Raspbian is the recommended distribution for the Raspberry Pi, which is designed especially for the Raspberry Pi hardware. Included by standard is the Pi Store, Minecraft and Mathematica.
Preparing the SD card
Although not usually required, it is best to prepare your SD card by fully formatting it.
Getting latest Raspbian Image
First thing you will need to download is the entire Raspbian operating system that is used by the Raspberry Pi. Luckily this is squashed in to one file to download, which is available from the Raspberry Pi website.
Go to the Raspberry Pi downloads page, scroll down to find RASPBIAN, then click Download ZIP. This is a very large file, so take this time to make coffee, or read ahead to prepare yourself.
Once the download is finished, it is compressed in a single ZIP file. If for any reason you can’t open the file, you will need to get a program capable of opening it like Winrar.
Extract the .IMG file to somewhere memorable, such as the Desktop. This step will take a minute or so to complete.
Check that the file has appeared on your Desktop or folder of choice. If you receive an error stating the file is corrupt you will need to download the original file again from the Raspberry Pi website.
Once you have the IMG file, proceed to the next step.
What we need
Download the latest version of Win32DiskImager. You will see a box asking to download a file to your computer, click Open and OK. This will take a minute or so depending on your connection.
Double click on Win32DiskImager-0.9.5-install.exe to start the install and confirm you wish to run this file by clicking Run. Follow the instructions to continue the installation.
Click Start, then All Programs, find the folder Image Writer and click on Win32DiskImager. Click Yes to open the program.
You see a box like the one on the right. In the Drive box you should see the Drive Letter of your SD Card. Click the blue folder and find the Raspbian image file that has been extracted, select the file and press Open. This will show the location of the file in the text box next to the blue folder icon.
Click Write to start the process of writing Raspbian to the SD card. This step will take a while to complete.
Once the process has finished, you’ll be greeted with a box saying Write Successful. Now you can proceed to put the SD card in your Raspberry Pi.
You have filled your SD card up with Raspbian, but unsure on what to do next?