Explore your Raspberry Pi with our Online Usage Guide

You may remember the announcement of our new open source documentation, which is a GitHub project containing information about the Raspberry Pi hardware and software – and how to use it. The information is deliberately quite short and concise, and we only cover Raspbian specifics in order for us to maintain it well. The docs are managed on GitHub and displayed here on our website at raspberrypi.org/documentation.

While planning this, we created a Usage section and listed the applications we wanted to write basic guides for – a way for us to show people the basics of what they can do with a Pi. We covered the icons on the Raspbian Desktop and other programs which are pre-installed, and added some interesting additional material you have to download and install yourself, like Minecraft.

I pushed the 500th commit to the project this morning, and it’s great to have seen contributions from members of the community too. Thanks to all who’ve helped build the docs.

Whether you bought your Pi for a specific purpose or you bought it to explore and learn, I’m sure there’s an area you haven’t discovered yet, or haven’t been introduced to yet. We’d like to encourage users to explore these applications – and we’re giving you an introduction to each of them! We cover:

So if you’ve been playing with Scratch for a while now, why not take a look at making music with Sonic Pi? Heard about Mathematica but didn’t know where to start? Go ahead. Want to learn to set up a basic web server on your Pi? Try the WordPress guide. Got a camera but only used it to take pictures of your cat? Try a time-lapse, or see how you can use Python to control the camera. Heard XBMC makes a great media centre? Set up your own.

There’s lots to be done with the Pi out of the (proverbial) box – so take the chance to explore, and learn something new! Once you’ve covered the basics, take a look at our free learning resources for something new, or search the blog for ideas.

If you spot any mistakes in the docs, or think of something we should add – why not open an issue or fork the project and create a pull request with your changes? There’s a GitHub link at the bottom of each documentation page.


jbeale avatar

Very nice looking documents there, I hadn’t noticed them before. From the GPIO page I came to http://pi.gadgetoid.com/pinout which is a nice interactive explanation of the various I/O pins.

jbeale avatar

By the way, the documentation at http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/usage/demos/README.md
says you can simply do this: ./rebuild.sh in the hello_pi directory, to build the examples.

Maybe my install is broken but that did not work for me, instead I had to do this:
cd /opt/vc/src/hello_pi
sudo chmod +x rebuild.sh
sudo ./rebuild.sh

AndrewS avatar

That sounds like exactly the sort of thing to open an issue (or pull request) about ;-)

Ray avatar

Fantastic resource, thank to all who put it together

Helen Lynn avatar

This is just brilliant. “Really excited that my Pi has arrived! Er… what shall I do with it?” is a semi-regular fixture on social media. I will be pointing people at the usage guide ALL the time!

Ben Nuttall avatar

Exactly! Hope it’s useful :)

don isenstadt avatar

It’s nice to have all of this in one place.. by the way the picture of the pi-cam (upper right..) what is that black cord going from the audio out into the camera? I’ve never seen that arrangement.. and when I went into the doc they did not mention it.. thanks

clive avatar
don isenstadt avatar

thanks . clive . sometimes the add ons are just as amazing for their creativeness as the original product :-)

don isenstadt avatar

sorry.. upper left!

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