Are you looking for information on how to install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3? With the rising popularity of IoT devices (Internet of Things), many software companies have started investing in the development of operating systems that can run a wide range of IoT applications — smart sensors, wearables, traffic monitoring, etc.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft has unleashed its stake in the IoT market with their own Windows 10 IoT operating system. It’s nothing like the Windows 10 running on PCs and mobile devices mind you, but it runs remarkably well on small low-power computers like the Raspberry Pi 3. So much so, that the process has become a popular experiment among computer enthusiasts.
In this article, we’ll go through the process step-by-step along with a few examples of what you can do on such a small computing device.
Install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3: Step-by-Step Process
Before we get into the process, it is well worth learning about the two things that we’re trying to put together — the Windows 10 IoT operating system and the Raspberry Pi 3.
Windows 10 IoT (Core)
Microsoft describes the Windows 10 IoT as a miniaturised version of Windows 10 designed to run on small computers with or without a display. This operating system works on all versions of the Raspberry Pi along with similar devices like the MinnowBoard MAX and Arrow Dragonboard 410c.
Windows 10 IoT uses the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) API for building applications. Here are links to a few notable examples of devices running on the said operating system:
Raspberry Pi 3
As the name implies, the Raspberry Pi 3 is a third-generation single-board computer that’s about the size of a credit card. It retains the same board format as the other previous generations, but with a better processor that’s over ten times faster than the first Raspberry Pi. The Pi 3 also comes with Bluetooth and wireless LAN making it ideal for running a wide range of IoT applications.
To install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3, you’ll need the following:
- A laptop or PC running Windows 10 (at least version 10.0.10240)
- Micro SD card (8GB or higher)
- Micro SD card reader
- HDMI cable
- Monitor with HDMI output
- 5V 2A micro USB power supply
- Mouse and keyboard
Do you have all the components listed above? If so, then it’s time to delve into the installation process. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and just about anyone can install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3 by following a few simple steps:
- Using your Windows 10 laptop or PC, log on to the Windows 10 Developer webpage. Under the “Platforms” tab, click on “Windows IoT. This will take you to a different page called “Windows for Internet of Things”.
- Click on the “Downloads” tab. From there, you’ll be able to download the Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard application and install it on your computer. To proceed, click on the “Download the Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard” button and wait for the download process to complete.
- Install the application and run it on your computer. We’ll be using this application to “flash” the Windows 10 IoT operating system unto the micro SD card, which then goes to your Raspberry Pi 3. In the meantime, insert your micro SD card to your card reader then connect it to your computer.
- On the left of your IoT Dashboard, click on “Set up a new device”, then click on the blue button that says the same.
- At this point, you should be looking at the “Set up a new device” page on your Microsoft IoT dashboard. From here, you’ll find a few critical areas that you’ll need to fill out. Under device type, make sure that you have Raspberry Pi selected and select “Windows 10 IoT Core” for the OS Build.
- For the Drive, make sure that you have your micro SD card selected. The rest of the fields are optional, but it’s a good idea to set a device name (to distinguish from others) and an admin password to prevent unauthorised access.
- As for the Wi-Fi network connection, make sure that it’s set to the same network that you’re currently on. This will enable your Raspberry Pi 3 to connect to the same network and work seamlessly with your IoT dashboard.
- On the lower right section of the page, put a check on the box to accept the software license terms and click on “Download and Install”. You’ll be prompted to erase the SD card. Before clicking on continue, double-check that you have the correct drive selected.
- At this point, your IoT dashboard will start downloading the operating system and flashing it to your SD card. You should see a progress bar on the dashboard. Once done, it should take you to a new page saying that your SD card is ready.
- Microsoft may prompt you to format the SD card. In this case, you would want to make sure that you select “Cancel”. Otherwise, you’ll erase everything that’s on the SD card and have to start over.
- The Windows 10 IoT operating system is now loaded on your micro SD card. The next step is to load it into your Raspberry Pi 3. You can start by connecting the micro USB cable power supply and HDMI display as well as the mouse and keyboard. Insert the micro SD card into the designated slot and turn the power on.
- On the connected HDMI display, you will find that Windows 10 IoT’s setup process is relatively minimal. You only need to select a language and a WiFI network to connect to. Choose your desired language and ensure that the WiFi connection is set to the same network that your computer is on ( PC or laptop).
- Once the setup process is completed, it should take you to the desktop screen for Windows 10 IoT Core which should look something like this:
As you can see, the interface is kept relatively light with a few tabs at the top — Device Info, Command-Line, Browser, Tutorials and two buttons for settings and power. At this point, you’ve managed to install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3.
Notice that unlike the standard Windows 10 (or even the mobile version), there’s not much to do here. That’s because this operating system is designed to work with IoT devices, most of which don’t have a display. Once you start an app on the Raspberry Pi, the windows 10 IoT interface disappears so there’s no switching back and forth between apps like you normally would on a PC or laptop computer.
If you go back to the IoT Dashboard on your computer, you will find that your Raspberry Pi 3 is now listed under My Devices. From there, you can remotely control the device for as long as it’s connected to the same network.
For an idea on what you can do with your Raspberry Pi 3 that’s running Windows 10 IoT, you can click on “try some samples” on the left side of the dashboard. This will allow you to deploy some pre-packaged applications like Internet radio and a network module for a 3D printer.
You can develop additional applications for how you want to Raspberry Pi 3, but that means building code on Visual Studio. However, that would be a complicated process, to say the least, and far beyond the scope of this article.
Still, if you’re interested, then Microsoft offers a plethora of resources that you can use to learn about developing custom applications for Windows 10 IoT and turn your ideas into reality.
How to install Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi 3: Conclusion
So there you have it — everything you need to know about installing Windows 10 IoT on a Raspberry Pi 3! As you can see, you don’t have to be a computer expert in order to accomplish the same. If you follow the instructions outlined above, then you too can achieve the same feat.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the demand for IoT devices will only skyrocket. Whether you were interested in this project as a hobby or due to matters of industry (business security or automation), installing Windows 10 IoT on a Raspberry Pi can be your first step towards understanding what’s possible in a world filled with billions of IoT devices.