The Start

Hi, What and Why

Compare to Arduino

What do you need to buy ?

It's plugged in, what's first ?

How to install packages.

Recommended packages.

Essential Linux Commands.

How to use the vi editor.

The next step

Set up I2C.

My first program - blink.

VNC - Use your computer to control your Pi.

Samba - copy files.

Raspberry Pi: What you will need, and why

The Kit - some notes

I bought the Pi kit containing the power supply, a plastic case, and an 8 Gb SD card with NOOBS preinstalled for £50.

I strongly recommend the SD card with NOOBS. (You can easily download it as well, btw). I used it to install the usual operating system, Raspbian, and discovered that whenever you boot the Pi, you can press the <shift> key, and you are given the option to reinstall. So, if you install a lot of useless software or for any reason you need to start again, it is easy to do so. It gives reassurance.

The plastic case is more than nice-to-look at. I would recommend using one. There's a lot to plug in, and the case prevents accidental shorting and keeps the whole package more stable on a surface.

I also had a couple of spare SD cards; so I downloaded another copy of Raspbian (it was the same as installed using NOOBS, btw) and also installed and tested the Openelec media centre. (It works okay).
The downloads are available at

A wifi dongle is essential, to connect to your home network and thence to the internet. Linux has drivers to work with most wifi dongles, certainly all the most popular brands.

You are going to need

Raspberry Pi (mine is the 1Gb Quad core 2015 model.) Raspberry Pi 2015
Power Supply with mini USB connector (5V, 2A) Power Supply (5V 2A)
One or more, 8 Gb SD cards (you install the operating system on these). Yes, 8 Gb is adequate space. 8Gb micro SD card
Wifi dongle or ethernet connection (connecting to the internet is essential to install some software). Wifi dongle or ethernet cable
USB Keyboard and Mouse (Essential for the first few weeks, until you learn how to use VNC) USB keyboard and mouse
An HDMI monitor (in most homes; a television). A twee ornament helps the electronic pixies feel more relaxed, thus improves efficiency and reliability.

A monitor is only needed until you learn how to use VNC. VNC allows you to see the Raspberry Pi screen from your existing computer.
HDMI display
40 pin GPIO extension board (if you intend to plug things into the GPIO pins). The GPIO pins on the Pi are not labelled, and you do not want to start counting "On the left, seventh pin down from the top, oh hang on, it's upside down" GPIO (General Purpose In Out) breakout board.
The Pi Camera module is optional of course, but I bought one and I'm surprised at the high quality of the picture. I intend to set up a webpage so that I can record my house and monitor my budgies in real time when I'm away. Pi Camera Module.
The plastic case to enclose it; although considered optional, I would strongly recommend it. Pi case.
Breadboard and a variety of other electronic sensors. You can buy a bundled kit of 35 or so sensors (eg on EBay). These are from my arduino; all will work with Pi. Shown: breadboard, 16x2 LCD, 7 Segment LED, sonic distance, GPS tracker, Infra red PIR and a servo motor. Electronic Sensors.