Which language on the Raspberry Pi?

What language should you use on the Raspberry Pi? There is quite a choice, including Python, Scratch, Java, C, Julia, and that's not counting the web stuff like Javascript, Html and Php.
There is no definitive answer - it depends on what you want to do. If you are teaching a child the basics of programming then Scratch might be a good choice. If you are an older learner then you might go for Python or Java with Greenfoot.
If you are interested in programming the Raspberry Pi hardware then there are libraries for pretty much any language that will let you do that. 
If you want a graphical user interface then you may want to give C a miss. But not necessarily because you can tack on a GUI in almost any language these days.
So where does that leave us?
Here is a list of some of the programming languages available for the Raspberry Pi with my brief personal notes and an example program for each one (except Scratch).

Scratch This is a graphical language designed to teach kids about p…

PIXEL in a PC Virtual Machine

As I wrote in another blog, you can now install PIXEL on a hard drive (see below).

However, if you are a little nervous and you don't want to risk trashing your hard disk you can try running PIXEL in a virtual machine. It's quite straightforward.

I'm going to show you how to get Debian PIXEL running on a PC. As you might be able to see from the screen shot, I installed it on a Windows 10 machine but any other machine will be similar.

I used VirtualBox as my VM. It's free and easy to set up.

First you need to download the ISO file for Debian PIXEL. The easiest way is to navigate to the blog post here


and scroll down until here...

Click on download (bottom left in the image) and save the file somewhere sensible on you hard disk. It's over gigabyte in size so may take a longish time to download.


Now you need to go to the VirtualBox web site and download the correct version for your operating system. Just follow the instruction to install it (on Windows, just double click on the downloaded file and follow the instructions). You will find the downloads here:


Now run it and when it has started click on new

You will see this window and you need to fill in the form as shown. Give it a name (here I've called it Pi), select the operating system type, linux, and then the version, Debian (32 bit). Then click next.

It will ask you some questions, like how much memory to allocate and it's probably best just to accept the defaults. My system only has 2 gigs of memory and so the suggested allocation was to allow the VM 1 gig. This works fine for me but your own set up may be different.

When you accepted the defaults, you see a window similar to this

Now, click on the word Storage (the heading of the panel at the bottom in the screen shot, above) and you'll get screen like this.

Click on the little optical disc symbol over on the right and select Choose Virtual Optical Disk File. You then need to navigate to the ISO file that you download earlier. Here's is mine. Yours is likely to be different (and probably not on Spanish!) 

Click Open, and then OK.

That's just about it. Click start and wait.

It may take a while but eventually you'll get window with PIXEL running inside. You can use it just like another application. But inside the window it's just like the Pi operating system.

Raspberry Pi on a PC

You can download Raspian and PIXEL and run it on your old PC, Mac or laptop. It looks just like a Raspberry Pi

Run PIXEL from a hard drive

You can now try out a hard drive install with this unofficial version of Debian PIXEL.

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