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Videos / Getting started with your Raspberry Pi Zero W Starter Kit

If this is your first experience with Raspberry Pi, and you're using a starter kit for a Raspberry Pi Zero W, then this tutorial is for you. We'll plug everything into where it needs to be, install an operating system and fire up our Pi Zero W (PZW) for the first time! We'll run through the essentials like setting up the keyboard to work properly, connecting to WiFi, and have a look at a few of the features on offer.

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G'day, today I'm going to show you how to assemble and power up your Raspberry Pi Zero W starter kit. I have the kit in front of me on the bench, we have the Raspberry Pi zero W, the SD card, that's pre flashed with the NOOBs operating system install, a HDMI to mini HDMI adapter, that's for our display, and this USB on-the-go adapter, so on one end we have the only goes into the Raspberry Pi and micro USB and then the other end is just a standard USB for us to plug in peripheries like laptops...like keyboards and mice sorry. At the top we have the official PI case and this comes with a couple of different lids I'm just going to use this blank lid today but it also comes with one that has a slot to access the GPIO and a small hole for the PI camera. I'll just take those two away we won't be needing those two today.

Over on the left I have a wireless mouse and off screen is a wireless keyboard and these both share the same receiver which is found inside the mouse, that's pretty common. So I'll just take this opportunity to take that out make sure the mouse is powered on, make sure the keyboard is powered on, and we're ready to assemble our Pi so the first thing we need to do is take the micro SD card out of the SD adapter, this guy goes into the micro-sd receptacle on the underside of the Pi and then we can put the Pi into the case, so align the sockets on the edge of the Pi with the sockets on the case and that it's just a press, snap fit, you'll hear and feel it click in and then we've got our Pi secured in the case. Let's go for the HDMI, so the HDMI is the bigger connector on the far left of the case and that's just going to plug in there, this one you do have to press this all the way in and you'll feel it click when it bottoms out against the case and my HDMI lead is already plugged into my monitor. Ok what's next we have the USB on-the-go adapter and my keyboard and mouse receiver, so I'll plug that in and that goes on the left of the two USB connectors, the one with that USB symbol, the one on the right is for power, that's a nice fit. And finally we have our power connection, which goes on the far right-hand side, now this one you may have to push just a little bit of pressure to get it in far enough and then once it's in this activity light will blink briefly, let's go over to the screen and see what's happening.

Alright, we've got our NOOBs boot sequence and here we are, okay so at the moment we have the option of installing two operating systems. If you want to explore other operating systems then we can quickly connect our PI to Wi-Fi, so down here I'm using a US keyboard so I have to go down to the bottom and select US, and then I'll be able to enter in your Wi-Fi password to connect to Wi-Fi. I'll quickly enter that in and see you in a sec.

Okay, connecting to Wi-Fi and okay now that we are connected to a network, we can see that there are plenty of other options for what we can install, so this icon on the right here means that this is an option that's already on the SD card, and icons with this network lead symbol that means that if you want to go with this option, it will do it download and then install it. For now I'm just going to select Raspbian with pixel and click install, then we just get a warning that we're going to overwrite the contents of the card and that's okay we're extracting the operating system that we want, so I'll hit yes and this process can take about 10-15 minutes what's currently happening is NOOBs which is a software installer program is extracting Raspbian with pixel onto the SD card.

Okay about 15 maybe closer to 20 minutes later, that's finished extracting. We can see that the OS has installed successfully, so I can just hit okay on that, and we're getting our first boot. And it just sits at this black screen for a little while, there's our cursor, it's always a good sign and we've got desktop, okay so this should look pretty familiar to anyone who's used a machine that has like a Windows operating environment before we have our task bar along the top with the familiar Start button or applications menu, I often call this the pi button, and you can see we've got a pretty simple looking menu, we had some programming tools, some office tools, you can browse the internet with a chromium, which is the open source Google Chrome browser, you can play Minecraft and there are a bunch of utilities that we can use.

So let's first set up, just make sure that keyboard is set up because we might want to you know when we use special characters we need to make sure that they're going to work properly. You can see actually I'm already connected to Wi-Fi because I connected during the NOOBs installation procedure, if you didn't follow along with that I'll show you how the keyboard is set up from here. So we go into this applications menu and then preferences, we can set up the mouse and keyboard from here. Over on the keyboard tab and this is where you can test your settings so if you if you leave it with the default Great Britain layout then when you press say hash which is shift 3 you'll get this pound symbol, so the keyboard layout has not been retained since the NOOBs installation, so if I now go into the keyboard layout and just go down one to the United States, and then I can just go up one level to English US, and now when I press (and we have a little test box down the bottom here) so now when I press shift three I get that hash symbol. Okay so now that that is entered it if you hadn't been connected to Wi-Fi you could go to your Wi-Fi menu select the network, enter your WiFi password as usual.

Now you might notice that we have these black bars around the end of the sides of the screen, this is called the overscan I think it's called. So we can remove those by going into preferences and Raspberry Pi configuration. From here just the very last option sorry, we have over scan and we can disable that if we press ok will be prompted to reboot now I'm not going to reboot just yet but if you were to select yes then the next time your Pi boots up those bars are going to go away, I'm just going to select no which means I will have to reboot later.

Let's just quickly open up the terminal and I'll show you how to keep your Pi Zero W up to date, open the terminal right from this icon that's on the applications bar or you can open it from the applications menu accessories and then terminal. This is the command-line interface for the Raspberry Pi, and it is worth getting used to. For today I'll just show you how to keep your Raspberry Pi up to date, I'll just make this font size a little bigger, the Raspberry Pi is a computer and so, of course, it has this operating system and operating systems often need to be kept up to date so I'll show you how that's done. We can enter the command

sudo apt-get update

and then we can follow it with two ampersands characters and enter

sudo apt-get upgrade

and then space a dash and y for yes. So this is actually taking two commands and stacking them up to run one after the other, the first command is sudo apt-get update and that essentially fetches a list of software packages and the status of their current state and sudo apt-get upgrade actually downloads those packages if necessary. The Y option here is just telling the Raspberry Pi to select yes when it was normally prompt us "Hey do you actually want to install these packages and use this much extra disk space", so I just add that in because this is often a stable command to run and just saves you being bothered by the Pi for user input. I won't run that now because it actually takes quite a long time to execute the very first time.

So now that I'll just show you how to safely power off your Pi, so you can do this be usual way which is by going to the applications menu and then selecting shut down, but if you want to get used to using this terminal interface you can issue the command

shut down now

and that will safely power off your Pi and there it goes.

Now that we've got your Pi up and running you may be wondering where to go to from here we've put together a free online course called the Raspberry Pi for Beginners workshop and in this course, we explore a lot of the features and capabilities in a Raspberry Pi. Now in that course I use a different model of Raspberry Pi but that's ok you'll still be able to follow along with your Pi Zero W. I'll see you next time.