I recently started flipping through The MagPi back-issues, and came across an article where someone talked about setting up a virtual Raspberry Pi environment. At the time he wrote his article, I don’t think the Pi was even really available to the public yet.
It got me thinking though. I’ve been playing around a lot on the Pi itself, but it’d be convenient to have an environment setup where I could experiment with code even when I don’t have access to the Pi.
Goal: Setup a virtual machine with Debian (from which Raspbian is derived). Install Python and other libraries and installers, so I can code solutions that can be migrated to the Pi.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !
This isn’t setting up a virtual Raspberry Pi–it’s setting up an installation of Debian in Virtualbox with the wrong processor architecture (X86 vs. ARM). None of the Raspbian-specific features will be available, and any compilation done in the VM will result in binaries that can’t be run on an actual Pi.
Wow, this post garnered more attention than I thought it would. If I had known that, I would’ve taken the idea further! It’s by no means perfect or complete, but I’d definitely like to be able do more “Pi”-related development without having to be on the Pi itself.
I hope someone finds something in it useful, or it sparks an idea, or moves you a bit closer to your own goal! Good luck, and happy Pi’ing!