Setting up the software

So you’ve got a Raspberry Pi, and you’ve made sure you have all the physical equipment you need. Now what? It’s time to get yourself an operating system and boot up your Raspberry Pi.

The recommended operating system for use with the Raspberry Pi is called Raspbian with PIXEL. Raspbian is a version of GNU/Linux, designed specifically to work well with the Raspberry Pi. You have several options when it comes to getting hold of a copy of Raspbian:

Install Raspbian with PIXEL using NOOBS

NOOBS stands for New Out Of Box Software, and if you’ve never played around with GNU/Linux before, then it’s the best place to start. To begin with, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve formatted your SD card. You’ll need to either use a computer that has a built-in SD card reader, or use a USB-powered SD card reader.

  1. Visit the SD Association’s website and download SD Formatter 4.0 for either Windows or Mac.
  2. Follow the instructions to install the software.
  3. Insert your SD card into the computer or laptop’s SD card reader and make a note of the drive letter allocated to it, e.g. F:/.
  4. In SD Formatter, select the drive letter for your SD card and format it.

Download NOOBS files then drag and drop

  1. Visit the official Raspberry Pi Downloads page.
  2. Click on NOOBS.
  3. Click on the Download ZIP button under ‘NOOBS (offline and network install)’, and select a folder to save it to.
  4. Extract the files from the zip.
  5. Once your SD card has been formatted, drag all the files in the extracted NOOBS folder and drop them onto the SD card drive.
  6. The necessary files will then be transferred to your SD card.
  7. When this process has finished, safely remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi.

If you encounter problems or have questions please use the comments below to share them and get help

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi and Python

Raspberry Pi Foundation