In this case I am going to talk about the Raspberry Pi B+ and my process for getting started. Now, of course, there is more than one way to use the Pi, to get started with the Pi and for that matter more than one type of Pi. Use my process if you want, if it doesn’t work for you feel free to just refer to this as needed.
Once you have bought the Pi you will also need a few other components. If you have them laying around feel free to use what you have but otherwise most can be purchased easily online or at a local electronics store. Those components are:
- USB Wifi adapter
- USB Keyboard
- HDMI cable
- Monitor or TV (temporarily depending on Pi’s use)
- Micro USB power supply
- MicroSD card
- connector for MicroSD to laptop or desktop
With all of those in place it is assumed that another laptop or computer will be available for use during the process.
The End Goal
At the end of the steps you will have a Pi ready to roll… I typically install Raspian but any OS will work.
1. Format the microSD card
This step is accomplished easiest when your computer offers an adapter built in. In my case I have a MacBook and with the SD adapter I can plug the card directly into the machine. For other machines I have a USB adapter I purchased when I first got a digital camera that has also worked in other machines. In either case connect the card and get ready to format.
Now once connected you may be tempted to just download the image and copy directly to the card. DON’T! this doesn’t work. Use a formatter like SDFormatter. Once formatted you can drag and drop the image. For more detailed instructions I followed the steps on the raspberry pi site.
2. Hook up the Pi and boot
So, now you need to hook everything up to the Pi. I highly recommend making the microsd power supply the last thing you attach. This way everything is ready when pi powers up. Since this is the first time you are booting the Pi and haven’t installed the OS or more importantly SSH, you should have a monitor or TV that you can use for the first time. Once you install the OS you can install SSH and then access the machine remotely.
For now, attach the HDMI cable to the Pi and monitorTV.
Connect the USB Wifi adapter
Connect the USB Keyboard
Insert the microsd care into the Pi slot.
attach the power supply to the Pi and wall outlet.
Now we get to watch and configure…
3. Install the OS
Upon your first boot of the device you will be prompted to install one of the operating systems on the microSD. Raspian is always a good choice…
Note: up to this part is included in the previous link.
4. Configure remote access & a couple more things
You have the Pi installed and running now let’s free it from the restraints of a monitortv. To do this you need to get to the have the Raspberry Pi on and booted to the command prompt.
At a command prompt type the following:
This is, yes that’s right you guessed it, the raspian Configuration. Here you can configure things such as the host name of the Pi, you can overlock the Pi and also enable SSH.
To enable SSH follow the following link:
While here I highly encourage you to take a look at various settings. One setting I have definitely changed is the hostname to ensure I don’t have duplicate names and also to provide a better description of the purpose of the Pi.
Once you have enabled SSH, you are free to play… Enjoy the Pi and explore all the cool things you can do with it…