3. Install the System of the Raspberry Pi

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There are normally two methods to install the system of the Raspberry Pi: NOOBS, or the image.

Note: The TF card in the kit already has the 2017-1-11 system installed. If you want to write it yourself, you can take the following steps. Or, just skip this chapter.

3.1 Preparations

For installation, you need to prepare the following materials besides the Raspberry Pi.

Required:

  1. A microSD card is offered in the kit. If you already have one with the NOOBS installed, a card reader is unnecessary; if not, you need to get one. The storage of the SD card should be no less than 8GB (at least 3.5G will be occupied after installation); the card just works as the hard disk in a computer.
  2. The DC 5V power at the Micro USB port supplies the Raspberry Pi. On their official website, you are suggested to use a power adapter of above 2.5A for the model 3 B and above 2A for other models. A 5V/3A power adapter is provided in the kit.

  Optional:

3. A USB mouse, a USB keyboard and an HDMI display (if your monitor only has a VGA port, you need to prepare a VGA-HDMI converter). These are optional for remote login. However, if you want to use NOOBS to install the system, these are all necessary.

3.2 Install by NOOBS 

This is a simple method recommended by the official Raspberry Pi organization. Besides Raspbian, when connecting to the internet, the NOOBS can be used for installing various systems online including OpenELEC, OSMC, Windows 10 IOT core, etc. If you are a developer, you are suggested to use the Raspbian system since it is developed based on the Debian and provided with various code samples, software and related materials by the official organization and other developers. You can find the official website of these systems on the Raspberry Pi website and check details.

Procedures:

1. Insert the SD card into the card reader and connect it to the computer.

2. Download the NOOBS via https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/. You can choose between NOOBS and NOOBS LITE – the only difference is that there is a built-in offline Raspbian installer in NOOBS, while you can only install online using the NOOBS LITE. You’re recommended to download the NOOBS package if the network is not so fast.

3. After downloading, unzip the whole package to the root directory of your SD card. It will be like this after unzipping.

4. Remove the SD card from the computer and the card reader. Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi, and connect it to the display (via an HDMI cable, then power the play on), the mouse and keyboard. Then connect to the 5V DC power to start up the Raspberry Pi.

5. It will come to the NOOBS interface after starting up. For the first time, you need to choose Wi-Fi networks (w) to set the Wi-Fi. Once the Wi-Fi has been connected successfully, the systems available online will be shown on the list.

6. Tick the checkbox of the Raspbian and click Install at the top left corner. The NOOBS will complete the installation automatically. It will take a few minutes, so just take a rest.

7. After installation is done, the system will restart automatically and the system desktop will appear. So far, the installation has been completed.

You can check the detailed tutorial of NOOBS on the official website of the Raspberry Pi at:  https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/noobs-setup/.

3.3 Install by Burning the Image

If you only have a Raspberry Pi board and no display, what to do then? Well, you can try writing the image to install the system under such a circumstance.

Procedures:

1. Prepare the tool of image burning. Here we use the win32DiskImager which has been included in the package downloaded previously.

2. Download the complete image on the official website at this link: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/. Both the Raspbian Jessie and Raspbian Jessie Lite are available, but Raspbian Jessie would be a better choice if you have no special requirements.

3. Unzip the downloaded package and you will see the xxxx-xx-xx-raspbian-jessie.img file inside. Note: This file is NOT extractable.

4. Open the win32DiskImager and insert the SD card into the computer with a card reader. Select the image file and the drive (the card) in the tool. Click Write to write the system to the SD card. Wait for a while until the system is written to the card.

When the progress bar comes to the end and a prompt “write successful” appears, click OK. Unplug the device safely and you can then insert the programmed SD card into the Raspberry Pi and boot.

Certainly, you can use a display when programming the SD card with image.

Connect the display, keyboard, and mouse to the Raspberry Pi respectively. Then insert the programmed SD card and plug the 5V DC power supply. You can see the startup interface on the screen.

If no display and others, you only need to insert the SD card and plug the 5V DC power supply.

Warning: Please DO NOT unplug the power supply when the green LED is blinking (indicating the Raspberry Pi is loading the file); otherwise, the data on the SD card may be lost and you would need to re-install the system to the card.