Raspberry Pi Insider Guide

Posted on January 4, 2015

FREE to downland.  eBook edition now totally free! “Best Raspberry Pi Beginners Book so far.”

This book was last updated in January 2015. Since then there have been significant changes to the look and feel of the Desktop and also new Raspberry Pi models released. Much of the content of this book is still relevant but may, in some cases, be accessed slightly differently. As such, I am now offering the eBook version totally free of charge.

You can download free copies of this book at Smashwords and Gumroad.  The print edition of the book is still available at Amazon at a low price. This book covers the the Raspberry Pi A, B, A+, B+. It’s contents are largely applicable to the Model 2 and 3. The user interface (Desktop) and default menu layout has changed in some cases.

berry Pi Insider Guide is the most complete up-to-date beginners guide available bar none. This comprehensive volume covers the Raspberry Pi and its software as it is today and includes the latest Rasbpian Desktop release. This 400-page tomb covers all models including B/B+/Pi 2. This book will take you from beginner to expert and has has joined the ranks of five-star Amazon reviews! Available in print from Amazon, and in Book for Amazon,. Gumroad and Smashwords. Also available to read on Scribd.

Best Raspberry Pi Beginners Book so far –  Magne Ertresvag

Buy Now or Continue Reading:


Taking You From Beginner To Expert

The world of computing moves fast and since the Raspberry Pi was launched in 2012, a lot has changed. RASPBERRY PI INSIDER GUIDE is the most complete up-to-date guide available. Even as an absolute beginner you will start on a journey that will ultimately leave you knowledgeable and with the confidence to work your Raspberry Pi to the limit. All you need is this book and some time to work through it.

RASPBERRY PI INSIDER GUIDE is organised in seven sections, each containing chapters aimed at taking you to the next step. From connecting your Raspberry Pi to choosing and selecting add-ons and using the Raspbian Operating System and desktop environment, you will be well on your way to expert status. INSIDER GUIDE will show you how to use hard drives and printers and how to connect cameras to take great pictures. Create your own website and then a stunning media centre to manage all your TV and music needs. You’ll even learn how to make your Pi speak and create an amazing home office using free world-class software.

Moving on, you will learn to master programming and become proficient in some of the industry standard languages available to you, including Bash, Python, Scratch and assembly language.  Learn about other Operating Systems available for the Raspberry Pi, including RISC OS , Pidora and Arch Linux. Finally, discover the Raspberry Pi board itself, and find out how you can use the GPIO port to connect and control the outside world using simple examples.

This book covers the all models including models A, B, A+, B+,2.

You will learn so much from the RASPBERRY PI INSIDER GUIDE including how to:

  • select the bare essentials you will need to get your Raspberry Pi up and running.
  • copy and install the Raspbian Operating System.
  • identify and connect everything together, switch it on and get it all working.
  • use the command line to issue instructions and access important information.
  • use the Desktop environment to run programs and games.
  • use essential software to maintain your Raspberry Pi in tip-top condition.
  • add additional devices such as disk drives, printers and cameras.
  • have fun with the Camera Module or a webcam and take and edit photos including using time lapse photography.
  • play high definition videos and top quality sound including music.
  • start to program in several industry-standard languages including Python.
  • create a simple website for use as a home information centre or anything you want!
  • update and upgrade your Raspberry Pi and find and install new software.
  • install and use LibreOffice for all your administrative and business needs.
  • create a media centre and access great free-to-air TV and video channels. 
  • make your Raspberry Pi talk!
  • install and use RISC OS as a second Operating System and become familiar with Pidora and Arch Linux.
  • understand the components on the Raspberry Pi and what they do.
  • connect devices to the GPIO port and use them from a language of your choice.
  • make your Raspberry Pi go faster by selecting Turbo mode.
  • ideal for beginners, the RASPBERRY PI INSIDER GUIDE assumes no prior knowledge and will turn you into an expert.

Raspberry Pi Insider Guide: Reviews

Best Raspberry Pi Beginners Book. 5 Feb. 2015, By Magne Ertresvag Published on Amazon.com:

This is the book for you, if you are new to Raspberry Pi and the Linux operating system. It is the best beginner’s book I have read so far, it covers many aspects about the Raspberry Pi; administration from the command line, programming on various platforms, making your own web server, and using the Pi as an office computer. It also show you how to start making hardware projects for your Pi. If you are considering giving a Raspberry Pi to your kid, this book is necessary.

Get a great start using the Raspberry Pi with this book 23 Dec. 2014, By Robin T. Wernick Published on Amazon.com [Edited version]

This is one of the better introductory books that explain in sufficient detail how the Pi can work for you by making you an instant expert; well almost an expert. It gets you on track with a host of applications and well on your way to being an expert. Applying the Pi takes you in two different directions. First there is the hardware and then there is the software. This book has far more width of subjects than depth.

Most users will find several uses to focus on in this book and by reading it you will come to understand the usable world of the Pi. This will give you the 10,000 ft view of its scope of operation. If this is enough for you it has done its job well.

Raspberry Pi Insider Guide: Contents List

This book is organised into seven convenient sections. (To see a description of these sections click here.)


1: Welcome Home

Introduction, Need to Learn, How to Use This Book, Jargon and Assumptions, Companion Website, About the Author

2: Bare Essentials (H3)

Introduction, Mobile Phones, Bare Essentials,  It’s Different, Static Electricity,  Making Jam

3: Board Anatomy (H4)

Introduction, Around the Boards, SD Card, USB Power Supply, HDMI connector, Composite Video & Audio, Ethernet, USB, Others, Model A

4: Distro Bution (H5)

Introduction, OS Options, Downloading a Distro, Flash Windows, Flash Mac, Flash Linux, Reusing Cards, OS Updates

5: Ready, Set…

Introduction, Sum of the Parts, Inserting SD Card, Sound and Vision, Keyboard and Mouse, Internet, Powering Up! Installing NOOBS, Troubleshooting

6: Configuration

Raspi- config, Menu explained, Log On, Respecting Pi


7: Raspbian Welcome

From the Shell, Directory Ins and Outs, Hierarchical Filing Systems, Command Line Memory, Is It Linux?, Switching Off

8: The Desktop

Introduction,  First Screening, Window Anatomy, Using LX Terminal, Playing Python,  Task Bar, Task Bar Take 2, Installing Screensaver, Program Manager, Program Preferences, File Manager, Creating with Folders and Files, Using Files and Folders, Go and Bookmarks, The Way Things Look, Keyboard Shortcuts,  File Names

9: Having a Bash

Introduction, Directories, Files, Listing Options, Long Format, Bytes and More, Understanding Permissions, Changing Permissions, Copying Files, Moving & Renaming Files, Confgi Revisited, Manual Pages, Less is More, Useful Commands, Shutting Down

10: Essential Tools

Introduction, Surfing the Web, Pi Store, Text Editors, Leafpad, Nano, Text Editors as Configuration Editors

11: Root Causes

Super Users, Sudo Command, Installing Software, Upgrading Software, What’s Installed, Raspbian Structure

12: More Bash

Introduction, Alias Commands, Wildcards, Redirection, Debian Reference, Maynard


13: Hardware Re Visited

USB Hubs, Cases, WiFi Config

14: External Storage

Introduction, USB Devices, Sticks In the Shell, Mounting File Systems,Copying Externally, Unmounting Drives, Hard Drives in the Shell, Web Based Cloud Storage, Backing Up Files and SD Cards

15: Printers

Introduction, Printing With Cups, Printer Troubleshooting, Printing From Command Line, Printer Options, CUPS Files

16: Camera

Introduction, Up and Snapping, Taking Stills, Image Control, Time Lapse, More Functions, Using Webcams


17: About Programming

Introduction, Which Language, Interpreted & Compiled, Structured Programming, Variables, Loops, Decisions, Nested Loops, Functions, Debugging, Learning To Program, GitHub

18: Bash Scripts

Introduction, Essentials, Bash Variables, For Loops, More loops, Test Conditions, String Variables, Double Brackets, Functions, Passing Parameters, Exiting Scripts, Paths, Camera Auto Number and Date, Executing at Login

19: Python

Introduction, IDLE Person, Py Scripts, Errors, Customising A Game, Variables, Lists and Dictionaries, Loops, If Tests, Functions, Modules, PiCamera, Shell Python

20: Scratch

Introduction, The Scratch Screen, First though a quick example., Starting From…,  Bouncing Off the Wall, New Sprites, The Block Palette, More Scratch

21: Making a Website

Introduction, File Structure, A Quick Example, Adding Links and Pages, Images, Lists, Colouring By Numbers, CSS, Layout, Editors and Web

22: Assembly Language

Introduction, Numbers With Meaning, ARM Instructions, Language Levels, Creating and  Executing, Assembler Errors, The Components, Summary


23: LibreOffice

Introduction, Templates & Extensions, Writer, Calc, Base, Impress, More Information, PDF & Document Viewer, Creating PDFs

24: Audio & Video

Introduction, Getting Sound, Omxplayer, VLC Media Playe. Making Pi Speak

25: Sonic Pi

Introduction, Midi Matters, Loops and Tests, Pattern Play, Active Command Completion, Synths, Tempo, Chords & FX, Two Tunes, Samples, Functions, Recording Work. Saving Work, Trying It All Out

26: Creating A Media Centre

Introduction, OSMC, Installing Raspbmc, Local Media, Playing Videos, Playing Music,Viewing Pictures, Network Media, Add- Ons, Changing Settings, System Menu, Raspbian Settings, Adding A Remote, OpenElec

27: Pictures

Introduction, Image Viewer, GIMP, Resizing An Image, Rotating An Image, Cropping An Image, More GIMP

28: Game for Fun

Introduction, Minecraft, Space Invaders, Penguins Puzzle, Shot Em Up, Su- Do- Ku



Introduction, Up and Running, Configuring, The Filer, The Filing System, Folders & Files, !Applications, The Big Raspberry, Bundled Software, Other Software, Documentation, Desktop to CLI

30: RISC OS From the CLI

Introduction, Task Window, Essential * Commands, Aliases, BBC BASIC, Modules, FileTypes, Where Next?

31: Pidora

Introduction, XFCE, Pidora Command Line

32: Arch Linux

Introduction, Connecting to WiFi, Setting Zone and Time, Package Manager, Other Things, Desktop Arch


33: Pi Inside and Out

SOC, No Risc at all, Other Bits, Overclocking

34: GPIO

Introduction, Pins Explained, Wiring Pi, Python

35: Simple Projects

Introduction, LED Circuit, Making it Work!, Using A Switch, Reading an Input, Interpretive Not Direct

36: Add On Boards

Introduction, Pibrella, Hats