Kano OS install on Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with a Mac

I’ve been really wanting to dive into the Raspberry Pi World for months now for some fun tech R&D projects. I recently set it up for educational purposes for my son this summer.

This is the results of my initial effort into our Pi journey from hardware choices to the operating system (OS) installation. Later in the summer, I’ll post about our projects and experiences.

I purchased the entire computer system for ~$163 CAD:

  • $88 Canakit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter Kit – on sale at the time
  • $45 ViewSonic 27″ HDMI Monitor w/ Speakers and Cables – I would have gone smaller but there was none from Craigslist at the time and for $45 it was a pretty decent deal.
  • $30 Logitech’s K400 keyboard & trackpad from London Drugs on sale at the time but you could also check Amazon.ca. This simple peripheral combo has no compatibility issues so far, no wireless lagging issues you hear about with other products which I experienced.

Other hardware recommendations:

Once I got all of the hardware it was on to setup Kano OS on the Pi:

  1. Formatted the SD card on my MacBook using Disk Utility tool choose exFAT. Because the .img file is 5.99GB, higher than the 4GB limit for FAT format. AFAIK NOOBS and PINN do not support the latest installation of Kano OS.
  2. Downloaded Kano OS (must be version 4.2+) image zip file from their site
  3. Downloaded and installed Etcher
  4. Transferred the .zip file (optionally unzip it for the .img file) to the SD card via Etcher

Fun Tip: I turned on the Pi with Kano OS on the SD card and it started to go on a fun setup walkthrough of the system, which is pretty cool. However, it would’ve been a fun experience for my son so I’ll have to reinstall and go through it all again after I test drive it a bit and get to know the “land” before diving in with my son.

Also, during the setup I had to connect some earbuds to the Pi. Once Kano OS got setup I went into its settings and changed the audio to output through the monitor speakers. There are many other setting adjustments you can make inside Kano OS, which is pretty sweet!

First impression of Kano OS was impressive for a free OS, like other free OSes on the Pi. But as an experience for a kid, it’s AMAZING!! I do think a lot of what’s on it is a year or so beyond a 2nd grader going into 3rd this year. But that’s cool, it just means we can keep it fun and take our time with it.

UPDATE: Kano will soon have Kano PC, which runs on Windows 10 for educational purposes. Looks like it’s a step up from Kano OS and Raspberry Pi.