Raspberry pi as Desktop PC | Can you use Raspberry pi as a Desktop?

In my post Amazing uses for raspberry pi | Top 5 uses of raspberry pi the first use is as Desktop PC. So lets see how to build a raspberry pi computer.

The simplest use for a Raspberry Pi is as a desktop computer.Depending on which model you buy, the Raspberry Pi is one of the world's least expensive and most versatile computers with just 512MB to 1GB of RAM and an SD card for storage. A good desktop computer can be useful, particularly for work-related tasks, but for many people space is a problem. What better computer to turn to than the box-sized Raspberry Pi.  Connect the pi to your TV through HDMI cable, connect as keyboard, mouse and to a WiFi you have good speed , fast booting computer. You also get applications like LibreOffice which is one of alternatives to Microsoft Office, claws email, chromium browser etc.

Components Required:

  1. Raspberry Pi ( Zero or model B+)
  2. A Micro USB Power supply
  3. Micro SD Card ( Recommended 8 GB)
  4. TV or Computer Monitor( it is possible to setup raspberry pi without monitor , for now we will connect the pi to monitor)
  5. HDMI cable
  6. Ethernet Cable ( If don't have wireless)
  7. Keyboard and Mouse

Raspberry Pi 3 model B+, which is the latest Pi available in market & this is having good specifications as listed below

  • Quad Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • BCM43438 wireless LAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board
  • 100 Base Ethernet
  • 40-pin extended GPIO
  • 4 USB 2 ports
  • 4 Pole stereo output and composite video port
  • Full size HDMI
  • CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
  • DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
  • Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
  • Upgraded switched Micro USB power source up to 2.5A
We will see how to make a mini computer with raspberry pi in this tutoria, Install the operating system in the raspberry Pi. Follow the below instructions.

First step is to download NOOBS & have it ready in your PC. How to download raspbian on raspberry pi, follow the below steps.

Go to https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads & you will be able to see multiple version of Operating system listed in the page.

We will be using NOOBS for installation, click on NOOBS. In the next page you will have 2 options NOOBS & NOOBS LITE.

Raspberry pi NOOBS is an easy operating system installer which contains Raspbian and LibreELEC. It also provides a selection of alternative operating systems which are then downloaded from the internet and installed.

NOOBS Lite contains the same operating system installer without Raspbian pre-loaded. It provides the same operating system selection menu allowing Raspbian and other images to be downloaded and installed

Click on download zip for NOOBS & NOOBS LITE. we will use both in this post however to install you don't need to download both. You can download only one of the OS & can follow the procedure respective to it.

Once you downloaded the zip file, Right click & extract to the folder.

NOOBS will have files listed as below in the folder.

For NOOBS Lite

  • Format the SD Card

Before we copy the NOOBS to the SD card , it has to be formatted. Use the software SD Memory Card formatter to do the same. Download the Card Formatter from https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/index.html & install it on your PC. When you go to the download page , you can select download respective to your PC operating system, & then click on Agree in license agreement.

Go the downloaded folder & run the SDcardformatterXXXsetup.exe . Once the installation is completed you will be able to select the drive from the drop down to the SD Card drive letter. Make sure you are selecting the right drive letter when formatting. Use SD Card reader to insert Micro SD card & connect to the PC. Once you selected the drive letter correctly, click on format. We are ready now to copy the NOOBS to the SD card once the formatting is completed & start the OS installation.

  • Copy the NOOBS file to SD Card

Now open the windows explorer copy the files from NOOBS or NOOBS LITE folder & paste the files in to the SD card. Once the files are copied eject the SD Card from PC.

  • Insert the SD card with NOOBS copied in to the Raspberry Pi
  • Connect the  keyboard, Mouse & TV with HDMI cable to the Pi, connect the Pi to the power cable & power on the device. if you don't have wireless connection, connect the Pi to Ethernet cable from your internet modem or router.

Once you power on the Pi, you will be getting the LED light flashing & the screen on the monitor will be displaying booting screen. Since this is the first time you are booting the Pi with SD card, you will be prompted to select the OS to install. Select Raspbian (Recommended) & click on Install button on top , click on yes on the warning message.Wait till the installation is completed.

Once the installation is completed click on OK.

You will be taken in to the next screen where you need to reset the password for Pi, by default all raspberry comes with host name as Pi & password as raspberry. For security reason you need to modify the password which is recommended. Once you have changed the password ( Make sure you note this down some where) , you will be given option to select location, keyboard settings & connect to WiFi. Connect to the WiFi entering the password for your WiFi, Raspberry will look for the updates & will start downloading the updates from internet. This may take some time depending upon your internet speed. Once the download & installation of updates completed, click on reboot prompt & the Raspberry pi will be booted in to the desktop.

We have  installed OS & your PI is ready now.
Can you use raspberry pi as work PC?  We have spend good time to install operating system and bring up the Raspberry pi. Yes we can use the Pi as home PC or as an Work PC. You may need to some tinkering work, however the Pi may not be able to heavy loaded tasks with its configuration.

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