The Raspberry Pi computer is the latest in a line of compact, feature-packed devices that come as a base package so end users can use the hardware for just about any computing project that comes to mind. For example, a device originally designed to help students learn coding skills is ideal for media streaming or as a key element of a MAME gaming device.
However, getting started with the Raspberry Pi can be a little intimidating, partly due to the lack of things to plug into it and the fact that as soon as you open the box, the device is there like daylight, with no clothes on. What’s more, it comes without an OS. This case-insensitive device shouldn’t scare anyone, however. Setting up your new Raspberry Pi is easy!
What is Raspberry Pi?
With 256MB — shared with the device’s GPU — the Raspberry Pi uses a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a processor chip. The way the memory is allocated means it’s possible to decode 1080p video along with plain 3D, though it struggles with both at the same time.
To install an operating system on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to use an SD/MMC slot that effectively acts as the device’s drive.
Basically, this is a computer for hobbyists, but it was designed to be easy to use and accessible to beginners.
Your Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
To get your Raspberry Pi set up you will need the following:
- Raspberry Pi (of course!)
- Micro USB power connector
- USB keyboard
- USB mouse
- HDMI cable
- 2 GB + SD card
- LAN / RJ45 cable
You’ll also need an HDMI display to connect to, as well as a card reader to create a bootable SD card.
Once your Raspberry Pi is secure in its new home, you can switch to the operating system.
Installing the OS on Your Raspberry Pi
Supplied without a pre-installed operating system. Once your Raspberry Pi is fully equipped, you will need to find the correct version of Linux and install it on your SD card. The Raspberry Pi uses the SD card much like a solid state hard drive, with any free space used for additional applications.