So you got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas! Now what?

Note: The elves at Pi Towers are all taking next week off to spend some time with their families, and this blog will be quiet for the week. We’ll be back at the start of January. Happy holidays!

Happy 25th of December, everybody!

If you’re one of the many who woke up this morning to find some Raspberry Pi goodies under your tree, congratulations.


Now you’ve unpacked the Pi, confirmed it to indeed be roughly the size of a credit card, and confused a less tech-savvy loved one by telling them “This is a computer!”, you may be wondering to do with it next…and that’s where we come in.

The Raspberry Pi can be used to create no end of wonderful things, including robots, musical instruments, virtual pets, stop motion cameras, and much more.

It will also help you to learn programming, allow you to play games, offer the chance to explore space, and automate your home.

Not quite like this…

So many awesome things.

But how do you do any of them!? Well…

1. OS me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.

Awful pun. I’m sorry.

You’ll need to make sure you have the latest Raspbian operating system (OS) on your Pi. You may have been given an SD with Rasbian pre-installed but if not, head to our downloads page to get it.

2. Start me up


You’ll need to plug your Pi into a monitor (your TV will do), keyboard and mouse in order to get started. You’ll also need a good-quality power supply providing at least 2A.

We’ve some great instructions within our help pages to get you up and running. And if you’re still stuck, our forum has loads of information and is full of helpful people. Feel free to join and ask a question, and search previous topics for advice.

3. So how do I build a robot then?!

With tinsel and tape and bows and…

Excellent question. But if you’ve never tried to code before, you may want to start with something a little smaller…like Scratch or Sonic Pi, or a physical build such as the Parent Detector or a Burping Jelly Baby.

You may also want to check out some great project books such as Carrie Anne’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi or any of The MagPi Magazine Essentials Guides and Project Books.

You’ll find a lot more suggestions in our Christmas Shopping List.

4. More, more, more!

You’ll find more projects on our resources pages, along with some brilliant inspirational builds on our YouTube channel and blog. Or simply search for Raspberry Pi online. We’ve an amazing community of makers who share their code and builds for all to use, and now you’re one of us…WELCOME!



Steve Ligett avatar


Joshua Simons avatar

Merry Christmas! I am sending this from chromium my newly acquired raspberry pi 3! Good job fellas, hope to make many interesting projects on this thing. Loving how open the community is! ^_^

Rich M avatar

I am reading this from Chromium too :-)

Clay on Pi avatar


Will Turner avatar

I think most people are (Including me) at this point…

Parfy Parf avatar


PoseidonIsCool avatar


Amith Yedavalli avatar

Hi i got my Raspberry Pi 3 model B today! Its so cool.

Bobbi R avatar

Yay!! I just got a Raspberry Pi 3 model B for Christmas also!! I am so excited!!!!

Richard avatar

Good to see the new users to this great platform. :)

I’ll not be reading the blog any more though as I am unable to read the text will all the animated gifs. I’m dyslexic and find it hard as it is to concentrate on what I am reading. The over use of these gifs has made it impossible. :-(

Dan S avatar

Chrome has an extension (Animation Policy) that disables the animation. I’m sure there is a myriad ways to disable animated gifs in other ways.

Ben P. Nicholson avatar

My pi 3 is hooked up to a relay box, which allows people around the world to control my tree lights!

Michiel O. avatar

It’s almost incredible that the RaspberryPi is a fully functional complete computer, for such a small price. And it’s very user-friendly, too!

Joseph Farkas avatar

I am 9 years old and I got a Raspberry Pi 3 for Christmas. It is acting up. I tried noobs, berryboot, and installing the software directly, but all of them end up with and error. Can anyone help?!

MW avatar

Merry PiMas to new users, just a reminder to post technical questions on the Forum which is run and administered by Volunteers.

Kevin avatar

Odds are you got a bad micro SD card. I would recommend a class 10 card, preferably from a respected supplier. The Rpi Foundation recommends at least a class 6 card. I have hit 1 for two with a Kensington 32G class 10 card: the first one lasted just a couple months.
There’s a brief but good discusion of things to be careful of here:

Urslaan avatar

Hi welcome to the world of raspberry pi! Your post says you are having problems setting up your new pi. Could you tell us what the exact error is and a picture if you can.

Good luck

Liz Upton avatar

Actually, Joseph and Urslaan – it’s far more helpful if you post troubleshooting questions in our forums rather than here on the blog, where posts move off the front page very quickly; this is not the place for tech support. Could you please head over, check to see if your question has already been answered, and add a post if it hasn’t? (For what it’s worth, it sounds a lot like an SD card problem to me – try a new one.)

Chas avatar

You will need to format the card. Then try noobs. Format card with FAT32 partition remember (sorry for my bad punctuation I am writing this from my phone :) :))

Scott Newman avatar

I am a dinosaur. No, maybe an old dog trying to learn a new trick. I bought my son a Raspberry Pi for Christmas and one for myself, too. As a complete newbie, I set it up and am now looking for some very simple instructions on how to use the breadboard. Hope some of the techno kids from the next generation will take pity on me :-) and point me in the right direction, so I can keep up. Thanks.

Carrie Anne avatar

Our ‘Education’ section of this website is full of free resources and projects to teach young and old dogs and dinosaurs (well maybe just humans right now) about programming, electronics and digital making. If you are interested in the basics of physical computing with breadboards, LEDs and buttons then you might want to start with our parents’ guide here:

Cakj doguerir avatar

Got the rasoberry pi3 model b for christmas and started work on a keyboard hard to make but very fun. Also got 350+ wires and resistors and 58 small buttons. This will be soo much fun merry christmas all.

Karel Zimmer avatar

I now have one too. Yeah!!

Cameron Crosby avatar

I am reading this from my new Pi 3!! Cheers fellas!!

Ron Cheesman avatar

Looking forward to getting to know my pi much better!

Jill Humphries avatar

Got my son a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Have no sound. Got a Mini Bluetooth speaker which looks like it should work without wires. No clue how to make it work! If anyone can tell me in plain English how to get it working then you are a GENIUS. Looked on forums but the answers are in another language. Am a total beginner. Please help!

Simon Long avatar

You need to be running the latest Raspbian with PIXEL desktop, which you can download from – if your Pi is powered on, and you have a lovely picture of a road snaking off into the distance as a background, then you’re good to go.

Turn your Bluetooth speaker on and put it into “pairing” mode – consult the instructions for your speaker on how to do this. When you’ve done that, click on the Bluetooth icon on the taskbar at the top of the Pi desktop (the blue letter B towards the right-hand end) and choose “Add Device…” from the menu that appears. This opens a dialog box which lists all nearby Bluetooth devices – find your speaker in the list, which will have a speaker next to a green and black rectangle as the icon on the left hand side. Click on this entry in the list, and press “Pair”. If all goes well, you should get a message saying “Paired successfully – use the audio menu to select as output device.”

Now right-click the speaker icon on the taskbar, which is just to the right of the Bluetooth icon. Find the name of the Bluetooth device you just paired in the menu – it will probably be at the bottom of the list – and then click it. Et voila – you should now have audio output to your speaker.

karan avatar

Okay… if you have a pi3(built-in bluetooth) and raspbian PIXEL, then you will notice a bluetooth icon on the right end of the taskbar. If you have an older raspberry pi, then you would have to use a usb bluetooth dongle.If you have an older version of raspbian, simply update by entering into the terminal:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
I hope this fixed it for you!!

ameyring avatar

Happy Holidays! My kids will soon be playing games on the PiRetroCade from Sparkfun. What movies do the 5th and last GIFs come from?

Elfen avatar

Congrats to all those new R-Pi Owners (and those who own one or two more thanks to XMas)!

Enjoy the gift of gifts…

Mizuchi avatar

Hoi! I’m writing this from my new Raspberry Pi, I have to say at first I had no idea what it was and I doubted it, but now I can’t walk away from it! The Raspberry Pi model 3 is the one I have, and I absolutely love it.

Kevin Hainsworth avatar

Are you stressed by your first RPi experience ?
Then Labor Omnia Vincit may be the answer.
However if neither Latin nor hard work are your thing then here are my unofficial tips for keeping calm and carrying on.
2. Find a local Raspberry Jam and go along. Everyone was a noob (novice) once and you will always find someone who knows more than you and who is willing to help you to progress. . There are many early in the New Year which will no doubt be running “getting started surgeries”.
2. Think of a project that appeals to you and aim to achieve that e.g. Robot, internet radio. i.e. something that’s worthwhile to you and which you are therefore more likely to persist with.
2. Look at the Getting Started learning resources at . These may not be bang upto date (maintained) however.
2. Definitely take a look at Again this may not be maintained but is highly recommended.
3. Alternatively if you are a bit more bookish/old-school try Make sure you get the latest edition as things do change.
3. Take a look at this series of videos. They are not necessarily maintained but I have found them really helpful.
4. Learn how to keep your RPi upto date and get into the habit of doing it regularly.
5. Enjoy yourself. You’ll be at the very least pleasantly surprised by what you can achieve.

Drusilla J. Gillard avatar

I have just bought it a new Pi 3 and playing with to figure out everything………..

Scot avatar

Hello World. I am a NOOB PI3 user. Any suggestions on how to conquer the world….I mean switch from DVI mode. Trying to get sound on the telly through the HDMI.

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