It is possible to follow this tutorial without getting a Raspberry Pi. But it’s a fair amount of additional preparation, and the result is less satisfying…

First, you need to install VirtualBox, a free OS virtualization product from Oracle.

Second, you need to download a Debian Linux .iso image from Debian.

Third, you need to create a VirtualBox VM using this .iso image. Installing Debian will take a long time, so you need to be very patient. The installation process is not the friendliest in the world.

Fourth, you will boot into a 1024 x 768 desktop. It’s not a very big screen and unfortunately I’ve not been able to find a way to increase the resolution.

Fifth, you install Pharo by selecting the “Default GNU/Linux” download from Pharo. You can simply start Pharo from the Terminal command line with:

./pharo

However, you must understand that the files are organized differently. The Pharo image is no longer in the same folder as the pharo VM, so when you create the tutorial application, the background image belongs in the same place as the Pharo image (in the ‘shared’ folder) and the C shared library belongs in the same place as the pharo VM.

Sixth, you need to install the C development environment…

su /* login as super-user */
apt-get update
apt-get install gcc
exit

Seventh, since we are using OS virtualization for Linux, there is no actual hardware CPU, so querying for CPU frequency and temperature will return nonsense values.

All things considered, I’d rather spring for the Raspberry Pi. A beginner shouldn’t go through so much crap.

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