The Raspberry Pi got quite some attention in the past few years. Given the low price and the sheer endless amount of possibilities to use it makes the tiny computer a great tool to play around, build a Kodi streaming box or run a download server, amongst others. But where to start? The Raspberry Pi usually comes as a small computer without a case, large hard drive or any means of connectivity besides LAN and USB. In the following I’ll explain what you need to have to properly run a Raspberry Pi as a headless machine, set-top box or computer.
What is Raspberry Pi?
The Rasperry Pi is a small, credit card-sized computer developed in the UK with the initial purpose of promoting basic computer science. Due to its low price (starting at $20 USD) it’s quite accessible. Today, the Linux based single-board computer can be used for many purposes and is often used as a cheap, low-energy consuming set-top box or server. The latest version is called B+ and comes with the following specs:
- 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 CPU
- 512 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz
- 10/100 Ethernet RJ45
- 4 USB Ports
- MicroSD Slot
Things to buy to get started with a Raspberry Pi
In general, there are two ways of running the pi: Headless and GUI. But what does that mean? Headless describes a command-line installation using SSH which is not connected to a screen. If you want to use your Pi as a server, I would recommend to choose a headless installation. Not using a graphical interface, you safe important resources that can be used elsewhere.
If you, on the other hand, want to use the Raspberry Pi as a computer or set-top box running KODI, you’ll need to buy additional things to be able to use it properly. In the following I’ll explain what you need to purchase to get started. Be aware that the basic requirements are needed for a headless installation and all additional / optional features for a GUI setup.
Things needed for a headless Raspberry Pi setup
- Rasperry Pi B+
- MicroSD storage card
- Case (not required but recommended)
- Heatsink (recommended for 24/7 usage)
- WiFi Adapter (if you don’t want to use a LAN cable)
Things needed for a GUI Raspberry Pi setup
- HDMI cable
- Bluetooth dongle (in case you want to connect bluetooth mouse & keyboard)
- Mouse & Keyboard (USB or bluetooth)
This should be enough to get you started. In the following weeks we’ll provide you with new guides on how to use the Raspberry Pi for cool stuff.