The Best Raspberry Pi Resources

Hand selected Books, Video Courses and Starter Kits

Raspberry Pi Books

Raspberry Pi: Setup, Programming and Developing Amazing Projects - for Beginners

This is the allrounder in the Raspberry Pi world. From basic setup to python programming, using the GPIO pins for your electronics projects (with beginner-friendly examples) to some of the most famous and "must know" software projects, this book teaches everything a beginner needs to know about the Raspberry Pi.

Some of the projects covered in this book:

  • Building your own digital photo frame
  • Creating a magic mirror (my personal favourite!)
  • Speech recognition and voice control (ever heard of Alexa/Siri/Cortana? Create your own voice controlled virtual assistant with the Pi!)
  • and all that while teaching python programming and shell commands

This book starts from zero and takes you on a tour through the manifold practical applications of the Pi - at an unbeatable price.

Rating: 4.8 0/ 5 - My favorite beginner's guide

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Raspberry Pi: Essential Step by Step Beginner's Guide

This is another example of a general purpose learning resource for the Pi. Here you will find step by step guides on how to implement various projects as well as a good portion of python programming. Highlights:

  • How to get your Raspberry Pi started up and running properly
  • How to flash your SD card - and what the heck that even means!
  • All the nerdy, technical details behind your Pi’s file storage system – and why they matter
  • How to increase your Pi’s performance through overclocking and overvolting
  • How to turn your Raspberry Pi into a web server, programming platform, or even a home theatre system
  • Resources you can use to delve deeper into the world of Linux commands and distributions

I recommend this book to anybody who wants a beginner's friendly introduction that gets you jump-started into the most important topics regarding Raspberry Pi usage and programming.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 - An amazing beginner's guide

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Exploring Raspberry Pi: Interfacing to the Real World with Embedded Linux

If you are more interested in electronics and connecting other devices (sensors, actors) to the Pi, this book is for you. You can use the Pi as the brain in your system of sensors and actors or to log manifold data from your sensors directly into the cloud.

This book has all the answers when it comes to connecting the Pi with other hardware. It doesn't just cover basic GPIO operations, but also bus communication, real-time communication using the Arduino with the Pi, and a section on the Internet of Things.

On the downside, this book doesn't contain classic software-focused projects like other books (eg. media center applications, game console emulator, speech recognition). If this is what you are looking for, check out some of the alternatives described on this site. But if you want to focus on electronics, you definitely should go with this book.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 - if you focus on electronics

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Hello Scratch!: Learn to Program by Making Arcade Games

I also want to point out that this special book, written for the "Scratch visual programming language", was developed to teach children how to think like a software developer. If you intend to get the Raspberri Pi as a gift for an under 12-year-old child, this book could be the perfect start! Indeed, the official book description states that it " -is a how-to book that helps parents and kids work together to learn programming skills by creating new versions of old retro-style arcade games with Scratch."

In any other case I'd recommend to go with one of the other books, since they are mostly teaching written programming languages that are more powerful and versatile. And even if you have no programming experience at all, you should start with a "real" programming language instead of playing around with scratch :-) But that's only my personal opinion ...

Rating: 4.0 / 5 - if you are buying the book for an interested child

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Exploring Raspberry Pi: Interfacing to the Real World with Embedded Linux

This is a more advanced book on the Pi, covering the material in a "question-answer" format. Published by O'Reilly, this book is among the more expensive (about double the price of some other books listed here), but if you are looking for more in-depth knowledge and if you have already experience with the Pi, I strongly recommend it.

If you are a beginner, you might want to check out some of the other books listed on this page as they are cheaper and well suited for beginners.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 - if you are already experienced with the Pi

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Raspberry Pi For Dummies

The "For Dummies" version of the Raspberry Pi introducting literature resources just needs to be listed here. Well-known from almost any other field of knowledge, the "For Dummies"-series provides a good introdutction to the world of Raspberry Pi.

I personally don't like the "For Dummies"-books, because in my opinion they are a bit too descriptive and their layout is a bit confusing. I prefer the plain, straightforward structure for books, but that's my personal taste.

However, if you are a huge fan of the "For Dummies"-books and you want to learn about the Pi, this is the way to go!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 - still a good resource if you have some extra money

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Some additional tips from a developer:

  • The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B has on-board Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity so you don't need an extra USB Wifi or Bluetooth stick as with older models
  • You need a micro SD card with an operating system image like Raspbian or NOOBS to use the Raspberry Pi. Some starter kits ship with such a card. But you could also just buy a standard micro SD card (I recommend a 32GB card at least so you can store some files in your system). Then you'd just have to download the operating system image from the respective website and copy it onto the card using your PC or Mac.

The Hardware: Raspberry Pi Starter Kits

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Kit

This is the small brother of the Ultimate Kit. It comes without the electronic parts, but still has the starter manual and a nice transparent case to protect your Pi, as well as power supply.

If you are not into electronics, this is the way to go. Bear in mind that this product does NOT include an SD card, so you will need to buy a micro SD card separately and also put the operating system image on the card before you can use the Pi.

Rating: 4.0 / 5 - OK, the lack of the SD card is a pity (if you don't have one)

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Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Kit

This is just an alternative to the CanaKit: both products are basically equivalent. It ships with a manual, a case and a power supply.

With this kit you also have to separately buy a micro SD card and put the operating system image onto to use the Pi.

Rating: 4.0 / 5 - Similar to the one above

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Raspberry Pi 3 (board only)

If you want the Raspberry Pi without any nitty-gritty stuff, this is the way to go. You'd need to separately buy a 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and a micro SD card (if you don't have any of these items). Plus (like with the basic starter kits) you'd have to manually put an operating system image on the micro SD card before you can use the Pi.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 - only the board without any addons, but the price is almost the same

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More tips from a developer:

  • I strongly recommend to get at least one book about the Pi to really get started. The books often contain the basic setup procedure as well as step-by-step project examples that have been tested by the community. You could also Google a lot of stuff, but the books aren't really expensive and are an investment that pays off quickly.
  • An alternative to the books would be to get yourself a video course. But don't forget that you'd have to use the Pi with a screen, keyboard and mouse. So if you have only one screen it might become difficult to watch a video course while experimenting with the Pi ;)

Affordable Video Courses:

Hands on Internet of Things: Get Started with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Workshop 2017 Become a Coder / Maker / Inventor

If you want to know more about Raspberry Pi, how it works and what you can you with it, this is the right course. 3.5 hours for people who want to be makers, learning not only the Raspberry Pi ecosystem but also how to program with Python.

This course will cover all the main points you need to start creating new projects. Any basic knowledge would be a help but it’s not mandatory. Along with the course you will get some features and materials, as code snippets, that will help you gathering more information.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 - a really good course!

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From 0 to 1: Raspberry Pi and the Internet of Things

You are a neophyte and clearly have a huge interest in the Internet of Things and you want to know how you can do some home automation. That’s the deal for this course being able to get all the information at a beginner level that brings you on the way to a solid intermediate level. If you’re thinking of an IoT application but you don’t know how to implement it, this course will teach you how to do it focusing essentially on Home Automation using Raspberry Pi.

If you have poor knowledge or no knowledge at all, be sure to buy this course since it will give you a concrete view of engineering or automation concepts and the Raspberry Pi.

Rating: 4.0 / 5 - solid

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Raspberry Pi: Full Stack Web Development

If you have some knowledge about Raspberry Pi and you want to dig in deeper, this is certainly the course for you. You will learn a handful of important features that will let you know why Raspberry Pi is so great -- how to install and use Flask, the SQLite, uWSGI and install a Python virtual environment.

The course is pretty easy to follow and helps you get more than just a simple insight into how the various components work, beginning with the operating system, the application server and the Python programming language among others.

Some requirements are needed to get the best out of this course: familiarity with at least one programming language and some practical experience to acquire essential knowledge of Raspberry Pi. If this applies to you, it’s the perfect course.

Rating: 4.0 / 5 - good if you are into web developing

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