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Raspberry Pi: A Quick-Start Guide


Cover image for Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

A Quick-Start Guide


The Raspberry Pi is a $35, full-blown micro computer that runs Linux. Use its video, audio, network, and digital I/O to create media centers, web servers, interfaces to external hardware—you name it. And this book gives you everything you need to get started.

New Updates

The Raspberry Pi’s greatest feature is its creative and amazingly productive community, which releases updates and new products on a daily basis. It’s hard to keep up with the pace, but thanks to our Pragmatic eXpress series you’ll always get the latest and most accurate information about your favorite mini computer. This book now contains an all-new chapter about sensors. It explains how to use digital and analog sensors with the Pi—even though the Pi doesn’t have analog input ports! We’ve added a small section about the new PiStore and we’ve updated the GPIO chapter to cover the differences between the different revisions of the Pi boards. And, even more updates are coming soon for this book!

Customer Reviews

A wonderfully clear, concise, and useful introduction to the Raspberry Pi.

- Michael Hunter

This is the owner’s manual all Raspberry Pi buyers should get before they start
diving in. It’s clear, comprehensive and succinct. I couldn’t ask for more.

- Thomas Lockney

Professional Geek

Schmidt takes a quick dip into many of the things you can do with a Raspberry
Pi straight out of the box. I found it very useful for understanding exactly what I
can use my Pi for, and it’s given me some ideas for what I can do next!

- Stephen Orr

Technical Enthusiast and Web Developer

The Raspberry Pi is bringing back the golden days of experimenting with home
computers and Maik’s book is an ideal starting point. The included projects are
perfect for Raspberry Pi users of any age or level of experience.

- Tony Williamitis

Senior Embedded Systems Engineer

See All Reviews

About this Title

Pages: 152
Published: 2012-08-08
Release: P3.0 (2013-04-30)
ISBN: 978-1-93778-504-8

Raspberry Pi: A Quick-Start Guide gives you everything you need to get the Raspberry Pi up and running and doing cool stuff. You’ll get started by learning what additional hardware you need and how to connect it, install Debian Linux and configure it to your needs, and customize the Pi’s firmware to get the most out of your hardware.

Then the fun begins. You’ll connect the Pi to your home network and try surfing the web and tweeting messages. You’ll learn how to get the most out of Midori, the Pi’s standard browser. Then in a few simple steps you’ll turn the Pi into a kiosk system that displays Twitter live search information. You’ll also learn how you can control the desktops of other PCs in your house with the Pi.

Once you have the basics down, you’ll explore the Pi’s versatility with a series of home projects. Turn it into a web server in your home network. Convert the Pi into a powerful multimedia center so you can watch high-definition video and listen to your favorite music. Play classic video games. Use the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi to build electronics projects such as an “out of memory” alarm, and learn how to access the project using a web browser. Then connect digital and analog sensors to the Pi to monitor the outside world. Power to the Pi!

What You Need:

You need a Raspberry Pi and several things that you probably already have at home such as a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor/TV set, and an SD card.

Contents & Extracts

  • Acknowledgments


  • Meet the Raspberry Pi
    • Get to Know the Hardware
    • What Else You Need
    • Next Steps
  • Install an Operating System
    • See What’s Available
    • Prepare a Bootable SD Card
    • Next Steps
  • Configure Raspbian
    • Boot the Pi for the First Time
    • Customize Your Installation with Raspi-config
    • Start the Desktop
    • Manage Your Software with apt-get
    • Install Software and Media Using Pi Store
    • Next Steps
  • Configure the Firmware
    • Update the Firmware/Kernel
    • Configure the Video Output
    • Test and Configure the Audio System
    • Next Steps
  • Intermezzo: Build a Kiosk with the Pi
    • Display Twitter Live Search Information
    • Refresh Websites Automatically
    • Next Steps
  • Networking with the Pi excerpt
    • Perform Everyday Tasks on the Web
    • Use Secure Shell with the Pi
    • Share Desktops with the Pi
    • Turn the Pi into a Web Server
    • Add WiFi to the Pi
    • Next Steps
  • Turn the Pi into a Multimedia Center
    • Install Raspbmc
    • Start Raspbmc for the First Time
    • Add Files to XBMC
    • Control XBMC Remotely
    • Next Steps
  • Play Games on Your Pi
    • Play Interactive Fiction
    • Play Point-and-Click Adventures
    • Emulate Other Platforms
    • Play Native Games
    • Next Steps
  • Tinker with the GPIO Pins
    • What You Need
    • Meet the Pi’s GPIO Pins excerpt
    • Build a Basic Circuit
    • Control an LED Using the GPIO Pins
    • Build an “Out of Memory” Alarm
    • Display the GPIO Status in a Browser
    • What If It Doesn’t Work?
    • Next Steps
  • Working With Digital and Analog Sensors
    • What You Need
    • Detecting Motion with the Pi
    • Measuring Temperature with the Pi
    • What If It Doesn’t Work
    • Next Steps
  • A Linux Primer
    • A First Encounter
    • Navigate Through the File System
    • Edit Text Files
    • Manage Users
    • Manage Processes
    • Shut Down and Reboot the Pi
    • Getting Help


Maik Schmidt has worked as a software developer for nearly 20 years and makes
a living creating complex solutions for large enterprises. Outside his day
job, he writes book reviews and articles for computer science magazines. He is
the author of Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide, Enterprise Recipes with Ruby
and Rails
, and Enterprise Integration with Ruby for Pragmatic Bookshelf.