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Raspberry Pi Foundation Help Guides

Raspberry PI Foundation Resources – Teach / learn / make


Not all power supplies will work with the Pi. Select one with 5-5.25V and
2-2.4A. 2A will power the board and most USB devices, but higher current
is recommended if you’re using certain add-on boards or USB hard drives.

MicroSD cards from the Pi 2 don’t work in the Pi 3 because the two
boards have different processors. You’ll need an updated OS if coming
from a Pi 2 board.

Ensure that your display is powered on, connected to the Pi, and set to
the correct input source before plugging in the Pi. These are all required
for the Pi’s HDMI output to be activated when starting. If using an
HDMI-VGA adapter, you may need to set ‘force HDMI output’.

Shut down whichever operating system you’re using before
unplugging the Pi to prevent corruption of the uSD files and OS.

Avoid holding the board or touching GPIO pins when the board is
powered. Shorting the pins can easily damage the board, rendering
it unusable.


1. Insert the microSD card with an operating system installed on it into
the card slot. See the ‘Operating Systems’ section to the right if you
need an OS.

2. Peel and stick the pair of aluminum heatsinks on the two black
chips as shown in the diagram (optional).

3. Install the Pi board into the case. Press on the dimpled tab to release
the lid. Insert the board edge with the HDMI connector first, then press
down the GPIO side until it snaps.

4. Connect a USB keyboard and mouse. Many wireless keyboards and
remotes are work perfectly with Raspberry Pi.

5. Connect a monitor or TV using an HDMI cable. Use a VGA adapter if
necessary. Make sure the display is on before powering the Pi board.

6. Plug in the microUSB power cable. The red LED on the Pi indicates
power, and the green light indicates processing activity as the Pi boots
and functions. Check your SD card if there’s no green light activity.

7. Connect a LAN cable or join a WiFi network.


If you’re using the Raspbian operating system, you’ll see a graphical desktop environment once the Pi has booted. This is similar to using Windows or Linux, and other applications can be launched from here.

If you’re using the OpenELEC operating system, you’ll see the Kodi main screen once the Pi has booted. This is the media center application, and the underlying operating system is not visible to you.

If you need an operating system, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has excellent instructions on how to format and configure the microSD card with Raspbian or NOOBS. NOOBS is an OS installer, and allows the choice of several OS’s on first boot. Visit