First use of the Pi

The following steps describe how to download the Debian Wheezy operating system and some applications, transfer them to your SD Card and start using the Pi. There are many steps but they are not very arduous or time-consuming. Steps 1 to 6 are unnecessary if you already have a card with the operating system on it (and are possible before you obtain your Pi if you are really keen).

  1. Start your Internet browser and go to http://www.utorrent.com/downloads to install a Bit Torrent Client.
    This allows you to use BitTorrent links for downloading large files. These share the downloading and prevent overloading of the servers for the RaspberryPi site.
  2. Download a zipped binary containing a Debian Wheezy (hard float) OS from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
  3. Unzip the .zip file and make a note of where it is stored.
  4. Download the zipped Image Writer for Windows from https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer
  5. Unzip the zipped Image Writer for Windows to a folder that you can locate easily.
    (Our win32diskimager-binary containing the executable is in the Program Files (x86) folder).
  6. With an SD card in the card reader/writer (or in a USB card reader/writer to connect to a USB port), execute the Image Writer to copy the Debian .img file to your card.
  7. Edit config.txt (e.g. with Notepad) to configure the output for your screen. We appended the lines hdmi_group=2 and hdmi_mode=16
    The first line indicates a digital monitor. The second gives a 1024 x 768 pixel display at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. (This was the highest resolution we achieved without any horizontal black lines or flickering).
  8. Connect your mouse, keyboard, Internet cable, USB hub (with power off) and screen to your Pi, and firmly press in the SD card.
  9. Connect the power cable and power-up the Pi and hub.
    You should see writing on the screen and be presented with boot options this first time you boot up from the card.
  10. Expand the file system root to fill available space (menu option: expand_rootfs).
    (This will not actually take place until you boot up again).
  11. Change the password.
  12. Exit from the menu (using the tab and Enter keys) and wait for the booting to complete and the command prompt to appear.
  13. At the command prompt type sudo reboot so that the file system root will be expanded.

The next step is to install and start to use Lazarus. The next topic describes how to do that.

Programming - a skill for life!

Setting up the Raspberry Pi, installing Lazarus, use of the GPIO port (with and without PiFace), web servers and remote control