you first turn on your Raspberry Pi with it's fresh Raspbian image on the SD card, you will likely want to tweak the system settings. There's a tool called [[RPi_raspi-config|raspi-config]] which makes everything super-easy to set up. This automatically launches when you first boot Raspbian up (depending on the version and configuration).
  
 
If you want to access the setup screen again, just type:
 
If you want to access the setup screen again, just type:
Line 49: Line 40:
 
You will need to use the Command Line Interface at some point in your management of the RPi. The command line interface is a powerful way to interact with the Raspberry Pi and is well worth learning some basic commands to get started with.
 
You will need to use the Command Line Interface at some point in your management of the RPi. The command line interface is a powerful way to interact with the Raspberry Pi and is well worth learning some basic commands to get started with.
  
For an introductory guide to some basic commands please see: [[CLI_Spells|Command Line Interface "Must Have" Commands]]. Featured on the Raspberry Pi [http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1414 home page] was also a link to this site for [http://linuxcommand.org/learning_the_shell.php "learning the shell"]
+
For an introductory guide to some basic commands please see: [[CLI_Spells_for_the_Raspberry_Pi|Command Line Interface "Must Have" Commands]]. For general Linux commands, try this site for [http://linuxcommand.org "learning the shell"]
  
 
Your SD card may boot into a GUI, if not and you are done with the text interface and want to use a graphical one instead, run:
 
Your SD card may boot into a GUI, if not and you are done with the text interface and want to use a graphical one instead, run:
Line 57: Line 48:
 
=Remote Access=
 
=Remote Access=
 
Your default install probably has a ssh (secure shell) "daemon" running.  
 
Your default install probably has a ssh (secure shell) "daemon" running.  
This means that you can run everything on your Rpi with only the network attached. Provided you know which ip address it has. With appropriate software installed on your Winodws, Mac or Linux PC, you can also run a gui remotely.
+
This means that you can run everything on your RPi with only the network attached. Provided you know which IP address it has. With appropriate software installed on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC, you can also run a terminal, GUI or other program remotely.
 
 
Prior to your initial remote access it is recommended that you regenerate unique host public/private ID keys with the following command
 
  rm /etc/ssh/ssh_host_* && dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server
 
  
More details about remote access (including remote GUI are at [[RPi Remote Access]]
+
More details about remote access (including remote GUI are at [[RPi Remote Access]].
  
 
=Installing and updating software to your Raspberry Pi=
 
=Installing and updating software to your Raspberry Pi=
You will probably want to add software to your Raspberry Pi, as well as keep the current packages up to date. With Raspbian this is performed using apt-get. The most common commands can be found in the [http://elinux.org/Add_software adding software page]. It is good practice to regularly ensure you run the update and upgrade commands detailed in the [http://elinux.org/Add_software guide] to ensure you have the most up to date software packages.
+
You will probably want to add software to your Raspberry Pi, as well as keep the current packages up to date. With Raspbian this is performed using apt-get. The most common commands can be found in the [[RPi_Install_software|adding software page]]. It is good practice to regularly ensure you run the update and upgrade commands detailed in the [[RPi_Install_software|guide]] to ensure you have the most up to date software packages.
  
The apt-get package for Raspbian will also keep the GPU firmware updated to the latest stable release. If you'd like to try the bleeding edge releases you can read more on the [http://elinux.org/RPi_Software#GPU_bootloaders RPi Software].
+
The apt-get package for Raspbian will also keep the GPU firmware updated to the latest stable release. If you'd like to try the bleeding edge releases you can read more on the [[RPi_Software#GPU_bootloaders|RPi Software]].
  
 
=Adding USB Storage to Your Raspberry Pi=
 
=Adding USB Storage to Your Raspberry Pi=
Sooner or later, you're going to run out of room on the SD card used to boot up your Raspberry Pi.  For a tutorial on how to connect USB flash drives and hard drives to your Pi to expand storage, see: [http://elinux.org/RPi_Adding_USB_Drives Adding USB Drives to a Raspberry Pi]
+
Sooner or later, you're going to run out of room on the SD card used to boot up your Raspberry Pi.  For a tutorial on how to connect USB flash drives and hard drives to your Pi to expand storage, see: [[RPi_Adding_USB_Drives|Adding USB Drives to a Raspberry Pi]].
  
 
=Beginner Projects=
 
=Beginner Projects=
Line 76: Line 64:
  
 
It will be worth getting a few spare SD Cards if you think you will switch between setups regularly or become familiar with how to '''back up and restore''' your card.
 
It will be worth getting a few spare SD Cards if you think you will switch between setups regularly or become familiar with how to '''back up and restore''' your card.
Reference needed - a good guide on how to backup and restore cards or software to do this easily
 
  
 
==Backup your SD card==
 
==Backup your SD card==
 
 
For Windows users the 'Raw HDD Copy Tool' from HDD Guru works well to backup and restore your SD card between projects.
 
For Windows users the 'Raw HDD Copy Tool' from HDD Guru works well to backup and restore your SD card between projects.
 
This can backup and restore the entire card sector by sector to/from an img file, and doesn't care which file system is on the card.
 
This can backup and restore the entire card sector by sector to/from an img file, and doesn't care which file system is on the card.
Line 92: Line 78:
 
With this configuration you will typically have the Raspberry Pi connected to a TV or large monitor and a source of videos/music/photos etc you wish to play (i.e. Internet/hard-drive/local network etc).
 
With this configuration you will typically have the Raspberry Pi connected to a TV or large monitor and a source of videos/music/photos etc you wish to play (i.e. Internet/hard-drive/local network etc).
  
DesignSpark have written an article on this, which is worth a look, [http://www.designspark.com/content/raspberry-pi-goes-movies DesignSpark - Raspberry Pi goes to the movies]
+
DesignSpark have written an article on this, which is worth a look, [http://www.designspark.com/blog/raspberry-pi-goes-to-the-movies DesignSpark - Raspberry Pi goes to the movies]
  
 
You can download an installer from www.raspbmc.com which will install to your desktop (IOS, Windows, Linux) and write the latest install to your SD card. You then boot your Pi with the card and go through the config steps.   
 
You can download an installer from www.raspbmc.com which will install to your desktop (IOS, Windows, Linux) and write the latest install to your SD card. You then boot your Pi with the card and go through the config steps.   
  
There is a breif video basic tutorial here: http://www.instructables.com/id/RaspberryPi-Media-center-XMBC/
+
There is a brief video basic tutorial here: http://www.instructables.com/id/RaspberryPi-Media-center-XMBC/
 
 
''Reference needed - More information is needed on specific configuration choices for raspbmc, although raspbmc.com does have a wiki.''
 
  
 
==Play Games==
 
==Play Games==
While there are not any commercial games for the Raspberry Pi (yet) there are plenty ways to play games on it.
+
There are plenty of ways to play games on the Raspberry Pi. Check the [[RPi Games]] page.
  
 
Many distributions will have games built into them, and some may well support emulation of other platforms so you can run those games.
 
Many distributions will have games built into them, and some may well support emulation of other platforms so you can run those games.
  
Also, a lot of Raspberry Pi users will be writing simple games which will be available for others to enjoy (and if desired added to or modified).
+
A lot of Raspberry Pi users will be writing simple games which will be available for others to enjoy (and if desired added to or modified).
 
 
Reference needed - game section is empty at the moment!
 
''See the [[RPi Games|Games Section]] for more details''
 
 
 
  
 
==Introducing Young Children To Computers==
 
==Introducing Young Children To Computers==
Reference needed - some kid friendly and fun stuff!
+
Several resources exist for introducing children to computers using the Raspberry Pi. Check the [https://www.raspberrypi.org Raspberry Pi Foundation's website].
 
 
  
 
==Teaching==
 
==Teaching==
There is a huge number of groups, links and resources available within the [[RPi Education|Education]] section.
+
There is a huge number of groups, links and resources available within the [[RPi Education|Education]] section, and the [https://www.raspberrypi.org Raspberry Pi Foundation's website].
Reference needed - links to the learning pages, education links and school/university groups
 
 
 
  
 
==Learn To Program==
 
==Learn To Program==
 
There is a huge selection of [[RPi Programming|programming languages]] which you can use to write interesting programs, games, applications and utilities.  There are also more great links within the [[RPi Education#Programming languages|Education]] section.
 
There is a huge selection of [[RPi Programming|programming languages]] which you can use to write interesting programs, games, applications and utilities.  There are also more great links within the [[RPi Education#Programming languages|Education]] section.
 
There is a huge selection to choose from (not just Python...) which should suit any ability and a range of purposes.
 
  
 
If you are new to programming, there are plenty of tutorials for getting started in the [[RPi Tutorials|Tutorials]] Section.
 
If you are new to programming, there are plenty of tutorials for getting started in the [[RPi Tutorials|Tutorials]] Section.
Line 129: Line 104:
 
Books about programming can be found in the [[RPi Programming Books|Books]] Section.
 
Books about programming can be found in the [[RPi Programming Books|Books]] Section.
  
In the latest Debian, Python (+Pygame) and MIT Scratch are pre-installed.
+
In the latest Raspbian, Python and Scratch are pre-installed.
  
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiBeginners Raspberry Pi Beginners] (videos)
+
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiBeginners Raspberry Pi Beginners] (videos).
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiTutorials Raspberry Pi YouTube Tutorials] (videos)
+
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiTutorials Raspberry Pi YouTube Tutorials] (videos).
* [http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgyU3jNA6VjS3ij6ZXbb2x4GdEP3bAWzO My First Raspberry Pi Game] (videos)
+
* [http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgyU3jNA6VjS3ij6ZXbb2x4GdEP3bAWzO My First Raspberry Pi Game] (videos).
* [[RPi Tutorial Easy GPIO Hardware & Software|Easy GPIO Hardware & Software]] (videos) - in-progress at the moment
 
 
 
Reference needed - links to the learning pages, recommended books?
 
  
 
==Interface With Hardware==
 
==Interface With Hardware==
# [[RPi Interfacing with hardware|Interfacing with Arduino]]
+
See [[RPi Tutorial Easy GPIO Hardware & Software|Easy GPIO Hardware & Software]]
 
 
Reference needed - links to basic circuits tutorials and expansion boards
 
  
 
==Word Processing/Internet Browsing etc==
 
==Word Processing/Internet Browsing etc==
 
Yes, the Raspberry Pi can do the majority of the dull stuff too which other computers do.
 
Yes, the Raspberry Pi can do the majority of the dull stuff too which other computers do.
  
'''Debian''' currently comes with Midori installed for web browsing and word processing programs be installed rather easily.
+
'''Raspbian''' currently comes with Midori installed for web browsing and LibreOffice for word processing and spreadsheet (office); other programs be installed rather easily.
  
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser" into a terminal will install Chromium which is generally a faster and more featured browser than Midori
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser" into a terminal will install Chromium which is generally a faster and more featured browser than Midori
*Entering "sudo apt-get install openoffice.org" into a terminal will install OpenOffice.org, a free Microsoft Office-like application suite
 
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install abiword-common" into a terminal will install AbiWord, a lighter weight but still fully functional word processor
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install abiword-common" into a terminal will install AbiWord, a lighter weight but still fully functional word processor
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install gnumeric" into a terminal will install Gnumeric, a lighter weight but still fully functional spreadsheet
 
*Entering "sudo apt-get install gnumeric" into a terminal will install Gnumeric, a lighter weight but still fully functional spreadsheet
 
  More information needed
 
  
 
==Your Own Pet Project!==
 
==Your Own Pet Project!==
Line 163: Line 130:
  
 
=Living Without RPi=
 
=Living Without RPi=
Even if you do not have any Raspberry Pi hardware there are a number things you can do to learn about linux, programming or even controlling hardware.
+
Even if you do not have any Raspberry Pi hardware there are a number things you can do to learn about Linux, programming or even controlling hardware.
  
 
==Using Linux==
 
==Using Linux==
You can install a version of Linux on most computers, and many you will be able to "try out" Linux by using a "Live CD" - this will start your computer up running from a CD or DVD and run Linux (without installing anything to the computer itself).
+
You can install a version of Linux on most computers, and on many you will be able to "try out" Linux by using a "Live CD" - this will start your computer up running from a CD or DVD and run Linux (without installing anything to the computer itself).
  
RacyPy - This is a simple LiveCD of Puppy Linux which includes some basic programming languages and a light-weight graphical user interface (GUI).
+
RacyPy - This is a simple LiveCD of Puppy Linux which includes some basic programming languages and a light-weight graphical user interface (GUI). You can get it from here: [http://teampython.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/while-you-wait-for-your-raspberry-pi-why-not-use-racypy2/ teampython RacyPy]
 
 
You can get it from here:
 
 
 
[http://teampython.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/while-you-wait-for-your-raspberry-pi-why-not-use-racypy2/ teampython RacyPy]
 
  
 
==Trying Programming==
 
==Trying Programming==
Line 180: Line 143:
 
As discussed in the [[RPi Tutorial Easy GPIO Hardware & Software | Easy GPIO Hardware & Software]] tutorials, there are lots of alternative hardware you can use to experiment with (some as little as $5).
 
As discussed in the [[RPi Tutorial Easy GPIO Hardware & Software | Easy GPIO Hardware & Software]] tutorials, there are lots of alternative hardware you can use to experiment with (some as little as $5).
  
=About This Page - For Contributors=
+
=About This Page=
 
 
 
The intention of this page is to provide a '''starting point''' for beginners and to '''direct them to''' the kind of information a person would need in order to start doing something useful or interesting with a Raspberry Pi.
 
The intention of this page is to provide a '''starting point''' for beginners and to '''direct them to''' the kind of information a person would need in order to start doing something useful or interesting with a Raspberry Pi.
  
It is not intended to contain or replicate much of the information already available on-line or elsewhere in the wiki, however please create new wiki pages and link them here if there is information beginners will find useful (similarly any section which grows too much here, should be separated into new pages as and when needed)!
+
It is not intended to contain or replicate much of the information already available on-line or elsewhere in the wiki, however new wiki pages can be linked here if there is information beginners will find useful.
 
 
At the moment building up ideas of content of typical things beginners will want to know and the kind of things they will want to do first.
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
=References=
 
<references/>
 
  
 
{{Template:Raspberry Pi}}
 
{{Template:Raspberry Pi}}
 
[[Category:RaspberryPi]]
 
[[Category:RaspberryPi]]

Latest revision as of 16:50, 15 November 2015


RaspPi.png Back to the Hub


Getting Started:

Buying Guide - for advice on buying the Raspberry Pi.

SD Card Setup - for information on how to prepare the SD Card used to boot your Raspberry Pi.

Basic Setup - for help with buying / selecting other hardware and setting it up.

Beginners Guide - you are up and running, now what can you do?

Latest RPi 4 Topics - Recent topics on Raspberry Pi 4 and the Pi OS

Advanced Setup - for more extensive information on setting up.

Trouble Shooting - some things to check if things don't work as expected.

Where to start?

Any easy question to ask, but a very difficult one to answer!

  1. If you are looking for any information related to SD Cards and setup look here.
  2. If you need to get a Raspberry Pi then see the Buying Guide.
  3. If you need to know what equipment you will need and how to set it up, see the Basic Hardware Setup page.
  4. If you need to install/setup an SD card see the Preload your Card section.
  5. If something is not working, check the Troubleshooting section.
  6. If you have imaged a SD card with the Raspbian image and started your RPi here's some help with what you need first - the raspi-config menu RPi_raspi-config.
  7. If you don't have a composite monitor or HDMI then it may be worth you looking at Blind Login Method.
  8. VNC connection for remote access VNC for remote access; a GUI when using the Blind Login.
  9. If you've done all that, and you are wondering what next... welcome and read on!

If you don't have a Raspberry Pi yet, you can still try things out, see Windows RPi Emulator for details.

What is Linux and why not use Windows?

Linux is an operating system just like Microsoft Windows, however, unlike Windows (which has a minimum hardware requirement to run i.e. if it does not fit, get different hardware), Linux comes in many varieties and configurations which means you can usually find a flavour (or Distribution) which fits your hardware big or small / fast or slow.

The Raspberry Pi is not suited to running Microsoft Windows due to its hardware, but there are plenty of Linux Distributions which do fit nicely. In addition to this, most Distributions of Linux are free, however Microsoft Windows can cost many times the price of the Raspberry Pi itself.

Chances are you already have Linux running in your home without you even knowing it, since it is commonly used in Kindle ebook readers, Android smartphones, modern TVs, Freeview and cable boxes to run things.

For more information about Linux see the Wikipedia page.

Also see Running XXX on the RPi

Basic Raspbian Setup

When you first turn on your Raspberry Pi with it's fresh Raspbian image on the SD card, you will likely want to tweak the system settings. There's a tool called raspi-config which makes everything super-easy to set up. This automatically launches when you first boot Raspbian up (depending on the version and configuration).

If you want to access the setup screen again, just type:

 sudo raspi-config

in the terminal (LXTerminal in the desktop UI).

Intro to the CLI (Command Line Interface)

You will need to use the Command Line Interface at some point in your management of the RPi. The command line interface is a powerful way to interact with the Raspberry Pi and is well worth learning some basic commands to get started with.

For an introductory guide to some basic commands please see: Command Line Interface "Must Have" Commands. For general Linux commands, try this site for "learning the shell"

Your SD card may boot into a GUI, if not and you are done with the text interface and want to use a graphical one instead, run:

   startx

Remote Access

Your default install probably has a ssh (secure shell) "daemon" running. This means that you can run everything on your RPi with only the network attached. Provided you know which IP address it has. With appropriate software installed on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC, you can also run a terminal, GUI or other program remotely.

More details about remote access (including remote GUI are at RPi Remote Access.

Installing and updating software to your Raspberry Pi

You will probably want to add software to your Raspberry Pi, as well as keep the current packages up to date. With Raspbian this is performed using apt-get. The most common commands can be found in the adding software page. It is good practice to regularly ensure you run the update and upgrade commands detailed in the guide to ensure you have the most up to date software packages.

The apt-get package for Raspbian will also keep the GPU firmware updated to the latest stable release. If you'd like to try the bleeding edge releases you can read more on the RPi Software.

Adding USB Storage to Your Raspberry Pi

Sooner or later, you're going to run out of room on the SD card used to boot up your Raspberry Pi. For a tutorial on how to connect USB flash drives and hard drives to your Pi to expand storage, see: Adding USB Drives to a Raspberry Pi.

Beginner Projects

Here are a few things you can try out with your Raspberry Pi, in most cases all you'll need is your SD Card loaded with a particular preconfigured OS Distribution.

It will be worth getting a few spare SD Cards if you think you will switch between setups regularly or become familiar with how to back up and restore your card.

Backup your SD card

For Windows users the 'Raw HDD Copy Tool' from HDD Guru works well to backup and restore your SD card between projects. This can backup and restore the entire card sector by sector to/from an img file, and doesn't care which file system is on the card.

Raw HDD Copy Tool

Linux and Mac OS(X) users can use the dd tool that comes with most versions of Linux (including Raspbian) to save the contents of an SD card as an image file. Warning: be sure to use this tool carefully as accidentally choosing your hard drive as the output will destroy all data on it.

Mac OSX users can use PiCloner. The PiCloner app is easy to use and will help you detect your SD card, back it up to an img file and is able to compress the img using GZIP to decrease backup size. PiCloner is Free Open Source Software (FOSS) released under a BSD License so it's Free as in; Free Beer!

Media Player

With this configuration you will typically have the Raspberry Pi connected to a TV or large monitor and a source of videos/music/photos etc you wish to play (i.e. Internet/hard-drive/local network etc).

DesignSpark have written an article on this, which is worth a look, DesignSpark - Raspberry Pi goes to the movies

You can download an installer from www.raspbmc.com which will install to your desktop (IOS, Windows, Linux) and write the latest install to your SD card. You then boot your Pi with the card and go through the config steps.

There is a brief video basic tutorial here: http://www.instructables.com/id/RaspberryPi-Media-center-XMBC/

Play Games

There are plenty of ways to play games on the Raspberry Pi. Check the RPi Games page.

Many distributions will have games built into them, and some may well support emulation of other platforms so you can run those games.

A lot of Raspberry Pi users will be writing simple games which will be available for others to enjoy (and if desired added to or modified).

Introducing Young Children To Computers

Several resources exist for introducing children to computers using the Raspberry Pi. Check the Raspberry Pi Foundation's website.

Teaching

There is a huge number of groups, links and resources available within the Education section, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation's website.

Learn To Program

There is a huge selection of programming languages which you can use to write interesting programs, games, applications and utilities. There are also more great links within the Education section.

If you are new to programming, there are plenty of tutorials for getting started in the Tutorials Section.

Books about programming can be found in the Books Section.

In the latest Raspbian, Python and Scratch are pre-installed.

Interface With Hardware

See Easy GPIO Hardware & Software

Word Processing/Internet Browsing etc

Yes, the Raspberry Pi can do the majority of the dull stuff too which other computers do.

Raspbian currently comes with Midori installed for web browsing and LibreOffice for word processing and spreadsheet (office); other programs be installed rather easily.

  • Entering "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser" into a terminal will install Chromium which is generally a faster and more featured browser than Midori
  • Entering "sudo apt-get install abiword-common" into a terminal will install AbiWord, a lighter weight but still fully functional word processor
  • Entering "sudo apt-get install gnumeric" into a terminal will install Gnumeric, a lighter weight but still fully functional spreadsheet

Your Own Pet Project!

The sky is the limit really, with some time and effort any number of projects can be achieved.

Even if you don't have the skill to do it yourself, you can join like minded people by getting involved with one of the numerous groups in the Community Section, also within the Education pages or learn what you need in from the Guides & Tutorials sections.

Of course, if you do anything interesting then please let us know in the Projects section.

Living Without RPi

Even if you do not have any Raspberry Pi hardware there are a number things you can do to learn about Linux, programming or even controlling hardware.

Using Linux

You can install a version of Linux on most computers, and on many you will be able to "try out" Linux by using a "Live CD" - this will start your computer up running from a CD or DVD and run Linux (without installing anything to the computer itself).

RacyPy - This is a simple LiveCD of Puppy Linux which includes some basic programming languages and a light-weight graphical user interface (GUI). You can get it from here: teampython RacyPy

Trying Programming

Many of the programming languages you can use on the Raspberry Pi can be installed on a Windows or Mac machine. Just visit the websites of the languages you are interested in and see if they have an installer for your operating system.

Controlling Hardware

As discussed in the Easy GPIO Hardware & Software tutorials, there are lots of alternative hardware you can use to experiment with (some as little as $5).

About This Page

The intention of this page is to provide a starting point for beginners and to direct them to the kind of information a person would need in order to start doing something useful or interesting with a Raspberry Pi.

It is not intended to contain or replicate much of the information already available on-line or elsewhere in the wiki, however new wiki pages can be linked here if there is information beginners will find useful.