This guide will help you with getting started with the Raspberry Pi. If you have just bought a Pi or thinking of buying one, then this guide will take you everything you need to know.
I will just quickly go through all the equipment that you will need if you’re starting from scratch.
You might have some of these parts already so you can save a bit of money and reuse the parts for the Raspberry Pi.
The following is some of the essential equipment that you will need to operate the Pi correctly. If you’re doing a specific project, you may find you will need more or fewer pieces of equipment.
I highly recommend using the latest version possible, and you will get the best performance and features.
An SD Card is necessary for the Pi to operate, I recommend that the SD card is at least 8GB, especially if you’re installing the latest version of Raspbian. If you have a Pi B+, 2 or 3 then you will need a micro SD card.
Keyboard and Mouse
You will need a HDMI cable of these to be able hook the Pi up to a screen. This is necessary if you will be controlling and using the Pi directly rather than setting it up to be headless.
A Power Supply is essential if you would like the Pi to turn on. A 5V, 2A micro USB power supply is recommended for the pi. It is very important that it outputs at least 5V, 2A otherwise the Pi may not turn on or behave in a very weird way.
If you get a rainbow coloured square in the top right corner then you do not have a good enough power supply connected and should be replaced if you want your Pi to be stable.
These items are only optional and not necessary for your Pi to run correctly. However I do highly recommend having both as they’re incredibly handy for keeping your Pi in top notch condition.
An Internet Connection
A Case for your Raspberry Pi
While not essential it is recommended that you use a case as it will help protect your Pi. You will notice some cases might even add some more functionality to your Pi.
You can find many Raspberry Pi cases available for purchase.
If you have purchased a case for your Raspberry Pi then this is a good time to assemble the case. Since all cases are different simply assemble according the instructions that hopefully were supplied with the case.
Once you have assembled the case, you are then ready to plug everything in and get your Pi working.
Plugging in your Raspberry Pi
Before you turn on your Raspberry Pi make sure you have all the required equipment listed above. If you don’t have some of the equipment you may find the Pi will not function or will be impossible to control.
You will need a SD card with an operating system pre-installed. Most SD Cards that come bundled will with the Pi will come with Raspbian pre-installed.
1. Start by inserting your SD card into the slot on the Raspberry Pi. The location of the slot is on the bottom of the Pi, and the card will only fit one way.
2. Next plug in the keyboard and mouse into the USB slots.
3. Now connect the HDMI cord to the HDMI port on the Pi and then to the TV or monitor. It’s important to make sure you have selected the right input on your TV or monitor (Eg. HDMI 1).
4. If you want to connect your Raspberry Pi to the internet, insert an Ethernet cord or a Wifi adapter. The Raspberry Pi 3 has WiFi inbuilt so you won’t need a dongle.
5. When you are happy that all the cables and the SD card are correctly connected, finally plug in the micro USB power supply. This will power and boot the Raspberry Pi.
There is no on or off switch for the Raspberry Pi, so you will need to be careful when pulling the power out. There is a method of shutting down your Raspberry Pi correctly that you should learn.
6. If this is your first Raspberry Pi and you are using a NOOBS SD card, then you will have to select an operating system to install and configure when it boots. If you need to install Raspbian manually, then be sure to check out my guide on how to install NOOBs.
Once you’re all set up you might want to take a look at some awesome Raspberry Pi projects that you can do. These projects will help you get the most of your Pi. You will be surprised by just how much this cool little computer can do.
I hope this guide helps you with getting started with Raspberry Pi, if you come across any issues or would like to add something then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.