Raspberry Pi - Model B

Who wants pi? The Raspberry Pi has made quite a splash since it was first announced. The credit-card sized computer is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. It can run several flavors of Linux and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program... Oh yeah, and it does all that for under $50.

The secret sauce that makes this computer so small and powerful is the Broadcom BCM2835, a System-on-Chip that contains an ARM1176JZFS with floating point, running at 700MHz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode and is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute. What's that all mean? It means that if you plug the Raspberry Pi into your HDTV, you could watch BluRay quality video, using H.264 at 40MBits/s.

But wait, there's more. The Model B also has a 10/100 Ethernet port so you can surf the web (or serve web pages) from right there on the Pi. The system volume lives on an SD card, so it's easy to prepare, run and debug several different operating systems on the same hardware. Most Linux distributions for the Pi will happily live on a 2GB SD card but larger cards are supported.

The Model B's two built-in USB ports provide enough connectivity for a mouse and keyboard, but if you want to add more you can use a USB hub. It is recommended that you use a powered hub so as not to overtax the on-board voltage regulator. Powering the Raspberry Pi is easy, just plug any USB power supply into the micro-USB port. There's no power button so the Pi will begin to boot as soon as power is applied, to turn it off simply remove power.

On top of all that, the low-level peripherals on the Pi make it great for hardware hacking. The 0.1" spaced GPIO header on the Pi gives you access to 8 GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI as well as 3.3 and 5V sources. Mating ribbon cables can be found in the related products below.

  • Broadcom BCM2835 SoC
  • 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S core CPU
  • Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 2 x USB2.0 Ports
  • Video Out via Composite (PAL and NTSC), HDMI or Raw LCD (DSI)
  • Audio Out via 3.5mm Jack or Audio over HDMI
  • Storage: SD/MMC/SDIO
  • 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Low-Level Peripherals:
    • 8 x GPIO
    • UART
    • I2C bus
    • SPI bus with two chip selects
    • +3.3V
    • +5V
    • Ground
  • Power Requirements: 5V @ 700 mA via MicroUSB or GPIO Header
  • Supports Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Arch Linux, RISC OS and More!
  • 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm

Raspberry Pi - Model B Product Help and Resources

Hackers in Residence: The Sound Visualizer

March 23, 2015

A fun project that uses a Raspberry Pi and a custom Java app to create your own sound visualizer using a RGB LED matrix.

How to Use Remote Desktop on the Raspberry Pi with VNC

July 9, 2018

Use RealVNC to connect to your Raspberry Pi to control the graphical desktop remotely across the network.

Graph Sensor Data with Python and Matplotlib

July 23, 2018

Use matplotlib to create a real-time plot of temperature data collected from a TMP102 sensor connected to a Raspberry Pi.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Guys, let's face it: I could've written anything up there in the description and those RPi's would've sold just as quickly.

    I should've just copy/pasted some Dr.Seuss :)

    • TECH GEEK / about 11 years ago / 9

      Most awesome SFE comment EVER?

    • JGuthridge / about 11 years ago / 1

      Out of curiosity, how many units was the initial buy?

      • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 1


        • CF / about 11 years ago / 3

          Should have been: Guys, let’s face it: It could’ve been 500 and those RPi’s would’ve sold nearly as quickly.

    • ThorntonDan / about 11 years ago / 1

      Next Sparkfun contest, find the real Raspberry Pi product page! Anywhere that has the Pi in for retail price is selling out quickly. Heck even one of your competitors made it an add in for orders over a certain dollar amount. I am just glad Sparkfun made the effort to carry it, I'll get one next go round.

  • EHMAGERD!!! SPERKFERN HEZ RARSPBERRY PEHRS!! I am soooooo happy right now...

  • TeslaFan / about 11 years ago / 10

    Yay! The Raspberry Pi DOES exist! Wait... none in stock... perhaps it doesn't exist. I've seen Bigfoot more often than an actual Raspberry Pi board.

  • frustin / about 11 years ago / 5

    booyah searching raspberry pi's on my raspberry pi.

  • lylehaze / about 11 years ago / 3

    I'm sure this is the oft asked question.. I ordered one, and it was "back-ordered", as expected. (This was before back-orders were stopped, apparently)

    Is there any idea, even a rough estimate, of a delivery time?


    • lylehaze / about 11 years ago / 2

      I withdraw the question. It is here, arrived quickly, well packed. I added a (sparkfun) 1A power supply, and a 4G Class 10 SD card that I prepared according to the pi page, and it booted perfectly the first time.

      Overall, VERY impressed with the entire experience.

      After the holidays, I'll try to make it into a print server.

  • charlesfries / about 11 years ago / 3

    Has anyone ever installed OS X on a RPi?

    • Member #302799 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Any OS on a pi has to work on the older ARM v6 architecture, witch most like Ubuntu don't. Also a big fancy OS like OS X would be very very slow due to the low clock speed (700MHz) and low amount of RAM (512MB).

    • WilliamK / about 11 years ago / 1

      It's not possible, since OS X is a closed OS. You would need its source-code in order to port to the RPi unit. (they did with the XBMC and other Linux distros) Now, maybe via an emulator, but it would be incredible slow, I guess?

  • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 3

    Only 50 units for the initial stock? SparkFun's being modest.

    • these aren't that easy to get. you practically have to BEG to sell them.

      • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 1

        That's actually surprising. I'd think the Foundation would be eager to get these into as many hands as possible.

        • customers, yes, distributors, not so much :-)

          EDIT: I think the idea is that they don't want a bunch of resellers to steal all the stock and them sell it for markup. it's like toys at xmas time, you see them for sale on eBay for a lot more money because the demand is there. by only selling in small quantity to customers, they can keep the retail price what it should be even when there's high demand (which there clearly is)

          • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago * / 1

            EDIT: Ok, that makes sense.

            • Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what all is going on, but initially, they weren't even entertaining distributors (beyond the one(s) they picked to initially distribute the product) and wouldn't sell to us at ANY quantity. So, we're lucky to have (had) 50.

              • GravMurk / about 11 years ago / 3

                Some interesting tid-bits from the wiki article, one distributor (of the two) took over 100,000 pre-orders in one day (which is why they went to the take-a-number and we will let you know when you can order process). In July they reported manufacturing 4,000 units per day. They have sold about 500,000 boards as of September. I got in line in May, ordered in August, received it two weeks ago. Working through the SparkFun tutorial now!

              • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 2

                Are you guys going to get any more shipments of these? Or was it a one-time thing?

              • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 2

                Haha, +1 for 'had'.

        • Chandhooguy / about 11 years ago / 1

          Nah, the manufacturer (Broadcom) doesn't make that much profit at all on these things, so there is no motivation to make more.

          • that's partially not true--there is motivation, it's just that production takes time, and there are LOTS of distributors that want to sell these. And they're a non-profit organization. It also makes customers want the product more and more, and it actually helps sales of the product. More waiting time, more time talking about the product, more people buy the product

  • Thimplum / about 11 years ago / 3

    YES! I thought you guys would never carry it.

  • Member #383180 / about 11 years ago / 2

    You should get wipi for raspery pi

  • Member #383180 / about 11 years ago / 2

    You should get the wipi for the raspberry.

  • 11 units? Srsly?

  • VirtualBoxer / about 11 years ago / 2

    My school's computer teacher thinks that the Raspberry Pi may go under another revision, so the next to be in stock may be the Model C.

  • Member #358832 / about 11 years ago / 2

    See how long 800+ units last.

    • CF / about 11 years ago / 2

      I think it started at 900. Only 181 left at 16:50MST!!!

      • It started at 421 units, I got the email saying how much, I would know. EDIT:I'm now just reading that and I am realizing that I sounded kinda mean. Sorry.

        • BigHomie / about 11 years ago / 2

          Chris is right, I got the same email, however I logged in immediately after receiving it and there were 902, and sold at an average of two per minute the first hour. Personally I'm still holding out for the Hackberry, but +1 to SF for stocking 900 units!

  • They're back!!!!!

  • Rick-S / about 11 years ago / 2

    Woo Hoo!! just got one. I've been wanting a 512K model and was pleasantly surprised to get the in stock notification!!! Thanks SparkFun!!!

  • WilliamK / about 11 years ago / 2

    Yes! Thank you SFE!!!!

  • JamestheQuack / about 11 years ago / 2

    Glad to see it here; now focus on accessories: GPIO, LCD, camera, etc. 8 )

  • Is there a reason you guys don't source these yourself?

    Lets face it, no one is coming anywhere near making enough of these things for reasons that are well beyond me.

    There is no way the original sourcers are now unaware of demand and are unable to fulfill orders in less than six months time. Hell, you could build the factory in less time than it takes to source these things.

    Might as well move on to something else.

    I know these isn't a Sparkfun issue, but the availability of the RPi is nothing less than absolutely stunningly pathetic across the board.

    • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 2

      One reason we're not manufacturing these is that the main IC on the Pi is a fine-pitch BGA, which is notoriously difficult to work with. Our production team is amazing, but we have our limits.

      We're currently looking at other boards with similar functionality, that are based on easier-to-use packages. Stay tuned, this space is going to open up dramatically in the next year or so.

      • Gopher / about 11 years ago / 4

        I've been working with the BeagleBone. Although it lacks onboard audio/video, it makes up for it in four ways: 1) You can get them 2) Higher performance 3) Well documented 4) You can get them

        Did I mention that you can get them.

      • crlanglois / about 11 years ago / 1

        I work at a contract manufacturer ~10 minutes from Sparkfun and we do lots of fine pitch BGA if you're looking for some built. At the prices the pi goes for though I doubt we'd be competitive.

        • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 2

          That's a big part of it - the Pi is being sold at a price which is extremely close to the manufacturing cost. This makes it a great deal for the consumer, but it makes the business case for a reseller (like us) very difficult.

          • but they sell so quickly!

            • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 3

              Business pricing is an interesting and sometimes counterintuitive problem. If we (or any company) can't make enough money from each sale to cover the purchasing / inbound shipping / inventory / handling / marketing / etc. then selling more of them actually causes you to lose money faster.

              • Interesting....luckily, I was able to snag one and I love it. Thank god you guys aren't amazon! For some reason, they think it's ok to sell Pi's at $65-$75 and think that's ok! It's not! SFE is truthfully amazing!

                • Amazon doesn't set the price, they just skim a few bucks off the top of the actual seller price. The price today on Amazon is $47, with free shipping, so the effective cost is the same from Amazon or Sparkfun. The real difference is that Amazon has stock.

                  Meanwhile good guy Newark lists them for $35.

      • Thanks for the info, makes sense. I don't want to deal with BGAs either, fine point or otherwise :)

  • JamesG / about 11 years ago / 2

    any plans on restocking before christmas?

    • We are working on getting these in as quickly as possible, but unfortunately, the size of our orders is limited as well. When we do get the next shipment in, it will go towards current back orders.

  • Member #366616 / about 11 years ago / 2

    GREAT! When will they be back in stock? Cant wait!

  • Member #195313 / about 11 years ago / 2

    Nice to see the Pi is finally getting attention here. I got mine months ago and I totally love it!

    One thing about it, though, is that the SD card sticks out. This bothered me a lot for a while, since it was very awkward fitting it into my projects. I bought two of these, they work perfect!


  • ThorntonDan / about 11 years ago / 2

    And 50 Raspberry Pi boards gone in under 1.5 hours. I first looked and there were 44, not even 30 minutes later and nearly 0 left.

      • ThorntonDan / about 11 years ago / 1

        Oh my, you guys need to incorporate that skit into the new product video. If only there was time.

    • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 1

      I think under an hour, total

      • ThorntonDan / about 11 years ago / 1

        Actually I got here when there were 2 left, added one to the cart and by the time I was at the checkout, all gone! So just under 90 minutes from the RSS post in my reader to the time I got the out of stock message.

  • Scube / about 9 years ago / 1

    So I broke my SD card socket a while back and was wondering if anyone know where i could get one. The one SFE carries wont work I found out after ordering.

  • TeenageEngineer / about 10 years ago / 1

    go for new model B+ instead

  • Member #60510 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Will Sparkfun be selling The Raspberry Pi Cookbook in the near future?

  • c.burgess.7 / about 10 years ago * / 1

    So now i have the pi, well my dad does, everything is installed, any way to use the GPIO headers to add a VGA output for a monitor, essentially another video output. I had a bunch of adapters to adapt HDMI to VGA, but the pi didn't seem to work like that.

  • TeenageEngineer / about 10 years ago / 1

    aww man! they are sold out. :(. No delicious pi for me. Although green eggs and ham would be nice

  • Anyone know if the Pi's from SparkFun come preloaded with Wolfram?? http://www.wolfram.com/raspberry-pi/

  • Josiahdg / about 10 years ago * / 1

    I love the pi!

  • NorthernPike / about 10 years ago / 1

    I just bought the Raspberry Pi, hooked it up, loaded Raspian from the NOOBS SD, rebooted and now I can't login because the keyboard either sticks or repeats and it's not the keyboard at fault. It's the pi and they know the problem exists. It's so bad I haven't been able to login at all. Your selling a product with a KNOWN defect. Why???

  • Member #482575 / about 10 years ago * / 1

    It would be nice to have a few more things for the Pi since it IS sooo popular! It is just easier for a buyer to get everything they want in 1 stop and only have to pay shipping for 1 place instead of going to here and other places for what we need and paying double shipping..

    Some things I would be interested in buying that adafruit has that you don't: * Miniature WiFi * Miniature Wireless USB Keyboard with Touchpad * USB WiFi (802.11b/g/n) Module with Antenna * Adjustable Pi Camera Mount * Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Board - Infrared-sensitive Camera * PiBow VESA Mounting Layer Plate

  • What awesome stuff could I do with this? Someone tell me please.

  • Sofia / about 11 years ago / 1

    I know that this is a total noob question but can a pi be made into a mini computer that will run nothing but a 3D printer, basically it will run the slicing software so I don't have to keep my 3D printer hooked up & I won't need to use SD cards, 'cause that's a hassle to me.

  • Propeller Loyalist / about 11 years ago / 1

    This may be a stupid question but I have to make sure before I get one. Can I use this to program microcontrollers, in specific the PICaxe, parralax's propeller, and parralax's basic stamp?

  • Member #286247 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Anyone tried streaming Adam-12 off Netflix through the PI? Is Pete still in charge?

  • Wow these are flying, glad I was able to get the qty. I needed :)

  • xxyeiroxx / about 11 years ago / 1

    Are this made in the UK?

    • Member #302799 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Originally the manufacturing was split between China and Wales, now the foundation is shifting as much to the Wales factory as they can.

    • Kamiquasi / about 11 years ago / 1

      Manufacture of any electronic device is difficult to really designate a specific locale, but as far as the RPi foundation is concerned, some of the RPi's are 'manufactured' in the UK. You can recognize them by checking the print next to the power jack - if it says "Made in the UK", it should be assembled at the Pencoed, Wales plant.

      The product images show such a board, but I'd imagine the actual board received may depend on the boards SFE receives when putting in the order. Mike's mention above - "Reality may vary" - applies here as well :)

    • They aren't manufactured in the UK. They are made in China.

  • DrPhibes / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is the incoming order quantity for this item accurate?

    • To clarify this a bit, we've got that many on order, but we won't be getting them all at once the next time a shipment shows up (more's the pity). I expect that we'll continue getting ~500 at a time for the foreseeable future.

      I didn't think this through very clearly when I was putting together the display for incoming purchase quantities; we don't have this data modeled in our system as well as we might. I'm working on a fix right now which should make things a bit more obvious.

    • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 1

      That's what they say we can get and what we've ordered. Reality may vary.

  • MCU-guy / about 11 years ago / 1

    Really getting mad. Got auto notify. None are available. Can we please backorder these. Maybe set a limit of one per person.

    • We might experiment soon with allowing a fixed number of backorders for products like this one. As it stands, I think there's just so much demand for the Pi that we're trying to avoid having thousands more backorders than we're able to fill in a year. That sort of thing turns into a lot of angry phone calls and e-mails after a while.

  • Divan Visagie / about 11 years ago / 1

    Wow , got autonotified , there were six left , bought immediately . After hitting refresh there were 4 , then again , all out. Wheew , just made it!

  • Member #415544 / about 11 years ago / 1

    I want one card, but... When are you coming to sell it ?

  • JohnGalt / about 11 years ago / 1

    Stock notification - 5 in stock. all sold out in under 2 hours and the notification was fairly late evening. Considering that there is a supply problem with the RPi and I keep hearing that quality control on some boards is not the best I'm really wondering why beagle bone is not a better solution for most uses, especially considering that a faster much lower cost beagle bone with video and audio on board and more memory is on the way and compatible with existing capes. more info to be announced soon at design west.

    • Divan Visagie / about 11 years ago / 1

      Think it all comes down to price with the Pi

      • JohnGalt / about 10 years ago / 1

        The beagle black actually costs less when you compare the total cost of everything required to make either usable. The Beagle Black also is far more expandable with a much greater amount and variety of IO.

  • Member #197750 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Got one! AWWWWW YEEEAHHHH!!!!

  • Member #302799 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Wow. Between last night at 12:30AM and 3PM today the stock went from 135 to nil.

  • Chandhooguy / about 11 years ago / 1


  • TheNATural / about 11 years ago / 1

    Any word on when these will be available again?

    • I think we might be expecting some around the end of February.

      • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 1

        If you use the cool Autonotify button up there, you'll get an email as soon as they're back on the storefront.

  • Member #406613 / about 11 years ago / 1

    This states it has 512 MB RAM, does that mean I'm getting rev 2.0 or has this been updated before they sold the rest of their rev 1.0?

  • GooseSG / about 11 years ago / 1

    I've watched this page for 5 minutes and it's hard to believe that no one has bought any during that time. The page still shows 210 in stock.

  • Shouldnt it be $35?

  • shawnee6d / about 11 years ago / 1

    I just got an autonotify message that 11 RPi's were available, but I don't see any means of adding 1 to my cart!! I'm very keen to have one of these beauties. Did they get sold out so quickly?

    • shawnee6d / about 11 years ago / 1

      ahhh this morning got another autonotify and Now I am able to order one. Score!:)

  • Menimitz / about 11 years ago / 1

    I just received my Raspberry Pi this evening (pre-ordered from a different company days before Sparkfun carried them) and learned a few things. I received a error at startup "Error 110" which deals with the SD card.

    What I have learned since is that a cheap SD card will not always suffice. I ordered a suggested Dane-Elec brand SD card from the company I got my Pi from and regret it. I have never had any luck with Dane-Elec brand stuff.

    This comment has started to sound ranty, so moral of the story is check SD card compatibility first. Also I recommend picking up the ribbon cable for the GPIO. I regret not.

  • Chandhooguy / about 11 years ago / 1

    I got mine from element14... Surprisingly, they have a lot of stock on them ;)

  • LJC41 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    FYI....MCM electronics has these right now for 35$...dont know how long they will last

    UPDATE: gone! ;p

  • Member #100344 / about 11 years ago / 1

    When will you be selling the enclosure you posted on your flickr feed? http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparkfun/8248199710/

  • raduigret / about 11 years ago / 1

    PiEye - RasPi WebCam tutorial, up and running in 5 minutes more details here www.bobtech.ro/raspberry-pi-webcam

  • iRow / about 11 years ago / 1

    Ahh! Where did all the Raspberry Pis go? But I have already got mine and it's awesome!

  • mmensinger / about 11 years ago / 1

    Last time I checked (as some one else commented that it does) the RPi DOES NOT have an ADC... at least not the rev I have (which doesn't have mounting holes. DRAT!)

  • TheRegnirps / about 11 years ago / 1

    Good thing there is a huge community base. Supporting a beginner's Linux product would be the kiss of death.

  • Member #324731 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is this rev 1 or rev 2? My understanding is that you would need rev 2 in order to interface with this ADC:


  • Joi F / about 11 years ago / 1

    It's really nice to see how much attention the RPi is getting. I wonder if it owes some of its attention to the SparkMakerDuino community? Although it has a REALLY nice price-tag, I'm not convinced it's only because of that; people are generally happy spending a bit of money on what they're passionate about.

    Back in 2004-2005 I started using the Stargate board ( http://platformx.sourceforge.net/ - Datasheet: http://platformx.sourceforge.net/Documents/manuals/6020-0049-02_A_Stargate.pdf ), which was a 400MHz ARM (Intel XScale) platform. I absolutely loved the Stargate and I still have one lying around. It had some/most of the same I/O capabilities as the RPi, excluding the audio and video stuff (which is not that useful for most robotics projects, anyway. Also, it'd be interesting to know how much of the RPi's power-consumption is spent on the graphics and audio processing, even when a display is not connected) but it had a nifty serial-terminal instead. It retailed at $695.

    This product died about two years later, because at the time there didn't seem to be much interest in a board like that .. while now, the RPi is knocking people's socks off! The times they are a-changin'!

    • Member #343890 / about 11 years ago / 1

      I think the main difference here is that the price of the Raspberry Pi is significantly less than the price of some of the older alternatives. You mention the kit costing almost $700 -- and here are the Raspberry Pi for just under $40 -- add the power supply and the SD card that are needed and you may have spent something like $70. At prices like that, many more can afford to experiment. Then they post on their blogs or on the forums about what they are doing for everyone else to read and be inspired by. That sort of thing grows exponentially.

  • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

    Its a pity something cant be manufactured fast enough even today.

    • Soshimo / about 11 years ago * / 1

      Hopefully things get better soon. I like the hackberry though!

    • BigHomie / about 11 years ago / 1

      That would likely effect the price, nothing is free unfortunately, except for Grace.

      • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

        True. I read somewhere the root problem is that Broadcom doesnt make any profit from this chip so they manufacture only as many as they please and whenever they see it fit.

        • So what Broadcom needs to do is just start making profit out of the chip by adding some cha ching and have the raspberry PI be $45 dollars and profit profit profit happy customers and happy manufacturers. Bada bing batta boom! These would be able to stay with a decent amount of stock because Broadcom would be making profit and then they would make them on a regular basis, not when they { just feel like it}

        • dtfall / about 11 years ago / 1

          the raspberry pi is not manufactured by broadcom. I broadcom employee, however, did come up with the idea. his intentions were for these to go to classrooms, but hobbyists and other private consumers have gotten most of these before any school could see one.

          • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

            The raspberry is nothing but the Broadcom chip + other simple chips. So it is indeed essentially manufactured by Broadcom. The claim that it is targeted for education etc. IMHO is just an eyewash to evaded taxes. If anyone wants to learn programming, this raspberry thing is one thing to stay away from. Programming is best learnt on a PC.

            • If anyone wants to learn programming, this raspberry thing is one thing to stay away from.

              For what it's worth, one of the other dudes who works on sparkfun.com and our in-house code has been using a couple of Raspberry Pis as his main desktop environment here for months.

              A lot of my personal introduction to programming was TI-BASIC on calculators I was supposed to be using for 7th & 8th grade math homework. I also got a lot out of shell scripts on a couple of decrepit many-user AT&T Unix machines, Apple's HyperCard, and a BASIC textbook written for people who were expected to be working on machines that probably didn't even offer a display.

              My theory is that programming is best learnt wherever you can learn programming. :)

              • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

                Agreed, and I guess most people learn that way. But when it comes to "labelling" something as "education platform", I would prefer a Linux box which shows possibilities of a computer and not its limitations.

            • Member #249120 / about 11 years ago / 1

              Agreed, it's a red herring.

            • BigHomie / about 11 years ago / 1

              Not true, possibly a linux desktop but definitely not a PC as in a WINDOWS PC. You might get the basics but if you really want to do some 'damage' then Windows makes you jump through too many hoops to get to the low level. The RPi is good b/c you can learn what you call 'PC' programming, as well as embedded programming by interfacing w/ the gpios, connect your own hardware and create drivers for it all in one serving, not possible w/ a 'PC'.

              & It is not 'manufactured' by Broadcom, no more than Sean Connery created James Bond, he merely plays a role in the big picture.

              • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

                Ok then you explain the huge gap between demand and supply of Raspberry PI. If Broadcom is not the bottleneck then who ?

                P.S: What is windows ? PC means personal computer. It doesnt HAVE to run useless software.

                • BigHomie / about 11 years ago / 1

                  Oh I agree they are likely the bottleneck, but the way you worded it I thought you meant they actually manufacture the Pi as a whole.

                  Lol @ useless software, but coming from an I.T. background PC is defined opposite a Mac.... sorry :« )

                  • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

                    No problem. I am sorry if I was not verbose enough in clarifying the "essentially manufactured" pun.

            • dtfall / about 11 years ago / 1

              So you're saying that the iPhones are really manufactured by Qualcomm just because they use their chip? Great logic there. It wasn't mean to be used to learn programming. This was meant as a way to put cheap computers in every classroom, even in unprivileged areas. Think computer-for-every-child kind of thing.

              • pkshima / about 11 years ago / 1

                No, what I am saying is that a bond movie is nothing but a story put together around a character named Bond. i.e. the critical dependency is on the character Bond not on supporting roles.

  • MilesTag / about 11 years ago / 1

    I ordered mine from RS Online back in June and I am still waiting delivery. I think it's now been pushed back to November expected ship date. So sad :( You think they would up the manufacturing pace.

  • Member #167681 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    Where did the stock go? How could you all have sold out so fast?!!! I can't get one from the the main people so Sparkfun is a God sent

  • BigHomie / about 11 years ago * / 1

    I think that was quicker than free day ;-) Hey if you all had a few hundred we customers might have crashed the site.

    Here's a suggestion for a product if you take those... Hackberry! & Cubieboard!

  • NeilJ / about 11 years ago / 1

    It's about time, guys -_-

  • IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

Based on 21 ratings:

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Media Player Success (sort of)

I use NextPVR to record .TS videos to my desktop computer and have been watching them using WDTV-Live on ethernet. WDTV-Live FF-RW stumbles on large .TS files, so I wanted to try XBMC (Kodi) on Pi. It sort of works.

First off, KODI is beautiful and responsive. The PI happily took my wireless keyboard and trackpad. However, natively I can get it to play only AVI files and have learned that I need to purchase a MPEG-2 license for about $5.00 to play other file types. The FF-RW works on the AVI files until I really work it. You can do that on a more powerful computer, but that strain caused my PI to freeze. As a start-to-end player, I have no complaints, in fact, it's pretty amazing.

I next installed Raspbian to use VLC, which has its own codecs. Aside from looking grainy and washed out, the .TS video loaded and froze at the initial frame. I had suspected that for my media I need a more powerful computer. But the PI came close and sure is a lot of fun!

The learning curve could be less steep for nontechies like me. In my experience, it takes a little chasing around to install software. I had to go one place to get a SD card formatter that would work, another place to get a proper image writer to get the programming onto the SD card, and another place to get the software I wanted to run. I'm still confused about exactly what an image is and how it must be written to a device, which took a couple hours to figure out. I could now write a tutorial that clearly outlines these steps, but I don't have a place where it could be easily found by those like me who have little knowledge and worry about downloading software from unknown and untrusted sources. Perhaps in time, there will be a "go to" site that's simple and complete to get the PI running in no time. Then again, it was intended to be a learning platform. For me, that mission was accomplished.

I consume these things like candy

I'm using these as my standard controller for my home automation system. I have about a dozen of them running various things around the house using the Arch distribution.

Great little platform.

Bought this on the Pi Day Sale Sparkfun was running, which made it an extremely good buy. Works as it should - no runs, no drips, no errors as the old spray paint commercial used to say...

Great Deal

A fantastic computer at a fantastic price!

More potential than I have time to explore

As a 72 year young retired IT person I was attracted to the Pi after reading about it and curiosity drove my purchase. So far I've just tinkered with it and have it running on my home network and accessing the internet. The configuration was relatively simple and the thing just works.
I'm using http://www.pythontutor.com/visualize.html in an attempt to learn Python. I'm having some difficulty applying my knowledge of assembly language, COBOL, etc. to the state-of-the-art languages but I'm hopeful. My end goal is to learn enough about it to encourage a couple of 11 year old "minds" to channel the time wasted on video games into something that could impact their future.

Its an interesting piece of equipment once I learn to program it.

I've never used the Linux program before so its a new world of using this type of programing. The last time I tried programing was on a Amiga 500.

Pi B

Awesome little machine. Spark fun always does a great job delivering everything fast and secure.

No complaints here

Older model, but still exactly what I was looking for

With the release of the model B+ and the Pi 2, this model doesn't get much love these days, but it's still does everything I require of it, and for a great price. I'm currently using it to do ADS-B receiving using a $20 SDR dongle, and it's working great.

I already had one but couldn't get it to work so I purchased this one, found out my hdmi cable was bad and my SD card wasn't connecting properly. But it is just an awesome computer!

More Than a Toy if you take the time to Learn

Nice to learn with, but better documentation is needed. Choice of video monitor , its hookup, and startup number choice , config file editing, SD card quality and format / partitioning / and file system choices, I/O cables and add ons, Bluetooth, WI-FI, cooling fan and heat sinks, HD or SSD options, different case and power gear, AND communication / I/O to other MCUs.

super secret idea!

instead of traveling with a laptop i could see right away how useful it would be simply to have something small and portable to bring with me when i travel. the hotel you arrive at already has an HDMI compatible tv/monitor, so i bring a cable for that. i'm already traveling with a smartphone, so the charging device works as a power supply. couple it with a wireless mouse/keyboard and a wifi dongle and you're good to go. check email, surf the web a little, jot down your notes and other travel craziness, store images of receipts or whatever. i LOVE the look on the TSA's face when i slap this credit-card sized "computer" all alone in the gray box. "what's this?" that's my computer. they're more interested in the wireless keyboard, like a bunch of goons that they are. anyway, it's a more simplified way to travel with a computer and IF the thing is lost, stolen or destroyed, i'm only out a little instead of a lot. i get to leave my laptop at home. thanks Sparkfun!

a Pi Day purchase

Can't go wrong with Yet Another Small computer! Especially given the Spark Fun $25 Pi Day special.

Next will be a PI v2!

Nice and cheap

Bought it during Pi day. Now it works with MusicBox firmware as web-radio and DLNA server, so I don't have to connect my phone or notebook to audio system each time I want to enjoy it.

Should have got this thing sooner!

It would appear that this development board is a breeze to use and can replace a whole range of electronics i would have expected to use previously. I just installed a gaming emulator, no problems. it seems powerful too. My greatest concern is that it has very difficult physical dimensions and port orientation. cases and electronics i buy need to be well designed. this particular board will be relegated to a role out of view. replaced with something fit for purpose.


Super easy to get going and start interfacing with the outside world. Definitely recommend for anyone who wants to do various projects. It does not have an ADC so be sure you know the limits of the device or what you need to buy as an add-on.

It works well!

Most features and power per dollar

I was looking for a project base and these had the most features and the best performance I could find for the money. And as much as I dream of someday moving my project to a custom PCB and moving to an fpga, I believe in the long run using the Rasberry Pi will become a permanent as I won't have the scale to ever make it cost effective to change. You just get so much power for the money.

Great little board for doing low level ARM 32bit development

I tried this board as a Raspbian board for my daughter. Scratch and Minecraft run quite slowly. If you want it for that, definitely get a Pi2.

For low level Arm C/C++ and ASM development, this is a very inexpensive and easy to use board. Awesome!

Fairly easy to get going

Great price and ease of use make this a fantastic SBC to slap on your next project.