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I do not have my Raspberry Pi yet but would like to start playing with some code. I have successfully (I think) created my Wheezy SD Card, but was not able to mount it on my laptop, so I ran dd and put Wheezy onto a thumb drive.

Now I am trying to boot my laptop from the thumb drive and all I have is a black screen with a flashing cursor.

Any ideas about how I can get this working?

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Unless your laptop has an arm processor and very, very similar peripheral configuration to the pi (basically, unless your "laptop" is built around a chip from the same family as that of the pi) you cannot boot it from a raspberry pi image.

You might be able to boot a raspberry pi image in an emulator such as qemu, if you configure a version of it to resemble the pi closely enough.

And you could probably put together a comparable version of Debian wheezy, using the x86 binary packages rather than the arm ones, and skipping the pi-only packages.

For most source-level development, you may not need the exact distribution anyway - more it's a matter of sticking to things that you know are available on arm Linux distros. For example, moving a small C client program that tests a custom USB peripheral over to the pi from an x86 linux laptop was as simple as sftp'ing the source code onto it and running gcc.

Regardless of the inability to execute arm code, you should be able to mount an unpacked Raspberry Pi SD card root filesystem partition on a PC, either natively if running linux, or using one of the available drivers for accessing ext file systems from windows. This can be usefully for cleaning up configuration experiments that might prevent the card from booting. The smaller boot partition is actually a legacy FAT filesystem.

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