Getting started with Raspberry Pi 3

There are couple of ways to get started with your Raspberry Pi project, one of which is setting up an operating system and software environment including some programming language such as python. This article will go over some of the available options for this setup.

Illustration 1: Raspbian Operating system desktop

Easiest way to start is with NOOBS (New out of box software) installer. It is preconfigured to install Raspbian operating system from the image repository. It is a Debian based linux image officially supported by the manufacturer. Being the default, it is only one of the set of supported operating systems, provided by third parties such as Windows 10 IOT Core, Ubuntu Mate & Snappy Ubuntu Core, OSMC, RISC OS and others. Images can be found here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/.

Once selected and downloaded, OS image should be written to an SD card on the host computer and transferred to the device. When done manually, archive must be unpacked using some tool which supports ZIP64, such as 7-zip (Windows), Unarchiver (Mac) or Unzip (Linux). It is important to make sure that filesystem is FAT32, not exFAT, especially for removable storages larger than 32GB. Recommended tool to write image to the storage is Etcher (https://etcher.io). It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. There are other native and third party tools which will be covered in the future articles. For now we keep focus on the recommended procedure.

Illustration 2:Etcher user interface

Start up Etcher, insert the SD card into the reader and have it formatted. This will empty the SD card and it will be ready to transfer OS image. Select the image file just downloaded to write to the card. Both ‘img’ and ‘zip’ formats will work. Click ‘Flash!’ once you made sure options are set correctly.

When the write procedure completes, transfer SD card from the host machine reader to the Raspberry Pi, start it and boot the OS up. Out of the box distribution supports Python 2 and 3. You can test this by opening the terminal window and typing ‘python’ for Python 2 and ‘python3’ for Python 3. At this point, you can install packages needed for your project, place project scaffoldings and run it.

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