Raspberry Pi 4 Kit Hookup Guide

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Contributors: bboyho, MTaylor
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Getting an OS

The microSD card included in each kit does not have an image flashed. You'll need to flash a new image to the microSD card if you are just starting out or if your existing image becomes corrupt somewhere down the line. There are a few Linux-based images available depending on your application. Or feel free to power down your Pi and switch microSD cards out to experiment with a different image. For beginners, we recommend getting NOOBS. Otherwise, the Raspbian with the PIXEL desktop would be the best.

  • NOOBS (i.e. New Out-Of-the Box Software) - Contains Raspbian and LibreELEC. Other images can also be downloaded from the internet and installed.
  • Raspbian - Official Raspberry Pi Debian-based computer operating system. There are three downloads. We recommend the desktop version with recommended software. The other downloads are the same but with less software. For advanced users, Raspbian Lite is the minimal text-only version and requires users to navigate using the command line interface (CLI).
  • Other 3rd Party OS Images - There are other distributions available from third-party. If you are feeling adventurous, check out the other images available!

For the scope of this tutorial, we will summarize two of the images from the Pi foundation.

Flashing the Image NOOBS

If you decide to use NOOBS, you will need to:

  • Insert the microSD card into a card reader.
  • Download the ZIP file for NOOBS.


  • Extract the ZIP file.
  • Format your Raspberry Pi's microSD card if needed.
  • Copy all the contents from the unzipped folder into the microSD card.
  • Eject the microSD card from your computer.

Flashing the Image Raspbian and 3rd Party OS Images

Then follow the steps below to flash an image using the Raspberry Pi Imager.

  • Insert the microSD card and card reader into your computer's port.
  • Open the software imaging tool [2] of your choice (in this case, we'll use the Raspberry Pi Imager for your OS but you can use other images as well).


  • Press CHOOSE OS to select the Operating System from the list (in this case, we'll use one of the Raspbian images but you could use any of the 3rd party images ).
  • Press CHOOSE SD CARD to select mounted microSD Card.
  • Press Write (it will take a while depending on the image and microSD card so just do a little dance as you wait).
  • Eject the microSD card when finished.