Getting Started with Raspberry Pi - new book about the $35 Linux computer

My friend and MAKE contributor Matt Richardson says:
Over the past few months, Shawn Wallace and I have been writing a book called Getting Started with Raspberry Pi. It's about how to use and make things with the very popular $35 credit card-sized computer. I'm happy to announce that the book is now shipping from most booksellers including Amazon.


  1. Pretty excited about doing some projects with these. Both my sons (11 & 6) got one for Christmas (maybe I should have got my own).  Spent some pretty detailed time this evening with my 11 year teaching him to launch Dosbox, mount a drive and run a program.  The 6 year has been pretty fascinated with scratch.

  2. Is this book suitable for absolute total novices? i.e. people like me who have never done anything that wasn’t on windows or OSX / iOS.

    1. Welcome to the dark side.  It’s WONDERFUL to learn unixy stuff on the command line and to really immerse yourself in this world.  I say, dive in.  You won’t regret one moment you spend learning this stuff.

    1.  It does make a very good media center. The Raspberry Pi has a very useful but rather slow CPU (ARM6) but the GPU portion of the system is relatively powerful and plays back HD media perfectly.

      I have an SD card dedicated to OpenELEC (another XBMC media center variant that runs on the Pi) and slap it in the Pi every few nights to watch Kojak re-runs.

      1. For those who don’t need to have the full trappings of a GUI OS weighing down the CPU, there’s Arch linux…  I’m using it for stuff and it’s snappy …well… snappier.  (The 12-core is “snappy.”) 

        Or you can get some performance by popping out of Debian’s UI (startx/xinit) and going commando.  But I found the Raspbian build extremely easy to set up and hit the ground running as-is.  Just get an SD card reader for your regular computer’s USB slot if you don’t have one, load it up with the image from the website like Mr. Hornby wrote.  Pop the SD card into the Pi’s slot and it boots like a champ. 

        There’s something tactile about the RPi.  It’s like how things used to be with CD players.  If you wanted music, you popped in a disk and hit play.  With the RPi, if you want a certain OS or whatever, and you pop in a different SD card and hit the power strip switch to turn it back on.  Back up in 60 seconds or so. I like that.

  3. I am pretty into my Raspbery Pi. The GPIO pins that allow you to control things externally and take in data from outside sources in a very generic way is the area I have the most to learn about and among the things that set it apart from a typical desktop/laptop/tablet in my book.

    As an example, take a look at this pretty random thread from this week on the forums. It is more typical than you would think that people do things like this with their Raspberry Pi’s (scroll down the post for the picture):

    Granted, you certainly have to bring some skills to the table to do what the guy above did, but that is the other thing that sets the Raspberry Pi apart: The community around it. That person is going to post his code and diagrams on how to accomplish the same thing he did, and probably stick around to help others.

    Just browse the forums to get a sense of what people are doing with it, the issues people run into, and the support community around it.

    For off the official forums examples of the goings on around the Raspberry Pi, take a look at:

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