10 Raspberry Pi Disk Images You Can Install This Weekend

Christian Cawley 12-06-2015

Whether you already own a Raspberry Pi or are planning to buy the latest model Another New Raspberry Pi... and it Supports Windows 10 Read More , you’re probably aware of just how flexible this piece of kit is. Put simply, you can do almost anything with it, from managing your garden to taking photos in near earth orbit.


But if you’re looking to get started straight away with a project, rather than spend time installing Raspbian and then finding the various project-specific software, why not use one of these pre-baked projects? All you’ll need to do is download and write the image to your SD card How to Install an Operating System on a Raspberry Pi Here's how to install an OS on your Raspberry Pi and how to clone your perfect setup for quick disaster recovery. Read More , insert into your Raspberry Pi, and power up.

Get Gaming with RetroPie

One of the most interesting uses for the Raspberry Pi is as a retro gaming center, and RetroPie is a pre-built OS that gives you all of the tools you need to play virtually any 8-bit game you can think of, and quite a few 16-bit ones too.

Although our guide to RetroPie Retro Gaming on Raspberry Pi: Understanding ROMs, RetroPie, Recalbox, and More The Raspberry Pi is ideal for playing classic video games. Here's how to get started with retro gaming on your Raspberry Pi. Read More is focused on the old Model B, the software has since been updated for the Raspberry Pi 2, which means you can even emulate the SEGA Saturn and Nintendo 64. We recently demonstrated how to build a compact arcade machine using a Raspberry Pi Weekend Project: Build a RetroPie Arcade Cabinet with Removable Screen Read More and RetroPie, and MAME, old Atari and Commodore 64 games and many more can be played, but be aware of the implications of playing licensed titles in this way before proceeding. Other RetroPie-centric gamestation builds 7 Fantastic RetroPie Game Stations You Can Build This Weekend Retro gaming is soaring in popularity. These 7 awesome RetroPie game stations can all be built in a weekend with hard work and a Raspberry Pi. Read More are available.

Build a Wireless Access Point

Want to learn about network hardening, or perhaps create a free wireless access point for friends? Do you need to extend the range of your existing home wireless network? If so, the Raspberry Pi can be configured with the Pi-Point image giving you a wireless device that you can tweak and tinker with.

If extending your wireless network is something you want to do long-term, consider using a network repeater Wireless Networking Simplified: The Terms You Should Know Do you know the difference between an "access point" and an "ad hoc network? What is a "wireless repeater" and how can it improve your home network? Read More and even spend some time considering the layout of your home with some wireless feng-shui.


Enjoy Your Favorite Tracks with Pi MusicBox

Using Wouter van Wijk’s Pi MusicBox [Broken URL Removed] image you can build an AirPlay-friendly speaker with a built-in connection to Spotify, Google Music and SoundCloud. Forget piping music through your tablet or phone, or even from your TV set. Internet radio is the future of music, and you can have it hands with a Raspberry Pi.

With just a Raspberry Pi Model B, some cabling and a bit of soldering, this Internet-connected radio will revolutionise how you enjoy music, and can be constructed in just a few hours.

See our Pi MusicBox tutorial Turn An Old Amp Into A Smart Streaming Speaker With Raspberry Pi The ultimate self-contained music streaming speaker, with support for Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud and Airplay. Let's do it. Read More for full details on setting up this project.

Self-host a WordPress Blog with PressPi

We’ve previously looked at how you can host a website on your Raspberry Pi How to Host Your Own Website on a Raspberry Pi Need to run a website but can't afford the hosting costs? Build your own LAMP-capable web server with a low-powered Raspberry Pi. Read More , but with PressPi you can take this concept a step further and host a full WordPress driven site on your little computer.


While it’s fair to say that visitors might run into problems with site performance if you attempt to host a popular, large website on your Raspberry Pi, the PressPi image has been “Meticulously tested and optimized for performance and ease of use” according to the website, which offers the most recent WordPress version 4.x.

We reckon it makes a great weekend project, one that you can download from, and if you want to use it more extensively it should be perfect for local development and testing.

Install Kano OS, the kid-centric learning platform

Want to teach your children the basics of computer use and programming? It’s a skill that will prove vital in the future, so having the Kano OS image ready to use with your Raspberry Pi is a great idea. Kano is an open source OS designed for the Raspberry Pi, available free to download on its own as well as being included in the Kano kit, which features a Pi, keyboard, Wi-Fi dongle, cabling and other useful bits.

Our review of the Kano kit Kano: The DIY Computer For Kids To Code and Learn (Review and Competition) Can a small child build a computer and learn to code on it? To find out, I tested it on one 3 year old boy with little experience of computers, and his 9 year cousin,... Read More , will give you an idea of what you can expect from the OS.


Build a NAS with OpenMediaVault

MakeUseOf’s DIY editor James Bruce previously showed you how to build a NAS with a Raspberry Pi Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into An NAS Box Do you have a couple of external hard drives lying around and a Raspberry Pi? Make a cheap, low powered networked attached storage device out of them. While the end result certainly won't be as... Read More , but the world of network attached storage has moved on somewhat since then. OpenMediaVault is now where it’s at, turning your Raspberry Pi into a fully-fledged file server. With this NAS setup you can save your family photos, music and videos to a connected HDD, ready to share across your home network.

The benefits of such a setup are obvious, especially if you’re using a media server such as Plex installed on a PC or a second Raspberry Pi.

Love MineCraft?

The blocky building world of Minecraft just keeps on getting bigger, wrapping its retro-styled tentacles around virtually any platform you can think of, and the Raspberry Pi is no different. MineCraft: Pi Edition is a ready-made server for designed multiplayer Minecraft joy, and you can download it for your Pi at

Full instructions are provided on the website, and although MineCraft: Pi Edition is compatible with all mod, you’ll get the best performance with the superior-specs of Raspberry Pi 2 5 Things You Can't Do With Raspberry Pi 2 With a quad core CPU and boasts of being able to run Windows 10 – is the Raspberry Pi 2 really all that? Here's 5 things the Raspberry Pi 2 still can't do. Read More .


If you’re new to the game, meanwhile, our Minecraft beginner’s guide The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More should prove invaluable.

Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Media Center


Everyone with a collection of digital media needs a media center, but the days of the HTPC are long gone since the arrival of the Raspberry Pi. Now, all you need is one of these little computers and a suitable image, such as Raspbmc (an XBMC version of Raspbian) How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System Four weeks on and I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi in various ways, from using it to browse the web and standard day-to-day computing tasks to playing around with the various configurations that are... Read More or OpenElec (itself a version of XBMC, available for quick install using the NOOBs installer How NOOBS For Raspberry Pi Can Help First Time Users There is something about the Raspberry Pi that might just put people off: until now, setting it up has not been particularly user friendly. NOOBS aims to change that! Read More ).

Raspberry Pi 2 owners, meanwhile, will be pleased to know that the newly relaunched XBMC is available for their device. Now known as Kodi, this too is available as an image to be written to SD card and inserted in your Raspberry Pi, or installed from within an existing Raspian OS.

Emulate AirPlay with Shairport Sync

An open source reverse engineered version of Apple’s AirPlay, Shairport Sync is an alternative to Pi MusicBox, and enables you to stream audio from a computer or phone to your Raspberry Pi, where the signal is then output to the connected speaker.

Once installed, the Shairport Sync image is preset to act as a receiver and player for your music collection, put is particularly suited to iOS users who like to keep a good selection of tunes on their iPhones or iPads.

Build a Pirate Radio Transmitter, Arr

Avast, scurvy seadogs! While pirate radio might immediately inspire memories of black music in the 1980s and 1990s, or even seaborne radio stations in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s possible to use your Raspberry Pi as a radio transmitter using the PiFM image.

Couple this up with the necessary broadcast antenna and a portable battery solution 3 Raspberry Pi Battery Packs for Portable Projects A Raspberry Pi battery can make a regular Pi into a portable computer. You'll need one of these battery solutions to get started. Read More for your Raspberry Pi, and you too can have a police-taunting mobile radio station. What you broadcast is up to you, of course, but be aware that broadcasting pirate radio can get you into very real trouble with the authorities.

These projects are all a little bit awesome in their own way, but if you feel as though we’ve somehow missed something out, let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: construction tools via Shutterstock

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dheeraj
    September 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Hey ,
    Thanks for your article. I am opening a makerspace in India can you help me out

  2. Phil
    February 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

    RISC OS actually ran on 32bit Acorn RISC machines, not 8-bit!

  3. Anonymous
    July 4, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Hi there. Thanks for the shairport link, but would you mind calling it Shairport Sync? Shairport Sync is a development of shairport that allows multi-room audio.

    All the best, Mike.

    • James Bruce
      July 4, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks for the correction Mike, updated.

  4. Anonymous
    June 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Just drop the square bracket "]" off of the end of the link as it was provided, and you're good to go.

  5. Anonymous
    June 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Bad link for Pi-Point.