Software Installation, Part I


Using NOOBS from Raspberry Pi


     For most people, this looks like the old and tried method. But with the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, there are problems out there. Lets take a look down memory lane and see what happens as we go down step by step.


(1)  Go to Downloads | Raspberry Pi. We see many options, but which one to choose? The very first thing to do is click on "More Info". Why not download? If you do what I suggest you will see which downloads work with Pi 2 and which do not.

     Checking  Raspbian first, we see

SHA-1: b71d7b61f44e9bd582df71c9be494c271c97650f

Pi Version supported: Pi 1 and 2

     But under OpenELEC, we see

SHA-1: 52beec8af6f61f05d484dba4e4b594eef2b7f4b8

Pi Version supported: Pi 1 only

     Checking NOOBS Lite (which I prefer since it will be smallest download)     Note: This one will need an Ethernet cable to your router!

SHA-1: e14053513795a386ac259f19408b94ffafa238d9

Pi Version supported: Pi 1 and 2

(2) For Windows users:

     Insert the SD card into your SD card reader and check which drive letter was assigned.

     You can easily see the drive letter (for example G:) by looking in the left column of Windows Explorer. Check that the partition is FAT and not NTFS.

     You can use the SD Card slot (if you have one) or a cheap SD adaptor in a USB port. Note: Not all SD card readers work, so mileage will vary.

(3) Download the Win32DiskImager utility from the Source forge Project page (it is also a zip file); you can run this from a USB drive if you wish.

(4) Extract the executable from the zip file to Desktop.

(5) Find file on Desktop. Right-click on the file, and select "Run as administrator". You may get a pop up warning you are about to run. This is normal so allow it.

Note: When there are chooses, pick the latest one especially with Pi 2. Anything before the release date of Feb 2, 2015 is bound not to work.

(6) Select the drive letter of the SD card in the device box. Be careful to select the correct drive; if you get the wrong one you can destroy your data on the computer's hard disk!

(7) Click Write and wait for the write to complete.

(8) Exit the Win32DiskImager utility and eject the SD card from Windows Explorer.

(9) Insert the SD card into micro SD slot in Raspberry Pi 2 near red light under the board. The 4 gold pins must be face up.

(10) With a keyboard/mouse in USB and the HDMI connected to TV or monitor, plug in micro USB into power source of at least 1 ampere current and 5 volts. I recommend this because it is safest for first time users. Computer USB 2.0 power is specified at 500 milliamperes. Newer computers may supply more, so check with the motherboard.

(11) After the initial multicoloured screen, a menu appears

Note: As of my last check, pick Rasbian especially with Pi 2. Many of the other chooses have not been updated and are bound not to work.

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On first boot NOOBS will format your SD card and allow you to select which OSes you want to install from a list. This OS list is automatically generated from both locally available OSes (i.e. those contained in the /os directory on disk) or those available from our remote repository (wired network connection required).

Only the latest version of each OS will ever be displayed meaning that you can be sure that you have installed the most up-to-date release of your selected OS.

On any subsequent boot you can then press the SHIFT key to enter the NOOBS interface and easily reinstall your choice of OSes.

The NOOBS interface provides the following functionality:

  • Install: Installs the selected OSes onto your SD card. Changing this selection erases all OSes currently installed.
  • Edit Config: Opens a text editor allowing the cmdline and config for the selected installed OS to be edited.
  • Online Help: [Networking Required] Open a browser that displays the Raspberry Pi Forum ( ), allowing people to quickly access help and troubleshooting.
  • Exit: Quits NOOBS and reboots the Pi into the OS boot menu.
  • Language Selection: Allows you to select the language to be displayed.
  • Keyboard Layout Selection: Allows you to select the keyboard layout to be used.
  • Display Mode Selection: By default, NOOBS will output over HDMI at your display's preferred resolution, even if no HDMI display is connected. If you do not see any output on your HDMI display or are using the composite output, press 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your keyboard to select HDMI preferred mode, HDMI safe mode, composite PAL mode or composite NTSC mode respectively.

Note that all user settings (language, keyboard layout, display mode) will persist between reboots and will also be automatically passed to the installed OSes. This means that if you can see the NOOBS interface on your display device then you should be able to see the OS CLI/GUI when it boots too!


What if my screen is blank?

If your display remains blank, you should select the correct output mode for your display by pressing one of the following number keys on your keyboard:

1. HDMI mode - this is the default display mode.

2. HDMI safe mode - select this mode if you are using the HDMI connector and cannot see anything on screen when the Pi has booted.

3. Composite PAL mode - select  this mode if you are using the composite RCA video connector to a PAL TV.

4. Composite NTSC mode - select this mode if you are using the composite RCA video connector to a NTSC TV.

Rasbian and  Risc OS are Pi 2 ready. The others are not as of this blog date!


     Ok this is all for now, later I will present other options. Please let me know what you think and if this was helpful.





PS Please check out Raspberry Pi Model B+ 3.5mm Audio/Video Jack | Raspberry Pi Spy if you plan on using the composite video.