Buying Guide - for advice on buying the Raspberry Pi.
SD Card Setup - for information on how to prepare the SD Card used to boot your Raspberry Pi.
Basic Setup - for help with buying / selecting other hardware and setting it up.
Beginners Guide - you are up and running, now what can you do?
Latest RPi 4 Topics - Recent topics on Raspberry Pi 4 and the Pi OS
Advanced Setup - for more extensive information on setting up.
Trouble Shooting - some things to check if things don't work as expected.
Where to start?
Any easy question to ask, but a very difficult one to answer!
- If you need to get a RPi, the see the Buying Guide.
- If you need to know what equipment you will need and how to set it up, see the Basic Hardware Setup page.
- If you need to install/setup an SD card see the Preload your Card section.
- If you've done all that, and you are wondering what next...welcome and read on!
About This Page - For Contributors
The intention of this page is to provide a starting point for beginners and to direct them to the kind of information a person would need in order to start doing something useful or interesting with a Raspberry Pi.
It is not intended to contain or replicate much of the information already available on-line or else-where in the wiki, however please create new wiki pages and link them here if there is information beginners will find useful (similarly any section which grows too much here, should be separated into new pages as and when needed)!
At the moment building up ideas of content of typical things beginners will want to know and the kind of things they will want to do first.
What is Linux and why not use Windows?
Linux is an operating system just like Windows, however, unlike Windows (which needs a set hardware requirement to run i.e. One Size fits or get different hardware), Linux comes in many varieties and configurations which means you can usually find a flavour (or Distribution) which fits your hardware big or small / fast or slow.
The Raspberry Pi is not suited to running Windows due to it's hardware, but there are plenty of Linux Distributions which fit nicely. In addition to this, most Distributions of Linux are free, however Windows can cost many times the price of the Raspberry Pi itself.
Chances are you already have Linux running in your home without you even knowing it, since it is commonly used in modern TVs, Freeview and cable boxes to run things and ensure your recording of Inbetweeners gets done!
For more information about Linux see ...
Here are a few things you can try out with your Raspberry Pi, in most cases all you'll need is your SD Card loaded with a particular preconfigured OS Distribution.
It will be worth getting a few spare SD Cards if you think you will switch between setups regularly or become familiar with how to back up and restore your card.
Reference needed - a good guide on how to backup and restore cards or software to do this easily
With this configuration you will typically have the Raspberry Pi connected to a TV or large monitor and a source of videos/music/photos etc you wish to play (i.e. Internet/hard-drive/local network etc).
Reference needed - links to a specific wiki page covering this in detail or links to projects like OpenElec, CrystalBuntu, Raspbmc etc
While there are not any commercial games for the Raspberry Pi (yet) there are plenty ways to play games on it.
Many distributions will have games built into them, and some may well support emulation of other platforms so you can run those games.
Also, a lot of Raspberry Pi users will be writing simple games which will be available for others to enjoy (and if desired added to or modified).
Reference needed - game section is empty at the moment!
See the Games Section for more details
Learn To Program
Reference needed - links to the learning pages
Interface With Hardware
Reference needed - links to basic circuits tutorials and expansion boards
Word Processing/Internet Browsing etc
Yes, the Raspberry Pi can do the majority of the dull stuff too which other computers do.
Reference needed - links to the recommended Distributions for productivity.
Your Own Pet Project!
The sky is the limit really, with some time and effort any number of projects can be achieved.
Even if you don't have the skill to do it yourself, you can join like minded people by getting involved with one of the numerous groups in the Community Section or learn what you need in from the Guides & Tutorials sections.
Of course, if you do anything interesting then please let us know in the Projects section.