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 (1.3.11) 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 and lots of other help are in our Help section. If you have any issues setting up your Raspberry Pi that isn’t answered in the Help section 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! Any quality smartphone charger, for example, rated 1A and above would be perfect (raid the kitchen drawers!)

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? For younger Pi people we recommend Carrie Anne Philbin’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi, which will get you set up and hacking away in an afternoon. Otherwise 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. And have nice elevenses with a slice of seed cake and a glass of madeira.

Additional resources and projects

The MagPi magazine is full of help, tutorials, projects and ideas. It’s free and quite excellent.

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, if you are stuck for inspiration then have a trawl through our blog, which is both excellent reading (Liz just won an award for it, hurrah!) and will also get you thinking,”Wow! I’m going to do that!” Then sidle off to our lovely resources to learn how to do everything from making games, composing music, making time lapse movies and the basics of programming.

Have fun!

Update: we just released a new version of Raspbian! It’s available on our downloads page – and if you already have a previous version, you can get the update by entering the following commands in your terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods 



Val and Charley Belcher avatar

We cant wait to what our 12 yr old does with his Christmas gift. He is so excited. What a great product.

tzj avatar

Does it use wayland or is it X?

Liz Upton avatar

It’s X – have a play and let us know what you think!

Hove avatar

You are spoiling up, Ms. Ambassador!

5 minutes with the new GUI and I’m delighted. Seems slicker, even without Wayland – and Epiphany seems better to. Santa’s Elves must have been working hard to deliver this in time for Christmas!

Liz Upton avatar

Santa’s UX-genius elf is called Simon, and he has been VERY busy for the last few months. Thanks Simon!

Bill Stephenson avatar

You all have really been kicking out the work this year. Simon did a great job on the new UX.

Thank you all, again!

Bantammenace avatar

Hi Liz, I’ve been toiling with this all day today and unfortunately I’ve not been able to get Sonic 2.2 beyond the welcome screen. It all seems grindingly slow on my original A and B boards. More concerning however is the lack of correspondence between the new UX and the Help and Resources guides and videos and also the Adventures in Raspberry Pi and and Adventures in Minecraft books I am trying to follow. Would you consider reverting the Download Noobs and Raspbian back to the previous version for the short term at least ? Or at least until the necessary document control and revision has been carried out?

Fenton Culley avatar

Hi guys im really loving my pi however i am running the new update and i have big black boarders going round the side of my screen and the pi is running at 1318×736 and it is used with a 1080p monitor but the monitor settings app only says 1318×736 or auto could you please help and thanks for reading

PS: the boarder doesnt affect the usage of the Pi

ukscone avatar

open up config.txt in /boot and fiddle with these settings

# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible
# and your display can output without overscan

# uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console
# goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border

Justin avatar

Super excited to start playing with the best present I received this year!

Grant Nichol avatar

That is just how I feel!

W. H. Heydt avatar

Is the typo in the “Logging In” section deliberate?

Liz Upton avatar

It’s written by Clive – of course it is!

W. H. Heydt avatar

Checked the downloads page… NOOBS is showing 1.3.11 (Thanks!). However, NOOBS Lite is showing 1.3.10. (I dare say that’s not critical since NOOBS Lite ought to download the current version of Raspbian anyway.)

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

That is because NOOBS lite has not been changed… In fact the version of NOOBS lite is 1.3 (the final digit represents the version of the big noobs images not NOOBS itself)


PeterF avatar

Happy Christmas, thank you for all your blog contributions, and congratulations on the award! Where can we find out more about it please? (I did read up about your Jasmine award and your winning post – fascinating stuff!)

Masafumi Ohta avatar


Congrats! Liz and Foundation members and I just surprised latest Raspbian releasing in Christmas ;)

James Robinson avatar

This is awesome, loving the new UI, minecraft even renders in the window correctly :-). Well done all!!! :-D

Bob avatar

Change the default password!

Especially if you hook up your Pi to the internet!

I run one of my Raspberry Pis as an SSH honeypot — recording systems looking for computers hooked up to the Internet that are running with known passwords or known security problems, and taking them over.

Just about every one that tries logging in to my Raspberry Pi tries the default pi password — and that happens multiple times EVERY DAY.

Please, change that default password!

Dougie avatar

That isn’t a good idea for the new users. They won’t be setting their brand new Pi as a web server for many moons so changing the password is futile.

It’s also much more likely to be forgotten when it gets changed and unlocking a forgotten password is nontrivial.

Bob avatar

Would you give someone a power tool and not teach them to wear safety glasses and use the tool responsibly?

Not changing the default password is just as irresponsible as not wearing safety glasses when using power tools.

My (Raspberry Pi) SSH honeypot has racked up 175,000 SSH login attempts — and pi/raspberry is #12 on the list of most frequently tried account/password combinations.

Please learn to use tools responsibly — and teach others to do the same.

AndrewS avatar

As Dougie points out, 95% of people are likely to be using their Pi behind a home router / firewall, so there’s no SSH login risk unless people deliberately set up port-forwarding on port 22, at which point changing the password is obviously a good idea. Which is documented at:

Brian avatar

What’s different in this version of Raspbian?

AndrewS avatar

There’s a Release notes link on the downloads page :-)
(you may need to click on “More info” first)

Quinten avatar

I am 11 yrs old and I am starting to learn python when I opened the B+ ultimate kit I as so excited I have already written first program and I am upgrading storage tomorrow (not that I need to but I want to

Craig Van Degrift avatar

You folks have been making it a Merry Christmas all year long! Every new piece of output expands what our Pi’s can do. Lower power, Camera, Camera without IR filter, (gently) removable lens, more USB ports, more I/O pins, hats,… – all with with the same processor so that the software (and user skills) can evolve to a high degree of perfection.

I don’t know who to thank for getting Avogadro working on the Pi. That amazing piece of software is a great teaching tool for chemical structures. You might do an article about it and the effort to make it work so well on the Pi.

Thank you for all your high quality hardware and software. …and this is clearly just the beginning!

don isenstadt avatar

great job .. seems quicker .. and I especially like the ability to upgrade my existing images with the three commands you posted rather than downloading everything again.. thanks again for the excellent work.

William Bell avatar

Many thanks Simon et al.. It was good to meet you. Looking forward to reinstalling all of my sd cards!

jacwib avatar

I want the old look back. How do i do that?

Fester Bestertester avatar

I tried the dist-upgrade, but it barfed on wolfram – several hours of pitiful delivery – so I got this latest NOOBS: Much quicker – thanks!
All improvements above noted, but (still) lacking a menu editor. Reason for this is that installing xastir gives no menu item – or desktop icon. To run it I must resort to ‘Run’ in menu. I suspect there are other installs similarly lacking.
My main workhorse is a Kubuntu (64-bit) machine, and a menu editor is a right-click option on the Start/’K’ button.

I find the new layout not as intuitive (YMMV :) ).
Program shortcuts in the Application Launch Bar of the Panel (no longer on desktop) give little material to edit. They are also NOT active apps. This is not obvious given that they are not (geo)graphically separate(d) from the Task Bar. I have made this more obvious by adding a Desktop Pager (3 desktops) here.

Are Wolfram and Mathematica really needed as ‘quick launches’? Does nobody investigate Menus? They’re there. (Americans, pronounce that! :) ) File Manager and Terminal, yes – even the web browser – they’re pretty much System Tools.

Epiphany now (almost) usable. Could do with a Homepage preference and button.

Enough waffle for now.
Hopefully helpfully… FB

Liz Upton avatar

Sorry about the slow download – we’re still being hammered by downloads from an *awful* lot of people who seem to have just come into possession of a Pi yesterday!

Malcolm Maclean avatar

Thanks Liz, That’s good to know I will leave the new Wheezy in the torrent list to assist where possible.
Thanks to all involved!

Liz Upton avatar

Thanks – much appreciated!

celia avatar

I’m trying to download NOOBS from your site, its too slow, quoting 5hrs to download- surely that’s not right?

MrWm avatar

I wonder what DE it is now called. Is it Gnome, Xfce, or is it a modified LXDE that looks like Gnome fallback/Xfce. :?

jacwib avatar

Thats a modified lxde… Which i almost managed to make it look like the old one. Just gotta fix the damn menu!

Alex Bradbury avatar

The new look and feel is purely opt in. Feel free to just apt-get remove raspberrypi-ui-mods or probably better, use update-alternatives to change /usr/bin/x-session-manager to /usr/bin/startlxde rather than /usr/bin/startlxde-pi.

Bantammenace avatar

Hi Alex, Just a small observation: I downloaded the new distro (not NOOBS) and the IDLE icons don’t seem to be present? I’m trying to follow the book Advnetures in Minecraft and this has caused me to falter at the first hurdle.

Simon Long avatar

Under the new UI, IDLE and IDLE3 have now been labelled as “Python 2″ and “Python 3″, respectively, and moved into the menu rather than sitting on the desktop. You’ll find them in the “Programming” category – click the Menu button in the top left of the screen, choose the Programming category, and launch either Python 2 or Python 3.

Malcolm Maclean avatar

Awesome! Many thanks for the Xmas update! For those who have downloaded the free eBook ‘Raspberry Pi: Measure, Record, Explore’ from Leanpub (, rest assured I will update it quickly to incorporate any changes :-) (Serves me right for releasing it at Christmas :-P). avatar

Hi All,

Santa brought the latest B + with a few add ons. I am looking forward to using the Pi for various things, including running retro and open operating systems.

I’m looking forward to engaging with the community and getting to know my way around the Pi a whole lot more.

Happy New Year


Liz Upton avatar

Welcome to the family, Adam!

lionel avatar

I have a problem with this update: vino doesn’t run
Somebody have a solution ?


bensimmo avatar

Just got a B+ for Christmas and installed it with the kids.
Of course Minecraft is the first thing they notice.

So followed the link to

But the is no IDLE or even IDLE3.

Found another post in the forum and posted to that but what is wrong and where is IDLE for us to play and get tehm interested ?


Simon Long avatar

Under the new UI, the (rather confusingly named) IDLE and IDLE3 have now been labelled as “Python 2” and “Python 3”, respectively. You’ll find them in the “Programming” section of the main menu – click the Menu button in the top left of the screen, choose the Programming category, and launch either Python 2 or Python 3.

Alex Clifford avatar

When I first start my Pi, should I only download Rasbian source or shall I download other sources as well?

Detlef Günther avatar

Distro update failed because EDIMAX WIFI does not work. Restored old version, good to have a backup!

Ian Binnie avatar

I have read the original post about `LXDE` and the comments. I still think it isn’t right. Apple puts the Menu at the top, Windows on the Application Menu. After using both I prefer the Apple approach, but `LXDE` does neither; e.g. PCManFM and Arduino still have application menus on the Window.

Despite selecting Dock on bottom it still seems to be stuck on top.

Andy Proctor avatar

What a fantastic article to write at the perfect time for people who have had a Pi for Christmas. How very forward thinking. Well done indeed. Good skills.

Simon Hodgkins avatar

As a young(ish) adult (ok, ok I’m 34 really!) my wife got me a Pi starter kit & I’m really excited to get going. This page is a really good start & the community seems really supportive – I look forward to seeing what I can learn :D

lionel avatar

There are many problems of compatibility with this version and applications.

Will they soon be corrected?

Jim avatar

I can deal with moving the start menu to the bottom where it belongs. What I cannot deal with is why all my clock settings were undone, and why digital clock settings is now inaccessible.

This starting to resemble the “appliance” that it was supposed to be the antithesis of more and more.

James Hughes avatar

Well, Ben has stated most of what needs saying, but I would like to add that as a disliker of Apple, even I think that their UI design skills are better than those at MS. Just because 90% of the worlds uses Windows, doesn’t mean that Windows is the right way of doing it. As a case in point, I am currently using LXDE on a desktop, and I have just moved the bottom menu thing to the top, as it just works better up there for me. And this is me, coming from a mainly Windows background.

Also, the ‘appliance’ issue. Bit of a straw man, don’t you think? Consider the primary market for the Pi – education, mainly of children. It’s vital that you get their attention straight away. Having inconsistent UI design is a great way of cheesing them off. I’m old, and it cheeses me off! Make things easy to get in to, but still with a lot to learn. This is the fine line that the Foundation has to tread – keep it educational, but keep them interested.

Simon Long avatar

I’m really not sure how the action of tidying the UI can be regarded as changing Pi into an “appliance”. It’s an open-source platform – that isn’t changing. A new set of UI defaults does not even begin to convert it into a closed-source Apple-like platform, does it? Really?

If you’re so keen on it not being an appliance, I presume that’s because you are happy to get your hands dirty and hack some code? The LXDE code is all freely available – why not create your own UI if you are so unhappy about this one? That’s what the platform is all about – learning stuff like this.

And with regards the clock plug-in – yes, I’ve disabled the config for the time being. The clock plug-in was a nightmare from a UI point of view. For example – popping up the calendar gives you a calendar window in which you can move a highlight to show a different day – for no purpose at all. It contained a lot of kludgey hacked code for the benefit of someone who wanted the option to have their clock in bold font. This completely broke the ability of the plug-in to properly use the system font, but whoever had done that didn’t care. (This, btw, is the reason the config dialog is currently disabled – it contains a “bold font” checkbox that does nothing.) It didn’t scale properly if you changed the height of the menu bar; it didn’t indicate that it was a clickable item with additional functionality if you moved the mouse over it. Basically, it may have let you type in arcane strings to customise the display, but not much else about it worked properly.

If you want to change the clock settings (seeing as how you are so keen on Pi not being an appliance… ;-) ), then get a text editor, go into /home/pi/.config/lxpanel/LXDE-pi/panels/panel and hack the clock section to your heart’s content.

Elmo Blatch avatar

Really like to try new ui but sudo apt-get update gives reading package lists error. It may be because I’m using a fairly old rasbian version. I got so many stuff installed and working on this one so that I’ll need much time to set up a new version from stratch. So I think I’ll stick with the old one for a lil while.

albaflo avatar

very good job

my pi is really faster

thanks for your job

Alexey Shvarev avatar

Merry Christmas! After the update and upgrade my WiFi crashed. God knows what else (webiopi, mjpg streamer etc) is not working. It’s time to get out the keyboard TV and start ritual dancing. Nice job.

Alexey Shvarev avatar

For TL-WN723N you need a new driver.

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