Friday, September 12, 2014

Raspberry Pi for beginner - Part 3: Installation

In this post, I'll show you how to prepare the memory card.

Warning: the steps described in this post don't work for the Wifi dongle (Buffalo WLI-UC-GNM2) that I bought. Here is what I had to do.

Which OS to install ?

The RaspberryPi is not limited to one OS. You can install different distributions of Linux.

The most popular one is Raspbian based on debian.

Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your Raspberry Pi run. However, Raspbian provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation on your Raspberry Pi. 

Another popular OS is OpenElec.
Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC) is a small Linux distribution built from scratch as a platform to turn your computer into an XBMC media center. OpenELEC is designed to make your system boot fast, and the install is so easy that anyone can turn a blank PC into a media machine in less than 15 minutes.

The one I will use is Raspbmc (old name for OSMC)
Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low HTPC setup, yet delivering the same XBMC experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms.

Why I choose Raspbmc?

  • I like the fact that it is based on Debian, that means a lot of packages are available.
  • it's the first one I heard about
  • looks like many people are using it, so you can find help on Internet more easily
  • based on the list of features (here), I think it can do many things
 It's really easy to install the OS, so in case I don't feel comfortable using Raspbmc, it will be easy to switch to another one.

How do I install Raspbmc ?

Prepare your micro SD card. Make sure there is no data in it, because it will be deleted. Just plug it in your computer.

Download the installer from the official Website. There is an installer for Windows and for Mac/Linux. In this post, I will use the installer for Windows. My machine is Windows 8.

  • extract the files (README.txt, setup.exe) somewhere on your Windows
  • double click on setup.exe
  • UAC (User Account Control) opens, click on YES
  • a small popup opens and click on Accept

  • on the main window, make sure in the list of device to select the micro SD card !
  • check I accept the license agreement
  • check Manually configure networking

  • a small window will appear, select Wireless
  • check Obtain an IP address automatically
  • enter your SSID (the name of your Wifi network)
  • choose the encryption (for me it's WPA/WPA2)
  • enter your wifi password

  • click on Save
  • back on the main window, click on Install
Wait 1 minute and then you will see this window

Donate money if you think it was easy and you feel happy :)

Next step, I will plug everything and start the Pi! I will explain how to setup the Pi.

Note: XBMC will change name soon! It will be called Kodi! And Raspbmc will also change name for OSMC! So don't get confused!

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