Raspberry Pi Resources
Various setup guides
- A Beginner's Guide to DIYing with the Raspberry Pi (with video)
- Quick Start Guide
- Set up a Raspberry Pi in an Hour(this was a nice link, might be defunct, will remove if it doesn't self-resurrect)
- OS Install and First-Time Configuration
- RPi Beginners & RPi raspi-config
- How to backup your SD card
It is also possible to set up a Pi without a monitor (headless), google for "setting up Raspberry Pi without" and you'll see a number of matches pop up. I'd read through a few of these first before trying anything.
Essentially, if you have access to your router, you can find out where the Pi connects and get its IP number. Assuming you've got the OS on the SD card already, and you can ssh over, you can type "sudo raspi-config" and you should see the standard setup/config screens. Refer to the links above for what to do next.
As for which distribution, I'd go with Raspbian, simply because that seems to be a popular choice (and also what I'm currently running).
Quick RPi Notes:
While running raspi-config you:
- Need to expand the fs to take advantage of the whole SD card (shouldn't be necessary with the new Pi)
- Set the time zone
- The TZ may set your keyboard to the correct locale, if not, select the standar US English layout
- And under Advanced Options enable SSH (not necessary if you did a headless install)
That's it for the most part.
To shutdown a RPi properly don't just yank the power cord but instead issue the following command:
shutdown -h now
otherwise you risk compromising your file system.