Drosophila melanogaster has long been a prime model organism for developmental biologists. During their work, they have established a large collection of techniques and reagents. This in turn has made fruit flies an attractive system for many other biomedical researchers who have otherwise no background in fly biology. This review intends to help Drosophila neophytes in setting up a fly lab. It briefly introduces the biological properties of fruit flies, describes the minimal equipment required for working with flies, and offers some basic advice for maintaining fly lines and setting up and analyzing experiments.