Scott Hanselman

How to set up a Raspberry Pi 3 from scratch (with video)!

March 23, '16 Comments [16] Posted in Hardware | Open Source
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My messy electronics workspaceMarchIsForMakers continues! It's my month-long collaboration with Saron from CodeNewbie. We've had some amazing guests on our respective podcasts and some great technical content. Please do check it out at and subscribe to my podcast Hanselminutes as well as the CodeNewbie podcast.

Here's a few of the things we've made for you lately:

Just last week I received my Raspberry Pi 3 in the mail. I called Saron and we decided not only to do an unboxing video, but an "unboxing, setup, AND make it do something" video.

Could we setup a Raspberry Pi 3 from scratch and get it to blink an LED in less than an hour?

Every STEM house should have a Raspberry Pi or six! We've got 4? Or 5? They end up living inside robots, or taped to the garage door, or running SCUMMVM Game Emulators, or powering DIY GameBoys.

If you have a Raspberry Pi 3, awesome. If not, this should work with an original Pi or a Pi 3. You'll want to make sure you have a few parts ready to save you time and trips to the store! I recommend a complete Raspberry Pi Kit when you're just getting started as it guarantees you'll be up and running in minutes. They include the mini SD Card (acts as a hard drive), a power supply, a case, etc. All you need to provide is a USB Keyboard and Mouse. I ended up getting a cheap Mini USB wired keyboardand cheap USB wired mouse for simplicity.

I like to use the new NOOBS setup direct from Raspberry Pi: You can get SD cards with NOOBS preinstalled are available from many of our distributors and independent retailers, such as Pimoroni, Adafruit and Pi Hut if you like, but I had a blank card laying around.

I downloaded SD Formatter 4.0 for either Windows or Mac and prepped/formatted my card. Then I downloaded NOOBS and unzipped it directly into the root of my now-empty SD Card.

You plug the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and pick Raspbian as your Operating System (although there are other choices this is easiest for beginners) and wait a bit. The default login is "pi" and the password is "raspberry."

In this video we not only set it up, but we also got VNC working using RealVNC for Raspberry Pi, then Blinked an LED using Python. It was a blast, and was a little touch and go for a moment near the end as we had to pull out the multimeter to debug!

I hope you enjoy it. Also, be sure to explore the #MarchIsForMakers hashtag on Twitter to see lots of other fun stuff folks are doing during our month-long celebration.

What have you made this month?

Sponsor: Thanks to Seq for sponsoring the feed this week! Need to make sense of complex or distributed apps? Structured logging helps your team cut through that complexity and resolve issues faster. Learn more about structured logging with Serilog and Seq at

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:53:27 AM UTC
Awesome video!. I am going to order it. Did you ever try installing windows 10 on pi 3 how it goes?
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:29:41 PM UTC
Have you tried using any 64GB SD Cards yet? Seems to be challenging. Thinking I'm going to need the space with the PI3/RetroPie and Playstation Emulation.
Ryan Smith
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:09:18 PM UTC
"taped to the garage door"?
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 11:59:04 PM UTC
I picked up a Pi3 and was all excited after MS announced the support for Win10 IOT. I was a little disappointed to find that the new built in Wifi and Bluetooth support on the board is "Coming Soon".

Still worth picking up and playing with though.
Thursday, March 24, 2016 7:38:26 AM UTC
For March, I stuffed an RPi3 into a black 12x12x12 LEGO cube, compiled and built Previous (an emulator of the original NeXT systems) and have got running a mini NeXT cube using HDMI for monitor output. In the forums here.
Peter W
Friday, March 25, 2016 8:50:31 PM UTC
Hi there! this was amazing! Could you do a guest post on my blog on the power of the Rasberry Pi? Thanks and keep up the great content!
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Thursday, March 31, 2016 6:08:40 PM UTC
A Wonderful getting started video on Rasberry Pi!

Btw, Those cables (42:33) are called jumper cables :)
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016 11:41:21 AM UTC
Great Post... nice
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 11:41:22 AM UTC
Great Post... nice
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Friday, April 22, 2016 2:32:45 PM UTC

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