New Quick Start Guide

Because so many people are coming fresh to Raspberry Pi because they’ve found one under the tree/in a sock this year, we’ve a gift from Santa Clive for you: a brand new, much simpler to follow Quick Start Guide. It’s a pdf which you can print out to keep by your side as you’re setting your Raspberry Pi up. Get downloading!

Quick Start Guide – click for PDF

Update 27/12/12: Robert Chi has produced a localised Traditional Chinese version of the Guide. Thanks Robert!

28/12/12: Many thanks to gyeben for the Hungarian translation.

5/1/13: Gino Giorgetti of MrInformatica has produced an Italian version of the guide. Thank you Gino!


Rich Kavanagh avatar

Thank you Santa Clive!

Merry Christmas :)

Ken MacIver avatar

Hmm looking at the diagram when connecting up the pi to a display device
“2b or not 2b, that is the connection”

Sorry peeps I’m off to the pub now fo Xmas drinkies…

nelson avatar

I still can’t figure out how so many people find that question problematic, the answer is always true, try:

if (toBe || !toBe)
//something else

the else statements will never be reached

Saif avatar

That’s the point…
It is not IF, but IS. i.e. not a conditional statement but declarative
Question=(toBe || !toBe);
i.e Question=always true;

asettico avatar

In spoken languages the “or” is an xor ;-)
Anyway, the result is always true…

Benedict White avatar

As this is a quick start guide for noobs, I will make 2 suggestions:

1. The place to get the image is wrong, (in that it will change fairly shortly) so could I suggest a downloads/latest type link for the absolute latest image?

2. There is no mention of how to get the image onto SD card from a Mac or Linux. Noobs do use those too, though it may be easier to fork the quick start guide by desktop OS.

clive avatar

thanks for the feedback Benedict:

1. When the place changes the pdf will change. Also, bottom of page 4: “The latest version of Raspbian can always be found at

2. Top of page 3: “The following instructions are for Windows users. Linux and Mac users can find instructions at

This was a space issue, as it’s a quick start guide not a manual. I decided that existing Linux users whould have less need of such a guide(!). And Mac users should get a PC :p

P.S. It’s Creative Commons BY SA NC – so feel free to write the Linux / Mac ones! :D


Benedict White avatar

It may be better to have a latest image for the sake of people who get confused by dating conventions.

Also, you would be surprised how many Linux users there are who are actual noobs, I can’t comment on Macs… ;)

Benedict White avatar

Oh… and I forgot to say, well done Clive for getting the guide out, it will help most people over Christmas.

clive avatar

That was the plan (and also why it’s a little rushed in places :))

Ian Thomas avatar

I use a HDMI to DVI cable to connect to my monitor.

If you do too then, to get the display to work, you will need to edit the config.txt file which can be found in the /boot directory of your SD card.

Connect a USB card reader to your PC and insert the SD card. The card will appear as a new drive.

Open the /boot/config.txt file in an editor and find the following lines.

# uncomment if hdmi display is not detected and composite is being output

Delete the ‘#’ before ‘hdmi_force_hotplug=1’ and save the file.

Remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi and power it up.

The monitor should now work.

clive avatar

My DVI monitors (ViewSonic and Sharp) have always just worked. What monitor do you have?

Ian Thomas avatar

The monitor I have been using is an Iiyama 1700s. The issue arose on an early 256M Pi and also on a just delivered 512M Pi with the latest Rasbian release.

It made me sweat the first time! Hopefully others will sweat less :)

JamesH avatar

I’m not seeing why that works/helps! Usually a DVI->HDMI adapter should just work out of the box. I’m guessing your monitor is a bit ‘odd’ in some way.

Ian Thomas avatar

My apologies.

….you MAY need to edit the config.txt

It seems I have an ‘odd’ monitor. But if you do too, the above may help.

Happy Christmas!

ukscone avatar

thanks for doing that Clive it’s nice, i’m going to print it out just on G.P.

just 1 comment though, you might like to add a note that if after writing your sd card using the inbuilt sd card reader/writer your raspi doesn’t boot then try using a usb sd card reader/writer and also put that on the needed items list as semi-optional

svenn avatar

SantaRS skipped this house… maybe in a month or so ?

mahjongg avatar

Perhaps its wise to point out that when you enter the password raspberry you wont see it on the screen. Its something that sometimes confuses new users, who at least expect to see *********
Its just the way Linux works. When entering passwords it simply turns off the text echo.

clive avatar

You have to credit people with *some* nous! They know their keyboard is working because they’ve just been using it :). You’re lucky – the guide was all going to be Ikea syle pictures-only, but I couldn’t find a picture of a cartoon man rebooting a tiny computer.

Anyway – what is this? Mods pick on clive day? Back, back to the forums I say! /me half-heartedly brandishes flaming torch

P.S. I’ll put it in the next version :)

liz avatar

This mod thinks Clive is doing an awesome job. More power to your festive elbow.

ukscone avatar

Anyway – what is this? Mods pick on clive day?

Oh Rats! is that today? i could have sworn that it was next wednesday. I didn’t get anything for you, not even a snarky comment or a snide aside. Oh well maybe next year

mahjongg avatar

Sorry Clive wasn’t in any way meant as criticism, but I have indeed seen many a post that claimed his keyboard wasn’t working because he couldn’t see anything happening when entering his password, and thought his keyboard “died” on him after only three characters. :b

Have a nice Christmas everybody.
Gelukkig kerstfeest.
Joyeux Noël.
Frohe Weihnachten.
Feliz Natal.
¡Feliz Navidad

etc etc.

Richard Urwin avatar

Too late mahjongg; I complained about that hours ago. ;-)

It’s a great job, and I’m sure it will help biiiilllliiioooooons of new users today.

Merry Christmas Clive, Liz and everyone else.

mahjongg avatar

yes, but this way people may see it before they try.

Bobby avatar

Thanks for this guide, I’ve already set my Pi up, but this is really useful and concise for new users.
Knowledge is power :)

Simone avatar

Hi everyone

Santa brought a raspberry pi for my son! However, I’m a tad concerned about the smell of it, very strong when we took it out of the little plastic wrapper. Can anyone tell me what is the smell (almost cross between plastic/electronics etc) – is it harmful in anyway? Thanks from a neurotic mummy!

JamesH avatar

I think the PCB’s are ‘washed’ in solvent at some point in manufacture – you are probably smelling that. Don’t worry, it’s not harmful in the quantities remaining by the time you get the device.

LJ avatar

Or if your USB hub powers through you can use the full sized USB to power it !

Jim Manley avatar

Great job, Clive! I would only suggest two small improvements:

1. As you know, if an HDMI-DVI cable is being used, the audio isn’t passed through, so an audio cable will be needed if sound is to be heard.

2. I’ve noticed that users are sometimes mystified as to where the .img file actually winds up after download and extraction and how to get to it from the disk imaging software. Of course, in most cases, it’s in the Downloads directory within the user’s My Documents directory (assuming the unzipped extraction target is where the downloaded zip file is located – some people manage to put it somewhere else – never underestimate the ability of a noob to do the darndest things!).

So, I would at least tell the user to note the path to where the ,img file was extracted (e.g., C:\Users\Joe\Downloads) in case the imaging software doesn’t happen to bring up the file dialog in the right place. Perhaps a screen grab of the file dialog that comes up when the folder icon is clicked would be helpful. Telling them to click on the folder icon would probably also help – I’ve seen people stare at the Win32DiskImager user interface wondering what to do next. A warning to ensure that the SD card’s drive letter is selected and not any of the PC’s hard drives might also be advisable. A grab of the My Computer window showing the SD card’s drive letter might be helpful, too.

With the number of Pi boards out there clearly exceeding the population of Geektopia now, we need to do just a bit more hand-holding than we’re used to, especially in the K-12 education world where teachers are proud that they’ve just figured out how to transition from Windoze XP to 7.

clive avatar

Thanks Jim – number 1 is now in the master copy (pdf will catch up after the holidays* :)), thanks for the reminder.

Passwords not being echoed is also in, in case anyone is fretting :)

The other stuff I completely agree with you, we’ll have a think for the next version.


*pdf now updated to v1.2! 27/12/12

liz avatar

Thanks Jim; that’s really helpful.

Gino avatar

Hello Lil,
In first, I wish you Merry Christmas.
I would like to ask your permission to translate and republish your Quick Start Guide in Italian.

ukscone avatar

I’m not Clive or Liz but as it’s Creative Commons BY SA NC you can do your own version

clive avatar

Gino – an Italian translation would be great! I have the InDesign files if they are any use to you.

masafumi_ohta avatar

hi clive I would love to trans in Japanese and republish too.would you mind sending InDesign files to me?I much appreciate if you could help.

Gino avatar

Hello Clive,
for me to have the indesign file would be great. You could send it to me via email?

clive avatar

Done. Thanks for this Gino!

Robert Chi avatar

Great job and thanks for your work! May you all have a happy holiday!

I have done the localization of the latest Quick Start Guide in Traditional Chinese. That could help those people from Hong Kong and Taiwan read the guide easier. You may download the localized version from the following link:

Quick Start Guide in Traditional Chinese

The file is freely distributed. Hope this help more people have fun with Raspberry Pi.

Robert C. Chi

clive avatar

Thanks Robert – this looks excellent. I’ve put a link on the main article.

Robert Chi avatar

Thanks! Clive. I am glad I can do some help on promoting Raspberry Pi. :-)

Robert C. Chi

akc avatar

Congrats to Robert for a nice Traditional Chinese translation :)

gyeben avatar


I have made a Hungarian edition of this Quick Start Guide, which can be found here:

Stevie avatar

Thank you Robert Chi for the traditional Chinese version. It’s wonderful to see others wanting to post an Italian and Hungarian version. The universal appeal of the Pi is contagious.

By the way, is there a user group or forum for hobbyists who want to learn the Chinese resources for the Pi? For example, Chinese IME, displays and characters in Raspbian?

Gino avatar

Hello Clive, Lil hello,
I have finished translating the quick start guide in Italian.
Find the file at this link.
I also wrote a post on my blog, can be found at this link.
If there are any problems let me know.

clive avatar

Many thanks for this Gino – I’ve updated the post with links to your site. Thanks for the Word and web versions too!

Jesse Darby avatar

Thanks so much for this product! I think I may be able to use this to transfer files for my robot’s autonomous mode during active competition. I’ll let you know if I can learn anything exciting and hopefully be able to discover new uses for the Raspberry Pi!

Alawi Assaggaf avatar

Hi clive.

First I want to thank you for this great document. It would help a lot in some projects we are planning ahead.

I am in the process of translating it to Arabic and was wondering if I can get hold of the design files. I use Linux so I am not sure what file format would be suitable but I am sure I will find my way through it.


John avatar

to Help the Greeks newbies i have translated the quick start guide in Greek.
You can find it here

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