Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi

Getting Started

The first Code Club Raspberry Pi project gets the children to assemble the Raspberry Pi and its peripherals. It assumes that an SD card with the Raspberry Pi operating system will be available so you will need to acquire or prepare this first.

Hardware Requirements

We recommend buying a Raspberry Pi bundle which includes a Raspberry Pi, a compatible 5V power supply and a micro SD card with NOOBS or Raspbian installed.

In some venues you will be able to borrow a monitor, keyboard, mouse and headphones and won’t need to get items specically for the Raspberry Pi.

You will need:

  • A monitor with the correct cable and adapter
  • A micro USB power supply
  • A wired keyboard and mouse, or a wireless keyboard and mouse with a Bluetooth adapter
  • A micro SD card
  • A Raspberry Pi
  • Optionally, headphones or a speaker
  • Optionally, an ethernet cable (the Pi has onboard Wifi so you may use this instead if you need connectivity)
  • Some projects will require additional hardware, see projects for details

See the Raspberry Pi Hardware Guide for more details.

Useful things to note:

  • Many older monitors (and projectors) will use VGA cables so you’ll need an HDMI adapter for the Raspberry Pi.
  • To get sound you’ll either need an HDMI monitor/TV with speakers or a set of headphones or speakers connected to the Pi.
  • If you want to use a microphone then you’ll need a USB microphone.
  • Newer models of the Raspberry Pi use a micro SD card whereas older models use a full size SD card (or micro SD card with adapter.)

Installing the Raspbian Operating System

You’ll need an operating system for your Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi runs Raspbian a version of Debian Linux.

You may have bought a bundle with an SD Card with Raspbian already installed, if not you’ll need to install it.

NOOBS vs Raspbian

NOOBS is a straightforward way to install Raspbian and our recommended option for first time users. You download the NOOBS zip file to an SD card, put the SD card in the Pi, power the Pi and you’ll be taken through the installation. See Installing Raspbian using NOOBS for details.

If you use NOOBS then you may want to run it and install Raspbian on each SD card before starting the first project. That way all children will have the same experience and won’t have to wait while the operating system installs.

Alternatively you can write a Raspbian bootable image to an SD card. See Installing Raspberry Pi Images for instructions.

Connecting Everything Up


We recommend that volunteers work through the first Code Club Raspberry Pi project which includes instructions on connecting up the Raspberry Pi.

You can also find information in the the Raspberry Pi Hardware Setup Quickstart

Saving work

The Raspberry Pi saves files to its SD card. You can also connect the Raspberry Pi to a local network to save work or use online accounts or USB drives.