After you have put together the different components of the Raspberry Pi, the work is not yet finished. When you turn it on, it will show you nothing like a blank slate. You must install the Linux-based Operating System to get it started.
The Raspberry Pi may be interesting to those who want to explore and make things by themselves. But it may be troublesome for newbies who want instant, quick, and easy usage. But it can be fulfilling to use a computer where you yourself are putting everything to make it work. After putting together, you must install the Linux-based Operating System for your Raspberry Pi to run.
There are several options of Linux-based operating systems available that you can choose to install to your Raspberry Pi. Some, like Raspbian which is a Linux-based OS, provides a fully functional desktop environment that is not far different from a Windows desktop. Other software, like RetroPie, doesn’t give the traditional interface.
When you know your purpose for setting up Raspberry Pi, you can find the most suitable OS for your needs. If you want, you can even choose to install both Raspbian and RetroPie so you can use both different applications.
Installing the Operating System can be tricky
To install the Operating System into your Raspberry Pi, you need a microSD where you can install the OS. And you need to use another desktop or laptop computer with the MicroSD reader. You can then install the Linux-based operating system of your choice into the microSD.
Remember that you are not just copying a file where you can drag it from the computer into the microSD. Despite the improvement to make it simpler, programming microSD with Raspberry Pi OS remains a bit tricky.
The main issue comes from the kind of OS you use in installing the OS into the microSD. Windows, macOS, and Linux all use different ways to access the microSD card which makes it tricky. For newbie users, looking for the latest up-to-date image and how to put it into the microSD can be complicated. Although if you have tried using image-flashing tools like Etcher, you may be able to do it without difficulties.
Download the Raspberry Pi Imager
However, you can choose an easy way. You can opt to buy a preloaded NOOBS SD card from an approved reseller of Raspberry Pi. But if you really want to do it yourself, then download the Raspberry Pi Imager. The download is available for whatever OS your computer uses. Choose the appropriate one.
The tool is easy to use and is super-fast. Note that the Raspberry Pi Imager downloads a .JSON file with the list of all the current download options. Be sure to install the most updated version.
After selecting the Operating System from the options, the tool will just copy the relevant files into your SD card. This makes the procedure easy and fast.
During the downloading process, Raspberry Pi Imager will also cache the downloaded files. It saves the downloaded files on the computer you use. In that way, you don’t need to download the files again when needed.