Chapter 2Raspberry Pi Software

In this chapter, you are introduced to the Linux operating system and software tools that can be used with the Raspberry Pi (RPi). This chapter aims to ensure that you can connect to your board over a network or serial connection and control it using basic Linux commands. RPi-specific configuration tools are examined for customizing and for updating the software on your board. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to control an onboard system LED having followed a step-by-step guide that demonstrates how you can use Linux shell commands in a Linux terminal window. The chapter finishes with a discussion on how to shut down or reset the board safely and correctly.

Equipment Required for This Chapter:
  • Raspberry Pi board (ideally RPi 3, RPi 2, or RPi B+)
  • USB power cable and power supply
  • Micro-SD card (8 GB or greater; ideally class 10+)
  • Network infrastructure and cabling, serial cable, or Wi-Fi adapter

Further details on this chapter are available at

Linux on the Raspberry Pi

A Linux distribution is a publicly available version of Linux that is packaged with a set of software programs and tools. There are many different Linux distributions, which are typically focused on different applications. For example, high-end server owners might install Red Hat Enterprise, Debian, or OpenSUSE; desktop users might install Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or Linux Mint. At the core of all distributions is a common Linux kernel, ...

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