Raspberry Pi 3: discovery and configuration (Wi-Fi, language, Bluetooth…)

raspberry pi 3 raspi 3
Table of Contents

level beginnerHere we are already at the 3rd generation of this fabulous little computer that is the Raspberry Pi 3. There are already many tutorials on the internet explaining the start-up of a Raspberry Pi 3, we will skim these steps and realize some Settings useful for everyday use. In this article we will try to use as little as possible the lines of commands in order to make the Pi even more accessible to beginners.

For those who discover the Raspberry Pi 3

For those who discover Raspberry Pi, the idea of ​​the foundation is to offer a very economical computer in the form of an electronic board. This project has found echo in many fields (education, Maker, emerging countries …) and has already sold more than 8 million copies in the world. To equip your Pi, what better than to recycle your old hardware (keyboard, mouse, screen or television).

Side power supply, a simple power supply 5 volts (smartphone, tablet …) is sufficient provided that it delivers at least 2A (preferably 3A if you use your RPI as home automation box). If you observe instabilities, the impossibility of waking up your Pi after a paused … look no further. For my part, I use a power supply 5 Volts – 2.4A of an old iPhone.

The Raspberry is delivered without a hard drive. To operate, the operating system and your files will be stored on an SD board. It is therefore advisable to choose a SD board of good quality and high performance to not slow down your Pi. The ideal is to have an SDHC standard board (class 10) that can reach at least 80 MB/s. Operating system can accommodate 2GB, given the price of SD boards, as much opt for a 16GB or 32GB board directly.

To connect your screen, you have several possibilities:

  • You have a TV or an HDMI display. This is the ideal case, you just need an HDMI cable
  • Your TV or monitor has only one composite video input (yellow connector). Use the composite output of Pi
  • You have a monitor equipped only with a D-SUB or DVI connector. You will need to purchase an adapter HDMI-> DSUB or HDMI-> DVI

Finally, it is advisable to install your Pi 3 in a small box to protect it a minimum of the vagaries of everyday life…

raspberry pi 3 raspi 3 Raspberry Pi 3

About €40

convertisseur hdmi vga HDMI to DSUB adapter (VGA)

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convertisseur hdmi dvi HDMI to DVI adapter

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case raspberry pi 3 Raspberry Pi 3 case

A partir de 6,99€

carte sd SD board8 Go SDHC Classe 10

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chargeur raspbery pi 3 5v 3000ma 5V – 2.5A power supply

From €4

To equip yourself, if you can reuse old hardware (keyboard, mouse, monitor), count on a minimum budget of 76 € (Pi, charger, SD 16 GB and case). Compared to the Raspberry Pi 2, you save the WiFi and Bluetooth adapters.

On the performance side, the Raspberry Pi now boasts much more powerful components and more connectivity. It is 10 times more powerful than the 1st Raspberry Pi and 4 times more powerful than the Raspberry Pi 2.

  • Processor ARM Cortex-A53 (BCM2837) – 1.2GHz – 64 bits – 4 cores
  • 1GB Memory
  • 40-pin extension (GPIO) connector (I2C, UART, SPI, 3v3 I / O)
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 HDMI 1.3a video output
  • 1 Ethernet 10/100
  • 1 audio / video jack
  • Bluetooth BLE (BCM43438)
  • WiFi 802.11 b / g / n (BCM43438)
  • 1 CSI connector for camera
  • 1 touch screen connector

Preparing the SD board

On the operating system side we have the choice between several solutions. What is great with the Raspberry Pi is that it only needs to change SD board to boot on another OS.

Which OS to choose for its Raspberry Pi 3

If you start with the Raspberry Pi (and therefore Linux), the better to opt for Raspbian. Its graphical interface is not the most modern but you will quickly find your marks. The essentials of software are already present (Libre Office,Node-RED, Scratch, Python…).

If you want to use your Pi to create a media center, choose OSMC.

Format SD board

Even if your SD board is new, it is best to format it before copying the installation files. It is recommended to use the formatting software developed by the SD Association. It is available for Windows (download link) and for macOS X (download link).

SDCard formater raspberry Pi

Preparing the SD board

The easiest solution (without having to use a utility or command lines) and use Noobs. With a Raspberry Pi 3 that has an integrated WiFi board take directly the full version (Noobs download page). The ZIP archive weighs just over 1 GB. Once recovered, unpack the Zip and copy all of its contents onto the freshly formatted SD board.

First start of Rasperry Pi

This is the time to start your Pi. Insert the SD board into the drive and turn it on.

Warning. Never unplug your Pi without first turning it off (does a shutdown) or the SD board, and all its contents, will be damaged (irreversibly)!

By choosing Noobs as an installer, we are entitled to a graphical interface that will allow us to choose the version of the desired OS, you can even change the language of the interface by selecting French in the menu at the bottom of the screen.

 raspberry pi 3 noobs changer langue

Chose your language.

2 raspberry pi 3 noobs connexion réseau wifi

Once connected to the internet, Noobs refreshes the list of available distributions. You should at least have Raspbian, OpenELEC, Data Partition, OSMC and Windows 10 IoT Core in the list. Select Raspbian and click Install.

As you can see, it is even possible to install Windows 10 IoT.

Warning: this is not a version of Windows 10 adapted to Pi. In fact, it is a light version of Windows 10 that makes it possible to run programs developed with Microsoft Visual Studio from another computer. We will discover Windows 10 IoT in a future article.

raspberry pi 3 noobs choix distibution raspbian

The installation time will depend on your internet speed. Allow about 30 minutes.

raspberry pi 3 installation raspbian distribution

Once the installation is complete, you can restart your Pi.

Raspberry Pi 3 installation terminée

Adjust settings

When you first start your Raspberry Pi 3, you should have noticed that you do not have the usual configuration utility on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. We must therefore make the adjustments one to one and update the system to take advantage of all the new Pi 3.

Configuring the interface and keyboard

At first boot, your Pi is configured in English and the keyboard in qwerty which is not very convenient. To set everything in French, open the Menu and then select Preferences -> Raspberry Pi Configuration and go to the Location tab.

Click Set Local …

Choose your language

raspberry raspbian configurer interface en francais

Your Pi must restart to take the changes into account.

Once restarted, open Menu -> Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse

Go to the keyboard tab and click Keyboard Layout…

raspberry pi 3 raspi 3 configurer clavier azerty francais

In the list that appears, choose France below the Country column and look for the keyboard that is closest to yours in the Variant column.

Confirm. Your keyboard is now in QWERTY.

Setting the time

The Raspberry Pi has no battery to keep the setting of the date and time. Your Pi will be on time on your own. For this to work, you need to configure the time zone that matches your region in the Raspberry Pi Setup Utility (Menu -> Preferences) by going to the Localization tab.

Enable WiFi

WiFi activation is automatic if you install Raspbian using Noobs or from the official repository.

Enable bluetooth

By default, bluetooth is not enabled on Raspbian. Unlike WiFi, there is no graphical tool to configure Bluetooth. Open the terminal (the icon is to the left of the menu) and execute the following commands one after the other.

sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

These two commands will update Raspbian and all the packages installed on your Pi. These two operations can take quite some time depending on your internet speed (count about 30 minutes).

Now we will install the Bluetooth graphics manager. To do this, we first install pi-bluetooth. If it is already present on your Pi, nothing more will be installed.

sudo apt-get install pi-bluetooth

Then the graphic utility blueman.

sudo apt-get install bluetooth bluez blueman

To finish, restart your Pi using the command

sudo reboot

Once your Pi has restarted, you should have a new icon in the upper right corner with the bluetooth symbol. If not, go to Menu -> Preferences -> Bluetooth Manager. Now, the icon should be present in the upper right corner.

raspberry pi 3 raspi 3 gestionnaire bluetotth

Pair your Raspberry Pi to another bluetooth device

Once the bluetooth is properly configured, we will be able to pair it with another device. To do this, check that our Pi can be “discovered” by other nearby devices. Open the Bluetooth Manager by going to Menu -> Preferences.

From the “Adapter” menu, click Preferences.

You have 3 choices

  • Hide your Pi from other devices (in this case it is better to disable bluetooth to reduce consumption)
  • Always visible
  • Temporarily visible. You can adjust the length of time your Pi is visible

Finally you can change the name assigned to your Pi.

raspberry pi 3 raspi 3 bluetooth blueman adaptateur visibilité

Before you can connect to the other device, it must also be ready. For this article, we will link the Pi to an Android tablet. First, go to the settings and activate Bluetooth. From the menu, tap on Visibility Delay and enter your time.

This done, we can couple the Pi to the Android tablet. If you request the pairing from the tablet, you will need to accept it on the Pi via a notification that will appear in the upper right corner of the screen.

raspberry pi 3 raspi3 jumeler bluetooth

File Transfer

Now that our two devices are coupled, we can send a file. Click the Bluetooth Manager icon and choose “Send Files to Device …”. Choose the device with which your Pi is paired in the list. Select the file (s) to send to the device and confirm.

Go to the device and confirm that you agree to receive the files. A notification appears in the upper or middle bar of the screen if you are using iOS.

Change user password ft

The default user, Raspbian is configured with a first user called “pi”. The pi account password is raspberry. To increase the security of your Raspberry, it is recommended that you change the default password. To do this, open the Terminal and enter the following command to open the configuration software for your Raspberry Pi 3.

sudo raspi-config

Select the “change_pass” option and press ok.

Enter your new password twice and confirm

Finish the operation by pressing “Finish”.

Software installed on Raspbian

Raspbian comes with everything needed to start working as on a conventional computer.

For office automation, the LibreOffice suite is installed in its entirety (Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math and Writer).

On the Internet browser, it’s Epiphany. It is simple and effective. It allows private browsing, bookmark management. Respect for privacy compels, it’s duckduckgo that replaces google.

The Pi has not designed for the game (or at least not to run the latest 3D games), Minecraft for Pi is installed.

Finally, on the Programming side, the offer is much more important as you could suspect. You can discover Python (version 2 and 3), Java with Blue J and Greenfoot, Mathematica, Sonic Pi, Scrath to learn to program with blocks and finally Node-Red, similar to Scratch (But more evolved) that we will discover later.

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