When you buy a Raspberry Pi, it may or may not be sold with an SD card. The SD card is important because this is where the Raspberry Pi keeps its operating system and is also where you will store your documents and programs.
Even if your Pi came with an SD card with the operating system on, it is a good idea to update it to the latest version, as improvements and bug fixes are going in all the time. Since putting the operating system onto an SD card wipes everything else off the card, it is worth considering using a USB flash drive for your documents, so that when you install a new version of the operating system, you dont’ have the complication of copying them off somewhere self before reformatting the SD card.
If your Pi did not come with an SD card then the minimum size you should get is 4GB, but buy a bigger SD card if you think you will need the space.
This lesson shows you how to create an SD card for your Raspberry Pi.
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Worth noting, the speed of your SD card will make a significant difference in how your RPi behaves.
You can cheap out and get the class 4 thumbnail SD card, and it will work, but you will definitely notice a lag. If you start XWindows, the browser can be nearly unusable because of how slow it runs.
Grab a decent class 10 SD card (I currently favor the patriot EP cards.) and you will find the performance difference to be amazing.
Where your RPi stumbled before, it will fly now. I’m not saying to expect miracles – this won’t turn it into core i7, but this is still the best money you can spend to increase your RPi’s performance.
I bought a 16 GB class 10 card for my Pi because I don’t want to be limited in any way.
I’ve been writing for the last 11 years and I’ve probably only filled up less than 4 Gigabytes of a thumbdrive and half of that is music. I think if you are going to write programs, it will be easy to fill up 30 megs. If you collect programs, it will be more and if you collect objects, data or images, it will be more room taken up on your card.
Strangely, when I got the mini-SD and the adapter card, I inserted it into my macbookpro. And ran the usual writing to the card. To no avail. neither my macbookpro or the raspi would recognize the card.
It only worked out when I used the mini SD-card reader that it would be recognized.