Since it was created as a mini computer , intended for basic computer education, the popularity of the Raspberry Pi has only increased as more uses for it are discovered.
This single board has earned a place on the desk of programmers and techies alike for its sheer versatility and number of practical applications.
If you qualify in this category, you will be eager to learn as much as possible about the use and handling of the Raspberry Pi , and right now we are giving you a guide that will teach you how to apply your knowledge to use this device as a professional would.
What is Raspberry Pi and what are these single board computers for?
Raspberry Pi is low-cost, single-board hardware, produced in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, aimed at facilitating computer science and programming education. However, the popularity of the first board was greater than the creators expected , as development enthusiasts bought them in large numbers due to their great utility in fields such as robotics and programming.
The main reason for the great popularity of the Raspberry is due to the versatility that its open source software gives it and the possibility of installing other operating systems for various purposes.
Thanks to thousands of developers, there is a huge number of add-ons that can be attached to the Raspberry Pi through its GPIO ports or its USB connection ports to increase its capabilities. The uses that can be given to a board are many and varied, from a low-resource desktop computer and a retro console, to a TV Box similar to Chromecast and a NAS server for your private cloud .
What are all the uses that can be given to a Raspberry Pi? Main applications of the plate
Thanks to the wide variety of operating systems with which it is compatible, the Raspberry Pi has an incredibly wide range of uses , in addition to adapting to a large number of external accessories that increase the possible uses exponentially.
Here is a short list of the most practical uses that have become popular:
private web server
The Raspberry Pi has all the capabilities to be used as a NAS server to store your data in your own private cloud and access it from any computer in your home. We will be able to use all these capabilities for a very low cost in relation to commercial file hosting services , in addition to having the advantage that the hard drives where everything is stored are in your own home.
All that is required for this project is a MicroSD with the OpenMediaVault operating system , an external storage drive, and a stable internet connection. Once everything is configured, you can store your data from different computers connected to the network on your own secure web server.
This is one of the most popular projects to be carried out with the Raspberry Pi, and it will allow us to use it as a device that will turn any TV with HDMI into a Smart TV with internet access, a multimedia file player and an internet connection. The requirements for this project are really simple. What you need is a Raspberry Pi board, a MicroSD of at least 4Gb with NOOBS installed , which will give you access to LibreElec, OpenElec and OSMC operating systems .
These operating systems work with Kodi software , and will allow you to play a wide range of video formats, movies, audio files, YouTube and online channels.
amusement arcade system
All it takes to turn your Raspberry Pi board into a retro console is one of the many accessory kits available on the market, which are designed specifically for this purpose. These kits include gamepads, power supplies, and even retro console-themed cases . You will also need a class 10 MicroSD of at least 32 Gb to store the operating system and the games you want to save.
The procedure is as simple as installing NOOBS on the MicroSD card and selecting the RetroPie operating system . You can also install the RecalBox or Batocera operating systems , which essentially do the same thing. After this, you only have to make a few minor configurations according to what the system indicates and you can start emulating your favorite retro games .
The Raspberry Pi is designed primarily to be a desktop computer, so all you’ll need to build it this way is the computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, and monitor) and a MicroSD card with an operating system installed, or the NOOBS wizard to simplify the process .
Our small board contains all the necessary components to function as a low-end PC that will allow you to perform basic PC tasks such as online browsing, creating and editing documents, and playing multimedia files.
Crypto asset mining node
It is an extremely interesting and educational project that will help you learn how the nodes work and the cryptocurrency mining process with Raspberry Pi. All the hardware you’re going to need is a Raspberry Pi , a Power Supply , a MicroSD to install the Raspberry Pi OS, an HDD case , along with an SSD hard drive of at least 120 GB , computer peripherals, and a connection. stable internet.
This project will allow you to fully venture into the world of cryptocurrency mining, allowing you to work with a variety of low-value crypto assets. While the project itself will not pay you financially, it is a great way to gain valuable and applicable knowledge for any future endeavors involving the use of mining nodes.
Programming on Raspberry Pi What are the main languages that can be used in development projects?
Both for the use of the operating system and for projects related to the GPIO ports of the Raspberry Pi , programming languages are a fundamental part of the general knowledge about the use of this equipment. It supports a variety of programming languages giving it a wide range of different capabilities.
Among the programming languages usable in the Raspberry Pi we can find:
It is the most widely used programming language by creators and programmers using the Raspberry Pi .
It is a dynamically typed language that allows the Pi’s GPIO pins to be used for a wide variety of purposes ranging from lighting LED lights, using sensors, to programming to power DC motors. Thanks to the widespread use of this programming language, acquiring the ability to understand and use it is imperative to take full advantage of the most advanced possibilities of the Raspberry Pi.
It is a series of interrelated programming languages . Each one is a derivative of the previous one and they are intended for different uses depending on the purpose of the programmer.
The C language is a mid-level language designed for programming software and applications, while the C++ language is more oriented towards interaction with the outside world by handling objects, without neglecting the creation of software. The C# language , pronounced C Sharp , is a programming language intended for development using the .NET API and, being a derivative of the C and C++ languages, allows for both software programming and object interaction.
It was created for programming and development in the multimedia section . This programming language is ideal for creating audiovisual and artistic projects. This language will allow the digital artist to interface with the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO ports for LED light art and other basic visual art projects.
It is a basic language designed to facilitate the first steps in the world of programming. It is segmented into blocks and emphasizes the logic of programming languages, rather than their syntax , making them easier to understand and providing a foundation for learning other languages. Its field of operation focuses on the creation of interactive content such as stories, artistic productions, games and music.
Boards and accessories to get started on Raspberry Pi. What do I need to buy to start developing projects with these mini computers?
The first thing you have to understand about how the Raspberry Pi works is that it was created to be a computer , so the number of accessories to give it this use is enormous. Many of these accessories are, in fact, necessary for many of the uses that the Raspberry Pi has , so now you will see a compilation of the essential accessories to start working with your Pi.
Go for it:
The first step you need to take to start working with this board is, of course, to purchase the Raspberry Pi .
There is a variety of models that adapt to different budgets and needs, all in a very accessible way:
Raspberry Pi Zero WH
It remains in the low price range , increasing this time to an average of 30 euros, and adding Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection to its connectivity features.
Raspberry Pi 3B +
It offers a little less than its successor in terms of RAM , staying at 1 GB , but its processor offers more than enough power for most projects applicable to the Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi 4B
One of the best models of the Pi that offers up to 8 GB of RAM , which will allow us to run the most demanding programs such as the desktop PC or private server function.
Cases or cases
The number of uses for Raspberry Pi is extremely wide, and thanks to that there is a huge variety of cases that can be purchased to, in addition to protecting the board, give it an image according to its use.
Among the most popular cases for the Raspberry Pi, we can find:
Akuru Transparent Box
It is a visually very attractive case that will protect your Raspberry Pi board, also offering a view of it with all its components.
GeeekPî NesPi Case+
This case model for the Pi appeals to the nostalgic user who plans to turn his Raspberry into a retro console . It offers an attractive Classic NES theme to add to the theme of the project.
It’s one of the most popular and is available in a variety of Raspberry Pi themed colours, it’s a sturdy material case that will protect your board and it’s included in the starter set , along with all the wiring components.
This peripheral is one of the most important purchases you can make to work with your Raspberry Pi, due to the fact that for most of the uses you want to make of it, you will usually need a text input method to enter commands.
For this purpose, the best keyboards you can buy for your Raspberry Pi are:
It has wireless function and dedicated buttons for selection that can replace the use of the mouse . In addition, it has a touchpad and compatibility for various operating systems. It is one of the most popular choices to control Kodi media center .
Rii Mini i8
It is a multifunctional wireless keyboard for the Raspberry Pi as well as many other computers with various operating systems. It is possible to use it for both computer tasks and multimedia control.
Rii K18 wireless keyboard
It is a cheap QWERTY keyboard with all the command options for multimedia control and an attractive design , which in addition to being compatible with Raspberry Pi, is also compatible with Windows, MAC, Linux, iOS and Android.
Logitech K780 Wireless Keyboard
The versatile Bluetooth connection keyboard was designed to be used in fixed places , since it is a somewhat delicate model. One of its best attributes is the comfort and ergonomics of its rounded keys, which offer a pleasant touch.
This accessory, along with the fans that can be attached to the cases, are one of the most important accessories you can get for your Raspberry P i, due to the fact that performing the most complex tasks can increase the temperature of the board enormously.
In most cases, the heatsinks are included in accessory kits for the Raspberry Pi, among these kits we can make the following mentions:
GeekPi Raspberry Pi 3B +
It provides a 40mm fan that will help maintain an optimal temperature for your Pi.
Geeekpi Armor Case
It offers aluminum alloy heatsinks that employ CNC machined manufacturing technology to optimize heat dispersion from your Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi operating systems What are all the ones that can be installed and what is each of them for?
Regardless of the use you plan to give your Raspberry Pi, it will be necessary to install an operating system , either to use it as a PC or as an entertainment center of any kind. For this reason, the number of operating systems for various purposes that can be found is immense.
And here is a list of the most popular operating systems, and their uses, that you can purchase to bring your projects to life:
Raspberry Pi OS
It is the default operating system. It is based on Linux and offers very similar features , plus the ability to access the command panel to perform most configuration and update actions from there. Its functionality is so extensive that it is used for most programming projects, since it includes several languages such as Python and Scratch, among others.
It is a variant of Chromium OS adapted to run on the Raspberry Pi . In an operating system oriented to imitate the functionalities of Chrome OS to turn your device into a full-fledged Chromebook. Installing it is a relatively easy process using installation wizards like Berryboot , if you have little experience working with a Pi, or simply installing the image directly to your MicroSD if you’re more steeped in the knowledge required.
This operating system uses the Kodi software to read multimedia content , which makes it the ideal option to turn your computer into a TV Box that will turn your old TV into a Smart TV . OSCM bases its function on the download and execution of add-ons that work as extensions that will allow you to access television channels, online radio, movie repositories and streaming services such as Netflix , in addition to allowing you to play your own multimedia content.
It is the most used option by nostalgic gamers and video game fans . It is one of many OSs that are included in the Raspberry Pi installation wizard, NOOBS. It consists of an interface that offers more than 50 emulators for different consoles, from Classic NES to PS1 , and that will allow you to play ROM and ISO files from a wide variety of retro video games, so you will have a powerful and extensive emulator to relax on your afternoons of Sunday.
One of the many functions is to build a private cloud storage server , and the OpenMediaVault operating system is the option of choice for this task. After installing it, all you have to do is customize the security of the server and you will have your own cloud storage with the hard drives in your own home , giving you a higher level of privacy than paying for commercial remote storage services.
Learn how to take your first steps on a Raspberry Pi to start your path as a development maker
If you’re new to this whole Raspberry Pi environment , you probably don’t even have much of an idea where it’s plugged into power.
If that’s the case, right now we’ll give you a hand to make your first moves with a Raspberry Pi:
Assemble Raspberry Pi
The first step, of course, is to lay out the bits and pieces based on what we’re aiming for for the Pi.
If what you want is to build a computer, what you will need is:
- Raspberry Pi board
- computer peripherals
- heat sinks
- micro SD card
- Power cord
- Cable HDMI
- Cable Ethernet
All accessories are adapted to be integrated into the Raspberry Pi in a simple way. Once you get the board into place inside the frame, all you have to do is place the heat sinks over the main components: the CPU and the LAN chip. Once done, all that’s left to do is close and screw on the case. Then, it’s as simple as connecting each peripheral to its corresponding port: keyboard and mouse to USB, HDMI to monitor, ethernet cable to internet connection and finally the power supply.
Install an OS
For the Raspberry Pi to function as a PC, one basic requirement is needed: an operating system. Fortunately, for this purpose, the manufacturer’s official website offers us a tool that makes it much easier to install an OS. We are talking about NOOBS . You can find NOOBS completely free and installing it is very simple. You just have to download the ZIP file to your PC and unzip it.
Then you need to take a MicroSD card of at least 16GB, which is where we will install NOOBS. First of all, you need to format the SD in FAT32 format . You can do this through the native tool on your PC or through an additional program. After formatting, you just need to move the extracted files from the ZIP to the MicroSD card, and safely remove it from your PC. Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is insert it into your Raspberry Pi, boot it up, and follow the wizard’s instructions.
The installation of Raspberry Pi OS is quite fast and immediately after opening, you will pop up the guide window for the initial configurations that will show the IP of your equipment , and that you must write down and save for future uses.
The next thing it will ask for is to adjust the regional settings . In this section you only have to enter your country, your language and time zone. It will then ask for a username and password to replace the default ones, which are “pi” and “Raspberry ”, respectively. The last thing left to do is to choose a Wi-Fi connection just in case you are not connected to the internet via ethernet. If possible, prioritize the connection via cable, since it is more reliable and with higher quality.
List of the best Raspberry Pi kits you can buy to start programming with your single board
The great creativity of independent developers , results in the creation of a generous number of kits with accessories and extensions that are very useful in various projects.
Now, we will show you the best kits you can buy to start your own business:
CanaKit Raspberry Pi Kit for Dummies
Canakit is an authorized reseller of Raspberry Pi products, offering a set of items to test your first efforts with your board. The kit includes a book, which guides you through the first steps. The kit also includes a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a high quality case, micro HDMI connector, 2.5A Power Supply and two heat sinks.
Raspberry Pi Media Center Kit
It has everything you may need to turn your Raspberry into a multimedia center to play and watch your favorite movies and series on your TV. The only requirement is that you have a TV with HDMI input. It is designed to work with OSCM, and includes a slim case with a transparent top cover.
Get to know the best websites and communities that you can consult to learn the most of Raspberry Pi until you are an expert.
The internet community focused on this equipment is tremendously robust and creative, so it is possible to find a variety of pages online aimed at instructing on the use of the Raspberry Pi at different levels.
For your convenience, we have compiled some pages that you can visit to start learning how to be a developer of this product, as well as to guide you on carrying out various projects:
IONOS Digital Guide
This page is dedicated to technology and online applications, so among its articles there is a considerable list of entries that will serve as a guide for your start as a user of the Raspberry Pi.
It has a complete library of articles dedicated to electronics and programming topics . It includes a large repository of projects, plus a large list of tutorials to get you started programming using your Pi board.
It is a non-profit initiative dedicated to teaching programming and robotics through short, simple and well-explained guides. The tutorials available on this page vary in difficulty , making it a worthwhile option for novices and advanced users alike.
It is dedicated to projects for beginners , and contains an extensive list of easy-to-understand tutorials and articles aimed at guiding beginners through the use of the Raspberry Pi and programming in general.
In other sections of our own website , you can find simple and understandable tutorials that do not require prior knowledge of programming or computing , as well as a whole series of tutorials for everything you can do with a Raspberry Pi , from the simplest actions to projects more ambitious.
These are the books you must read to become an expert in development with Raspberry Pi.
This is a path of constant learning . The topics covered are many and varied, so in addition to all the guide pages that can be found, it is necessary to get hold of some specialized books on the use of this equipment.
Here is a list of the best books you can refer to to learn everything you need to become a creator:
Raspberry Pi User Guide – Eben Upton & Garet Halfacree
It is the official guide, focused on the general use of the board . It covers points such as board design, troubleshooting, instructions for common Raspberry Pi projects , advanced configurations, and GPIO port management. Among many other points that will help you to completely master any project.
The Official Raspberry Pi Guide for Beginners – Garet Halfacree
This guide is ideal for those who are taking their first steps with the Raspberry Pi. Within its pages you’ll find instructions for building your board, installing and configuring your operating system, coding simple programming projects with Catch and Python , as well as fun and creative experiments with other components.
Raspberry Pi: Fundamentals and Applications – Eugenio López Aldea
It is intended for students and people with average knowledge of computers and electronics , but anyone interested can be guided by its content to assimilate the basics of using the Raspberry Pi. Its content is applicable both for the exclusive use of the equipment and for the general study of software and hardware.
Raspberry Pi for Dummies – Sean McManus
It is a fun and educational book that uses understandable and entertaining language to instruct on the most important points in the use of the Raspberry Pi , from the most basic to the most advanced. It covers instructions for connecting peripherals to this computer, basic use of the Linux system, programming with Scratch and Python, and creating simple hardware projects, among many other points.