What is Coder?

Coder is an experiment for Raspberry Pi, designed by a team of Google engineers. It is an operating system that runs on your RPi, turning it into a dedicated web server with a web-based development area, giving you everything you need to build websites.

What do I need?

Coder can be installed on an SD card just like we did with then Raspian and it doesn’t require any extra hardware. If you haven’t already read our tutorial on what you need for the RPi then check it out here.

SD Card

SD Card

All the files can be downloaded from the Coder website and in this tutorial we will walk through downloading, installing and configuring Coder.

Download Coder

First head over to the Coder website and scroll down to ‘Download the Coder Raspberry Pi Image’.

Installation

After you have downloaded the file above, extract it and inside will be an image that needs to be written and a tool for Mac that will do this for you.

If you are using Windows then follow the instructions below.

Mac

Coder Image

Coder Image

After you have extracted the downloaded zip file, open up CoderSetup.

Coder Setup

Coder Setup

You must first ensure the SD Card you want to write to is not inserted into your Mac. If it is then remove it now. If you do not have an SD Card reader on your Mac, it is possible to use a camera with your chosen SD Card inserted and then connecting it to your Mac via a USB cable.

Click Start and wait until the next screen pops up.

Insert SD Card

Insert SD Card

Now insert your SD Card and click Next. Note that the program will look for any new hardware that wasn’t there when you clicked Start (shown above); try and avoid adding any extra hardware for this step otherwise the program will be confused as to which device needs to be written to.

Searching

Searching

Once your SD Card has been found you can then go ahead and click Install.

Install Coder

Install Coder

You will be prompted to enter your password for the user account on your Mac.

Enter Password

Enter Password

Enter your password and hit OK, after about 5-10 minutes your SD Card will be ready and you can remove it from your Mac. Head over to the next section where we will talk about configuring Coder.

Windows

If you are running Windows then you will have to follow the same steps as we did when we installed Raspian.

Insert your SD Card into your computer, if you don’t have an SD Card reader, it is possible to use a camera with your chosen SD Card inserted and then connecting it to your PC via a USB cable.

You need to use this, rather than just extracting the image and copying the files. You can download it from here.

sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager

sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager

Open up Win32 Disk Imager and select the device from the drop-down box on the right.

Win32 Disk Imager

Win32 Disk Imager

If you are unsure which device your SD Card is, go to ‘My Computer’ and see which letter Windows has assigned to your card.

SD Card

SD Card

Ensure that the zip file you downloaded from the Coder website has been extracted (this might take 5-10 minutes) and select it by clicking the folder icon in Win32 Disk Imager.

Select Coder Image

Select Coder Image

Finally click Write and select Yes to the prompt window.

Select Yes

Select Yes

After about 5-10 minutes your SD Card will be ready and you can remove it from your PC. Head over to the next section where we will talk about configuring Coder.

Writing to SD Card

Writing to SD Card

Configuring Coder

Now that we have our SD Card ready, insert into your Raspberry Pi and plug it into your Router. Note that everything will be accessed remotely so we don’t need a screen, mouse or keyboard: power and a network are the only required connections.

If you want to connect via Wi-Fi, this can be setup later but a wired connection is required initially.

Raspberry Pi Setup

Raspberry Pi Setup

According to the Coder website, you need to navigate to http://coder.local using Chrome however we have found that navigating to http://coder was the only option for us.

Once connected (to whichever address works for you), you will be presented with an SSL error. This is normal so you can go ahead and click Proceed. The first time you launch Coder you will need to enter a Password.

Enter a Password

Enter a Password

Enter your chosen password and click Save My Password.

You will now enter Coder and be ready to create projects. Click the cog icon in the top right to open up the settings. Here you can enable Wi-Fi, change your password and rename Coder (note that changing the name will not alter the address you need to access Coder).

Coder Settings

Coder Settings

Have a look at the built in projects and why not try making your own.