First switch on for Raspberry Pi? 7 reasons to use NOOBS

With the risk becoming obsessed by your Raspberry Pi, I give you seven reasons to use a friendly tool to start with.

It is about NOOBS.

With this killer ‘New Out Of the Box Software’, you can switch on and setup Pi in minutes.

The first time when I touch a Raspberry Pi, I was very excited. The second time I was charmed. I was charmed because I can hold in my hand a computer able to run a long list of Linux distributions, and now I am prepared to run a Windows operating system featured for embedded platforms. I was captivated about the multitude of projects that I can build with such a powerful single board computer. And I was fascinated by the variety of tools and accessories that can fit with the Raspberry Pi features.

Now, I let you get into things that are more serious and discover the seven reasons to use NOOBS.

You must go through a few steps before to build the “Hello world” project. You need to prepare your A+, B+ or Raspberry Pi 2 for the first use, and you need to install an operating system.

NOOBS is a helpful install manager for a variety of Linux distributions compatible with Pi. It is a way to prepare much, much easier your prototyping board for the first use.

Broadly, you need to copy the NOOBS image on an SD card, insert the memory card into the Pi’s SD slot and download the software you need.

Before doing a bootable memory card with NOOBS, you need to know why this tool helps you prepare the Raspberry Pi for almost any imaginable project.

What NOOBS can do for your Raspberry Pi

Here I give you seven reasons to use NOOBS:
1. NOOBS is easy to setup
If you have a new Pi, you want to build something, no matter how simple, in the next minutes. Using NOOBS for preparation, you do not need any special imaging software and even network access.

You have to click on the download page, save a copy of the NOOBS files and upload the image on a formatted SD card.

The first time when you boot the Pi, you will have to select one of the six operating systems available in the menu. The operating system image will be installed into the free space on the memory card, so you can choose it when you will boot the Pi.

2. Install OS via network or offline
At the first point, I said that you do not need a network to prepare the board. This is true. But you have two options to install operating systems on your development board.

NOOBS is available in two versions. One version includes a large offline installer with all the operating systems already downloaded. The second version is a light one called Lite and configured for network installation.

3. Configure your Pi
Once you install an operating system, you can continue to configure the board with NOOBS.

Previously, the configuration of the development board was made using a text file or into a command line menu – in the case of Raspbian. NOOBS provide the right features for an easier configuration.

4. Switch between operating systems
Once installed, NOOBS is present on your memory card. The interface of the software will be present every time when you power on your Pi.

The NOOBS interface will let you switch between operating systems, or use the recovery interface if the memory card is corrupted.

The following Linux distributions are currently included in NOOBS:

  • Raspbian
  • Pidora
  • OpenELEC
  • RaspBMC
  • Arch Linux

You can choose to install one or all the six operating systems. It is your choice.

If you install for example Raspbian, OpenELEC, and Arch Linux, you can switch anytime between these three operating systems.

5. You can use NOOBS with Linux, Windows, or Mac computers
To get started with NOOBS, you need an SD card and a host computer. On the host computer, you will download the NOOBS files and then using it to copy the files on the memory card.

You can be an exceptional maker or hacker even you use Windows, Linux or a Mac computer. And this because NOOBS is compatible with all these three operating systems.

6. NOOBS is regularly updated
NOOBS is regularly updated to keep up the steps with the Pi hardware.

Since the first release on 3rd June 2013, NOOBS have received no more than fifteen updates. At this moment, the latest release is v1.4.0, and everything was happening on 18th February 2015.

The latest release includes firmware and kernel changes to begin the work with Raspberry Pi 2.

7. NOOBS comes with a lot of documentation
Without a good documentation, you cannot do too much with this software kit.
In the widespread blogosphere related to Pi, you can find dozens of tutorials and resources to start with NOOBS. But all of these are as a completion of the NOOBS guide.

It contains all the information needed to install, how to configure the installed OS, and up to select the preferred language and the display mode.

In other words, you have at least seven reasons to start your introduction to the Pi world with a helpful tool. This is NOOBS.


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