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How to Get Started With Raspberry Pi 3

You now have your Raspberry Pi, what next? In this post. I’ll teach you how to configure your Raspberry Pi 3 computer ready for your first exciting Raspberry Pi project.

Simply, a Raspberry Pi is a single board credit card-sized computer that uses the Java platform and which was initially designed to enhance computer education and experimentation. However, you’ll only need to attach a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

Raspberry Pi 3

What you’ll need

Hardware & Software

  • Raspberry Pi 3 board & power supply, Ethernet cable and speakers
  • Mouse, keyboard, monitor, and Storage device
  • Raspbian software that you’ll install using NOOBS

Know your Raspberry Pi 3

Have the Raspberry Pi 3 on your desk. In its mint condition, it should not be connected to any gadgets or accessories yet. Your task will be to check whether you can identify the parts described below.

  • Micro-USB power connector– this is the point you’ll connect the power supply. However, always save power connection to be the last step as connecting the other components.
  • Ethernet port– Using a cable you’ll use this port to connect your Raspberry Pi to the available network. However, Raspberry Pi 3 also allows wireless network connection through its onboard
  • Micro-SD card slot– You’ll slot the micro-SD card into this slot. In this SD card, you’ll install the Raspberry Pi OS and store any other files.
  • HDMI port– Allows monitor connection and hence you’ll easily display the Raspberry Pi output. Further, you can use headphones or speakers, if need be, for sound.
  • USB ports– You’ll use these to connect the keyboard and mouse or even your USB drive.
  • GPIO ports– Will enable connection of electronic elements like LEDs to your Raspberry Pi.

Connect your Raspberry Pi

Now, we get down to business and connect all the components to your Raspberry Pi 3.

  • First, check if the Raspberry Pi has an SD card in the SD-card slot, which is located on the underside of the device. If not, insert the micro-SD card containing NOOB installed Raspbian.
  • Through the USB connector, connect the mouse and keyboard to any available Pi USB port.
  • Plug the monitor into the wall socket and switch on the power. Next, connect your monitor to the Raspberry Pi’s HDMI port. Note that you can use an adapter if need be. However, the screen will have a blank display.
  • Now connect the speakers or your headphones to the Raspberry Pi’s audio jack.
  • Now use the Ethernet cable to connect your Raspberry Pi 3 to the Ethernet network or router through the Ethernet port. As noted above, if you have wireless LAN, you’ll connect directly without an Ethernet cable.
  • Finally, plug the Pi 3’s power supply to the socket and the Pi’s power port on the other end. At this point, the Raspberry Pi will shine a green LED while the screen will display raspberries.
  • The Raspberry Pi 3 will now start up to a graphical desktop.

Other Critical steps

Step 1: Format your Pi micro-SD card

If your SD card is not already formatted and Raspbian installed, then you’ll need to first format the micro-SD to make it ready to handle the OS you’ll downward. Formatting the SD card (check these memory card) will help clean all the extraneous files and thus become ready to hold the Raspbian OS.

  1. Slide the micro-SD card to your USB card reader and connect it to the PC.
  2. Launch the SD Formatter 5.0 (download here) and under the “Select Card” option click the micro-SD card in the drop-down
  3. Hit format! Wait for the formatting process to complete and finally hit ok.

Step 2: Download NOOBS to your micro-SD card

The other step is to install NOOB to your micro-SD card. Therefore, connect the microSD card to your PC.

  1. Download NOOBS Version 2.4.5. in its ZIP file. Wait for the download process to finish. Note that you should not download the NOOBS Lite since it does not have a Raspbian.
  2. Next, open the downloaded NOOBS file. Now, open the first file in the above folder and select all the folders in it. Finally, drag and drop all the files you’ve selected onto the SD card icon located on the PC.
  3. Finally, eject the micro-SD card by right-clicking the SD-card icon.

Step 3: Download Raspbian OS

For beginners, Raspbian is an excellent operating system as it is easy to use and it is widely applied in raspberry projects. However, you can also reconfigure the Raspberry Pi if you’ll require to use another type of OS.

  1. On the display monitor, select Raspbian and hit install.
  2. Confirm the installation by clicking “Yes”.
  3. Give it some few minutes to complete the Raspbian installation.
  4. Once finished, you’ll notice an automatic Raspberry Pi reboot.


There you have, the entire process of how you can get started using Raspberry Pi 3. I hope the process outlined is elaborated enough buy adequately simplified to guide you through the process.

About Isaac Munyiri

Raspberry Pi Enthusiastic, Java developer. Engineer. The brains behind safetomatic.com

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