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Code Pico with Thonny

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2. Choose interpreter

Thonny is normally used to write programs that run on the same computer you’re using Thonny on; to switch to writing programs on your Raspberry Pi Pico, you’ll need to choose a new Python interpreter. Look at the bottom-right of the Thonny window for the word ‘Python’ followed by a version number: that’s your current interpreter.

Click ‘Python’ and look through the list that appears for ‘MicroPython (Raspberry Pi Pico)’ – or, if you’re running an older version of Thonny, ‘MicroPython (generic)’.

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3. Hello World

Writing a program for your Raspberry Pi Pico is a lot like writing a program for your Raspberry Pi. You can type commands in the Shell area at the bottom of the window to have them immediately executed, or you can write a program in the main part of the window to run on-demand.

Click in the Shell area, next to the >>>> symbols, and type:

print("Hello, World!")

When you press ENTER at the end of the line, you’ll see your Raspberry Pi Pico respond.

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You are now ready to start writing your MicroPython code in the main window. Click Run to start the program on Raspberry Pi Pico. Take a read of our book, Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico if you want to learn more about Pico programming.

Top tip: Update Thonny

If you don’t see ‘MicroPython (Raspberry Pi Pico)’ in the interpreter list, you’ll need to update Thonny. Open a Terminal window and type:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y
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