25th June 2015

Setting up a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Smörgåsbord

Here is my Raspberry Pi Smörgåsbord.

The bits of kit on this mat are all you need to set up a working Raspberry Pi computer. On this I will explain what each bit is, why you must absolutely have it or whether you can do without it.

In my last page I said you need only get together a shopping list of 6 parts, the eagle eyed will see there are 9 on here.

  1. First the all-important Raspberry Pi
    This is a Model B+
  2. A MicroSD Card
    This one is pre-loaded with the latest version of Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi Operating System.
  3. A Power Supply
    I’ve re-purposed a mobile phone wall-wart.
  4. A Power Cable
    My first addition to the list is a USB cable to connect the Pi to the Charger.
  5. HDMI Cable
  6. Keyboard
  7. Mouse
  8. Wireless Network Adapter
    Here’s my second addition, which you’ll need if you don’t know where your Pi is going to live.
  9. Network Cable
    Should this be 8a? If you can’t go wireless, you’ll have to use wires.

By picking up a MicroSD card that is pre-loaded with the operating system for your Raspberry Pi you’re going to save yourself a the hassle of getting too technical too early in the set-up. Don’t be in a rush to get technical, there’s plenty of time for that later.

The all important recipe.
You don’t need to rush this recipe, it can be completed in a couple of minutes and is something my kids have worked through many times before. All the wires and connectors mentioned here can only go into one place, you don’t even have to worry about getting things back-to-front.

Starting off with the Pi(1), plug in the MicroSD card(2). Turn the board upside down for this and insert the card face up into the upturned socket.

You can flip the board the right way round now and connect the Micro-USB end of your power supply (3) having connected it your cable (4) if necessary. Don’t plug it into the wall just yet!

Find an empty HDMI slot on your TV and connect it to one end of your HDMI cable (5) put the other end of that cable in your socket on you Pi.

Plug your Keyboard(6) and Mouse(7) into any of the 4 USB ports on your Pi. If your Pi only has 2 ports (i.e. it’s an original Model B), use them both up.

And you’re done!

What about networking?
Networking is one of those technical bits that you shouldn’t worry yourself about the first time you’re putting a Raspberry Pi together. I’ve included the parts for Networking on my mat above but you don’t need them to get the Pi running for the first time.

You’ve got the power.
Turn on and tune your TV to the appropriate HDMI channel. Plug the power supply into the wall and turn it on.

You’ll see the Raspberry Pi go through a start-up sequence like you’ll see here.


You won’t have to wait long, perhaps no more than 45seconds. After which you’ll see this menu of options.



You will have to use the keyboard for this and trust me, the following key presses are the sequence you’ll need.

Press ENTER to select option 1 and expand the file system.
This causes the operating system to make the best use of the memory card(2) that you plugged in all those steps ago.

After the screen has gone black for a bit, it will return to the blue display and tell you that this step is done. Press ENTER to continue and you’ll be back at the original menu.

Press the DOWN ARROW twice then ENTER once to select option number 3 on the menu. You will then see other options.

Press the DOWN ARROW once and then ENTER once, to select the option to run the graphical desktop. The is no confirmation message this time, you will be taken back to the original menu straight away.

Finally press the RIGHT ARROW twice and then ENTER once to select the Finish option at the bottom of the screen.

A confirmation message will be displayed this time asking you to reboot.

Just press ENTER once.


That’s All Folks!
Your Raspberry Pi will now go through a the start up process again and that will be it. You should have a Raspberry Pi that boots up into a windows-like desktop.

I’ve timed it and you can complete all of the steps from power on to working desktop in under 2.5minutes. There aren’t that many steps you need to get involved in as the set-up process is automated and works really really well.


Let me know when you’ve had a go.
Tweet me at the link on the top of the page.


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