Emulating a Raspberry Pi on Microsoft Windows (in school)

I would like to give my students the opportunity to experiment with the Raspberry Pi; for their own interest and to support part of their GCSE qualification (OCR GCSE Computing A452).

Students trying Minecraft Pi in the classroom

Although we have two Raspberry Pi computers in school, this isn’t really enough for a whole class of students to get “up close and personal” with Linux. To make things worse, even if I purchased 28 more Raspberry Pis we don’t have traditional IT suites with keyboards and screens that could be connected; instead our students work from individual laptop computers running Windows 7.

A simple solution is to run a “Raspberry Pi emulator” on student laptops. This is surprisingly easy to do by downloading , unzipping and running the package from this website:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpiqemuwindows/

A screenshot of the Raspberry Pi emulator running in Windows 7

My experience with this emulator so far has been very good. It allows the creation of files, folders, users and user groups which are stored between sessions using the emulator. It also appears to have enough Internet access to use the Linux command “apt-get” to install updates and applications from the command line (within a Terminal window).

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