Microsoft is changing its mentality in recent times and you can see it in some of its projects. One example is that they are adopting a somewhat more open development method, releasing the code of some of their software or even reaching out to developers with projects such as this one. Windows 10 IoT Core which we will discuss and explain how to install it on the Raspberry Pi step by step.
First, let's talk a bit about Windows 10 IoT Core, as Microsoft has dubbed it. free system for SBCs like the Raspberry Pi. It is an operating system oriented to the development of IoT (Internet of Things), the new era that comes with IPv6, which brings an endless number of IPs to be able to connect devices and objects that until now were "disconnected".
This is the one IoT orientation which can be confusing for new users who are new to the market and are looking to build a Windows 10 PC using the Raspberry Pi. It is therefore necessary to clarify the difference between this edition and Windows 10 for PC. I could sum it up in one sentence by telling you that with a Raspberry Pi and Windows 10 IoT Core you're not going to have a Windows 10 desktop environment on this cheap SBC, but a development environment to be able to do some of your projects. Don't worry if this was your goal, we'll give you some alternatives later.
And this is because Windows 10 IoT Core is a very limited version of Windows 10.kind of like Ubuntu and Ubuntu Core. IoT Core doesn't have many of the Windows 10 desktop options because it doesn't need them: no start menu, no graphical interface, Cortana is conspicuous by its absence, no native Windows 10 apps or games, etc... So if you're looking for a cheap Windows 10 PC I'm sorry to say that this isn't your option, but it can be a good choice if you're a developer.
But if you want to use it for some basic IoT projects, Microsoft's system can be a good option. And one of its advantages is its integration with the cloud, as Windows 10 IoT Core can be powered by Azure. If you don't know what Azure IoT Hub is, it's a project that allows you to connect, monitor and manage billions of IoT devices to create large projects. It's simple and fast, and fortunately it also supports operating systems other than Windows 10 IoT, as well as various communication protocols. IoT devices can also send data (such as sensor data) to Azure so that various services that Microsoft offers through its cloud can work with them and communicate with our device or others to perform an action based on what it has captured.
However, if you are looking for a complete generic PC with the Raspberry Pi read on this article and we'll explain how to do it. But first we'll explain how to install and configure Windows 10 IoT Core for this generation of makers and developers who want to create new things.
Install Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi
- The Windows 10 IoT Core ISO image.
- A Raspberry Pi 2 or higher board which is supported by Windows 10 IoT Core.
- A PC or laptop running Windows 10 (with build number 10074 or higher).
- Power supply for the RPi.
- MicroSD card of at least 8GB and class 4 or better.
- HDMI cable to connect the RPi to a monitor or TV screen.
- A TV or screen.
- Ethernet cable to connect to the network with the RPi.
If you're missing something, don't hesitate to take a look around our shop.
Installing Windows 10 IoT Core is also a far cry from the traditional installation of Windows 10 on a normal PC. But we'll walk you through a few simple steps so you can complete it without a problem:
- Download the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system ISO of just over 500MB. You can do this from this project website. If you scroll down a bit you will see some blue download buttons for different SBC boards, click on the Raspberry Pi one to start the download.
- Once the ISO has been downloaded, we can do double click on it and will automatically mount to a virtual drive to access its contents.
- If you go there, you will be able to install Windows-10-IoT-Core-Rpi2.msi.
- Now you can get rid of the generated virtual disk, it will no longer be necessary. In the previous step we should have created a file called flash.ffu located on the route C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft IoT\FFU\RaspberryPi2. This file will be very important for the subsequent steps.
- Then insert your SD card in your computer's card reader and go to the Windows 10 Cortana Finder, where you should look for WindowsIoT and you will see an option called WindowsIoTImageHelperClick on it, this is the program that will help you set up the SD card with Windows ready to install.
- When you open WindowsIoTImageHelper.exe you will see that it lists all the storage devices you currently have of this type, select the one corresponding to your SD memory card, which should be the only one if you don't have more.
- Then a field appears for select the .ffu imagewhich you must select from the path where it was installed as we told you before. Click the button Flash When you have it, follow the steps and that's it. It will ask you if you want to delete the content of the SD, accept and then a terminal window will open with the percentage of the process. Wait for it to finish.
- You can safely remove the SD with the traditional procedure as you safely disconnect any other device connected to Windows...
- Now insert the card SD with Windows 10 IoT Core on Raspberry Pi which must be properly mounted, with an Internet connection, and the screen must be connected via HDMI. When you connect the board to the mains, the system will boot automatically and you will see a screen on which there is little you can do. Well, this is Windows 10 IoT Core.
- If you want to work with it, from your Windows 10 desktop, using PowerShell, you can connect to your Raspberry Pi running Windows 10 to create the projects using SSH as a communication method. You just need to know the IP that appears on the screen and use it. At this point your fun as a developer will begin, using Visual Studio and other programs to create your projects.
Another option is to use Windows Device Portal to connect to the device from any web browser on your Windows 10 desktop. More options would be to use software like PuTTy very simple and with graphical interface to connect through port 22 and with the IP of the Raspberry Pi. This last option is the one I recommend, install PuTTy on your Windows and connect easily.
The default username and password are: Administrator and p@ssw0rd respectively. You can change them if you wish for more security, but for the first connection these will do, the change can be made from either PowerShell or Putty.
With SSH connection you will get a shell which developers will be able to work with, similar to connecting an Arduino board to the computer to download the Arduino IDE sketch...
Using Raspberry Pi as a desktop PC
If you are not a developer, I'm sorry, but you will have been very disappointed to learn that Windows 10 IoT Core isn't what you'd expect. So, if you want a generic computer on which you can use your usual software or video games, you can use a Linux distribution. Because of the great success and the community behind it, especially if you are a beginner, I recommend you to use Ubuntu MATE for the Raspberry Pi.
In this case, the Ubuntu MATE Linux distribution It is the same as the one you can find on a home desktop, without limitations, with everything you need and compatible with many applications and video games that you can use on your cheap board as if it were a desktop computer. The steps to have Ubuntu on your Raspberry Pi are:
- Download from here an image of Ubuntu MATE. Scroll down the page and click on the raspberry icon. You will be redirected to another page where you will find several download options and servers. Choose the most appropriate one for you.
- Once you can decompress it, as it is a ZIP file, you can do it with your favourite decompressor. If you are operating from Windows, you can use the application Win32DiskImager (select the SD, and the path to the picture img and click on the install button) to install the unzipped Ubuntu image on the SD card. If you are using GNU/Linux on your desktop, then use the command (if you don't have ddrescue installed on your distro you should install it, another option is to use dd, even if you prefer to do it graphically, you can install a tool like GNOME Disks or Restore Disk Image):
sudo ddrescue -d -D -force image_name.img /dev/sd
Substituting "image_name.img" for the real name that has the image you have previously unzipped and downloaded. Y /dev/sd you will also have to replace it with the name of the SD card on the Linux machine. If you don't know the name, you can use the command lsblk to find out. In my case, as you can see it is /dev/mmcblk0:
- Once this is done, you are ready to go. Now insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi and start it, you must have a mouse and keyboard to make the appropriate configurations. An installation wizard will guide you and once installed you can use it normally. Surely you will need to resize the SD partitions, for that, from the Raspberry Pi click on Resize and let the board reboot.
- If Ubuntu has finally been installed and no graphical interface appearsIf it does not appear in text mode, you can use the command graphical enable to enable MATE and then reboot the board with reboot. And now you will see the MATE desktop environment.
- Ubuntu is ready to install your favourite software or games and play with your Raspberry Pi.
Don't forget to leave your comments or suggestions. If you have any questions or problems during the procedures, we will be happy to help you, but please provide the necessary information so that we can be productive and have a clearer idea of what is involved.