Raspberry Pi For Dummies
Raspberry Pi For Dummies shows you how to get the best from your Raspberry Pi, whichever model of Raspberry Pi you have. You will learn how to set it up, including connecting it up, downloading and installing its software and configuring its settings. You'll be shown how the desktop environment and the Linux command line can be used to manage your Pi and its files. You'll learn how to browse the web, use free productivity software (LibreOffice), edit images in GIMP and play music and video using the Kodi media center software.
In a series of creative projects, you'll discover how to create games in the child-friendly Scratch programming language, program in Python, code music using Sonic Pi, build a maze maker program in Minecraft, and make electronic games that are controlled by your Raspberry Pi. The book also includes inspiring projects, recommended software, and troubleshooting tips.
The book assumes no prior knowledge of electronics, Linux or similar computers, so it's perfect for beginners to computer science. We do assume, however, that you've used a Windows or Mac computer before to do things like browse the web and write letters. As you would expect, the book is written in the friendly and accessible style that has made the For Dummies series one of the most popular reference book series worldwide.
The third edition of this popular book (published September 2017) has been updated to cover the Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 3, Scratch 2, Python 3, Pygame Zero, and the PIXEL desktop. The Sonic Pi chapter has been updated with a new focus on improvising music. The electronics chapters have been rewritten and include an introduction to GPIO Zero, so you can get started with electronics faster.
Buy the book at your favourite shop here
Read my Raspberry Pi blogs and articles
Reviews of Raspberry Pi For Dummies
The free monthly publication The Magpi published a great review of the book in issue 13, shown below. We're also very grateful for the support of The Raspberry Pi Foundation, which wrote a nice blog post about the book on Raspberrypi.org here.
Watch the video
Here's a video showing my Minecraft Maze project that features in the second and third editions of the book.
Play the Scratch game
Raspberry Pi For Dummies teaches you how to program, first using the highly visual Scratch programming language, and then using Python. Below you can play the Scratch game you'll learn how to make. To play the game, click the green flag. The game starts straight away: use the cursor keys to steer and the spacebar to fire.
Sorry - this requires Flash, and does not work in Internet Explorer. This is purely for demo purposes. You don't need Flash to use Scratch on your Raspberry Pi.
If you'd like to learn more about Scratch, see my books Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps.
Download the example files
You can download the example files from the book in a zip file here.
Download a free case for your Raspberry Pi
You can download a free Raspberry Pi For Dummies case to protect your Raspberry Pi Model B or Model A (PDF). Just download the PDF and print it out, cut it out and then glue it together. It includes holes for the sockets and ports on your Raspberry Pi, and you can additionally cut into it to accommodate any GPIO connectors you're using.
The case design was created by the For Dummies team at Wiley, based on the original template by Ian McPhee, who kindly gave us permission to do this.
This case was made for the original Model B, so you may need to make modifications for the Model B+ or Model A.
Like Raspberry Pi For Dummies on Facebook
If you use Facebook, please visit the Facebook page for Raspberry Pi For Dummies and click the Like button.
We'll be posting Raspberry Pi, tips, news and updates there from time to time.
About the authors
Raspberry Pi For Dummies is co-written by Sean McManus and Mike Cook.
Sean McManus is also the author of iPad for the Older and Wiser (a #1 Amazon bestselling hardware book), Web Design in Easy Steps (a #1 Amazon bestseller in web design), and Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser. He has written for a wide range of business and technology magazines and learned to program in the 1980s on an Amstrad CPC 464.
Mike Cook is an electronics expert with a particular interest in micro controller/computer applications. He has worked as hardware team leader at Pace Micro Technology, and was technical editor of The Micro User and contributing editor to Acorn User magazines.
Feedback and updates
I'll post updates on the book here. You can also follow me on Twitter.
©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.