First taste of the Raspberry Pi …

My Raspberry Pi works!

ImageI received it a few weeks ago, but have been busy doing overtime for work, so it’s taken me a wee while to get all of the bits I needed together and sort everything out. But I finally got it up and running last night 🙂 here’s a quick rundown of the steps to get to this point …

0) Register interest in Pi, wait on waiting list, order, etc …

1) Receive Pi (Model B)

2) Start collecting bits. You need: an SD card (which is effectively its hard drive), a 5V 1A micro-USB power supply (I’m using my kindle charger), a monitor/TV that will take HDMI input (our TV does), an HDMI cable (thank you Argos), USB mouse and keyboard.

3) Sort out the SD card. This was a bit of a faff, but not too difficult. I’m running the recommended Debian “squeeze” image, downloaded from here: (where there are also some instructions). Basically: download the debian file. Unzip. Download a program to write the file onto the SD card (you can’t just copy and paste it on). Open that program, tell it to write the unzipped file onto the SD card. Done!

(I tried to do the SHA-1 hash check thing to make sure that the file I’d downloaded was fine, but couldn’t get that to work, so gave up after a few tries).

4) Connect everything up! It helps if you know the difference between mini- and micro-USB, I had them the wrong way round in my head for a while which was a bit confusing (luckily I have cables for both so it didn’t matter. Plus, you can’t plug the wrong sort of thing in as it won’t fit). Connect the power up last as this will automatically start it up – there’s no “on” button.

5) (assuming you’re using Debian “squeeze” like I am): When you get to the point when it’s asking for a username, use the pre-set-up non-root account: username pi, password raspberry. Then type “startx” to open a graphical user interface (i.e. the sort of desktop thing most people would recognise).


Ta-da! Ready to explore 🙂 this is pretty much as far as I’ve got. More to follow in future, I hope!

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2 Responses to First taste of the Raspberry Pi …

  1. Oh, you’ve beaten me to it! I was just about to buy one of these things, before I bought a new laptop and realised that I would neglect a Pi for weeks, even if I could afford it. (I know they are cheap but I want to buy some accessories for it and use it to record TV!) What will you do with yours? Have you thought about making a box for it out of Lego or cardboard?

    • They’re pretty cool :). I’m not sure if you can just buy them now (i.e. without being on an “I’m interested” waiting list for a while) – might be worth registering your interest if you think you’ll want to get one in the near future?

      I’m not sure what I’ll do with mine! I figured I’d get it first and figure out cool stuff to do afterwards … I think in part it will be a neat way to experiment with having a linux computer. I’ve always run windows and found Linux a little intimidating although desirable; maybe if I get used to Debian my next PC will run on it … (and I can buy a few more SD cards and load different kinds of linux on them for a cheap experiment).

      Definitely going to make a case for it. Lego is a good idea!

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