If you have not heard of a Raspberry PI (RPI) you should check them out. For around $30-$40 its worth the experience even if you don’t have knowledge of how to set up a RPI it is quite easy. For those who don’t hopefully this will help.
1. Raspberry PI 3 B+ (you can choose a different version but since i like to experiment with everything a device can do might as well get one that has all the feature currently available. The RPI 3 B+ has a fast processor, WIFI, Bluetooth, etc its a long list for more information go to https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/ to see all the variations and what they can do.
2. MicroSD card (minimum of 6GB)
3. A microUSB like a phone charger but needs at least 2.5Amp. Most phone chargers operate below 1Amp look at the wall adapter on the back or side should see (OUTPUT: 5.0v…2.5A) the 2.5A will vary with the charger. EX: Can say 800mA which is 0.8A too low. If you don’t have one you can get one with the right specs from Amazon. Like this (http://a.co/d/8BX0dAE)
Download the Raspbian OS from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/
Depending on if you want a GUI(Graphical User Interface) or a headless interface which is only CLI(Command Line Interface) which is Stretch Lite.
If you are just starting out go with the GUI (Raspbian Stretch with Desktop)
If your using windows download an Image writer like Etcher or Windows Disk Imager remember to make sure the site your downloading from is trustworthy
If your using linux Etcher is also available but linux also has a CLI command to image the SDcard without downloading anything.
On the RaspberryPI website, they have good instructions with trusted links to image the SDcard: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/README.md
If you want to use ssh to access the RPI with no monitor connected. Before you take the SD Card from your computer go to the boot folder on the SD Card and add a folder and name it: ssh all lowercase
Unmount the SD Card and plug it in your RPI and power it on
Either use a display, keyboard, and mouse or use SSH to connect to it over the network.
Use putty if on Windows or ssh to connect to your PI.
You will need to access your router to see what IP address was assigned to the PI
most routers are 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1
If you can not access your router go to the Google your routers brand and look at the manual to see how to access your router. It will have the default login information. Sometimes this information is on a sticker on the router itself.
Also good habit to assign the Raspberry PI a static IP in the router or set it in the IP in /etc/dhcpcd.conf file
For example (good practice to use the IP that your router assigned because you know its not allocated) add this to the end of the file
*eth0 is usually the first Ethernet port on a system to set up wireless interface use wlan0 in place of eth0
This should get you going I will add on shortly about how to add VNC Server and Viewer so you can have remote desktop.