A Raspberry Pi is a microprocessor board which gives beginners a very simple and cheap way to start experimenting with low-level hardware and electronics projects.
It is merely the size of a credit card, and has a starting cost of $35. However, the Raspberry Pi 4 has a quad-core CPU and can be configured with up to 8GB of RAM. They are fully capable of running an operating system, complete with a text editor, web browser, and terminal.
Looking at the Raspberry Pi 4, you will see that it comes equipped with a micro-SD card slot, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 micro-HDMI ports, an Ethernet port, and a USB-C port for power.
More documentation about the device is available on the official website: https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/
In order to configure the Rasberry Pi in this tutorial, you will need the following:
Before using the Raspberry Pi, you need to flash an operating system to the SD card. The easiest way to do this is to download the Raspberry Pi Imager: https://www.raspberrypi.com/software/
You will have the option to choose the operating system and storage device. This tutorial will use Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian), and our SD card as the storage medium. Insert the SD card into your computer, and select it from the menu.
Formatting any SD card will permanently wipe any existing data still on it. Ensure that your SD card does not have any important files on it before proceeding.
Once selected, click "Write" to format the SD card, and after a few minutes, the operating system will be flashed to the card. Eject it from your computer and remove it.
Insert the newly-flashed SD card into the Raspberry Pi. Then connect a keyboard/mouse via the USB ports, and a monitor via the micro-HDMI port.
Upon connecting a power supply through the USB-C port, the Pi will immediately power on, as indicated by a red and green status light on the board itself.
If everything is connected correctly and the Pi is functional, you will see a "rainbow" screen appear on your monitor. After a few seconds, you should boot into your new operating system with a setup page. Congratulations! After setting up some configurations, you now have a fully-functioning credit-card sized computer.
If the Pi fails to boot, it is time to begin the dreaded troubleshooting process. Here are some common issues:
This is most likely a hardware issue. Ensure that the Pi has an ample power supply of 5V, and can supply at least 15W of power. It is also possible that the pi has been damaged, and needs to be replaced.
This can be a hardware issue, such as a bad power supply. Ensure that the Pi has an ample power supply of 5V, and can supply at least 15W of power.
Another possibility is that the SD card is damaged or improperly formatted. The Pi is fully functional, but without a proper operating system to boot, it may remain stuck on this "rainbow" screen. Since SD cards can get work out over time, try replacing it. Alternatively, try reformatting it and flashing the operating system once more.