University of Cambridge offers free Raspberry Pi course

News 5 Sep, 2012

Twelve step course will teach students how to build an operating system for £29 computer.

Cambridge University has launched a free online course to teach people how to build a basic Raspberry Pi operating system (OS).

The Baking Pi - Operating Systems Development course will allow students with some programming experience to develop an OS for the system.

It comprises of twelve lessons that will introduce the concepts of assembly language programming and OS development to young adults with little familiarity of either.

The course was conceived by Alex Chadwick of the University of Cambridge Computer Lab.

Students will learn what assembly language and operating systems are, before being taught how to switch on and operate one of the board’s LED lights and build a USB driver.

Further lessons delve into graphics theory and instructions on generating lines, text and random numbers.

Ultimately, students will learn to use text to compute values and build a command line interface. A downloads page contains answers to exercises in each lesson, as well as a sample OS created by Chadwick.

It's not easy and it's not meant to be.

In a blog post, Raspberry Pi Foundation communications officer Liz Upton said the course was as much about bare-metal programming as it is about building an OS.

“It’s not easy, and it's not meant to be; we expect you to find this course challenging – and you should find you come out of it with a great deal of skill and knowledge that you didn’t have before," she said.

The growing bare-metal programming community emerging on the back of the Raspberry Pi's release will be available to answer student’s questions should they get stuck during their training.

New undergraduates at Cambridge taking computer science courses will be able to get their hands on the Raspberry Pi computer as part of their tuition.