So, let’s go to the first technical article: How do I start up a RaspberryPi ?!
Now, a few people will think that there are already about a million tutorials on this planet for this topic. Yes, that is probably true. But what I find a pity in many tutorials is that almost everyone requires a certain amount of background knowledge.
I’m trying to write this (and the following) tutorial(s) so that even those who have just learned that there is something like the Internet are able to successfully put a RaspberryPi (RasPi) into operation.
Hints for our lovely english readers: Basically, many of the articles on Nerdiy.de are translations from the original german articles. Therefore, it may happen here and there that some illustrations are not available in english and that some translations are weird/strange/full of mistakes or generally totaly wrong. So if you find some obvious (or also not obvious) mistakes don't hesitate to leave us a hint about that in the comment section.
Also please don't get confused, that instead of a "dot" often a "comma" is used as decimal separator. 🙂
I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance. https://www.nerdiy.de/sicherheitshinweise/
What is the RaspberryPi and what do I need it for?
The RaspberryPi is a small, check card large computer that brings(almost) all the necessary components on a board.
To put it into operation, all you need is a memory card, a microUSB cable + power adapter (almost every mobile phone charger+cable works), a screen and a keyboard. If you want to use it like a real computer, a mouse is still quite helpful.
However, if you want to use the RaspberryPi (and here we come to the “why do I need it?”) To automate something, then you just need the keyboard, screen, and mouse for the setup. Once set up, the RaspberryPi can be operated via network.
The RaspberryPi is by its size, its price (about 40 €), the many connections and the large community very universally applicable. You can use it for various projects. A few of them will be described here.
What can I do with it?
The following projects are only an excerpt:
– Control-computer for a home automation system
– Network hard disk/backup server
– Homemade router
This is a RaspberryPi 3:
In the foreground you can see the four USB 2.0 and the 100Mbps network connection.
The left side shows the headphone, HDMI and microUSB connection.
On the right side is the GPIO pin header, which can be used to connect various sensors/actuators.
To be able to put a RaspberryPi into operation, you have to buy it, of course. I recommend to grab the current version 3, because in addition to the best price/performance ratio it also has an integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interface. This is not the case with the previous versions.
For this you need a power supply to power the RasPi and an SD card to save the operating system of the RasPi.
Below all relevant items are listed.
In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.
Prepare operating system image and programs:
Load Raspian Image:
To get the RasPi up and running, we first need to install an operating system.
Similar to the computer you are using to read these lines, the RasPi needs an operating system. In essence, this is a (slightly more complicated) piece of software that controls the RasPi and gives you a surface to control it over.
There are different versions and types. The simplest is also the one that is recommended by the manufacturer. It is called “Raspian”. The manufacturer of the RasPi has tailored this operating system specifically for the RasPi and also makes it available as a free download.
That means before we can install it, we first have to copy it to our computer.
For this we go to the manufacturer side: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/
Prepare operating system image and programs:
And then in the area of “Raspbian Stretch with desktop” on “Download ZIP”.
This will open a download window.
Now the Raspian image will be copied to your computer.
This can take a while, depending on the size of the image (Raspian is constantly evolving and may later require more or less disk space) and the speed of your Internet connection.
What you just copied there on the computer is an image of the entire operating system Raspian. The advantage of an image is that you can write it as it is on the SD card. This makes the installation process a little easier.
Load Win32 Disk Imager:
To copy the image onto the SD card, we need another tool: the “Win32 Disk Imager”. This can also be downloaded for free at: https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/files/Archive/
Now you see a list. There are different program versions listed. You now need the latest version of the program that contains the suffix “binary”. Currently this is the “Win32DiskImager-1.0.0-binary.zip”. (There may be new versions of this program coming soon, then the 1.0.0 will become a higher number (version number). Always select the version with the highest version number and the suffix “binary”.)
Load SD Formatter
To prepare the SD card on which we will then copy the image we need another program. Before we copy the image to the SD card, this must first be formatted. To do this, we download the program “SD Formatter” at https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/.
If you open the link you will find the download link to the program below (see screenshot).
Click on “For Windows”. On the next website you have to accept the “Eula”.
Prepare SD Card
Now that you have prepared all necessary programs, it is time to prepare your SD card. It works like the hard disk of your computer. The operating system is loadedfrom it and it can also used to stor data.
Take your SD card and put it in the card reader of your computer. The SD card should be recognized.
Install and open the previously downloaded program “SD Formatter”.
In order to format your SD card you have to select the appropriate drive letter of your SD card under “Select Card”. If you are not sure about the right drive letter, remove your SD card again from the card reader. Now click Refresh and remember all the drive letters available in the selection box. Now put your SD card back in the card reader and after you have clicked on “Refresh” again a new drive letter should have been added. This will be the drive letter of your SD card.
The remaining settings should be the same as shown in the picture.
Now you click on “Format” in the lower right corner.
Confirm a possibly warning that all data on the SD card will be deleted. The formatting process should then start.
Once the formatting process is complete click on “OK” and close the program. The setup of your SD card is now complete.
Write an image to the SD card
To write now the downloaded Raspian image on the SD card, we need the also downloaded program “Win32DiskImager …”
To unpack it, it is best to right-click on the archive and then “Unzip to Win32DiskImager …”.
The archive is then unpacked into a new folder. From this folder you can start the program by starting the file “Win32DiskImager.exe”.
To unpack the image you need WinRar.
The started program should now look like this.
In order to perform the copy of the image we have to setup a few things.
Under “Disk” you must again set the drive letter of your SD card. This should similar to on You used for formatting the SD card.
Under “Image file” you have to select the previously downloaded and unpacked Raspian image file.
All other settings should look like the screenshot of the program.
To start the writing process you have to click on “Write”.
The writing process is now running. You can recognize this by the “growing” green loading bar.
The whole writing process takes 5-15 minutes. So enough time to get a new coffee. Most of the work has been done so far. 🙂
After completing the writing process, you should receive the message “writing was successful”.
You can confirm this with “OK” and then close the program.
Connect and start up RaspberryPi
In order to finally put the RaspberryPi into operation you have to connect it to the keyboard, mouse, monitor and the power supply and insert the SD card.
Insert SD card
Put the RasPI in front of you and turn it on the back. You now see the silver SD card slot on the left side. In this the SD card needs to be pushed.
Connect mouse and keyboard
Connect power supply or microUSB cable
The micro-USB cable will power your RasPi. For this almost every mobile phone charging cable and power supply can be used. You should, however, make sure that your power supply (the part that is plugged into the socket) has enough power. You can recognize this by the printed maximum current. Somewhere on the power supply you should find an indication of the amperage. This is specified either with the unit “mA” or “A” and should be greater or equal to 2000mA or 2A. More is also okay but it should not be less.
Connect HDMI cable
For the first Setup of the RaspPi you also have to connect it to a monitor. The RasPi is equipped with a HDMI port for this job. That means you also need a screen or TV with HDMI connection.
After you made the inital setup of the RasPi, you can also run the RasPi without a connected monitor.
First start of the RaspberryPi
Your RasPi is now ready to start for the first time.
For this, the RasPi has no “on-switch”. As soon as the microUSB cable is plugged in, it starts.
So as soon as you have turned on the screen and powered the RasPi via a USB power adapter, it should start.
Now there are a few basic settings that should be made at the beginning.
How to do it, what to do and why you should do it is explained in the article
RaspberryPI – The first configuration.
I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂
P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂