Raspberry Pi Linux Lesson 2: Getting Started and Installing Operating System

In LESSON 1 we described the gear you would need to work with the Raspberry Pi. At this point you should have the equipment in and be ready to go. In this lesson we will show you how to get your pi up and running. The first thing you are going to need to do is to format your SD card. Please note that you SHOULD NOT use the standard windows formatting routine. You need to download the SD association card formater. You can get the latest version HERE. At the bottom of the page accept the terms, and the download should begin.  After downloading, click the file and installation should begin. After installation, the program can be used to properly format your SD card.

After you have formatted your card, the next thing is to download the operating system for the pi. The easiest way to get started is to download the NOOBS system HERE.  You can select the Download Zip link. After downloading the file, open the zip folder and remover the contents from the zip folder. You can put the contents into another normal folder that you name “NOOBS”. After you have extracted the contents from the ZIP folder onto the NOOBS folder, you are ready to move it to the SD card. You want to copy the CONTENTS of the NOOBS folder to your SD card. Do not copy the NOOBS folder itself to the SD card, just the contents.

You are now ready to boot your Pi. First, plug the SD card into your Raspberry Pi. Now connect a keyboard to a USB port, and then connect a mouse to a USB port. You can also connect an Ethernet cable if you like. The last thing to connect is the power. Note that you must be careful to NEVER remove the SD card while the Pi is powered up. This will corrupt the card. You should always properly shutdown the pi with Linux command “sudo shutdown” before removing power from the Raspberry pi. It is fairly easy to corrupt the SD card if you are not careful.

When you see the pi come to life, you will be asked what to install. Choose the Raspbian operating system, and then click install. It will take about an hour for it to install the operating system.  After the installation is complete, it will offer you a menu of options on configuring the pi. For these lessons, we are going to use the Linux terminal to control the pi and learn Linux. We will go through the graphical user interface in later lessons, but for now we are going to learn Linux

13 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Linux Lesson 2: Getting Started and Installing Operating System”

  1. Dear Mr. Paul,
    I am a bit worried about the fact that the raspberry pi is very powerfull but at the same time very volnurable when electricity is a concern. Is there any suggestion or remedy when, for example, in the middle of typing a power outage occurs. As I understand the sdhc card will get corrupted. What does that actually mean?
    OK, so I gather a UPS is a must, right ?

    Thank you in advance for any advice .
    Sincerely, Vladimir

    1. I think the best thing is to keep the SD card backed up. I do not use UPS. If you lose power, and if your card is corrupted, you can reload the operating system from backup. In an earlier lesson I show how to back the SD card up.

      1. Yes, you are absolutely right …. lesson 20, how could I have missed it…. So in a nut shell, back up the system and use an external drive to save all the work….
        I guess I’ll be saving a bundle on the ups….

        Cheers, Vladimir

  2. Mr. Paul,

    Thank you for the excellent lessons.
    I followed the instructions to install NOOBS .
    I downloaded the latest version 1.9.2 on the official website
    At the end of the installation i have no menu or options on configuring the pi.
    For the first lessons the pi must boot in the Linux terminal to learn Linux but after installation of NOOBS 1.9.2 the pi boot up immediately in the graphical user interface.

    Is there a way to solve this ?

    Kind regards
    A 55 years old student from Belgium.

  3. To the 55 years old student from Belgium, they updated this software with the release that you and I downloaded, so I had this same issue. This release now boots by default to a Linux desk top. To solve this, I found that you can tell the graphical interface how you want the Pi to boot up the next time it runs. This is what I did to get it to boot to the prompt shown in this video so that I can now follow the Linux lessons.
    Try that.

  4. Is anyone trying to go through these lessons using a a Pi 3? That’s what I have, but I’m waiting for the keyboard and monitor to arrive before I get started. Just wondering if anybody had a tips with regards to using the 3 here.

  5. Mr. Paul I’m having an issue with my pi3 after I format my SD card and place the files in it and than go over to the pi to boot it up, it turns on and than the rainbow screen pops up than it starts that load but right after it tells me error resizing the FAT partition, and that the File system is reporting the free space as 490476 clusters, not 454501 clusters, can you please tell me why this is happening.

    1. I have not seen that before, but make sure you are formating the card like I show in the video. Do not format it with the windows formatter. You have to download the formatter I show in the video. If you do things EXACTLY like I show in the video it should work. If not, try a different SD card.

  6. I have a Pi 3 v1.2 with USB wireless keyboard and mouse, a official Pi 7″ touch screen connected and 16Gb SD card. I downloaded and installed NOOBs Lite on the SD card as I wanted to see what other operating system are available. Everything worked fine when I powered up.
    I had to log on to my local WiFi network (require Network Security Key) to successfully download and install the Lite version of Raspbian. Type, pi as user, then raspberry for password to log in.
    Then made a backup of the SD card.
    Thank you Paul for this lesson. Keep them coming.

  7. Hi,

    Raspberry Pi newbie here. I just copied the files directly from the zip file to the u-SD card and used it to boot up the Pi until I saw your video clip. It worked fine for me so far but it’s complaining that there’s not enough space on home when I tried to copy the strobe software in the lesson 38. Is there a particular reason why you unzip it first and copy the files to the u-SD card? Or that’s the way how you like it??

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