20 books you should read to start on Raspberry Pi

I read a lot, about everything, including Raspberry Pi books
And it’s not always easy to find exactly what you search at the bookshop or in a website listing
I’ll help you and make a short list of books you need to read to start on Raspberry Pi (or for a gift to a Pi beginner)

Which book should you read about Raspberry Pi?
This will depend a lot on your goals with Raspberry Pi, there are books like:
– General tips about first hour help or hardware components
– Programming guides to make your first program with Python, Scratch or Minecraft
– Projects ideas to push your DIY limits

I’ll give you my 20 preferred books about Raspberry Pi, sorted by category
No matter which one you choose, you’ll be happy
No error possible by choosing a gift from this list 🙂


Master Raspberry Pi in 30 Days

I add it to this list as a bonus because it’s my book, so I will not rank it, but it’s probably the best buy to discover the Raspberry Pi as a whole (especially if you like this website).

If you are a beginner, the idea is to start with the basics and learn a new thing each day, step-by-step.
If you already know a few things, you can skip the first chapters and continue reading and experimenting as soon as you are not sure to master something.

There are also many detailed projects and homework, to learn by practicing rather than reading only.
You can find all the details on this page of the website.
You’ll love it 🙂

General help for beginners

Raspberry Pi User Guide

The first of this list is not a big surprise. It’s simply the Raspberry Pi user guide, wrote by Eben Upton (Raspberry Pi creator) and Gareth Halfacree (Pi guru).

You’ll get with this book a complete overview of the Raspberry Pi: hardware, commands, programming (scratch, python, Minecraft), and electronics (GPIO ports, camera, add-ons)

This is a must-have for every Raspberry Pi beginner
Check the comments on Amazon, they are all saying it’s a fantastic book

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Here is a classic collection in any theme you want to better know, and it’s true also for Raspberry Pi.
“For dummies” is a well-known collection for beginners, it’ll not disappoint you

In this book, you’ll find a general overview about Raspberry Pi: getting started, Linux introduction, programming with Scratch and Python and even some projects to discover all the possibilities

This book is available on Amazon here
For a gift to your kid, or if you want to play Raspberry Pi with them, there is also a specific edition for kids on this page

Raspberry Pi Cookbook

 This one is probably THE book for any Raspberry Pi owner, it’s a reference
Be careful however, this book is over 400 pages long, and maybe it’s not the easiest one to start with
But if you are motivated enough, would you need another one? Not sure

Download the Pi Glossary!
If you are lost in all these new words and abbreviations, request my free Raspberry Pi glossary here (PDF format)!

Here is the summary of this bible:

  • Set up your Raspberry Pi and connect to a network
  • Work with its Linux-based operating system
  • Program Raspberry Pi with Python
  • Give your Pi “eyes” with computer vision
  • Control hardware through the GPIO connector
  • Use Raspberry Pi to run different motors
  • Work with switches, keypads and other digital inputs
  • Use sensors to measure temperature, light and distance
  • Connect to IoT devices in various ways
  • Create dynamic projects with Arduino

Raspberry Pi Cookbook is available on Amazon.com

Exploring Raspberry Pi

exploring raspberry pi

 Another reference here with this 720 pages book about all Raspberry Pi aspects
Its content is really close to the previous book, with more details about anything
You’ll learn how to use each part (hardware and software) of your Raspberry Pi and how to get the best of them

You’ll maybe go faster on system commands/languages, but deeper on the electronics part also, so it could be a better book for a creator rather than a programmer

“Exploring Raspberry Pi: Interfacing to the Real World with Embedded Linux” received a lot of good comments on Amazon (check this link)

Raspberry Pi Hacks

raspberry pi hacks book

And the last one for this general section is “Raspberry Pi Hacks: Tips & Tools for Making Things with the Inexpensive Linux Computer”
I put this one in “General help” because it’s not only on one thing, but it may not be a book for a complete beginner

It gives you some tips on how to make the most out of your Raspberry Pi
You’ll see how to optimize the Pi configuration, how to build a cluster, things like that
This book will not help you plug the Raspberry Pi the first time, but to get further with it after understanding the basics

Check this book on Amazon.com

Programming skills

Now you have what you need for general help
We can move to the best books about programming on Raspberry Pi

Scratch Programming in easy steps

scratch programming beginners

 Scratch is a basic language to learn how to code, it’s the perfect language for a beginner or a kid
This book will help you to introduce this language and understand how code is working to create things on Raspberry Pi

I love the way this book is presented and illustrated, like practical sheets, easy to follow
Each page brings a new tutorial with pictures and other informations in the margin, like tips or important points
It’s perfect for beginners, especially teenagers

On Amazon.com you could look inside and discover a few pages to better understand what I’m saying

Learn to Program with Minecraft

learn to code with minecraft on raspberry pi

 Minecraft is the children’s favorite game and an ideal way to get them to learn how to code while having fun.
This book follows this idea with a fun cover and will introduce simple Python basics with the Minecraft game

For each lesson, there are three parts:

  • Introduction with the theory about the new notion (ex: set variables)
  • Examples on how to code this notion in Python (ex: variables syntax)
  • Practice with a Minecraft example  (ex: teleport the player anywhere)

You could find this book on Amazon
If you want another book playing with Minecraft on Raspberry Pi, you could try this one:
Adventures in Minecraft, which is similar

Python Crash Course

python crash course raspberry pi

 We saw two books about programming for young people, maybe this one fits best for an adult
It’s closer from a reference book (720 pages for this one) and written in a more classical way, but it remains a great one in this list

What I like in this book is its organization in two parts:
– In the first part, you’ll learn all the Python basics (variables, conditions, loops, etc …)
– On the second part, go into practice and see what you learned from the first part 🙂

This is an original book you’ll also find on Amazon, perfect if you want to deepen

Projects ideas

Some of you may prefer to learn new skills with concrete examples, by practicing on projects
This is what you’ll find in this part, the best books with projects ideas to practice directly on Raspberry Pi

Download the Pi Glossary!
If you are lost in all these new words and abbreviations, request my free Raspberry Pi glossary here (PDF format)!

Adventures in Raspberry Pi

adventures in raspberry pi book

 This one could have been in the programming section because it’s mainly about that. But they make all the book organization through ten projects you have to build to learn all the knowledge
They describe this book for a young public, but I think anyone could appreciate it

You’ll learn skills in various projects, about music, Minecraft and games
At the end of this book you’ll have a good knowledge about the Pi, like Scratch and Python programming, Minecraft interactions and GPIO pins usage

Adventures in Raspberry Pi is available on Amazon
If you like this kind of book, there are several in the same collection (we previously saw Adventures in Minecraft for example)

Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius

Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius

 With this awesome title, Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius, Donald Norris helps you discover all the Raspberry Pi features, through 12 specific projects:

  • LED blinker
  • MP3 player
  • Camera controller
  • Bluetooth robot
  • Earthquake detector
  • Home automation controller
  • Weather station
  • Home security controller
  • RFID door latch
  • Remote power controller
  • Radon detector

This book is 250 pages long, but will teach you a lot of things about Raspberry Pi you could apply in your own projects
Check the price on Amazon and see more details about the content

20 Easy Raspberry Pi Projects

 Here is another list of projects you can follow to learn new skills on Raspberry Pi
This one will show you projects in various themes, like LED, displays, sensors, cameras, games and web apps

“20 Easy Raspberry Pi Projects” brings you 20 EASY projects, so it could be more suitable for a beginner than other books in this list
For example, with the LED project, the author introduces electronic circuits notions and theory about LED, not directly related with Raspberry, but that you need to understand before starting the project

20 Easy Raspberry Pi Projects: Toys, Tools, Gadgets, and More! is available on Amazon.com

Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi

creative projects for raspberry pi

 If you are looking for more original projects to try at home, you’ll not be disappointed with this book: Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi
It includes more complex projects, mixing system, electronics and DIY stuff
For example, you’ll see how to build a Rubik’s cube resolver, a portable games console or even a robot in a Crocs shoes 🙂

What I like in this book, is that they take projects to an advanced stage
For example, one project is to build an Internet monitor. In most of the books, you’ll only get the script code to do this. In this one they build a box for the Raspberry Pi, with LEDs showing the current status in real time
A perfect gift for all DIYers

Make: Sensors

make sensors book

 Makezine.com is a well know website about projects ideas for makers
They also created a books collection for their readers
Make: Sensors is one of them

In this one, you’ll learn how to use any kind of sensors on the Raspberry Pi: Mouvement, Smoke, Touch, …
Note you’ll also find projects for Arduino in this one

You can find this book on Amazon.com (check the price here)
And feel free to browse books from the same source (Makezine), they produce great books

DK Workbooks: Raspberry Pi Projects

dk workbooks raspberry pi

 And that’s the last in this category: DK Workbooks: Raspberry Pi Projects
It may be closer to a magazine in the first view with only 40 pages, but you get only the essential informations, it goes straight to the point

This book is written for young people, with basic projects.
So maybe not the best for an engineer, but clearly a must have for any young beginners

This book is available on this page
You could also find similar format on any topics, from the DK store

Get My Commands Cheat Sheet!
Grab your free PDF file with all the commands you need to know on Raspberry Pi!

Want to chat with other Raspberry Pi enthusiasts? Join the community, share your current projects and ask for help directly in the forums.

Other good books

In this part I’ll show you other books that may not teach you directly how to use your Raspberry Pi, but more about his story and his integration in a wider area

The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

The Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

 I love the style of this book: The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
This will teach you Raspberry Pi (and Arduino) skills while telling you a story about a Zombie invasion

You need to set up projects to protect yourself from the Zombie invasion: use morse code, open and close doors remotely, use cameras and smoke detectors, etc …
This is an original book you will love if you dislike to learn in a classic way

This awesome book is available here

Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux

kali linux raspberry pi

 Ok, this one is not directly about Raspberry Pi, but you could apply any notion learned on a Raspberry
In the first part, you’ll see what is Kali Linux, which tools it provides, and how to use them
And at the end of the book, you’ll find an entire chapter about the Raspberry Pi and how to install Kali on it

If you know nothing about Kali Linux, I already made a post about it here: 15 steps to start with Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi
And obviously, if you want to know more, you can buy the book on Amazon

Building the Web of Things

web of things raspberry pi

 Internet of Thing (IoT) is a vast topic, and not necessarily around Raspberry Pi
In this book you’ll learn a lot of things about IoT: scalable solutions, protocols and architecture, web development with new languages like NodeJS

So, what’s the link with other books?
Authors will often refer to the Raspberry Pi to illustrate what they are teaching you
You’ll also learn things about the Raspberry, even if you already master it

Maybe not a book for a total beginner on Linux systems or software engineering
But to discover Raspberry Pi in an IoT context for experimented IT engineers, it could be the best option from this list

Building the Web of Things: With examples in Node.js and Raspberry Pi is available on Amazon

Raspberry Pi for Secret Agents

raspberry for secret agents

 I really like the title, and the story that this book tell us
Like for the Zombie book, I appreciate when authors take time to find a way to captivate us
It’s easier to read and progress in this context

In this exciting book, you’ll learn a lot, from basics (Pi story, models, configuration) to great projects like intrusion detection, gps tracker or 3G connection

Attention, this book exists in several versions, to get the latest update click here

Get My Commands Cheat Sheet!
Grab your free PDF file with all the commands you need to know on Raspberry Pi!


That’s it, you have my 20 preferred books about Raspberry Pi
I hope this will help you choose the one that fits you the best, or for a gift (other gift ideas related to Raspberry Pi here).

Feel free to comment out, if you know other books that all Raspberry Pi beginners should read, so we keep here the most complete list possible

Patrick Fromaget

I'm the lead author and owner of RaspberryTips.com. My goal is to help you with your Raspberry Pi problems using detailed guides and tutorials. In real life, I'm a Linux system administrator with a web developer experience.

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