Note: we’re not really here today; we’ve just dropped by to make sure you know how to get started with your new Raspberry Pi gifts. We’ll be off now to get the potatoes into the oven and have a glass of sherry. See you in 2022!
Was there a shiny new Raspberry Pi gift among your Christmas presents? Whether you’ve unwrapped a classic Raspberry Pi or one of our other products, read on to find out how to get started.
First of all, welcome to the Raspberry Pi community! We’re
notoriously famously sociable around here, and you can shoot the breeze with us and other Raspberry Pi-appreciating folks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Share a photo of your new Christmas present on social media and tag us — we’d love to see your gifts and find out what you’re planning to do with them.
While you’re looking us up, you’ll probably come across our parent charity, the Raspberry Pi Foundation. We over here at Raspberry Pi Ltd engineer, make, and sell Raspberry Pi computers, as well as lots of other good stuff; the profits from the sale of these products help fund the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission to put the power of computing into the hands of people all over the world.
The Foundation makes learning materials for students and online training courses for teachers. It sends Raspberry Pis to space so that kids can run experiments on the International Space Station, and runs Code Clubs and CoderDojos for children all around the world.
Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer Kit
If you have a Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer Kit, all you have to do is find a monitor (or a TV), plug in, and you’re ready to go.
Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, and Raspberry Pi 400 on its own
Whether you’ve received the classic credit card-sized Raspberry Pi 4, our tiny new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, or a Raspberry Pi 400 unit that didn’t come with a kit, you’ll need a mouse and a good power supply as well as a screen, and you might need a keyboard too. You’ll also need adapters or cables for the mini HDMI and micro USB ports on Raspberry Pi Zero 2, or the micro HDMI port on Raspberry Pi 4 and 400. You might have these bits and pieces lying around, but if you’re missing anything, good quality Raspberry Pi power supplies and cables are available from Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers.
You might find it helpful to get your hands on the official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide; you can get it from the Raspberry Pi Press online store, or download a free PDF, courtesy of The MagPi magazine.
Lastly, you’ll need to set up a microSD card with our operating system, Raspberry Pi OS. Read on to find out how to do that.
Raspberry Pi OS
Raspberry Pi OS is our official supported operating system.
The easiest way to install Raspberry Pi OS onto your microSD card is by using Raspberry Pi Imager. It’s super simple. Watch the 40-second video below to find out what you need to do.
If you’ll be using our Beginner’s Guide to help you get up and running with your new computer, choose Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy) under Raspberry Pi OS (other) when you use Imager to set up your microSD card, to make sure what you see on your screen matches what’s in the book; the book is a little behind our most recent software update. (We’re working on an updated edition for our newest version of Raspberry Pi OS, and we’ll be releasing this next year — we’ll tell you all about it here when we do.) Otherwise, choose the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS, which will always appear at the top of Raspberry Pi Imager’s list of operating systems.
Raspberry Pi Pico
A very exciting thing happened here in January: we launched Raspberry Pi Pico, our first microcontroller board. If you found one of these in your stocking this morning, you’ll want to head over to our Raspberry Pi Pico documentation, where we’ve put together everything you need to get the most from it.
Or if you’re new to this sort of thing, we’ve put together a book to help you get going: buy Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico from the Raspberry Pi Press online store, or download a free PDF courtesy of HackSpace magazine.
Raspberry Pi Build HAT
The new Raspberry Pi Build HAT is an add-on board that lets you control LEGO Technic motors and sensors with Python, and it fits any Raspberry Pi computer that has a 40-pin GPIO header.
If you’re the lucky recipient of one of these, first you’ll want to check that you have a good quality +8V±10% power supply that’s capable of supplying 48W via the Build HAT’s 2.1mm centre positive barrel jack. If you need to get hold of one, our official Raspberry Pi Build HAT Power Supply will do a great job of powering the Build HAT and connected LEGO components, as well as your Raspberry Pi computer (unless you’re using a Raspberry Pi 400, which doesn’t support being powered via the GPIO headers and so will need its own power supply).
Our colleagues over at the Raspberry Pi Foundation have put together five excellent Build HAT project guides to help you get started with the new board. And here’s a useful list of all the LEGO components that work with the Build HAT.
The official Raspberry Pi magazine, The MagPi, is here to help with a New User Guide for 2022 in the latest issue. Or if you’d like some step-by-step support you could take the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free online course “Getting Started with Your Raspberry Pi”. The Foundation’s learning projects are aimed primarily at younger learners, but plenty of grown-ups have enjoyed them too, and you can browse all the projects by the hardware they use to find the ones you can do with your shiny new thing.
Our documentation goes far beyond what you’ll need to know when you’re just starting out, but if you find you need to clarify any details, it’s a great place to look.
Once you’ve got into your stride with Raspberry Pi, you’ll find our discussion forum is an excellent resource. Raspberry Pi experts, including our own engineers, hang out there and are generous with their help and advice — but do try searching before asking a new question, because many things have already been asked and answered, and perhaps your query has too.
Ideas and inspiration
Our news stream brings you the latest news and the best — and oddest — projects, with a fresh post every week day. We’re taking our annual Christmas break at the moment, but you’ll find hundred and hundreds in the archive to tide you over until we’re back in early January. Merry Christmas!