The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools.
The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHzprocessor (The firmware includes a number of "Turbo" modes so that the user can attempt overclocking, up-to 1 GHz, without affecting the warranty), VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 megabytes of RAM. It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but uses an SD card for booting and long-term storage. The Foundation's goal is to offer two versions, priced at US$ 25 and US$ 35 ("B"). The Foundation started accepting orders for the higher priced model "B" on 29 February 2012.
The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions for download.
I have just received my Raspberry Pi and I also see that a Fedora 17 remix for the Pi is in the works so since I prefer Fedora I will go over the install in this post.
The post about the remix can be found here "Raspberry Pi Fedora F17 Remix – Test image 4" and the direct download is here test-release Ex:rpfr-17-xfce-RC2.zip
Download the image to your computer and extract the .img file. I will demonstrate how to put the image onto an SDHC card from a Windows 7 system as this would be the most likely system someone new to Linux would use. We will get into Linux more when we start using the RasPi board.
Insert the SD card into the PC, I am using a SanDisk SDHC 4, 4GB card. You can get one for about $9 just about anywhere.
Download the Win32DiskImager-binary.zip from the link at RaspberryPi.org site and extract the exe and files to a directory. Open the extracted directory and right-click on Win32DiskImager.exe to "Run as Administrator"
You should see the SD card detected as [E:], if not select the correct location.
Then click the folder button to select the RasPi image...
Then click SAVE. Now with the image ready to go, press WRITE and then confirm the OVERWRITE.
Now would be a good time to get the RasPi board setup to go. After the write process is complete, click OK then EXIT the Imager and safely remove the SD card being sure to eject the card first.
Right-Click on the boot [E:] disk and click EJECT
Pull the SD card from the PC and insert it into the RasPi. Then with the keyboard/mouse plugged into the USB port, the HDMI from the monitor plugged into the HDMI port and the network plugged into the Ethernet port you can finally plug the mini-USB from the power supply into the mini-USB port to start the boot process. (The network should have DHCP enabled for this demo).
You should see the boot logo (maybe a few times).
The first screen will be the License Information, click FORWARD.
Select the US Keyboard and click FORWARD.
Select your Time Zone and click FORWARD.
Select Network Time and click FORWARD.
On the next screen you can choose how much disk space to use for the OS on the SD.
You will want to use it all, so drag the slider all the way to the end and click FORWARD.
On the next screen you will enter the Root users password (Don't forget this) and click FORWARD.
On the next screen you will create a user account for yourself, for the RasPi this user will need to be Pi for things to work when using imported packages in your code, so enter Pi and a password, then click FORWARD.
On the last screen you can go with the default System Settings and click FORWARD.
After a few reboots to re-size the disk partition, you can logon as Pi.
After logon, open the terminal and run the command ifconfig to get the IP address.
Now with this IP you can remote SSH into the Raspi with a terminal program like Putty.
In the next post I will see what we can do with the RasPi in the real world by using the GPIO inputs and outputs.