Flashing Your SD Card
You should now have an SD card (see Chapter 1 for tips on buying compatible SD cards) and the Linux distribution you have downloaded. Unfortunately, copying your Linux distribution to your SD card isn’t as simple as just copying the file across. The Linux distribution is in a special format (an image file) that describes all the different files that need to be created on the SD card. To convert the image file into an SD card that will work on the Raspberry Pi, you need to flash the SD card.
The way you do this varies depending on what kind of computer you’re using, so we’ve provided instructions for Windows, Mac, and Linux in this section.
Take care with the instructions too: If you’re going to erase a disk, make sure it’s your SD card and not your main computer hard drive!
Flashing an SD card in Windows
To flash an SD card in Windows, you’ll need to download and install a small program that does the job. Image Writer for Windows (see Figure 2-1) is available for free download and makes the job easy.