Parts and Assembly

A Raspberry Pi desktop setup consists of the Raspberry Pi itself, power source, SD card, keyboard, mouse and display.

Raspberry Pi
There are many different Raspberry Pi models: A, B, B+, B2, B3 and the Pi Zero. In general, i suggest buying a Raspberry Pi B3. It’s the most powerful model and has onboard wifi and bluetooth.

Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi B3 from Pimoroni

The Raspberry Pi has a HDMI output (HDMI Type A, specifically), so chances are good your screen will fit! However, there’s another great option: the official Raspberry Pi touchscreen costs around 70€, needs very little power and is specifically optimized for the Raspberry Pi. It does not use HDMI- here is a tutorial for the assembly.

Official Raspberry Pi Touchscreen

Official Raspberry Pi Touchscreen from Pimoroni

Keyboard and mouse
Ideally, buy a wireless keyboard + mouse combo. They’re pretty cheap these days and give the advantage of using just one USB port (which saves energy as well). Below is a minikeyboard with integrated touchpad. It’s nice, but writing longer texts is a nuisance.

Mini-Keyboard with touchpad

Mini-Keyboard with touchpad

Power source
The power source needs to have 5 Volts and 2 Amperes (2.5 Amperes for the Raspberry Pi B3). Also, it needs to have a micro-USB plug (type B).

Official RPi power supply

Official RPi power supply from Pimoroni

SD card
Although a 4GB SD card (more specific: SDHC) would suffice, 8GB is a good size for a Raspberry Pi SD card. It leaves a lot of space for installing a lot of additional software while still having a size which is good for creating disk images as backups.

SD card

SD card

Important: The Raspberry Pi does not have an on/off-switch, therefore all components need to be in place before attaching the power source!
Assembly is straightforward. Plug all components into the Raspberry Pi with the power source being last. The SD card slot is on the back of the Raspberry Pi. If you bought an empty SD card, the operating system Raspbian needs to be installed beforehand- find out how to do this in the next tutorial, Installation.