Setup Raspberry Pi 3

The Raspberry Pi 3 is an excellent device for those who want the power of a full desktop with the footprint of a small mobile device. Setting up the raspberry Pi 3 is very easy and only takes 15 minutes.

What you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • MicroSD Card (Preferably class 10 or higher)
  • Micro USB Cable and Charger
  • Ethernet Cable (Unless you want to use WiFi)
  • HDMI Cable

Setup Raspberry Pi 3

There are a couple of different operating system that you could use on the Raspberry Pi. However, I recommended that you use Raspbian because it’s specifically made for the Raspberry Pi and has all the tools that I beginner or novice would need for the device. To install Raspbian, download NOOBS. I am using the offline installer, but if you plan to have your Pi connected to the internet, you can use the online installer. After the download finishes, extract the zip to somewhere on your desktop.

Next, connect your SD card to your computer and use the program SD Card Formatter to format it. Make sure SIZE ADJUSTMENT is set to ON.

SD Formatter

SDXC Cards

If you’re using an SD Card that is 64 GB or greater, there is an extra step that you are going to need to take. By default, Windows only allows SDXC cards to be formatted to exFat or NTFS and not FAT32. However, the Raspbian bootloader requires that the card is in a FAT32 format. The simple way around that is to download this standalone program called guiformat.exe and let it format your card again (keep all the options default).

Gui Format

Now when you check your SDXC in Windows explorer, it should be FAT32.

Finally, transfer all the files inside of the Noobs zip to the root of your SD card.

On your Pi

After the files have been transferred, connect your SD card to your Pi and power it on (there is no power switch, the Pi comes on as soon as you connect the power source). Be sure that you have your Pi connected to a display so that you can continue through the setup process. At the installation screen, you can select the pieces of software that you want to install. Of course, you need to install the Raspbian OS. Optionally, you can also install XMBC (Kodi) on your Pi. When you’re ready hit install and it will begin installing the OS.

Raspberry Pi 3 Setup Screen

SSH Access (Optional)

It’s a good idea to have SSH setup so that you can access your Pi via command line from any computer without needing a display. To enable SSH, go to the Preferences Menu and Launch the Raspberry Pi Configuration. Then to to the Interfaces Tab and enable SSH.

Now make sure that your Pi is connected to the internet through WiFi or ethernet.. YAou will need to know the IP address of your Pi. To find the IP address, type in the following in terminal: ifconfig

You should see your local IP address listed under Wlan0 (or Eth0, depending on your configuration).

Accessing SSH on Windows

To access SSH on Windows, download the Putty Client. In putty, type in the IP address for the hostname, then hit connect. It will ask you to save the keys, type in yes. The default username and password for the pi is pi and raspberry. You will want to change these at some point.

Raspberry Pi 3 Putty

VNC Access (Optional)

There might be times where you want to see the GUI without connecting a physical monitor to the raspberry pi. This is where VNC comes in handy. To setup VNC, go to the Preferences Menu and Launch the Raspberry Pi Configuration. Then to to the Interfaces Tab and enable VNC.

Also, make sure that you have the proper software installed on your Pi. In terminal, type in the following:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer

Now, you can use your favorite client to connect to the VNC. I usually go with the Chrome Extension. The default username and password is pi and raspberry. The default port is 5900.