Meet the World’s Favorite $25 Computer: Raspberry Pi . You’ll find tips, tricks, and more in this unofficial Raspberry Pi tutorial from . Whether you’re a current Pi owner looking to learn more, or a potential owner of this credit card-sized device, you don’t want to miss this guide.

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1. Raspberry Pi

You’ve probably heard of the Raspberry Pi: a palm-sized computer with enough power to run servers or media centers paired with retro games; with the ability to connect to security systems and projects for enthusiasts; and with programming tools to encourage learning and understanding of programming.

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Since its launch in 2012, the Pi has surpassed all expectations, becoming a must-have piece of computing equipment for enthusiasts and tech executives alike. For a small project designed to be sold to schools and colleges for the purpose of teaching programming principles, this is not bad.

This is also just the tip of the iceberg. Now in its third major iteration The Raspberry Pi is a must-have compact computer for hobbyists and enthusiasts alike.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Raspberry Pi computer, its history, purpose, system specs, the software it runs, and the amazing things it can do.

1.1 What is Raspberry Pi?

In development since 2006, the Raspberry Pi is a small computer. about components mounted on a motherboard the size of a credit card and running Raspbian, a special version of the Linux operating system.

Capable of offering basic office computing, low-level gaming, Internet and email access, media playback, and many other features that are regularly expected from a computer in the 21st century, the Pi achieves it all with a reduced component count, an ARM processor, and a very low price.

Costs are kept low by selling a computer without cables, storage, or a case. Cables and storage are, of course, vital, and if you decide you need a case, there are various solutions (see below). 3.1: Options case).

1.1.1 Other tiny computers

You may know that Pi is not the only small computer project. Over the past few years, there have been a number of stripped-down low-cost computers released to enthusiasts, somewhat reminiscent of the golden home days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Pi Vs Arduino

Other small computers include:

  • Arduino : focused on providing a computer interface for electronics projects. However, the Arduino is more of a control device and can be used in conjunction with the Pi to control projects with moving components. See what an Arduino is
  • ODROID : A slightly bulky computer with the same processor as the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. This runs Android OS, Arch Linux and Ubuntu.
  • Pine A64 : Not yet available, this 64-bit ARM device runs Android and is slightly larger than the Raspberry Pi.

Availability for these projects differs from the Pi, which due to its low cost (and despite lower specs than ODROID and Gooseberry) has proven to be extremely popular. This is no doubt partly for successful supply chain management and delivery, as well as for the philosophy behind the device.

1.2 Ethos of the Raspberry Pi

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The Raspberry Pi was not designed for you to enjoy retro gaming, create a MAME system, or create a media center. : there is a much nobler reason behind it.

Designing and building an inexpensive computer that was so flexible was the idea of ​​a group of programmers such as Eben Upton and David Braben, both of whom are members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Their idea for this computer was to develop hardware that children and students could use to learn programming. The low cost of computers means they can be sold to schools around the world, thus offering educational opportunities for everyone.

1.3 Some ways to use Raspberry Pi

Enthusiasts around the world use the Pi for much more than its original purpose. The Media Center software exists as a version of Kodi, and there are several Linux distributions that can be installed.

Retro gaming is possible (modern games since circa 2000 require much more hardware resources), as is multimedia playback; Notably, the Pi is capable of HD video. You can also use the device as a web server, print server, stop motion camera, time lapse camera, digital photo server, NAS controller, home security computer… the possibilities are endless!

Later in this guide, we’ll take a look at operating systems and media center software. Meanwhile, in Section 8 «Fun Using the Pi» provides an overview of many other uses of the computer.

2. What’s inside the Raspberry Pi?

One would expect the Raspberry Pi’s specs to be low, but the device isn’t so stripped down that it’s useless. Rather, it combines quad-core processing and sizable cache with smart engineering to deliver a pleasant computing experience.

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Some aspects of Pi are up to you. It usually comes without a case, storage, or cables, although it can be bought as a bundle. If you choose a board alone, you’ll be surprised to find how much is available in terms of peripherals and storage. This is largely due to the hardware options that the device supports.

2.1 Raspberry Pi system specifications

There are four versions of the Raspberry Pi: model A , model B , computing module and zero . We will ignore the compute module in this guide; This sends directly to hardware manufacturers, typically for smart home projects.

Between the Raspberry Pi Model A, Model B and Zero, you will find small but important differences.

  • Raspberry Pi Model A+ A: The latest version is $20, with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, a 700MHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and one USB.
  • Raspberry Pi Model B : available in two versions:
    • Raspberry Pi 2 A: It’s $35 with BCM2837 SoC, 64-bit 900MHz quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM shared with GPU, and four USB ports.
    • Raspberry Pi 3 A: For $35, it also features a BCM2837 SoC, this time with a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core processor and 1GB of shared RAM. Again, there are four USB ports.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero :
    • Available for just $5 (a $10 wireless version is also available), this 32-bit compact Raspberry Pi features a BCM2835 SoC with a 1GHz processor and 512MB of GPU-shared RAM.
    • See our dedicated Raspberry Pi Zero guide. for more information.

Some aspects of the Pi’s hardware (despite the Pi Zero) remain standard. It has a micro-USB power connector, with an HDMI port. The Ethernet port is connected to the USB bus, and the microSD port. Then there’s the dual purpose 3.5mm mini jack for audio and video if your output device doesn’t have HDMI.

You’ll also find ribbon ports for displays and a Raspberry Pi camera module.

2.1.1 How big is the Raspberry Pi?

In addition, each model is slightly different in size. The latest Model A and Model B boards (Pi 2 and Pi 3) are 85.60 mm × 56.5 mm (3.370 in × 2.224 in), while the Pi Zero is 65 mm × 30 mm (2.56 in) × 1.18 inches). The depth of the board also changes; The zero is only 5mm deep, while the Model B boards are 17mm deep thanks to additional hardware connectors.

One of the greatest things about the Pi is that the developers never rested on their laurels. Revisions are released regularly, both hardware and software. For example, Model A and Model B initially launched with 256MB of RAM. This was updated in 2014 to 512MB. However, the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 come with 1GB of RAM.

2.1.2 GPIO pins

An array of GPIO pins comes with the Raspberry Pi. They can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from controlling a Pi (perhaps a game controller or other input device) to controlling or receiving power from a secondary device.

The GPIO pins vary depending on the model (and some versions) of the Pi, so make sure you use them correctly.

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While the detailed use of GPIO pins is outside the scope of this guide, security is not. You will need the same careful approach to connecting to these pins as you would on any computer or circuit board. Without proper care, you risk blowing up your Raspberry Pi’s processor if the GPIO pins are used incorrectly. Make sure you check the voltage across the cable before connecting to your Pi!

2.2 Development of the Raspberry Pi

The prototype computer that would become the Raspberry Pi dates back to 2006. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was established in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the possibility of releasing the computer as a viable project became apparent.

While the original 10,000 boards were built in Taiwan and China, the Pi is now being built in the United Kingdom, in South Wales. After its launch on February 29, 2012, 500,000 boards were sold by September 2012. As of November 2016, an astonishing 11 million Raspberry Pis have been sold, according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation!

3. What you need for your Raspberry Pi

As we have seen, pi-ships are as they are. When you open the box, you will only see a small motherboard with the required components. You should be done with cables, case and media.

Cases for this device come in all shapes and sizes, from Lego to downloadable cardboard cutouts. In addition to the case, you will need specific cables for your Raspberry Pi, as well as storage, usually an SD card. Let’s look at your options.

3.1 Case options

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Pi is that it doesn’t come with a case. It’s a bit like running a PC motherboard without worrying about the tower — unwise! Of course, the solution is to find or build a business — what is available?

3.1.1 Punnet Case

The Punnet case is a popular option as it is completely free and easy to make. It exists as a printed form that can be cut and made from thin plastic, heavy paper, or card, providing a home for your Pi computer.

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Several versions of penets are available.

  1. Original punetka suitable for Raspberry Pi Model B
  2. Modification for Raspberry Pi Model B+ boards
  3. Revised version for Raspberry Pi 3

3.1.2 Lego

There isn’t much you can’t build with Lego, and Pi is no exception. As with any case for this computer, you need to make sure that there is enough space for cables and a memory card and that there is enough ventilation in the case. You can use the Punnet body design to help with the positioning of these gaps.

3.1.3 Hobbies

Various cases are available for the Pi. The only complication comes when choosing the right case for your device. The best places to find a deal are eBay, Amazon, and also:


By the way, if you’re a Lego fan, some cases are designed to be compatible with Lego!

It is also possible to build your own hull from various materials. This eLinux page contains many options. Later versions of various Pi models are equipped with a pair of mounting holes that can be used to mount the Pi. You can find their position with this template from Pi Spy.

3.1.4 Upgrading old hardware

Portable game consoles like the Nintendo Gameboy, old routers, keyboards, and even video game cartridges (especially for the Nintendo 64) can be used as Raspberry Pi cases. Some planning will be required and you will need the right equipment to make the conversion possible. Old toys and music players can also be converted to store Pi

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There are many more ways you can fit your Pi into a case — this is just the tip of a very sweet and confection-covered iceberg!

Whichever solution you use, make sure it’s durable, will protect your Raspberry Pi from shock, and provide the necessary airflow to keep the CPU cool.

3.2 Cables

To get the most out of your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need a few cables:

  • ethernet : If you don’t plan on using Wi-Fi (your Pi probably doesn’t have a built-in wireless device and you don’t have a USB Wi-Fi dongle yet), you’ll need this to connect to your router. ,
  • HDMI cable A: Notably, the Pi has one HDMI port for high-definition video and audio. Even more notable is Mini-HDMI on the Raspberry Pi Zero. A standard HDMI adapter is included, but if you have a Mini-HDMI cable, it will fit perfectly.
  • Audio cable A: The Pi has a dedicated dual-purpose 3.5mm mini jack. Its first use is for audio, ideal for connecting your Pocket PC to speakers. This is useful if you are not using HDMI or want to send audio to another device.
  • RCA video cable : the second destination of the mini-jack is the alternative video output (low resolution) for use with non-HDMI displays.
  • Micro USB cable A: While you should use a power adapter in most cases (see below), a cable that can handle 5V will prove useful if you need to connect your Pi to a computer. You can also use a portable smartphone charger as a power source.

Recommended Reading: What Types of Computer Cables Should You Know?

Cables are not everything, however…

3.3 Storage

One of the most important elements of any computer is storage, from which the operating system is launched and data is stored. The Pi doesn’t have a hard drive — instead it comes with a microSD card slot.
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You should aim to purchase a high-rated SDHC card for use with this mini computer. The capacity should be 8 GB or more — more memory provides the best results. The Pi uses storage much like an SSD, so the SDHC format is used to improve read/write stability.

Additional storage can be connected via the USB ports. It’s also possible to ditch the microSD card and boot from a USB device, but you’ll still need a microSD card to set it up.

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One option is to purchase a Western Digital PiDrive hard drive. It comes with a custom version of NOOBS (see below), allowing you to install multiple Pi operating systems on a 375GB or 1TB hard drive. This has the advantage that you don’t have to install a new OS every time you need to start a new project.

3.4 Everything else

There are a few other things you will need to get the Pi working.

  • USB keyboard and mouse : very important if you plan to enter any text or use the configuration menu. Once the device has been connected and configured, you can use the USB ports for other purposes (such as additional storage or wireless networking) instead of entering text commands via SSH.
  • 5 volts via Micro-USB power adapter.

3.5 Handle with care

Whatever you plan to do with your Raspberry Pi, make sure you respect and deserve it. It may be small, but it’s just as susceptible to damage from static electricity, bumps and bumps, not to mention temperature extremes, as any other computer.

Therefore, you should remove all jewelry and items that attract static electricity (nylon and other man-made fibers as well as wool), move the device in a clean, dust-free area with a hard floor without carpet, and make sure that you have clean hands and you have grounded yourself.

Once your Raspberry Pi is securely protected in a box or case, you can continue to use it just like any other device. However, starting and shutting down can be problematic (especially the last one) — see Section 5.1: Safe startup and shutdown for more details.

4. Raspberry Pi Setup

With the right cables and storage prepared, you should be able to install an operating system on your Pi. However, due to the hardware profile, this is not a device that will run Windows or Mac OS X. Instead, you will need to rely on a Linux distribution.

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There are several distributions for the Pi, but the most popular is Raspbian. a cleverly named port of Debian customized for the Pi. Installing this can be tricky if you don’t follow the instructions, and like any OS installation on the Raspberry Pi, additional software is required to boot your SD card.

Other distributions can be downloaded and installed on the Pi, but the most interesting one is Android. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: keep reading to find out how to install Raspbian.

The following steps are for setting up the software on Windows. Linux users can write to the SD card using the dd tool and Mac OS X users can also use utility for creating dd card or RPi-sd . Full instructions for these platforms are available online.

Raspberry Pi User Guide for Mac. should help here.

4.1 Installing Raspbian

To start installing Raspbian, go to the Raspberry Pi Downloads site and download the latest version. You will also need Win32 Disk Imager. With both downloaded, unpack Win32 Disk Imager and insert your card into the card reader.

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Run the utility and select the correct drive letter (check in Windows Explorer) and click the file icon to navigate to the directory where you downloaded your latest build of Raspbian.

To start the installation, click » Write» and wait. When the process is completed, you will be notified.

Your Pi is ready to go!

4.1.1 Using Raspi-config

With Raspbian installed on your microSD card, you’re ready to go. Safely remove it from the PC, insert it into the Pi, and turn on the computer by connecting the HDMI cable and keyboard.

The first time you boot up the Pi, you will be taken to the Raspbian Wheezy PIXEL workspace. From here, open the menu, go to » Settings» and open » Raspberry Pi Configuration» .

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A command line version of the configuration tool is also available. raspi-config can be run at any time from the command line:

sudo raspi-config 

Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the menu and make any necessary changes.

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Whichever configuration tool you choose, you should check for updates before continuing. To do this, use the option » Update» in the configuration menu and follow the instructions. Once this is done, you must expand the root partition as well.

4.1.2 Managing your Pi with SSH

Headless use of your Raspberry Pi — using it without a dedicated monitor — is achievable using SSH.

You can enable this in the desktop configuration tool or raspi-config on the command line. If your Pi is connected to the same network as your computer and you have an SSH utility such as PuTTY running (available at ), you should the ability to connect via SSH in seconds.

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Setting up PuTTY is easy: on the screen session add your Raspberry Pi’s IP address in the field host name (or IP address). Make sure it’s selected ssh, and press » Open» . You can log in to your Pi account using the credentials provided by the distribution of your choice (for example, if you use Raspbian, the username and password are displayed on the Raspbian download page).

You will find the IP address in two ways:

  1. Use command ifconfig on the command line
  2. Check devices connected to your router; Your Raspberry Pi usually appears by name.

4.1.3 Enabling SSH

Don’t have a monitor for your Raspberry Pi? The answer lies in connecting via SSH — but how can you do this without connecting a monitor to enable SSH?

Fortunately, there is a workaround. Before inserting a microSD card into the Pi, open the directory Boot in the file manager of your computer’s operating system. Here create a text file named SSH being careful not to expand the file.

For example, if the file was named ssh.txt rename the file so that it is simply called ssh . After closing the file manager and safely removing the microSD card, insert it and restart the Pi. With this SSH file, you have enabled the conditions for secure network connections and can connect to the Pi using the default username and password.

Make sure you have changed your password ! Do it with the command passwd after logging in.

4.1.4 Data exchange via FTP program

Moving data in and out of the Raspberry Pi can be a little tricky without using SSH. Luckily, you can get around this with FTP software. Several are available, but you need one that supports SFTP (I’m using FileZilla). This is essentially SSH over FTP and offers a secure route to communicate with your Pi.

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For example, if you want to copy software to your Raspberry Pi from your PC, you can easily do it via SFTP. Or you can copy the photos taken with the Raspberry Pi camera module back to your computer.

All you have to do to use SFTP is enter your Raspberry Pi’s IP address, log in with a username and password, and then drag and drop files between the two panels of your FTP application.

4.1.5 Advanced setup with PiBakery

If you want to go one step further and fully customize your Raspberry Pi before downloading, PiBakery is what you need. This is a very useful utility that has a copy of Raspbian Jessie built into it. Simply put, you set up an operating system and then write it to a microSD card.

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For example, you can set up a wireless network connection or enable SSH. You can tell it to install the software on first boot or run VNC server . Once the settings are set, you bake them in Raspbian by writing a specific disk image to a microSD card.

Our complete guide to PiBakery for will give you all the details.

4.2 Other distributions

Raspbian is the most popular choice for Raspberry Pi owners, but it’s not the only distro available for the computer.

Other options include:

  • Arch: This is an ARM variant of the main Arch Linux that boots in about 10 seconds. Versatile but with a steep learning curve for Linux beginners.
  • Ubuntu: The most famous Linux operating system, there are several versions of Ubuntu available. We recommend the Ubuntu MATE variant.
  • RISC OS: Free for Pi users (RISC usually requires a license). This is a modern version of the British operating system, which, like the Pi, was developed in Cambridge.
  • OSMC: This is the main version of Raspberry Pi Kodi, the media center software. In doing so, you set up your Pi as a dedicated media device.
  • Moebius: A stripped-down operating system designed for projects that don’t require any of the nonsense found in a standard OS.
  • Android: Several versions of Android have been released for the Raspberry Pi using code from the repository AOSP (Android Open Source Project). To date, there has not been a version that has successfully combined the flexibility of hardware with software, but you might be interested in trying it out.

Also available NOOBS (new software out of the box), a tool that can be copied directly to a freshly formatted microSD card and used to install your preferred operating system. You can find NOOBS for download at . There are two versions: a light download that will transfer the desired operating system to a microSD card, and a full download for offline installation.

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4.2.1 Operating systems in NOOBS

The NOOBS package includes:

  • Raspbian
  • arched
  • LibreELEC (OSMC alternative)
  • Faggot (Fedora version)
  • Recalbox (retro gaming OS)
  • … and others in a regularly changing line-up.

If you’re not sure about the basic Raspbian installation method, or just want some extra flexibility, it’s a good idea to have a copy of NOOBS on hand.

5. Getting Started with the GUI

There are two ways to use the Pi. The first is to use a text-based user interface, which is ideal for specific tasks. Alternatively, there is a second option using a mouse-driven graphical interface that will be much more familiar to most users.

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As you should know if you have read the manual on the subject, the Pi Raspbian operating system is based on the Debian Linux distribution. However, the desktop PIXEL environment based LXDE .

If you are already familiar with Linux, this will help. But if not, the basics are extremely easy to master.

5.1 Safe start and end of work

You may have noticed that the Raspberry Pi does not have an on/off switch. So how can you turn it off? The easiest option is to select the «Shutdown» option from the main menu on your desktop.

Thanks to the SD card used as a storage device in the Pi, shutting down the computer by unplugging the power cable or unplugging it from the mains will most likely damage the OS and make it impossible to restart. In this situation, a reinstallation is required.

To avoid this, you must use the provided menu close option. There is also a command line option:

 sudo shutdown 

This has various switches and conditions. For example, the above instruction will turn off the Pi after one minute. But adding -h now to the end of the line will result in an immediate shutdown.

By the way, if you’ve ever exited the desktop in a command line environment, you can return to graphic user interface by restarting X:


For a more intuitive shutdown, you can add a reset switch to your Raspberry Pi add a reset switch to your Raspberry Pi

5.2 Issuing instructions on the command line

While running your Raspberry Pi with a GUI desktop rather than a text-based command line is probably preferable in many situations, as there may be situations on any Linux distribution where you need to use a command line option to issue instructions.

If you have booted into the GUI and want to quickly access the command line, use the shortcut at the top of the screen or hold CTRL keys > ALT > T. This will launch a terminal emulator, Terminal.

Raspberry Pi: The Unofficial Software Installation Guide

To get the most out of a Pi running a Linux distribution like Debian, you need to become more familiar with operating system principles. Our beginner’s guide to Linux is a great place to start, as well as a list of useful commands every user should know.

5.3 Adding new software

There are two main ways to install software on your Pi. The first is the traditional way of downloading and installing Linux from a remote server, known as a repository. This is done from the command line:

 apt-get update apt-get install [softwarename] 

If you prefer a more interactive software installation, a package manager is also included. You will find «Add/Remove Software» via » Menu» > » Settings» . This is a modified version of the GNOME Packages tool, and has a search function.

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Sometimes it doesn’t show up in Raspbian. You can manually add GNOME packages via the terminal command line with:

 sudo apt-get install pi-package 

Once you have found the software you want in the Add/Remove Software section, check the box, click Apply», then » OK» and the app will download and install. This way you can install games, desktop environment, fonts, browsers, multimedia tools and more.

6. Pi Programming

One of the key reasons for developing the Pi was to create an affordable computer that kids and students could use as an application development platform. Programming on the Pi is made easy by providing a variety of tools available bundled with the Raspbian operating system.

Whether you want to learn how to program Python applications or prefer one of the alternatives that can be installed, you’ll need a blueprint or blueprint for your application, enough time to get it right, and some basic coding knowledge.

6.1 Python

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The main programming language that comes with the Pi is Python. If you have experience with this language, then you can start writing code right away.

Of course, if you’re 7 years old, chances are you haven’t had time to get to grips with Python, like collecting worms and buying candy. Luckily, the Raspberry Pi comes with a useful Python module called Pygame, which is essentially a game building kit that should allow you to have fun while learning the basic principles of building a game. There are also a few programs written in Python so you can get an idea of ​​what can be achieved.

Note that Python is a cross-platform scripting language, which means you can program on a Windows or Mac computer, save the project, and then run it on your Pi.

6.2 Other programming tools

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Although Python is considered the main programming tool for young Pi users, other languages ​​can also be used:

  • Java is one of the options and is pre-installed in current versions of Raspberry Pi Raspbian Jessie.
  • PHP can also be successfully used, opening up some interesting possibilities for using this mini-computer as a web server.
  • Scratch 2.0 included in the Raspbian distribution, an easy-to-use development tool aimed at kids with a drag-and-drop GUI that makes building conditions and game situations extremely easy. Scratch is developed by the MIT Media Lab and Lifelong Kindergarten Group, and Flash support is provided by the Pepper Flash plugin for Chromium.
  • Projects using GalaxC languages , Lazarus and Groovy, can be compiled and tested on the Pi.
  • Arduino IDE also available for the Raspberry Pi, allowing you to connect an Arduino and create a sketch (an Arduino program written in C++). The combination of these two devices provides many possibilities for home automation. on home automation .

6.3 Where to find coding tips

Python is a widely used programming language and you can find a lot of tips for using it on the internet. Check out our article on Top 5 Websites to Learn Python Top 5 Websites to Learn Python Programming Top 5 Websites to Learn Python Programming as well as our list of the best Raspberry Pi programming resources

The tutorial is quite comprehensive, so you will need to devote enough time to study it. Reference guides are also provided that explain the various libraries and the features of each, allowing you to understand what can be done with the language.

Go to to start learning Python.

While Scratch may seem pretty self-explanatory, you can get support and see other projects by visiting

6.4 Raspberry Pi in schools

As you learned earlier, the Pi was conceived as a computer that students and older students could use to program in schools. But how successful was this goal?

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Unfortunately, exact numbers are not available, although there are reports of schools making bulk purchases and people buying devices to donate to educational institutions. It is estimated that about 20% are in the hands of children, and there are likely to be many more young people who have pi in the family.

However, we do know that Google has donated at least 15,000 letters to schools in the UK.

Initially, it seemed that some schools might be ill-prepared to teach Pi. Fortunately, there is a helpful Creative Commons licensed guide for UK educators, the CAS Raspberry Pi Educational Manual, which can be downloaded through the Raspberry Pi website and through the integrated app store. The official website also has a Raspberry Pi teacher’s guide.

7. Set up Pi as a media center

Perhaps the most popular use of the Pi is as a media center. Why spend $$$ on a smart TV when you can get everything you need less than $40 ?

Whether as a small set-top box for streaming media from a large PC or over the Internet, or as a single device for accessing external hard drives and other devices, the Pi’s USB ports and networks make it an excellent multimedia device. media and media output to your TV or sound system.

However, for this you will need to install a special version Kodi configured to run on the Raspberry Pi. Several complete disk images are available:

  • CMSN
  • LibreELEC
  • xbian
  • OpenELEC

Like Raspbian, they can be written to your Pi’s microSD card.

Also, retro gaming distributions Recalbox and retropie can also run Kodi and come with it either pre-installed (Recalbox) or as an option to install (RetroPie). If you choose to install a full disk image, it’s a good idea to have a spare SD card, one for your Raspberry Pi’s regular operating system and one for Kodi. So you can switch roles as easily as switching cards, making the small computer even more flexible.

7.1 Installing Kodi on Raspberry Pi

If you’d rather just run Kodi on the Raspbian operating system, you can install it like you would any other application. Updated versions of Kodi are maintained in the Raspbian repositories, so all you have to do is run a simple update-and-install command:

 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install kodi 

Once installed, you will be able to run Kodi from your Raspbian Jessie desktop. You can also set Kodi to start automatically on boot.

7.2 How Kodi works on the Raspberry Pi

While it’s relatively easy to set up Kodi on the Pi, and it’s very easy to start watching videos and listening to music, using the Pi as a media center is a little different from the usual setup.

Raspberry Pi: Unofficial Kodi Shortcuts Tutorial 1

Unless you are using a very large capacity microSD card (the recommended format is SDHC up to 32 GB, although some types of SDXC are believed to work), you will need to run media from an external hard drive, USB drive. device or external optical drive. Of course, Kodi offers a variety of streaming options thanks to its wide range of add-ons… it all really depends on your preferred media choice. You should also consider using a powered USB hub if you plan to make the most of the expansion options available.

Network Storage Unit (NAS) For example, it could be one solution for media stored on a hard drive, or you could rely on sharing content over your home network with a PC in your office, bedroom, or room. Oddly enough, you can use the Pi to control your home NAS.

Installing Kodi is only the first step in setting up your Pi media center. A variety of add-ons allow you to greatly expand this software, many of which we have reviewed on.

8. Fascinating use of Raspberry Pi

While the Raspberry Pi as a media center seems like an extremely popular option, it’s not the only way this versatile little computer can be recruited.

There are many ways to use the Pi for many different purposes and many different tasks, from using it as a NAS to running a web server or even a computer.

Over the years, we have shared with you the many ways you can use your Raspberry Pi. In this section of the guide, we have collected the most interesting and achievable for you, so that you can appreciate and appreciate the magnificence of this tiny home computer.

Please note that these projects may include additional equipment and costs.

8.1 Raspberry Pi + Kindle = Laptop!

One of the coolest ways to hack a Pi is to connect it to a Kindle e-reader, using the latter as the e-ink display for the former.

The connection is via a USB-to-microUSB cable and requires a Kindle jailbreak, installation of a terminal emulator, and a tool called UsbNetwork. Once your Kindle is unlocked and the necessary utilities installed, you’ll be well on your way to using the e-reader as a display for your Pi. Please note that this can only be done with Kindle models that have an integrated keyboard. The complete steps for building a KindleBerry Pi — which requires a Kindle 3 — can be found at

8.2 Turn your Raspberry Pi into a NAS box

We’ve already seen how the Pi can be set up as a media center. One great way to transfer media files to a Raspbmc device is with a NAS device — another easy-to-set-up project (if you have a second Raspberry Pi).

Raspberry Pi: unofficial image8 tutorial 2

Although the Pi NAS box is not suitable for HD video streaming (due to the use of Samba server software), it can be configured as a low power NAS (see What is a NAS).

To complete this project you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi (Model B)
  • SD card configured with boot OS
  • USB connected hard drive
  • Ethernet cable for connecting to a home network

You will also need to set up a Samba server on your Pi (on one of the Debian distributions) and a Samba client on your Windows, Linux, Mac, or Android device.

Full details on using the Pi as a NAS box can be found at

8.3 Kit

Stop your nostalgic TV dreams of being David Hasselhoff driving a black Trans-am in a Knight Rider — with a Raspberry Pi, you can customize your own computer (although that might not be too hot of a conversation).

Building a Carputer Pi is quite difficult, although several users have achieved it. The key component is the touch display, allowing you to interact with your chosen software, but you’ll also need to power both devices, mount the display, and possibly enable a 3G widget for media streaming.

«Pursuit Mode», unfortunately, is not included.

8.4 Slot machine

Arcade game emulation platform enthusiasts MAME Ported the software to run on the Pi, allowing you to play games designed for arcades.

Of course, for the full experience, you should aim to build a cabinet that will accompany your Pi, monitor, mirror, and controller, though you may well be missing out on the coin-operated slot machine!

The best approach to building a MAME machine is to run the Pi with a thin operating system. This is where Mobius, mentioned in 4.2: Other distributions . For full details, check out this huge guide to setting up your Pi as a MAME.

You might also be surprised to know that the Raspberry Pi makes for a remarkably compact yet capable gaming system.

Even though you won’t play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or The Sims 3 on it, you will still be able to run a series of retro games up to about the year 2000, thanks to emulators for many different consoles. and computers since the 1970s.

You shouldn’t be surprised to know that there are several games that have been ported from other platforms to run on the Pi. For starters, it’s not that hard to run doom !

8.5 internet radio

Instead of using your Raspberry Pi as an all-in-one media center, you can limit it to playing music streamed over the Internet.

There are different approaches to this as the Pi internet radio can be set up without a GUI. In most cases, this is preferable (for obvious reasons), and access to the software used is possible via SSH.

You can do this with a Pandora radio, while you’ll find an alternative method courtesy of Bob Rathbone.

8.6 Security system

Do you want to know what is happening in a particular room of your home or outside of your property? If so, you can use your Pi as a security system, using webcams for surveillance and a network connection to view from another computer, or even from a completely different location.

Raspberry Pi: unofficial muo rpi secsystem pi cam tutorial

There are several different descriptions of how to achieve this available online, but the most important aspects are using webcams with Linux drivers and using either powered USB cables or a powered USB hub to run the cameras. This project is hard working with USB, and since the Ethernet port on the Raspberry Pi is also part of the built-in USB, you can see where there might be some leakage of available power.

8.7 Babycam Server

Working in a similar fashion (but with added mics), you can also use your Pi to control a babycam server, allowing you to watch and listen to activity coming from your little ones.

However, depending on which approach you use, this can be a daunting task due to compression issues, night photo results, and latency (up to 10 seconds to capture, compress, and transfer the image to your computer). viewing device).

8.8 Home Automation Server

If you’ve ever seen a sci-fi movie in which the heating, lighting, security, and entertainment in the house are all controlled from the same remote device and you’re like, «I want some of that!», then this is the Raspberry project. Pi is for you.

It’s also — if you’re coming up with a new concept — by far the most expensive, as it involves introducing new hardware into your home, allowing you to interact entirely via a remote (usually a smartphone) via the Pi.

Some good further reading for this project:

8.9. Testing or Live Web Server

Website hosting can be costly, especially if all you need to share with the Internet is a single «about» page that may link to other sites online. Paying a few dollars a month for this is bad economics, so you might want to consider using a Raspberry Pi to host your online presence.

Raspberry Pi: an unofficial tutorial for the muo raspberrypi web server

Thanks to LAMP and SSH made it possible, even allowing you to run a database driven website!

PenguinTutor explains how you can set up your Pi as your own web server, for personal use or for sharing online. Please note that for the latter you will need a static IP address.

8.10 Wireless access point

You can use your Raspberry Pi as a wireless hotspot by extending the range of your router. This can have a number of advantages, all of which can be implemented with the Pi-Point. You will find complete information, documentation and a custom image of Raspbian at

With the Pi configured as a wireless hotspot, the device can be used both as a wireless extender and as an additional router to provide free wireless access to the environment. This in turn will help you learn more about wireless networks and security.

8.11 Print server

Older printers usually won’t connect to a home network without a print server. But even if you can find a compatible device, it can be unnecessarily expensive. Luckily, by connecting your Raspberry Pi to a printer via USB, you can bring the device online.

Raspberry Pi: unofficial tutorial muo piprint cup admin

This is made possible by the Samba server software and CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) that can be installed and configured on the Pi. As long as the Pi can detect the printer via USB and the computer is connected to the network, other devices on your network can print without a wired connection to the printer. What’s more, it’s not limited to desktop devices — you can also print with a mobile printing solution for iOS.

8.12 Raspberry Pi Photo Frame

Connect your Raspberry Pi to an unused monitor, or even a dedicated Pi compatible display, and you can easily set up your digital photo frame. We tried it and the result is an inspiring photo frame that displays stunning artistic and thought-provoking quotes.

Raspberry Pi: unofficial muo diy digitalphotopi frame2 tutorial

However, don’t limit yourself to this concept. You will find many photo frame ideas from weather information to home dashboard. You can even add motion sensors to only show new images when someone is nearby.

8.13 Create a streaming speaker

Many Raspberry Pi projects require rudimentary electronics, and that’s a good place to start. The idea is simple: install the Pi in a combo amp, share a power supply with it, and copy your music library to the device.

Do you want to listen to music? Control it from your phone! In our lesson, you will learn some additional details. to the video above.

8.14 Play your own theme tune when you enter a room

Do you have an inflated opinion of yourself? Want to announce your record every time you get home? Perhaps applause when you walk in, like on a studio sitcom?

With some resistors, a reed switch, and a speaker, you can connect your Pi to detect if a door has been used and play an audible alert as a response. It could be a theme tune, or a sound effect like applause, or even an alarm clock.

8.15 Build a robot dog

There is something quintessentially British about the Raspberry Pi, so why not extend that quality by taking a trip through space and time? Back in the 1970s, the British sci-fi series Doctor Who featured a sentient robot dog named K9, and you can too, thanks to your Raspberry Pi.

Now we will not pretend that this will be easy. Detailed steps are not available, but as inspirational projects with the Raspberry Pi go, that’s dad.

9. Raspberry Pi: An all-in-one mini computer

So you’ve got your cables, SD card, your favorite distro, and you’ve used your Raspberry Pi as a mini computer, perhaps in a small case.

However, there is one more thing you can do. The Pi is adorned with a very useful pair of pin-based connectors, allowing you to add additional features and components. Thanks to control panels, you can turn your Pi into an Arduino-esque programmable device, completely turning the concept of this little computer upside down.

In addition to divider boards, you’ll find even more fun tools and components to add to your Pi.

9.1 Breakout boards and hats

You can take your Pi to the next level with a split board. Using contacts GPIO , I2C and SPI these boards come pre-assembled or in kit form to expand the functionality of your device. The idea is that you can take advantage of the Raspberry Pi hardware by adding more integrated components.

These boards can be used to power other equipment such as lights, radios, or even model trains.

Discussion boards can be purchased online from vendors such as:

You’ll also find sellers on Amazon and eBay offering Pi extensions.

As you may have guessed, some understanding of electronics is required before connecting the breakout board.

Meanwhile, if you need to add extra functionality to your Pi on a semi-permanent basis — such as a sound card — this can be done with HAT . HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) boards can be mounted using the Pi’s attachment points and are equipped with a GPIO header allowing full passage. They are available from regular sellers.

9.2 Other non-essential components

With regular use of the Pi, you will find that many other cables and components can be used. This is in addition to those set out in section 3 .

9.2.1 Official equipment

In addition to these additions, you may want to consider some additional hardware to expand the functionality of your Raspberry Pi.

10. Raspberry Pi Cream

Whatever you’re planning with your Raspberry Pi, it should now be clear how versatile this set of tricks is.

Raspberry Pi: Unofficial Raspberry Pi Tutorial 572481 1680 840 670x335

The installation is very easy, the software is easy to install and the whole installation will set you back $50. Indeed, it’s easy to see why this little box of wonders has shipped over 11 million units!

Ten Tips for Successful Use of Raspberry Pi

Now you know everything you need to get started with your Raspberry Pi. To refresh your memory, here are ten tips for successful use.

  1. Boot your Pi safely, making sure the SD card is properly inserted before turning it on.
  2. Expand the file system to give your projects the full amount of available storage on a microSD card.
  3. Access your Raspberry Pi via SSH from your desktop using software like PuTTY.
  4. Make sure you have a good Raspberry Pi case that offers ventilation and protection. And choose cases based on the project you’re doing.
  5. There are various distributions available for the Raspberry Pi (including Debian and Ubuntu). You can run multiple by installing them on separate SD cards for maximum flexibility.
  6. Your Pi is especially suited to work as a media center thanks to the OSMC distribution.
  7. Originally conceived as a device for teaching kids how to code, a good set of coding tools is available for the Raspberry Pi.
  8. There are many ways to use this computer, an extremely flexible piece of equipment. Don’t forget, though, that it can also run word processing software, email clients, and the Chromium web browser.
  9. You can expand the Pi’s capabilities by adding breakout boards, HATs, and other peripherals.
  10. Safely shut down your Pi by switching to the command line and typing sudo shutdown (or reload sudo to reset). Be sure to unplug the power cable when the computer is turned off.

There is one more piece of advice: don’t let anything limit you except your imagination and just enjoy it!

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Did you learn anything useful today? What projects have you done with your Pi? Let us know in the comments below!

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