Raspberry Pi offers free software for newbies

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has introduced free software designed to get people using the tiny Linux-based computing more quickly.

New Out of Box Software (NOOBS) has been developed with first time users in mind.

“We don’t want people to put their Raspberry Pi down in horror after five minutes,” says the team.

Partners will ultimately start offering SD cards pre-installed with NOOBS, but the download link at http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads exists for now.

The Pi makers recommend installing NOOBS onto a 4GB (or larger) SD card.

Upon first boot up users have a choice of operating systems to install, including Raspbian, Pidora and two flavours of XBMC.


NOTE: Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimised for the Raspberry Pi hardware. The Raspbian teams says that it provides “more than a pure OS” as it comes with over 35,000 packages of pre-compiled bundled software.

According to the development team, when you boot up for the first time, you’ll see a menu prompting you to install one of several operating systems into the free space on the card.

“Afterwards, the NOOBS remains on the SD card and allows the user to switch to a recovery interface (hold shift during boot up) if things go horribly wrong. Users can also opt to switch to a different operating system, or overwrite a corrupted card with a fresh installation,” says the team.

Last month the Foundation announced its first official Raspberry Pi camera board. In February it revealed an even cheaper version of its low-cost, ARM-based miniature computer, priced at $25 (£16), excluding tax and shipping.