- BUYING AND SHIPPING
- What is the username and password for the Raspberry Pi?
- Why does nothing happen when I type in my password? Did my Raspberry Pi freeze?
- What are the differences between Raspberry Pi models?
- How do I connect a mouse and keyboard?
- Where is the on/off switch?
- What is NOOBS?
- When will the next model of the Raspberry Pi be released?
- What are the dimensions of the Raspberry Pi?
- What hardware documentation is available?
- What SoC are you using?
- What is an SoC?
- Why did you select the SoC?
- How does it boot?
- Do you sell a self-assembly kit?
- PERFORMANCE AND COST CONSIDERATIONS
- How powerful is it?
- Does it overclock?
- Does it need a heatsink?
- What hardware interfaces does it have?
- Why is there no real-time clock (RTC)?
- Can I add extra memory?
- Why doesn’t the Raspberry Pi include <insert name> piece of hardware or <insert name> sort of port?
- What is its operating temperature?
- SD CARDS AND STORAGE
- NETWORKING, USB, AND WIRELESS
- EDUCATIONAL USES
- ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IS A RASPBERRY PI?
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer which can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word processing, browsing the internet, and playing games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by adults and children all over the world to learn programming and digital making. You can read more about the Raspberry Pi here. -Introduction -Top
2. CAN I BUY SHARES IN THE RASPBERRY PI FOUNDATION?
BUYING AND SHIPPING
1. WHERE CAN I BUY A RASPBERRY PI?
You can buy a Raspberry Pi from our main distributors, Premier Farnell/Element14 and RS Components/Allied Electronics. Both distributors sell all over the world. There are also many resellers of Raspberry Pis, both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores. -Buying and Shipping -Top
2. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
|Raspberry Pi Model A+||$20|
|Raspberry Pi Model B+||$25|
|Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||$35|
|Raspberry Pi 3 Model B||$35|
|Raspberry Pi Zero||$5|
|Raspberry Pi Zero W||$10|
3. WHAT DO I GET WHEN I BUY ONE?
You get the Raspberry Pi board itself. A power supply and SD card are not included, but can be purchased at the same time from most places that sell the Raspberry Pi. You can also purchase pre-loaded SD cards; we recommend buying these from us or our licensed distributors rather than from third parties on eBay, as our software is updated regularly and cards sold by third parties can quickly become outdated. -Buying and Shipping -Top
4. WHY IS THE PRICE IN US DOLLARS? YOU ARE A UK COMPANY!
The components we buy are priced in dollars, and we negotiate manufacturing in dollars. Because currency markets are so volatile, we price the final board in dollars as well so we don’t have to keep changing the price. -Buying and Shipping -Top
5. CAN I BUY A RASPBERRY PI KIT?
Raspberry Pi resellers produce some fantastic bundles for people who would rather get everything they need from a single source. In 2016, we put together our own Raspberry Pi Official Starter Kit. The kit is available to order online in the UK from our partners element14 and RS Components, priced at £99+VAT, and from distributors and resellers around the world. -Buying and Shipping -Top
6. IS THERE A BUY-ONE-GIVE-ONE PROGRAMME?
Not at the current time. We may implement a programme of this sort one day, but the scale of an undertaking like this is something our small team isn’t equipped to handle. You can, of course, simply buy an extra Raspberry Pi to donate to the person or organisation of your choice. -Buying and Shipping -Top
7. IS THE DEVICE AVAILABLE INTERNATIONALLY?
8. I WANT TO BE A RASPBERRY PI RESELLER.
We have an exclusive manufacturing and distribution arrangement with RS and Farnell. Resellers buy the Raspberry Pi in bulk from them (which reduces shipping costs to nearly nothing) and sell on. You do not need any special license to resell, and the distributors are very happy to sell on to resellers. Unfortunately, because of the way the pricing model works, and the fact that we are a charity, you will have to buy in very large quantities before you will qualify for any bulk discount; what most resellers are doing is using the resale process as a way to sell high-margin peripherals and so on. -Buying and Shipping -Top
1. WHAT IS THE USERNAME AND PASSWORD FOR THE RASPBERRY PI?
The default username for Raspbian is “pi” (without any quotation marks) and the default password is “raspberry” (again, do not include the quotation marks). If this does not work, check the information about your specific distro on the downloads page. -General -Top
2. WHY DOES NOTHING HAPPEN WHEN I TYPE IN MY PASSWORD? DID MY RASPBERRY PI FREEZE?
To protect your information, Linux does not display anything when you are entering passwords in the Bash prompt or the terminal. As long as you were able to see the username being typed in, your keyboard is working correctly. -General -Top
3. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MODELS?
These are the models of the Raspberry Pi which are currently available: the Pi 3 Model B, the Pi 2 Model B, the Pi Zero, the Pi Zero W and the Pi 1 Model B+ and A+.
|Raspberry Pi Model A+||BCM2835||700Mhz||512MB||1||No||No|
|Raspberry Pi Model B+||BCM2835||700Mhz||512MB||4||Yes||No|
|Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||BCM2836 or BCM2837||900Mhz||1GB||4||Yes||No|
|Raspberry Pi 3 Model B||BCM2837||1200Mhz||1GB||4||Yes||Yes|
|Raspberry Pi Zero||BCM2835||1000Mhz||512MB||1||No||No|
|Raspberry Pi Zero W||BCM2835||1000Mhz||512MB||1||No||Yes|
The Model A+ is the low-cost variant of the Raspberry Pi. It has 512MB RAM (as of August 2016: earlier models have 256MB), one USB port, 40 GPIO pins, and no Ethernet port. The Model B+ is the final revision of the original Raspberry Pi. It has 512MB RAM, four USB ports, 40 GPIO pins, and an Ethernet port.
In February 2015, it was superseded by the Pi 2 Model B, the second generation of the Raspberry Pi. The Pi 2 shares many specs with the Pi 1 B+, and originally used a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and has 1GB RAM. Some recent version of the Pi 2 (v1.2) now use a 900Mhz ARM Cortex-A53 CPU.
The Pi 3 Model B was launched in February 2016. It uses a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, has 1GB RAM, integrated 802.11n wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.1. and is the model we recommend for use in schools, due to its flexibility for the learner.
The Pi Zero and Pi Zero W are half the size of a Model A+, with a 1Ghz single-core CPU and 512MB RAM, and mini-HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports and a camera connector. The Pi ZeroW also has integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1.
The final model (not described in the table above) is the compute module (CM), which is intended for industrial applications. It is a small form factor device that connects to a carrier board, for example a circuit board inside an industrial product, and gives manufacturers an easy way to use the Raspberry Pi ecosystem in their own devices.
You can check our products pages for more details on current boards. There are also some models of Raspberry Pi which are no longer in production, but which may be available second-hand or from resellers. The Model A was the initial low-cost variant of the Pi. It was replaced by the smaller, neater Model A+ in November 2014; it shares the same specs as the A+, but has only 26 GPIO pins and 128MB of RAM. The Model B was the previous incarnation of the B+; again, it shares most of the same specs, but has only two USB ports and 26 GPIO pins. The original version of the Pi Zero did not come with a camera connector, but all current versions have the connector as standard. -General -Top
4. HOW DO I CONNECT A MOUSE AND KEYBOARD?
The Model A/A+ has one USB port, the Model B has two ports, and the Model B+, Pi 2 Model B, and Pi 3 Model B have four ports. These can be used to connect most USB 2.0 devices. Additional USB devices such as mice, keyboards, network adapters, and external storage can be connected via a USB hub. The Pi Zero and Pi Zero W have a single micro USB port, this requires a USB OTG cable to connect devices such as keyboards or hubs. -General -Top
5. WHERE IS THE ON/OFF SWITCH?
There is no on/off switch! To switch on, just plug it in. To switch off, if you are in the graphical environment, you can either log out from the main menu, exit to the Bash prompt, or open the terminal. From the Bash prompt or terminal you can shut down the Raspberry Pi by entering “sudo halt -h” (without the quotation marks). Wait until all the LEDs except the power LED are off, then wait an additional second to make sure the SD card can finish its wear-levelling tasks and write actions. You can now safely unplug the Raspberry Pi. Failure to shut the Raspberry Pi down properly may corrupt your SD card, which would mean you would have to re-image it. -General -Top
6. WHAT IS NOOBS?
NOOBS stands for New Out of Box Software. It is our recommended installation method. It allows you to install the distro of your choice, even if you have little to no computing or Linux experience. You can learn more about NOOBS here. -General -Top
7. WHEN WILL THE NEXT MODEL OF THE RASPBERRY PI BE RELEASED?
As of February 2016, the third generation of the Model B Raspberry Pi has been released. Beyond this revision, which upgraded the main processor on the board to a 64-bit version, there are no immediate plans to release any more new models. We concentrate our engineering effort on making the software that runs on the Raspberry Pi faster and better all the time, which is why you should always ensure that you are running the most recent firmware. -General -Top
8. WHAT ARE THE DIMENSIONS OF THE RASPBERRY PI?
The Raspberry Pi Model B versions measure 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm (or roughly 3.37″ x 2.21″ x 0.83″), with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. They weighs 45g. The Pi Zero and Pi Zero W measure 65mm x 30mm x 5.4mm (or roughly 2.56″ x 1.18″ x 0.20″) and weighs 9g. For the mechanical outline, please see the documentation here. -General -Top
9. WHAT HARDWARE DOCUMENTATION IS AVAILABLE?
10. WHAT SoC ARE YOU USING?
All models of Raspberry Pi use Broadcom SoC’s, containing a Videocore4 GPU, but with various ARM CPU cores.
The original Raspberry Pi used a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains a single core ARM1176JZFS with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of Blu-ray-quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core, accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG libraries.
The Pi 2 Model B originally used the Broadcom BCM2836. This contains a quad-core ARM Cortex-a7 processor with floating point and NEON, running at 900MHz, and the same Videocore 4 GPU that is in the earlier models of Raspberry Pi.
The Pi 3 Model B uses the Broadcom BCM2837, containing a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 running at 1.2GHz. Its GPU capabilities are equivalent to the Pi 2.
11. WHAT IS AN SoC?
A System on a Chip (SoC) is a method of placing all necessary electronics for running a computer on a single chip. Instead of having an individual chip for the CPU, GPU, USB controller, RAM, northbridge, southbridge, and so on, everything is compressed down into one tidy package. -General -Top
12. WHY DID YOU SELECT THE SoC?
13. HOW DOES IT BOOT?
As standard, all the files necessary for booting are installed in a FAT32 partition of the SD card. The latest firmware/software, however, allows booting to be set up without an SD card, for example from a USB stick or other mass storage device. -General -Top
14. DO YOU SELL A SELF-ASSEMBLY KIT?
No. It would be too expensive for us to provide kits alongside finished boards, which would mean introducing another step in manufacturing. A kit would also be impossible to hand-solder. We use special equipment (robots!) to solder on the BGA package and other tiny components. -General -Top
PERFORMANCE AND COST CONSIDERATIONS
1. HOW POWERFUL IS IT?
The GPU provides OpenGL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile encode and decode. The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure. This means that graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to the original Xbox’s level of performance. Overall real-world performance for models A, A+, B, B+, CM, Zero and Zero W is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much better graphics. The Pi 2 Model B is approximately equivalent to an Athlon Thunderbird running at 1.1GHz: again, it has the much higher-quality graphics that come from using the same GPU as in previous models. The Pi 3 Model B is around twice as fast as the Pi 2 Model B, depending on the benchmarks chosen. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
2. DOES IT OVERCLOCK?
The Raspberry Pi models A, A+, B, and B+ operate at 700 MHz by default. Most devices will run happily at 800MHz. The Pi 2 Model B operates at 900MHz by default and should run quite happily at 1000MHz. The Pi 3 Model B runs at 1.2GHz but there are no standard overclocking settings for this model. In the latest Raspbian distro, there is an option to change the overclocking options on first boot and at any time afterwards, without voiding your warranty, by running “sudo raspi-config”. You can download the Raspbian image directly or install it via the NOOBS installer, both available on our downloads page. It should be noted, however, that these are experimental settings and that not every board will be able to run stably at the highest setting. If you experience problems, try reducing the overclocking settings until stability is restored. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
3. DOES IT NEED A HEATSINK?
You should not need to use a heatsink, as the chip used in the Raspberry Pi is equivalent to one used in a mobile phone, and should not become hot enough to require any special cooling. However, depending on the case you are using and the overclocking settings, you might find a heatsink to be advantageous. We do recommend the use of a heatsink if you are overclocking the Pi 3 Model B. Of course, if you just like the look of one, you will not hurt the Raspberry Pi by placing an appropriately-sized heatsink on it. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
4. WHAT HARDWARE INTERFACES DOES IT HAVE?
Depending on the model, the Raspberry Pi has either 40 or 26 dedicated GPIO pins. In all cases, these include a UART, an I2C bus, a SPI bus with two chip selects, I2S audio, 3V3, 5V, and ground. The maximum number of GPIOs can theoretically be indefinitely expanded by making use of the I2C or SPI bus.
5. WHY IS THERE NO REAL-TIME CLOCK (RTC)?
The expectation is that non-network-connected units will have their clocks updated manually at startup. Adding an RTC is surprisingly expensive once you have factored in batteries, area, and components, and would have pushed us above our target price. You can add one yourself using the GPIO pins if you’d like an interesting electronics project. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
6. CAN I ADD EXTRA MEMORY?
No. The RAM on the model A, A+, B, B+, and Zero is a Package on Package (POP) on top of the SoC, so it is not removable or swappable. The RAM on the Pi 2 and 3 Model B versions is on a separate chip on the bottom of the PCB, but 1GB is the maximum RAM that the SoC used by the Pi 2 and 3 Model B versions can support. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
7. WHY DOESN’T THE RASPBERRY PI INCLUDE <INSERT NAME> PIECE OF HARDWARE OR <INSERT NAME> SORT OF PORT?
Our main aim is a charitable one: we are trying to build the cheapest possible computer that provides a certain basic level of functionality, and keeping the price low means we’ve had to make hard decisions about what hardware and interfaces to include. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
8. WHAT IS ITS OPERATING TEMPERATURE?
The Raspberry Pi is built from commercial chips which are qualified to different temperature ranges; the LAN9514 (LAN9512 on older models with 2 USB ports) is specified by the manufacturers as being qualified from 0°C to 70°C, while the SoC is qualified from -40°C to 85°C. You may well find that the board will work outside those temperatures, but we’re not qualifying the board itself to these extremes. -Performance and Cost Considerations -Top
1. WHAT IS THE CAMERA MODULE?
The Camera Module is a small PCB that connects to the CSI-2 camera port on the Raspberry Pi using a short ribbon cable. It provides connectivity for a camera capable of capturing still images or video recordings. The camera connects to the Image System Pipeline (ISP) in the Raspberry Pi’s SoC, where the incoming camera data is processed and eventually converted to an image or video on the SD card (or other storage). You can read more about the Camera Module here. -Camera -Top
2. WHAT MODEL OF CAMERA DOES THE CAMERA MODULE USE?
3. WHAT RESOLUTIONS ARE SUPPORTED?
The Camera Module V2 is capable of taking photos up to 8 megapixels (8MP). It supports 1080p30, 720p60 and VGA90 video modes, as well as still capture. The original Camera Module is capable of taking photos up to 5 megapixels and can record video at resolutions up to 1080p30. -Camera -Top
4. WHICH PICTURE FORMATS ARE SUPPORTED?
The Raspberry Pi Camera Modules supports raw capturing (Bayer data direct from the sensor) or encoding as JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP, uncompressed YUV, and uncompressed RGB photos. They can record video as H.264, baseline, main, and high-profile formats. -Camera -Top
5. HOW DO I USE THE CAMERA?
There a number of command line applications provided for stills and video output. These applications provide the typical features you might find on a compact camera, such as set image size, compression quality, exposure mode, and ISO. See the documentation for more details. -Camera -Top
6. CAN I EXTEND THE RIBBON CABLE?
7. CAN I HAVE A CAMERA WITH MORE MEGAPIXELS?
8. HOW MUCH POWER DOES THE CAMERA MODULE USE?
The Raspberry Pi Camera Modules requires 250mA to operate. Ensure that your power supply can provide enough power for the connected Camera Module, as well as for the Raspberry Pi itself and any peripherals directly attached to it. -Camera -Top
1. DOES IT COME WITH A CASE?
An official case for the Raspberry Pi is available from our distributors. There are also lots of homebrew case discussions on the forum, as well as several third-party cases available. We suggest stopping by the cases sub-forum and reading some of the threads about cases you can purchase or build yourself. -Cases -Top
2. DOES IT FIT IN AN ALTOIDS TIN?
It is possible to make a case for the Raspberry Pi out of an Altoids tin: there are instructions given in a forum post here (the directions are also available as an Instructables guide). However, you may find that this is not possible with older boards, as their form factors are not as neat. You can, of course, fit a Pi Zero into an Altoids tin with room to spare. -Cases -Top
1. WHAT DISPLAYS CAN I USE?
There is composite and HDMI out on the board, so you can hook it up to an old analogue TV through the composite or through a composite to scart connector, to a digital TV or to a DVI monitor (using a cheap, passive HDMI to DVI cable for the DVI). For the Model B+, Pi 2, and Pi 3, the RCA composite jack has been replaced with a 3.5mm jack that combines audio and video in one. You’ll need a 3.5mm to 3RCA adapter cable to connect it to an older TV. There are many different types of this cable out there, but you want to purchase one that is compatible with the iPod Video (the iPod will have the left and right audio channels reversed, but the version of Raspbian included with NOOBS can swap this for you). The Pi Zero uses a mini-HDMI port.
There is no VGA support, but active adapters are available. Passive HDMI to VGA cables will not work with the Raspberry Pi. When purchasing an active VGA adapter, make sure it comes with an external power supply. HDMI to VGA adapters without an external power supply often fail to work. -Video -Top
2. DOES THE HDMI PORT SUPPORT CEC?
3. WHY IS THERE NO VGA SUPPORT?
The chip we use supports HDMI and composite outputs but does not support VGA. VGA is considered to be an end-of-life technology, so supporting it doesn’t fit with our plans at the moment. However, if you really want to use a VGA monitor with a Raspberry Pi then it is possible using an HDMI to VGA adapter. -Video -Top
4. CAN I ADD A TOUCHSCREEN?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides a 7″ capacitive touchscreen that utilises the Raspberry Pi’s DSI port. This is available through the usual distributors. Alternatively, several third-party retailers offer a range of touchscreens for the Raspberry Pi. -Video -Top
5. WHAT CODECS CAN IT PLAY?
The Raspberry Pi can encode (record) and decode (play) H.264 (MP4/MKV) out of the box. There are also two additional codecs you can purchase through our Swag Store that enable you to decode MPEG-2, a very popular and widely used format to encode DVDs, video camera recordings, TV and many others, and VC-1, a Microsoft format found in Blu-ray discs, Windows Media, Slingbox, and HD-DVDs. -Video -Top
1. IS SOUND OVER HDMI SUPPORTED?
2. WHAT ABOUT STANDARD AUDIO IN AND OUT?
There is a standard 3.5mm jack for audio out to an amplifier. You can add any supported USB microphone for audio in or, using the I2S interface, you can add a codec for additional audio I/O. -Audio -Top
1. WHAT ARE THE POWER REQUIREMENTS?
The device is powered by 5V micro-USB. Exactly how much current (mA) the Raspberry Pi requires is dependent on which model you are using, and what you hook up to it. We recommend a 2.5A (2500mA) power supply, from a reputable retailer, that will provide you with enough power to run your Raspberry Pi for most applications, including use of the 4 USB ports. Very high-demand USB devices may however require the use of a powered hub. The table below outlines the specific power requirements of each model.
|Product||Recommended PSU current capacity||Maximum total USB peripheral current draw||Typical bare-board active current consumption|
|Raspberry Pi Model A||700mA||500mA||200mA|
|Raspberry Pi Model B||1.2A||500mA||500mA|
|Raspberry Pi Model A+||700mA||500mA||180mA|
|Raspberry Pi Model B+||1.8A||600mA/1.2A (switchable)||330mA|
|Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||1.8A||600mA/1.2A (switchable)||350mA|
|Raspberry Pi 3 Model B||2.5A||1.2A||400mA|
|Raspberry Pi Zero W||1.2A||Limited by PSU, board, and connector ratings only.||150mA|
|Raspberry Pi Zero||1.2A||Limited by PSU, board, and connector ratings only||100mA|
The specific current requirements of each model are dependent on the use case: the PSU recommendations are based on “typical maximum” current consumption, the typical current consumption is for each board in a “desktop computer” configuration. The Raspberry Pi Model A, A+, and B can supply a maximum of 500mA to downstream USB peripherals. If you wish to connect a high-power USB device, it is recommended that you connect a powered USB hub to the Pi and connect your peripherals to the USB hub. The Raspberry Pi B+ and 2 Model B can supply 600mA/1.2A to downstream USB peripherals, switchable by a firmware setting. This allows the vast majority of USB devices to be connected directly to these models, assuming the upstream power supply has sufficient available current. Very high-current devices or devices which can draw a surge current such as certain modems and USB hard disks will still require an external powered USB hub. The power requirements of the Raspberry Pi increase as you make use of the various interfaces on the Raspberry Pi. The GPIO pins can draw 50mA safely (note that that means 50mA distributed across all the pins: an individual GPIO pin can only safely draw 16mA), the HDMI port uses 50mA, the Camera Module requires 250mA, and keyboards and mice can take as little as 100mA or as much as 1000mA! Check the power rating of the devices you plan to connect to the Pi and purchase a power supply accordingly. If you’re not sure, we would advise you to buy a powered hub.
Here is a table comparing the amount of power drawn in A (amps) under different situations:
|Pi1 (B+)||Pi2 B||Pi3 B (amps)||Zero (amps)|
|Video playback (H.264)||Max||0.30||0.36||0.55||0.23|
Test conditions used a standard Raspbian image (current as of 26 Feb 2016), at room temperature, connected to a HDMI monitor, USB keyboard and mouse. The Pi 3 Model B was connected to a WiFi access point. All these power measurements do not take into account power consumption from additional USB devices; they can easily be exceeded with multiple additional USB devices connected or when using a HAT. -Power -Top
2. CAN I POWER THE RASPBERRY PI FROM A USB HUB?
It depends on the hub. Some hubs comply with the USB 2.0 Standard and only provide 500mA per port, which may not be enough to power your Raspberry Pi. Other hubs view the USB standards more like guidelines, and will provide as much power as you want from each port. Please also be aware that some hubs have been known to “backfeed” the Raspberry Pi. This means that the hubs will power the Raspberry Pi through its USB input cable, without the need for a separate micro-USB power cable, and bypass the voltage protection. If you are using a hub that “backfeeds” to the Raspberry Pi and the hub experiences a power surge, your Raspberry Pi could potentially be damaged. -Power -Top
3. CAN I POWER THE RASPBERRY PI FROM BATTERIES AS WELL AS FROM A WALL SOCKET?
Running the Raspberry Pi directly from batteries requires special care and can result in damaging or destroying your Raspberry Pi. If you consider yourself an advanced user, though, you could have a go. For example, four AA rechargeable batteries would provide 4.8V on a full charge. 4.8V would technically be just within the range of tolerance for the Raspberry Pi, but the system would quickly become unstable as the batteries lost their full charge. Conversely, using four AA Alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries will result in 6V. 6V is outside the acceptable tolerance range and would potentially damage or, in the worst-case scenario, destroy your Raspberry Pi. It is possible to provide a steady 5V from batteries by using a buck and/or boost circuit, or by using a charger pack which is specifically designed to output a steady 5V from a couple of batteries; these devices are typically marketed as mobile phone emergency battery chargers. -Power -Top
4. IS POWER OVER ETHERNET (PoE) POSSIBLE?
1. WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM (OS) DOES IT USE?
There are several official distributions (distros) available on our downloads page. New users will probably find the NOOBS installer the easiest to work with, as it walks you through the download and installation of a specific distro. The recommended distro is Raspbian, which is specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi and which our engineers are constantly optimising. It is, however, a straightforward process to replace the root partition on the SD card with another ARM Linux distro, so we encourage you to try out several distros to see which one you like the most. The OS is stored on the SD card. -Software -Top
2. DOES IT HAVE AN OFFICIAL PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends Python as a language for learners. We also recommend Scratch for younger children. Any language which will compile for ARMv6 (Pi 1) or ARMv7 (Pi 2) can be used with the Raspberry Pi, though, so you are not limited to using Python. C, C++, Java, Scratch, and Ruby all come installed by default on the Raspberry Pi. -Software -Top
3. WILL IT RUN WINE (OR WINDOWS, OR OTHER X86 SOFTWARE)?
In general, this is not possible with most versions of the Raspberry Pi. Some people have put Windows 3.1 on the Raspberry Pi inside an x86 CPU emulator in order to use specific applications, but trying to use a version of Windows even as recent as Windows 98 can take hours to boot into, and may take several more hours to update your cursor every time you try to move it. We don’t recommend it! As of summer 2015, a version of Windows 10 is available for use on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. This is an entirely new version of the operating system designed exclusively for embedded use, dubbed the Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT) Core. It does not include the user interface (“shell”) or the desktop operating system. -Software -Top
4. WILL IT RUN THE WINDOWS 8 ARM EDITION?
No. Most models of Raspberry Pi lack the minimum memory and CPU requirements to support Winodws 8 ARM edition. The Raspberry Pi also lacks the appropriate axis sensors, and there are many other limiting factors which mean that running Windows 8 ARM edition is not possible. -Software -Top
5. WHAT LINUX DISTROS RUN ON THE PI?
Raspbian (based on Debian), Arch Linux run on the Raspberry Pi 1, 2, and 3. Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu Snappy Core run on Pi 2 and 3 only. There are also other community-developed distributions available. See our downloads page for more information. -Software -Top
6. WILL IT RUN ANDROID?
No. While a version of Android can be found in the forum, it is not stable enough for everyday use. There are no plans to continue working on it, as Android does not provide any enhancement to educational purposes that are not already fulfilled more readily with existing software – we see it as a platform for consumption, not creation. -Software -Top
7. WILL IT RUN <INSERT NAME OF PROGRAM HERE>
In general, you need to look to see whether the program you want can be compiled for the ARMv6 (Pi 1/0/0W/CM), ARMv7 (Pi 2) or ARMv8 (Pi 3) architecture on Linux. In most cases, the answer will be yes. Specific programs are discussed on our forum, so you might want to look there for an answer. Ultimately, nothing beats grabbing a Raspberry Pi and finding out the answer through direct testing! -Software -Top
SD CARDS AND STORAGE
1. WHAT SIZE SD CARD DO I NEED?
Whether you want to use the NOOBS installer or a standalone distro image, the minimum size SD card we recommend using is 8GB. This will give you the free space you need to install additional packages or make programs of your own. The original Raspberry Pi Model A and Raspberry Pi Model B require full-size SD cards. The newer Raspberry Pi Model A+, Raspberry Pi Model B+, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi Zero W, and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B require micro SD cards. -SD Cards and Storage -Top
2. WHAT SIZE SD CARD CAN IT SUPPORT?
3. WHAT HAPPENS IF I BRICK THE DEVICE?
NETWORKING, USB AND WIRELESS
1. DOES THE DEVICE SUPPORT NETWORKING?
The Model B, Model B+, and Pi 2 and 3 Model B versions of the device have built in 10/100 wired Ethernet. There is no Ethernet on the Model A, Model A+, and Zero versions. -Networking, USB, and Wireless -Top
2. IS THERE BUILT-IN WIFI?
Only the Pi 3 and Pi Zero W have built in WiFi, but all other models can support a USB WiFi dongle. The Foundation offers its own branded WiFi dongle which has been fully tested for use with the Raspberry Pi. It is available through our distributors. You can, of course, use a dongle from another provider if you wish. -Networking, USB, and Wireless -Top
3. IS THERE BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH?
4. WHY IS THERE NO GIGABIT ETHERNET?
The Ethernet is attached via the USB 2.0 bus, so the upstream bandwidth would not support Gigabit. You can use a USB2.0 Gigabit adapter if required, but you will not get gigabit speeds due to the USB limitation. -Networking, USB, and Wireless -Top
5. DOES THE DEVICE HAVE SUPPORT FOR ANY FORM OF NETBOOTING OR PXE?
Yes. The Raspberry Pi 3 can be set up to network boot without an SD card present; earlier models can PXE/Netboot with an appropriately set up SD card.
There is also PiNet, which is a free and open-source community-based project initially designed for schools. Each Raspberry Pi boots off a small set of startup files on an SD card and fetches the rest of the data it needs from the PiNet server, thereby allowing you to maintain a single operating system image for all the Raspberry Pis. PiNet also adds network user accounts, shared folders and automated backups. -Networking, USB, and Wireless -Top
6. HOW DO YOU CONNECT MORE USB DEVICES?
Use a USB hub to increase the number of ports. Some keyboards have USB hubs built in which would work well. It is highly recommended that you use a powered USB hub. -Networking, USB, and Wireless -Top
1. WHAT EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IS AVAILABLE?
There are many books about the Raspberry Pi available. For children, we particularly recommend Adventures in Raspberry Pi by Carrie Anne Philbin, who works with us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Check out our resources pages for free educational materials: we are always adding to these. You’ll find complete schemes of work linked to the England, Wales, and NI curriculum, as well as resources for independent and informal learning. We also offer free online training materials for educators and other interested users. -Educational Uses -Top
I STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!
Read the sticky subjects in the Beginners subforum and check the help pages for more information. If the answer is not there, ask in the forums, where there are lots of helpful Raspberry Pi owners, users, and fans who will be more than happy to help you out. -Additional Questions -Top