This guide will help you with getting started with Raspberry Pi, if you have just bought a Pi or thinking of buying one this guide will take you through all the initial steps to get it up and going.
I will just quickly go through all the equipment that you will need if you’re just starting out. You might have some of these parts already so you can save a bit of money and reuse the parts for the Pi.
The following is some of the essential equipment that you will need to be able to operate the Pi correctly. If you’re doing a project you may find you will need more or less pieces of equipment.
You can’t start without one of these! There are quite a few variations of the Raspberry Pi so be sure to choose whichever best suits your needs.
Necessary for the Pi to operate, it is recommended that the SD card is an 8GB SD Card, 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
These are only required if you’re controlling the Pi directly and not using something like SSH to control it.
You will need one 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.
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 Wifi adapter or Ethernet cord will be required to connect to the internet. If you have the Raspberry Pi 3 then you won’t need a WiFi dongle as this is onboard.
A case for your 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.
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.
1. Start by inserting your SD card into the slot on the Raspberry Pi, this is located on the bottom of the Pi and the card will only fit one way.
2. Next plug in the keyboard & mouse into the USB slots.
3. Next 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 Pi to the internet, insert an Ethernet cord or a Wifi adapter.
5. When you are happy that you have plugged in all the cables and the SD card required, finally plug in the micro usb power supply. This will turn on and boot the Raspberry Pi.
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. If you need to install Raspbian manually then be sure to check out my guide on how to install NOOBs.
Once you’re all setup you might want to take a look at some awesome Raspberry Pi projects to do, this will help you get the most of your Pi. You will be surprised of 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.