I won a Raspberry Pi at a contest about 2 years ago. Finally I got the proper wire to connect it to my laptop, but it's not doing anything!

The light goes on, but nothing appears in my operating system in reference to the machine I just connected. This is a Raspberry Pi 1A connected to Ubuntu 14.04

This is an absolute beginner mistake. I am not a Linux beginner, but I am Raspberry Pi beginner. It seems many try to connect directly the Pi to keyboard and monitor. And that I might need to download and operating system first.

Any clarification?

enter image description here



RaspberryPi is essentially a computer all by itself. To boot up and make it all work nicely you will need a few things.

  • A standard size SD card
  • MicroUSB power cable (like the one used to change your phone)

If you want to see the output, you will need a display, either connected over HDMI or the RCA Video Outputs.

Once you have the SD Card, you will need to copy an OS on it (such as Raspberian) and then you can boot it up and see all of it's glory.

  • You will also need a keyboard and mouse. – AutomationNation Dec 2 '15 at 13:34
  • Again, not much to look at on it, other than a Linux OS - but yes, there is a bit of work to get it working ;) – AutomationNation Dec 2 '15 at 13:34

The raspberry pi won't show up as an USB-device on your laptop. You need to create an SD-card with an operating system like raspbian. Then it will boot and you can 'inspect' it like a 'real' computer. I'd recommend starting with the quick start guide.

Be also aware of connecting the pi to powered USB hubs like in your picture, that may damage the pi.

  • 2
    John, since you have a big account at Math.SE, which I know is quite stringent about questions, please consider what would happen there if someone came along asking for explanations of basic things about algebra which can be easily looked up online by anyone who can find the "google" button. They'd be told to go do their homework and come back if they have something they are confused about beyond, "Please regurgitate some pages from a grade 10 textbook for me". – goldilocks Dec 2 '15 at 14:15
  • Well. One of his top posts belongs to the question 'Nobody told me that self teaching could be so damaging…' ;) – user236012 Dec 2 '15 at 15:00
  • Of course using SE falls into the category of "self-teaching", no matter how you do it, so we can't save anyone from that. Just tell them when they are doing it wrong ;) How to Ask Questions the Smart Way <- Read the beginning of that replacing "hackers" with "autodidacts" (both are connoted positively, BTW: "In the world of hackers, the kind of answers you get to your technical questions depends as much on the way you ask the questions as on the difficulty of developing the answer..."). – goldilocks Dec 2 '15 at 15:30
  • @goldilocks you're forgetting the obvious possibility that raspberry pi is a ripoff and a waste of time it's in your best interest to entertain even obvious questions as mine at least once or even ten times... – john mangual Dec 4 '15 at 11:21
  • 1
    Why is it in my best interests? I'm not a marketeer, and this is not a promotional site. I don't care if anyone likes the pi or not. TBH I'd prefer if it were marketed less because I agree with you in the sense that it is not an appropriate toy for a lot of people ("Oh look, only $35! Oh look, it plays HD video and I can make a robot!") -- then they come here and whine and expect everyone to commiserate that they bought something they should not have. It is not fast food. It was intended for educational purposes, not instant gratification. – goldilocks Dec 4 '15 at 11:37

If you want to conect your raspberry pi to computer you need a usb to TLL cable(like this https://www.adafruit.com/products/954) , but you need a sd card with raspbian, or some other OS.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.