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How do you get this thing to work??

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:12 am

OK. Novice... clearly... Bought Raspberry PI. I have an SD card. I am downloading LINEX, using a MAC. Card is plugged in and ready to go..

Now.. before anyone starts talking about 'images' and 'dd's", please reload.. I need some HELP to understand what to do to get this thing working so my 10 year old can get going on a path to programmer genius..

Can anyone explain, in really clear English, what I need to do?

Many thanks!!

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Re: How do you get this thing to work??

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:32 am

is ... on_Windows good enough ?

As a distribution, you want to use Debian, not Arch which is a bit harder to get into.

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Re: How do you get this thing to work??

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:46 am

Obarthelemy - he said he's using a Mac ;)
In which case maybe he wants to look at RasPiWrite?

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Re: How do you get this thing to work??

Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:32 am

If you are not willing to learn the basics yourself, how do you think your 10 year old will learn?

The Image you are downloading, is a whole operating system, GNU\Linux, probably the Debian distribution. You want to flash that to an SD-Card using any of the suggestions posted above. (Although dd is pretty easy to handle) Now that you have your operating system on the SD-Card plug it in and fire up your RPi

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Re: How do you get this thing to work??

Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:03 pm

Hi richkyd2,

You will get a lot of replies like that from the Linux community but there not all that bad. Like you I am a n00b and have spent a happy afternoon trying to get mine up and running so I will share what I have learnt. It may be all wrong mind you.

As had been said before go to

This site is going to be your bible while getting used to Linux.

Under the heading "Easiest way" download a copy of RasPiWrite by clicking on the link or going direct to the website

Have a read through that site and as you scroll down you will a section called "how to" follow the instructions.

I am not a mac user but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if you need to download the Debian squeeze image from here download the zip file and extract it. You will end up with a .img file this is the operationf system that you are going to build onto the sd card.

Once you have done all that pop the sd card into the pi and power up. MAKE SURE THE PI IS ON A NON CONDICTIVE SURFACE OR BETTER STILL BUY AA CASE. Look on eBay.
The first time the system boots it may take a while but have faith. It needs to configure itself. If you are going to buy a SD card for the job go got a class 10 card. I find they run reasonably well.

Another thing you will notice is a total and utter lack of sound. This is because the drivers are still in testing so are disabled. Not to worry the web is your friend

Go to ... plications (told you elinix is the bible) and you will find your answer but in a nutshell do the following

Without starting the graphical interface and assuming you have logged in a pi, type the two following commands.

sudo apt-get install alsa-utils

This will download and install the drivers. “Sudo” allows you to run the command as a super user “apt-get” tells the operating system to get the application from the “app store”. “Install” tells the operation system you want to install the app and “alsa-utils” is the app. Google apt-get for more info.

Once that has installed and you’re back at your command prompt type

sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835

This tells the operating system to load the audio drivers.

NOTE TO LINUX GEEKS!! I may be using mixed technical terms but I am trying to keep it simple to give the reader a chance of understanding.

Finally type

sudo aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav (Linux command lines are case sensitive)

You should then hear noise. If you are using an hdmi monitor the audio may come out of the monitor. If not plug some speakers into the socket on the front and reboot so the pi can detect them.

Not that using the above method you will have to run sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835 each time you boot up. You can add this to the modules file so it starts up on boot. The simplest way to do this is to start the GUI by typing


Then go to run and type

Sudo leafpad

When the editor opens go to File > Open then double click on file system under places then navigate to etc > modules (this is a file not a folder so scroll down to find it

Once you have opened it DO NOT delete anything but on the next line type

# loads the sound driver

Save the file then close leafpad. If it asks you to “Save As” you have not run it as above.

Restart the Pi and if you watch the screen as it loads and your quick you will see it load the ALSA drivers. To check log in as pi then type

sudo aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

and it will play the sound without having to faf around with the modprobe command.

That should keep you and your lad occupied for an hour or so. Remember you cannot break anything physically unless you throw the pi at the wall. Have a Google around on how to back up your SD card so once you have configured you pi you and re image the card if you do screw it up. If you have access to a windows machine this is easy using the software mentioned here.

Good luck and have fun.

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Re: How do you get this thing to work??

Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:06 pm

and I know there are some spelling and grammar errors.

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