Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide

Contributors: MTaylor
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Getting an OS

Note: At the time this was written, the kit comes with a 16GB card loaded with the Noobs OS installation image, version 1.9.0. This card should be ready to boot right out of the box.

Getting a New Image

If something didn't work, or the installation has been corrupted (messing around in the file system were you?), getting a new copy is easy.

  • Obtain the Noobs OS from raspberrypi.org.
  • Format the card to erase all the files.
  • Unzip the contents of the Noobs zip file to the empty, formatted microSD card.

That's it! You're ready to go. For other imaging, check out this tutorial on sd cards and writing images:

SD Cards and Writing Images

How to upload images to an SD card for Raspberry Pi, PCDuino, or your favorite SBC.

You can also check out this guide from the Raspberry Pi foundation.

The First Boot

Before you apply power for the first time, run through this pre-flight checklist.

  • Is the microSD card installed and seated firmly?
  • Is the HDMI attached and the monitor powered?
  • Are the mouse and keyboard plugged in?
  • Are the mouse and keyboard standard USB, not wireless? -- Some wireless keyboards have trouble enumerating, so use one you trust.
  • Is the whole setup secure on your desk and not liable to jump onto the floor at the first touch?

Ok, you're ready to apply the power to the Pi.

Power Adapter Requirement! Make sure the power being supplied is from the included 5.24V, 2.4A power supply and not your USB connection. The USB most likely won't have enough current supplying capacity and will result in a brown-out of the Pi that can damage it, and it will likely mess up the files on your SD card.

First, you should see a color chart appear on your screen that indicates the Pi has power and is doing something but doesn't have software loaded yet.

Next, Noobs asks if the raspbian distro should be installed. Check the box to select it, and choose your language/keyboard layout here (can also be changed later).

Noobs will take a few minutes to manage the partitions and install the OS.

When it's done, it should report that the OS was installed successfully. Click OK, the Pi will reboot into a graphical interface.

The Noobs default configuration is to auto-log in as user pi, password raspberry.

Performing a Full System Upgrade

Once connected to the Internet (see the Configuring the Pi section), it can be a good idea update all the packages that are currently installed. Usually, new packages replace old ones that are faulty, but sometimes new packages have bugs of their own. If your current system is stable and all the functions are good, maybe don't upgrade. If you're starting a fresh project though, get everything up-to-date before you start putting in the work.

Enter the following commands in the shell (process takes about 10 minutes).

  • sudo apt-get update -- go fetch the latest package information.
  • sudo apt-get upgrade -- And answer Y. Upgrades all the packages. This stage will take a while.
  • sudo shutdown -r now -- Reboot the machine.