Merry Christmas! Got a new Pi? Read on!

If you’re here because you got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas, then Happy Christmas – and welcome to the Raspberry Pi family! If you’re just here for fun, then Happy Christmas too!

The Raspberry Pi is a computer that you can use for all sort of brilliant and useful things, from learning to program, to making robots, to Tweeting when birds visit a nesting box, to taking pictures from the stratosphere.

Here are some tips on setting up and using your Raspberry Pi.

1. Make sure your software is up to date

The most important thing is to make sure that you have the latest version of our New Out Of Box Software (NOOBS). You can check this by starting your Raspberry Pi – here’s Carrie Anne to tell you more.

If you don’t have the latest version (1.3.3) we recommend that you go here to get the latest version and follow the instructions (it’s really easy – just download & unzip it and then drag and drop onto a formatted SD card).

2. Setting up

Full set up instructions are in the quick start guide. If you have any issues setting up your Raspberry Pi set up then please visit our forums. Our forum members are a very friendly bunch and will help you with any problems. The FAQ also has lots of tips and useful information


Do make sure that you have a good quality power supply. Some cheaper supplies do not output the power that they claim!

Logging in

When you finally boot up you will be asked to log in. The login is ‘pi’ and the password is ‘raspberry’. Note that nothing appears when you type the password, so tpye caerfuly!

Command line and windows

The Pi boots into a command line where you type instructions to the computer. To start a windows-style graphical user interface, first log in, and then type startx and press enter.

Brain on a stick warning: The Raspberry Pi is special. We built this little computer so that you have to tell it what to do, not the other way round. You’re in charge. It’s a very different experience to unboxing a tablet or laptop—deliberately so!—but because of this it has so much more potential. We accept full responsibility for any learning, thinking or fun that may occur whilst using our product. :)

3. What can you do with your Raspberry Pi?

Because it’s a general purpose computer, you can do loads of stuff. But because it’s also small and light and doesn’t use much power, you can do even more amazing things. And if you just want to use it as a media player then that’s cool with us too.

Want to know more? If you’re under 15, we recommend Carrie Anne Philbin’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi, which will get you set up and hacking away in an afternoon. For anyone over that age, we recommend the official User Guide, co-authored by our very own Eben Upton, which will take you from raw beginnings to automating your whole house.

Merry Christmas! We’ll be back in a few days – we’re taking a little while out to spend time with our families.

Additional resources and projects

The MagPi magazine is full of help, tutorials, projects and ideas. It’s free and quite excellent. The Computing at School Educational manual is also a free download and covers Scratch, Python, Linux and beyond.

Did we mention that we have a free version of Minecraft for the Pi? It’s great fun to play, but even better to program and there are some excellent resources to show you how.

Lastly, here are a few of our favourite blog posts of the last year. It’s a mixed bag, from beginners’ tutorials to professional  projects and we hope that they give you some inspiration and a flavour of what you can do with the Raspberry Pi.

Lincoln Heard, age 3, and his Raspberry Pi

Guest post #5: Raspberry Pi tutorials for complete beginners

Amy’s Game of Life

Oliver and Amelia make a bee box

Google Coder: a simple way to make web stuff on Raspberry Pi

Sonic Pi – a free music and computing resource for teachers, and for the rest of us

Zoological Society of London: saving rhinos with the Pi

BBC Springwatch – and a Pi

Bringing computing to rural Cameroon

Rapiro – the cutest robot you’ll ever meet, now on Kickstarter

High Altitude Ballooning, sixth-form style

Ted Bull Stratos: Babbage’s leap of faith

AirPi – the next step

Radio Lollipop – children’s hospital radio

Lincoln Heard, Minibeasts and Raspberry Pi

Pi 3D scanner: a DIY body scanner

Little Box of Geek from Geek Gurl Diaries

Kegerface – for all your beer stocking needs

The trick or treat greeter

The Wolfram Language and Mathematica on Raspberry Pi, for free


Dougie avatar

Typo caerfuly should be carefully on the password paragraph

ukscone avatar

i think that’s Clive trying to see who is paying attention

clive avatar

Couldn’t resist “tpye caerfuly”. Sorry!

anondo avatar

that was the best typo i’ve seen. i just got my rpi today, it’s gonna be awesome

gee avatar

Really nice non “read the faq” guide :-) there will be lots of people who will find this helpful nice one clive

clive avatar

Thanks gee. I’ll also be putting up links (once presents are wrapped and stocking are filled :)) to some of our favourite blogs in the last year so that people can get some inspiration and an idea of what’s possible.

liz avatar

Still haven’t finished wrapping. And Mum is making us watch Love Actually. Woeful.

clive avatar

We watched ‘Django Unchained’. BRAP! And bare dench. And that.

liz avatar

Mum is crying silent tears at Keira Knightley. I REALLY do not like this movie.

AndrewS avatar

Merry Christmas everyone! May it be filled with cheer and Pi and lots of other good stuff :-)

clive: the link to the forums isn’t quite right… but handily the correct link is available at the top-right in the page-banner.

clive avatar

Fixed, thanks! Have a good one :)

andres avatar

Feliz Navidad para todos!!!
Desde Córdoba, Argentina.

Salts avatar

A bit of fun for Christmas!

Perhaps next year we can have Clive with a Public information Film, spoof for the Raspberry Pi!

Merry Christmas to everyone


Salts avatar

Forgot to mention, does anyone know where I can find the Issac Newton one?

Sir Isaac Newton told us why
An apple falls down from the sky,
And from this fact, it’s very plain,
All other objects do the same.
A brick, a bolt, a bar, a cup
Invariably fall down, not up,
And every common working tool
Is governed by the self-same rule.
So when you handle tools up there,
Let your watchword be “Take Care “.
If at work you drop a spanner,
It travels in a downward manner.
At work, a fifth of accidents or more
Iillustrate old Newton’s law,
But one thing he forgot to add,
The damage won’t be half as bad
If you are wearing proper clothes,
Especially on your head and toes.
These hats and shoes are there to save
The wearer from an early grave.
So best feet forward and take care
About the kind of shoes you wear,
It’s better to be sure than dead,
So get a hat and keep your head.
Don’t think to go without is brave;
The effects of gravity can be grave….

meltwater avatar

Have a great Pi Christmas everyone!

DeeJay avatar

RE: NOOBS – “it’s really easy – just download it and then drag and drop onto a formatted SD card” Taken literally, that will result in an SD card containing the downloaded .zip file, which will not be bootable. The zip file has to be unpacked before copying its contents onto the SD card.

clive avatar

It’s a parenthetical reassurance, not an tutorial ;) It’s why we say immediately before, “…we recommend that you go here to get the latest version and follow the instructions.”

[edit]Now tweaked (it’s been a long day :)) — thanks for the heads up DeeJay.

Lewys avatar

And so my grandmother saw my pleased grin at the gift she had given me, and proclaimed, ” glad you like it! What is it?”
This gonna be a good year c:

Jim Moore avatar

Merry Christmas!! For any of you running the excellent camera on the Pi here’s a wee time-lapse script/project for you…

Euroman avatar

The link to: ‘Guest post #5: Raspberry Pi tutorials for complete beginners’ goes to Amy’s Game of Life

This is the correct link:

liz avatar

Thanks – I’ll just head over to fix it.

mob-i-l avatar

In Downloads NOOBS Lite is still the old version (1.3.2) when you click on it, but it says it should be 1.3.3 in the description.

AndrewS avatar

The only difference between NOOBS 1.3.2 and 1.3.3 is the included OS images and NOOBS Lite downloads its images from the Raspberry Pi servers, so there was no need to change its version number.

MissPhilbin avatar

I think your post is wonderful Clive. Merry Christmas everyone :)

Benoit Lachance avatar

Hi, could you tell me where can I see the 1.3.3 release notes ?
on a side note:
as I wrote on the forum, i beleive that if someone configured your PI before giving it to you,
you should stick to that version until you are familiar with you PI.

IL avatar

Amazon link to User Guide 2nd Edition might be appropriate :)

Jeff Ledger avatar

Spending Christmas day in joint minecraft building on two Raspberry Pi’s with my 14 year old daughter. Time VERY well spent.

Alex avatar

23 and work in computer forensics….. But got my Raspberry Pi today and feel like a kid again getting my first tech gadget!

clive avatar

Hi Alex, glad you’re having fun with your Pi. It’s a good feeling :)

beta-tester avatar

OpenELEC image is still 3.2.0, but the actual official stable release image is 3.2.4.

AndrewS avatar

Like RISC OS, that’s an update we’re hoping to be able to push out sometime in the new year

TheV360 avatar

I’m trying to sign up for the forum, and the question it asks when signing up is not clear.

clive avatar

Sorry — had an antispam issue, try again now. Refresh your browser and you should get some options.

Frostsnowman96 avatar

my pi still wont boot up :( I keep getting a green or rainbow screen.

clive avatar

Sorry to hear you’re having problems. Best head over to the forums

Maarten avatar

I just won’t get anything installed. I reinstalled more then 5 times.

Maarten avatar

Yes! It works now! I just plugged in my wifi adapter i bought and it works!

Bob Sparkes avatar

My RPi is a year old. I spent most of last year trying to get it to work. Whenever I try the “Hello World” project for learning about Python, every time I get an “Invalid Syntax” error message. I thought that I might have damaged the SD card in some way, so I recently bought a new SD card with the NOOB software. However, I still get the same response to my request to
print “Hello World”
when I enter this in the Python Shell. What am I doing wrong?

Hoping someone can help.


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