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How to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time

Right after you pick up a Raspberry Pi from the market, the very first thing do should know about is how to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time. It is not just enough to know how to set up a Raspberry Pi. It’s always good to know about a little information about it. That’s why we are going to cover what is Raspberry Pi? The components required to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time?

What Is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) comes in the size of a credit card. It is developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK based educational charity. The main goal of this foundation is to produce a low-cost computer for students. To say more about this tiny computer, despite its size, it is powerful, it can plug into a monitor, mouse, keyboard and can be used as a lightweight desktop computer. What’s more, Raspberry Pi 4 Mod B is loaded with a quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU, Gigabit Ethernet, OpenGL ES 3.0 GPU, USB 3.0, WiFi ac, and Bluetooth 5.0, which make it more powerful and use this as a small server.

Increase in computing demand with compact size and low cost, SBCs are gaining more popularity these days. These are serving perfect tool for many engineering works, mostly in automation landscape. In the coming sections, we will share more information about Raspberry Pi, which would give you a chance to better understand and explore it for your needs.

Before you directly jump into its applications. We want to give you a nice background on this. As we said, a UK based educational charity develops earlier this. Raspberry Pi Foundation shipped its first product in the year 2012. They have released many products as time passed by. In the coming sections, we will explain, starting from how to power it on and going until the various applications can be used.

What Components Are Required To Set Up Raspberry Pi?

What components are required to set up Raspberry Pi?
Components required to set up Raspberry Pi!

It’s a good idea to know Raspberry Pi’s building cost along with the required components to set it up. Let’s break breakdown each of the component one after another.

  1. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: It depends on how much RAM you need as it comes in three different variants. 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB. It costs $35 to $55.
  2. Power Supply: It needs a power adopter to power it on the device. Rpi 4 uses a USB type C power supply. Official branded power adopter may cost around $10.
  3. Case: You may wish to have a case to protect the device from the physical damage. There are different type of case from different vendors available in the market. The price range starts from $5. But. Please bare in mind; it’s optional.
  4. MicroSD Card: This is where you are going to load the operating system to boot. Ideally, it doesn’t ask more storage capacity. Keeping the available operating system in mind, it is enough to have 8 GB of space. But, it’s again up your need. Although, there are other options to boot the device using USB. We are considering micro SD card as this is more prevalent.
  5. IO Devices: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitors, and cables to connect these IO devices may be required based on your project’s demand. These are not mandate to have. It is possible to work on it without connecting to these peripherals.
  6. Other peripherals: There are plenty of supporting devices available to pick up from the market like heat sync, colling fans, cameras, sensors. There is no end to this list.
  7. Operating System: No hardware can function without the software. Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed an operating system called ‘Raspberry OS’. It is customized form of Debian Linux. If you don’t want to use this OS, several operating systems are there to use. Most of them are open source.

In total, $65 to $85 are sufficient to set up a Raspberry Pi. Your cost could cross even more if you want to buy other optional components.

How To Install The Raspberry OS On Raspberry PI 4 Model B?

How To Install & Set Up Raspberry Pi OS – Pi4 Pi3 Pi2 by ETA PRIME

When you start building the Raspberry Pi, one thing always stands. First, that is the operating system. Which operating system to choose? The answer is, multiple options are available. We encourage you to look at them when you have a chance. Just on the Raspberrypi.org alone, there are four versions of Raspberry Pi OS.

On top of that, most of the well-known Linux distros have released their own version of Raspberry Pi’s operating system. You can run Ubuntu, Mint, Manjaa, and Windows IoT Core, a strip-sown version of Windows 10. This is not the end. There are specialized versions of Linux such as LibreELEC, which turns your Pi into a set-top box. PiNet is used to manage multiple Pis.

Let’s keep other operating systems aside for now and began with the installation of Raspberry Pi OS.

1. Creating The SD Card: 

  1. Raspberry Pi has developed a graphical SD card writing tool that works on Mac OS, Ubuntu and Windows. It is the easiest option for most users as it will download the image and install it automatically to the SD card.
  2. Before you start, don’t forget to check the SD card requirements.
  3. Download the latest version of Raspberry Pi Imager and install it.
    1. If you want to use Raspberry Pi Imager on the Raspberry Pi itself, you can install it from a terminal using sudo apt install rpi-imager.
  4. Connect an SD card reader with the SD card inside.
  5. Open Raspberry Pi Imager and choose the required OS from the list presented.
  6. Choose the SD card you wish to write your image to.
  7. Review your selections and click ‘WRITE’ to begin writing data to the SD card.

Note: if using the Raspberry Pi Imager on Windows 10 with Controlled Folder Access enabled, you will need to explicitly allow the Raspberry Pi Imager permission to write the SD card. If this is not done, Raspberry Pi Imager will fail with a “failed to write” error.

2. Download The Image:

Official images for recommended operating systems are available to download from the Raspberry Pi website downloads page. Alternative distributions are available from third-party vendors. You may need to unzip .zip downloads to get the image file (.img) to write to your SD card. 

Note: the Raspberry Pi OS with a desktop image in the ZIP archive is over 4GB in size and uses the ZIP64 format. To uncompress the archive, a unzip tool that supports ZIP64 is required. The following zip tools support ZIP64:

  1. 7-Zip (Windows)
  2. The Unarchiver (Mac)
  3. Unzip (Linux)

3. Writing The Image:

How you write the image to the SD card will depend on the operating system you are using.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

But, as we said earlier, we will show you the steps to write the Raspberry PI OS on to the SD card using the Windows 10.

  1. Fire up the imager application on Windows.

    Install Raspberry pi 1

  2. If you hit Choose OS, it shows several options to burnt to the SD card.

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 1

  3. If you want to burnt a specific downloaded image then select ‘use custome’ and browse the downloaded image file. 

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 3

  4. Install Raspberry Pi imager 4

  5. Choose SD card to write the image.

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 4

  6. Install Raspberry Pi imager 6

  7. Write the image to he SD card.

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 7

  8. Install Raspberry Pi imager 8

  9. Your SD card has two partitions on it of which one partition will through an error like this. Just ignore it. This is because your Windows doesn’t understand the second partition file system.  It can’t read the file system.

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 9

  10. The Boot partition is readable and files on this would be useful for you. The config.txt file contains the startup configuration files for the Raspberry Pi. Like Video and over clocking settings. You can tweak these settings on the Raspberry Pi either. Anyways, we thought it is just fine to show this option to you.

    Install Raspberry Pi imager 10

4. Boot The Raspberry Pi:

Now it’s time to assemble the components and boot the Pi for the first time. Insert the SD card into the Pi, connect to the power adopter, Ethernet cable, mouse, keyboard, and a monitor with Pi and power it up for the first time.

  1. As the Pi boots up, you will see a rainbow colour followed by a number of raspberry icons which tells how many cores your Pi has.

2. Next you see a message that shows Raspberry Pi is resizing the file system.

3. Once this operation get’s completed you are going to see the desktop.

4. Set the Country, Language, and the Timezone parameters and hit Next.

5. Then it prompts you to set the password for the user ‘pi’. The default password is ‘raspberry’. We recommend to change the default password for security reasons.

6. Go ahead by hitting Next on the screen setup wizard.

7. Then it’s time to setup wireless network. If you have connected your Pi through the Ethernet cable then you are already connected. Here I can see a list of all WiFi networks, but I am going to connect to my Lab network. 

8. Once the server is online, it search for any new  updates since the image created. Hit Next and let the system to fetch the update.

9. Once the  system completes the update.  It asks to restart to save all the changes made so far.

10. Hit the Later button as  we have a couple of changes to make which also needs reboot to complete.  Go to main menu and select ‘preferences’ and  go to ‘Raspberry Pi configurations’.

11. Just give a different name. All the  Pis  are given  a  same  default name.  It’s always better to change it to a different name as you may likely to have more Pis for your projects.

12. There is  nothing much to change  on other  tabs so  you can  hit OK which asks for  reboot.

13. This completes the initial Raspberry Pi configurations.  That’s all.

As we said in the beginning we have showed the complete guide to how to setup Raspberry Pi for the first time. Now it’s you who need to do action on this.

Thank you for reading this article. Please visit the below links to read more such interesting articles. Peace leave your comments here below and let us know  your feedback. This  helps us to bring more such articles.

About the author

Arun KL

To know more about me. Follow me on LinkedIn Hi All, I am Arun KL, an IT Security Professional. Founder of “thesecmaster.com”. Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Writer, Editor, Author at TheSecMaster. To know more about me. Follow me on LinkedIn

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