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I am still busy setting up a workstation/workbench for my PI, but in the mean time I would like to start getting to know some of it's internals, i.e. conversing with it. "How is your GPIO pin n, or please give be hardware system information.

I have Debian running in a VM on my Windows machine for this purpose, and to get to know Linux better.

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The big reason it's hard to emulate on your likely-x86/x86_64 computer is that the Raspberry Pi uses an ARM CPU with the armv7l architecture. So, you'd have to emulate the processor architecture as well, which normal Virtual Machine platforms won't do.

However, there's actually a way to do this, explained here (Raspberry Pi Emulation Using qemu-user-static) using QEMU.

This will be a bit more difficult to get running under Windows, so, you might want to just set this up from inside the Debian VM you already created.

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No.

However if you plan to use Raspbian on the Pi just getting familiar with Debian will help.

Raspbian is a recompilation of Debian targeted at the old processor used on most Pis.

Try a tutorial on command line tools such as copy, rename, dir; editors such as nano, vi etc. They all work the same on the Pi and you will need to use them occasionally.

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