Now supporting the A+ and B+ and RPI 2 B models.
if you have not yet bought a PI and/or accessories, there is a pictorial buying guide here
If you are only interested in a short quick start guide you can find the latest one here:
this start guide uses the new NOOBS installing system, the latest version only comes with Raspbian to install, to keep the size down, other operating systems can be installed when you connect the PI to an internet connection via the ethernet port.
if you have trouble getting your PI to boot and/or getting any video output, read the boot problems sticky here: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58151
Before using the SD-card to install NOOBS on it, you must first wipe the card completely clean (and remove all partitions) using the SD Card Association’s formatting tool. Do NOT use it's quick format option, especially if the card has been used before, or the install might fail! Later NOOBS will partition and format the card the way it needs to be, but it needs a completely empty card, (with no extra partitions on it) to start with. Also enable the resize option.
information on how to use the NOOBS installer can be found here:
https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/bl ... x-software
after you have put NOOBS, on the card, if you look at the card, (with Linux, Mac OS X or Windows) it should contain these files:
If you just need to install a single OS, and want to save download time and space on the SD-card you can contemplate using NOOBS LITE instead of NOOBS. NOOBS LITE doesn't come with any OS's included, but the OS to install is downloaded during installation. So you need a working Internet set up running on the PI (that is a Ethernet cable going to your internet modem) for it to work.
Both NOOBS, NOOBS LITE and the SD Card Association’s formatter tool can be found here as free downloads:
The old start guide describing the classical DD image writer system for manual installs of (other) OS's can be found here, in several languages :
Many concrete Questions & Answers can be found in the Raspberry PI Wiki at http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard
If you have you PI going, and want to do more with it, there is some excellent information here: https://learn.adafruit.com/category/learn-raspberry-pi
Lets get started!
First get your Raspberry Pi.
Arrange your board to look like the photo and let's get connecting!
If you have the new B+ model, orient it like this:
Or the older model B. orient it like this:
For a model A+, like this:
On the bottom "edge" in the middle of the board is the HDMI Type A (Full sized) port. Just connect any HDMI cable from the board to your TV or HDMI Monitor for video and audio, or to a DVI-D monitor for video only.
On the models A and B, If you don't have an TV/Monitor with a HDMI or DVI-D port you can use the yellow phono jack (RCA Jack for those who call it that) located in the middle of the "top" edge, and for audio use the 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack to the right of it.
But the models A+ and B+ have only one connector for both audio and video and its located at the bottom and marked "A/V", to the right the HDMI. For audio only its an improved version of the 3.5mm stereo output of the model B, but for video (and audio) you need an (iPod) A/V adapter cable. As extensively explained here: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=83446
Plug a USB keyboard and mouse into the USB slots located on the right edge. You can also plug a WiFi adapter into the USB slot for wireless internet access. If you have the older A or B models you will probably need to expand the number of USB ports using an externally powered hub to do that.
Just under the USB ports on the right edge is the ethernet connector for anyone who wants to plug the R-Pi into a wired network.
On the underside of the board on the left edge is a spot to put your full sized SD card (or micro SD card in a full-sized adapter, or micro SD-card when using the B+) You can buy a pre-imaged card, or make one yourself. Instructions are here: https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs/blob/master/README.md#noobs-new-out-of-box-software Make sure to visit the downloads page to get the Operating System to use with the Raspberry Pi and instructions on how to put it on the card (FYI, you can not just copy and paste). At the moment Raspbian is the preferred option, but don't be afraid to download all the available options, and test them out for yourself!
Finally, at the very bottom of the left edge is the micro-usb power connector. Plug in a regulated power supply that is rated at 5V ±5% and at least 700mA (or 0.7A). Any number bigger than 700 mA (like 1000mA) will also work. Avoid using the smaller chargers used for small GSM phones, as these are often unregulated, even if they claim "5V 1A", they may do "5V" and may do "1A", but not at the same time! A B+ can use adapters up-to 2A, but is actually more frugal than the older models, and will probably work with a 600mA adapter , or maybe even less (depending of how much current the USB and HDMI ports use) If the PWR LED on a B+ goes off you are providing insufficient power!
Not sure if you have a micro-usb? Here's an easy picture to tell the difference
The mini-USB (on the left) is the wrong one. It’s thicker and looks like a trapezoid with its sides pinched in. The micro-USB (on the right) is the correct one. It is thinner and also looks like a trapezoid except it’s sides are rounded outward.
This cable is actually important if you want stable power, many of the cheaper cables are no good to power a PI, they use cheap thin wires, sometimes no more than "tinsel foil" inside. Use a short, and reasonably thick cable, and spend a reasonable amount of money on it, (at least a few dollars/euro's).
So with the setup ready is't time to power on the PI, if the PI gets power the red LED marked PWR will light, and all goes well the green LED marked OK (and ACK in later version) will blink in an irregular pattern to show whenever the PI reads from the SD-card.
Note that the PI doesn't have a BIOS (or rather, even the BIOS is stored on the SD-card), so without successful booting the PI will show nothing on screen! If you have trouble getting your PI to boot, read the guide on boot problems I wrote, here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 28&t=58151 it contains all the info available at this time to solve such problems.
HOW TO GET COMPOSITE VIDEO WORKING WITH NOOBS
Note that when you are using NOOBS, and are using a A/V (or composite RCA) video for a regular TV (or mini display with a composite input) you will not immediately get any picture, you need to press 3 (for PAL), or 4 (for NTSC) repeatedly to switch over from HDMI to composite. you can wait a couple of seconds or so before starting to press 3 and/or 4, as not only does NOOBS need to boot, but it also needs to do some work, before it start listening to the keyboard, (if you are curious if NOOBS looks at the keyboard, press caps lock, if you can toggle the CAPs LED NOOBS has booted and is reading the keyboard).
Keep pressing the 3 or 4 key until video appears, (numpad or regular number keys don't matter, but note that on a French keyboard you do not need to press shift for numbers, as the system assumes an UK keyboard). after settling for either PAL or NTSC the system asks if it can make that choice permanent, do that, and continue with the install. (note this choice will be carried over onto the installed OS, because it will be written into config.txt, overriding the HDMI auto detection of the OS).
Note that if the picture is monochrome, you are using the wrong TV standard, (PAL vs NTSC) try the other one.
And If you are using a B+ A/V cable of unknown origin or type then please note that not all similar looking cables work, with some (camcorder) cables its possible the video comes out of the red plug instead of the yellow (video) plug.
If you are using a HDMI connection, NOOBS should give you a picture automatically, but if it does not, or the picture seems wrong, you can try switching between "safe" and "optimal" HDMI video settings by pressing 1 or 2.
After installing (for example) raspbian, the next reboot will start Raspbian not NOOBS, and Raspbian has a slightly different way with coping with composite video, namely it will look if a HDMI device is connected, and if it doesn't see one it will automatically switch to (NTSC) composite (unless you have saved overruling video setting into config.txt, as said earlier).
If you are using an older PAL TV, you will may only get a monochrome picture, and you may want to change the entry in config.txt that says "sdtv_mode=0" to "sdtv_mode=2" for PAL (full options are here: http://elinux.org/RPiconfig#Video_mode_options ).
You can do that from NOOBS, restart with shift pressed and the PI will boot into NOOBS, press 3 again for a composite picture and choose the option to edit config.txt, edit save and reboot.
If all goes well and the OS boots, the PI will now show a "rainbow screen", (actually four pixels expanded and blended to full screen size by the GPU). Shortly later the ARM processor is started, and the installed OS starts. Raspbian starts by showing a long scrolling text that tells you exactly what the PI is doing to get ready to work. If your PI gets stuck ate this point, you are a PI2B user, and are using obsolete firmware, read the instructions at the bottom of this post.
Once the R-Pi finishes loading, you'll need to put in your user name and password (this information is also located on the downloads page). The default name is "pi", and the default password is "raspberry", but note that when entering the password nothing will be displayed on screen, as a safety measure!
Its possible that this step is skipped the very first time you boot.
After that (but only the first time you boot) you will be presented with the "raspy-config" configuration menu.
you can, (read must) use this to expand the space on your SD-card to the full size of the card, (otherwise not all of the space on the card will be actually used) and to enable overscan for your monitor, and also to set the keyboard configuration, (If you do not use an UK keyboard, but for example an US keyboard, then this is the place where you can switch to an US keyboard layout!) and other basic configuration options such as password and user options.
The menu won't be shown on later boots, but can be recalled at any time by running raspi-config: using:
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sudo shutdown -h now
After that you can turn it off.
You now have finished your first session!
Updating & Upgrading Raspbian
If you are using an older Rasbian distribution, (pre-loaded card) and have an internet connection, (just plug in an Ethernet cable to your ethernet modem should do the trick) you might want to upgrade and update Raspbian to the latest version. To do so reboot Rasbian, and just do:
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sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Info specific for second generation PI2B users
Since the release of the second generation PI 2B, you need releases of NOOBS and Raspbian, that are released after the launch of the PI2B.
If you have a card with raspbian that boots correctly on your old PI, but doesn't boot on the PI2, (gets stuck at the "rainbow screen") the following procedure should result in a card that also works on a PI2
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apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods
A nice starter guide which goes into more details (especially on creating an SD-card) can be found here:
An educational guide with focus on learning to program can be found here:
Finally there is the free monthly magazine, the magpi, which can be found here:
And not to forget, there is an official raspberry PI User Guide, written by RPF members, details can be found here:
Last edit, March 15, 2015