Session notes, 19th Jan 2013

What is the Raspberry PI?

Produced by Raspberry PI foundation

Released in Feb 2012

System on a Chip (SOC) – CPU & GPU + RAM on single chip – unlike PC architecture.

Model A – Single USB, No network port

Model B 2 USB port, network port

512MB RAM on newer models

Runs Linux Operating System

Operating System is stored on SD card

Raspberry PI does not come with monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, Operating System, hard disk

What the PI can be used for

Web browsing – Default browser is Midori

App development - Scratch, Python installed

Multi media server, web server ..etc

GPIO to control LEDs ..etc

Connections on the PI – Model B

SD Card slot – used to hold SD card which contains the Operating System

USB – 2 USB connections

LAN – for wired internet connectivity

HDMI – Provide High Definition picture quality and is used to connect to digital TV or monitors. HDMI connection can carry video and audio sign. A DVI or VGA connector can also be used to connect to computer monitors.

Power supply – micro USB (same as used in some mobile phones)

General Purpose Input/Output – Set of 26 pins that can be used to connect to other electronic devices.

Composite video out - Provide “low” definition picture quality and is used to connect to older TV

Audio – Standard 3.5mm jack which can be used to connect headphones or external speakers.


Putting Linux on SD card


  • Suggest standard Raspbain “wheezy” image

  • For Windows OS – you need Win32DiskImager app to copy Linux image to SD cards

Connecting up the PI

  • Keyboard and mouse connected to 2 USB ports. An additional USB Hub may be connected to PI to provide additional USB ports

  • HDMI cable to TV/monitor

  • Put DS card into slot on PI

  • Power supply

  • Boot Up

Booting up for 1st time

Runs through some configuration tasks and checks

Configuration program (Raspi-config) starts. This allows you configure some key features.

  • Use expand_rootfs option to utilise all space on SD card

  • Can use boot_behaviour option to boot directly into GUI, will come back and use this options later.

  • Look at memory_split option to show/change on RAM is split between CPU & GPU

  • Look at configure_keyboard to ensure correct setting

Raspi-config can be started manually by running sudo raspi-config

Login user: pi / Password: raspberry

To start the desktop - startx

Other items

Look at apps/tools already installed (Scratch, Midori Brower, Terminal)