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Software & Distributions:
Software - an overview.
Distributions - operating systems and development environments for the Raspberry Pi.
Kernel Compilation - advice on compiling a kernel.
Performance - measures of the Raspberry Pi's performance.
Programming - programming languages that might be used on the Raspberry Pi.
What is armhf
The Debian Squeeze image originally issued by the Raspberry Pi foundation as the recommended distribution used "soft float" settings. The foundation found it necessary to use the existing Debian port for less capable ARM devices due to time and resource constraints during development of the Raspberry Pi. Therefore, it does not make use of the Pi's processor's floating point hardware - reducing the Pi's performance during floating point intensive applications - or the advanced instructions of the ARMv6 CPU.
The official Raspberry Pi distributions are now optimized for ARMV6 and for "hard float" which should have better performance on certain CPU intensive tasks.
There are some info on the news groups that "hard float" optimization can speed up floating point operating up to 10x, please read detailed discussion on the Raspberry Pi forums.
|Distribution||Latest||First||Type||License||Memory footprint||armhf||Image/Installer||Packages||Username:Password||default GUI|
|Arch Linux ARM||2014-08-09||2012-03-01||Linux||OSI GPLv2||Yes||raw image||8,700||root:root||none|
|Bodhi Linux||2013-01-25 (raspbian/wheezy)||2012-06-12 (wheezy)||Raspbian||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||img+md5sum||35,000+
(sudo su root/bodhilinux)
|Debian ARM||2012-04-19 (Squeeze)||2012-02-16 (Squeeze)||Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||No||raw image||20,000+||pi:raspberry||?|
|DRUMS::DLNA Raspberry USB Music Server||2014-11-18||2014-11-18||Raspbian||GPLv2||Yes||raw image||No interface.|
|Fedora Remix||2013-05-22 (F18)||2012-07-07 (F14)||Linux||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||Fedora RPM: installer
Windows Zip: installer
Other Linux: Python script
|Gentoo Linux||2013-08-16||2012-04-27||Linux||GPLv2||~23 MiB||Yes||Wiki article Quick Install Guide
|IPFire||2012-06-27 (2.11)||2012-06-27 (2.11)||Linux||Open Source||~20 MiB||No||raw image (404 error from their own website)||144||N/A||none|
|Meego MER + XBMC||2012-04-27 (0.2)||2012-04-11 (0.1)||Linux (embedded)||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||~34 MiB + XBMC||No||~320 (core)||N/A||XBMC|
|Moebius||2013-05-06 (1.1.0)||2012-08-01 (1.0.0)||Raspbian||(GPLv2)||~20 MiB||Yes||Raw Image||(core) + Raspbian Repositories||root: raspi||none|
|MINIBIAN||2014-11-24||2013-07-05||Raspbian||(GPLv2)||~17 MiB||Yes||Raw Image||(core) + Raspbian Repositories||root: raspberry||none|
|nOS||2014-03-14(2.2)||2013-11-28 (2.0)||Linux||(GPLv2)||~90 MiB||Yes||Zip File||35,000+||pi:raspberry||XFCE|
|openSUSE||2013-12-06||2012-07-30||Linux 3.11||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||28 MiB (inc. X11)||Yes||raw image||6300||root:linux||icewm|
|OpenWRT||2013-04-03||2012-08-15||Linux||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||3,3MiB||No||Image||3358||first login with telnet
set your SSH pw
|PiBang Linux||2013-10-14||2012-10-29||Linux_3.6.11 & SystemD||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||Latest image||(user created at first boot)||Openbox,i3wm|
|PwnPi||2012-06-29 (Squeeze)||2012-05-26 (Squeeze)||Linux||GNU General Public License version 3.0||No||Image||20,000+||root:toor||xfce|
|QtonPi||2012-05-27 (0.2)||2012-05-07 (0.1)||Linux||No||qt 5 sdk + sdcard image||root:rootme
|VPNbian||2013-09-22||2013-09-22 Linux 3.6.11+
|Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||~40 MiB w/o desktop||Yes||vpn & airport image
|Raspbian||2013-05-25||2012-05-28 (Wheezy)||Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||~30 MiB w/o desktop||Yes||pi image list
|OpenELEC||2014-07-09 (4.0.7)||2012-05-10||Linux 3.14.11 (embedded)||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||110 MiB (incl. XBMC)||Yes||- Official Downloadsite
||~140 (+ 7 via xbmc)||root:openelec
|XBian||2013-07-14||2012-07-29||Raspbian||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||Windows installer
|raspbmc||2013-06-16||2012-06-30 (Squeeze)||Raspbian||custom||Yes||linux installer
|RISC OS||2012-11-01 (5.19 RC6)||2012-07-09 (5.19)||RISC OS||Shared Source||No||Latest official image
||(not applicable)||RISC OS WIMP|
|SliTaz||2012-12-14 (cooking)||2012-05-29 (4.0)||Linux 3.2.27||GPLv2||~10 MiB||Yes||raw image||260||root:root||Openbox ?|
|Aros hosted on Raspbian Limited Demo||2012-06-14||2012||Mixed Debian6 and Aros||Mixed - GPLv2 and APL (MPL derivative)||<~50 MiB||No||Binaries and run ./where/ever/AEROS/boot/AROSbootstrap||pi:raspberry||Aros Wanderer|
|Plan9||2013-09-23||2012-11-12||Plan 9||Lucent||Yes||raw image||Rio|
|SlaXBMCRPi||2014-04-09 [14.1]||2013-02-19 [14.0]||Linux 3.10.36+||OSI mixed (GPLv2, GPLv3, BSD etc.)
BCL For Java SE
|No||Raw Image (Developer)
Raw Image (Minimal)
Install Instructions (Windows/Linux)
(+ Official SlackwareARM 14.1 Packages)
, autostart into XBMC
|PiMAME||2013-08-25||2012-12-01||Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||raw image||pi:raspberry||none|
|PiBox||2013-07-14||2013-07-14||Linux/Buildroot||OSI Mixed||Yes||image (Source, rootfs, staging tree, install images, SD card builder)||root:pibox||Blackbox|
|pipaOS||2014-01-12||2013-02-10||Raspbian||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||~32 MiB||Yes||Image||37.500||sysop:posys with sudo root privileges||none|
|Raspberry WebKiosk||2013-11-28||2013-11-26||Raspbian||GPLv2||Yes||raw image||Browser-only: Chromium|
|Raspberry Digital Signage||2013-11-12||2013-06-06||Raspbian||GPLv2||Yes||raw image||Browser-only (restricted fullscreen): Chromium, Firefox or Midori|
|Nard SDK||2014-09-01||2014-06-24||Embedded Linux||Donationware||~40 MB||Yes||Build instructions||root:pass||none|
|ThinBox||2014-08-14||2014-08-14||Raspbian||Freeware||~1 GB||Yes||Latest Image||Not Needed||Autostarts|
Discuss: Forum at raspberrypi.org
More information is available at http://archlinuxarm.org
Raspberry Pi + Debian = Raspbian. A project to create a hard float port of Debian Wheezy (7.x) armhf for the Raspberry Pi. The intent of Raspbian is to bring to the Raspberry Pi user 10,000s of pre-built Debian packages specifically tuned for optimal performance on the Raspberry Pi hardware. The project is still in it's early phases, but the major push to rebuild nearly all Debian packages for the Raspberry Pi is expected to be completed by early June, 2012 (only several hundred packages remain as of June 1st). After that, efforts will focus on making Raspbian the easiest to use, most stable and best performing Linux distribution available for the Raspberry Pi.
More information is available at http://www.raspbian.org
nOS is an operating system for the raspberry pi that aims to make the device simple, fast and easy to use. It incorporates an XFCE desktop which is lightweight and user friendly for previous users of Microsoft Windows. It uses a modified version of the NOOBS installer for the installation as it only requires a quick drag and drop to the SD card.
More information is available at http://www.nos.net.nz
A very compact ARM HF debian based distribution, it fits in a 1Gb SD card, has autoresizing features to better adapt to your SD card size and uses Raspbian huge repositories for installing everything you need. A wise configuration and a small memory footprint are ideal for an headless machine or for interacting with real word I/O devices, take a look at Moebius Website
Raspbian Server Edition
It's a stripped version of Raspibian with some other packages
Red Sleeve Linux
More information is available at http://www.ipfire.org
Raspberry Pi Thin Client
Thin Client project want to create a very low price thin client over Raspberry Pi board! Microsoft RDC, Citrix ICA & VMWare View
BerryTerminal is a minimal Linux distribution designed to turn the Raspberry Pi mini computer into a low-cost thin client. It allows users to login to a central Edubuntu or other LTSP server, and run applications on the central server
Enjoy the Android Transporter tech demo .
None of the currently available solutions do a perfect job with running XBMC on the Pi, however OpenELEC comes by far the closest, in spite of its locked down nature.
This fork aims to remedy the very few flaws in its implementation and to focus 100% on the Pi, while also sticking to the upstream and incorporating its updates.
•Low idle CPU usage (< 15%) •Smoother and more responsive •Built in XBMC addons: iPlayer, custom fixed version of Demand 5, various unofficial repos •iPlayer, 4oD, Demand 5, ITV Player, SportsDevil all fully tested+working •Improved wifi connectivity •Added test-connman scripts for easy wifi setup •Added wireless_tools (iwconfig etc.) •Added rndis_wlan wifi driver (broadcom 4320 chipset) •Easy SD card installation script for building from source
OpenELEC is an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub. The idea behind OpenELEC is to allow people to use their Home Theatre PC (HTPC) like any other device you might have attached to your TV, like a DVD player or Sky box. Instead of having to manage a full operating system, configure it and install the packages required to turn it into a hybrid media center, OpenELEC is designed to be simple to install, manage and use, making it more like running a set-top box than a full-blown computer.
- OpenELEC Mainsite
- In February 2012, OpenELEC.tv announced their ARM port for Raspberry Pi
- OpenELEC forum thread
- RaspberryPi forum thread
- Raspberry Pi build instructions for OpenELEC
Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low HTPC setup, yet delivering the same XBMC experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms. Raspbmc is brought to you by the developer of the Crystalbuntu Linux Distribution, which brings XBMC and 1080p decoding to the 1st generation Apple TV.
XBian is a small, fast and lightweight media center distro for the Raspberry Pi, based on a minimal Raspbian image. It's slogan is "XBMC on raspberry pi, bleeding edge" and thus it's main focus is delivering the fastest XBMC solution for the Raspberry Pi. Thereby making most of the commercial media-center products obsolete...
- Fits on a 1GB SD card
- Low RAM and CPU usage
- Very smooth UI
- Auto mount USB
- AFP support
- NFS support
- AirPlay support
- CEC support
- Lirc support
- PVR support
- Kernel 3.10.9
- Performance as the default governor
- Out of the box support for almost all wlan adapters
- User friendly configuration tool xbian-config
- Source code on github
- Large community
- Debian based Apt repo so keeping your system up-to-date is easy.
What is RasPlex? RasPlex is an Entertainment Center Solution for Raspberry Pi Simply put, RasPlex lets you turn your TV into a Smart TV. Similar to the AppleTV, but completely free and open source, RasPlex is basically a set-top box. Once RasPlex is stable, it will have support for legacy console game emulation (NES, SNES, etc), as well as Plex Channels (Netflix, Crackle, Youtube, etc). RasPlex is a Plex Home Theater Client More technically stated, RasPlex is a complete port of Plex Home Theater (formerly Plex Media Center) for Raspberry Pi. RasPlex currently runs on OpenELEC for reasons of limited man power, but there is a working raspbian port that just needs some time to be brought up to speed. RasPlex was created on Gentoo linux, but that port has since been abandoned for performance reasons. We regularly merge in changes from Plex Home Theater and OpenELEC. Once things cool off a bit and we are more stable (or we get the man power), we will maintain a raspbian release as well. RasPlex is the Perfect Companion to a Plex Media Server Many people will use expensive computers as Plex Clients, or have to go through the inconvenient of plugging a computer in to their TV every time they want to use Plex. With RasPlex, just plug it in and you're media is always ready. Put one on every TV, and have your media everywhere! You can even put RasPlex on your friend's TV's, and watch your media remotely.
PwnPi is a Linux-based penetration testing dropbox distribution for the Raspberry Pi. It currently has 181 network security tools pre-installed to aid the penetration tester. It is built on the debian squeeze image from the raspberry pi foundation's website and uses Xfce as the window manager
Description This debian squeeze image created to perform "pwn plug" type of attacks using Raspberry pi. pleas look at the wiki for further details Wiki
Kali Linux Features
Kali is a complete re-build of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards. All-new infrastructure has been put in place, all tools were reviewed and packaged, and we use Git for our VCS.
- Open source Git tree: We are huge proponents of open source software and our development tree is available for all to see and all sources are available for those who wish to tweak and rebuild packages.
- Vast wireless device support: We have built Kali Linux to support as many wireless devices as we possibly can, allowing it to run properly on a wide variety of hardware and making it compatible with numerous USB and other wireless devices.
rk3306 mk/ss808 Raspberry Pi ODROID U2/X2 Samsung Chromebook
- 1.Get a nice fast 8 GB (or more) SD card. Class 10 cards are highly recommended.
- 2.Download the Kali Linux Raspberry Pi image from our downloads area.
- 3.Use the dd utility to image this file to your SD card.
Alert! This process will wipe out your SD card. If you choose the wrong storage device, you may wipe out your computers hard disk.
The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is a computer network layer that allows applications to send messages to each other pseudonymously and securely. Uses include anonymous web surfing, chatting, blogging and file transfers. The software that implements this layer is called an I2P router and a computer running I2P is called an I2P node. The software is free and open source and is published under multiple licenses.
I2PBerry was created to turn a Raspberry Pi into a I2P node through which you can access all the services offered through I2P. Detailed installation instructions and alternate download methods are included on our main site.
- ARMHF announced for Bodhi Linux on R_Pi
- Release Announcement from Bodhi Developer Blog
- Download from sourceforge
- what-about-the-raspberry-pi Forum thread
A Quick Start Guide exists how to install Gentoo on the Raspberry Pi.
Gentoo Section on the official Raspberry Pi forum.
Adafruit - Occidentalis v0.1
- I2C and hardware SPI support
- I2C/SPI modules initialized on boot
Tiny Core Linux
What is Tiny Core?
- In November 2011, RISCOScode.com announced that RISC OS will be available as an alternative OS for Raspberry Pi
- RaspberryPi forum thread
- ROOL forum thread
Just copy to your Raspian card. It has only been tested on composite output
At the moment, essentially what it will do is
- 1. Grab the list of Distros from the RPI Download page
- 2. Let the user select which distro he wants to install
- 3. Select the Disk device that he wants to install it onto
- 4. dd the image onto the disk device.
- 5. Flash OS from zip file on SD Card:
- 6. Reset SD Card: This will format an SD Card back to defaults, i.e. one vfat partition.
- Main site
PiBang linux is a Raspbian based distribution. PiBang is inspired by Crunchbang Linux, an i686 and x86_68 Debian based distribution. It comes preconfigured with many helpful scripts and pipemenus as well as a fork of Raspi-config with increases functions such as support for changing the user and hostname. PiBang is also one of the heavier Rasperry Pi distributions boasting a complete package set with favorites such as Abiword, OMXPlayer, GIMP, and VLC all pre-installed.
Plan 9 is a distributed operating system originally designed and implemented by Ken Thompson, Rob Pike, Dave Presotto, and Phil Winterbottom @ Bell Labs. It is a lean operating system that has been ported to super computers such as IBM's Blue Gene down to tiny boards such the RaspberryPi.
- Distribution disk image
- Plan9 subforum @ raspberryPi.org
- Acme editor tutorial
- Plan 9 Main page
- Plan 9 wiki
SlaXBMCRPi is a minimal Linux distribution based on Slackware ARM that brings a full featured XBMC solution to your Raspberry Pi. It allow the user to exit from XBMC to the Desktop should he need to perform typical desktop tasks (browsing, text editing etc.).
There are two pre-built images available:
Developer: It is 3.2GB and contain all development packages required to compile the Linux kernel, XBMC and other XBMC related (or not) packages
Minimal: It is 1.9GB and contain only the packages required to run XBMC. (Does not include Midori and relevant dependencies)
- Main Site
- Developer Image
- Minimal Image
- Manual Installation Packages
- Source Code
- Installation Instructions (Windows/Linux)
Raspberry Pi distribution geared towards emulating video games. Maintained by Shea Silverman
PiBox provides a build system based on Crosstool-NG, Buildroot/Busybox, the Linux kernel, Rasperry Pi firmware and installation tools to create a base system that can be installed to an SD card to boot a Raspberry Pi. The base system serves as a foundation on which opkg based extensions such as XBMCBox can be installed. PiBox is intended as a build system, though binary release are made available to try out the system. It's current focus is to provide a lightweight system for providing services (wifi webcam, media server, platform for DLP display) for travel trailers, though this is just an initial target audience. Wifi requires manual configuration of USB ids in /etc/usbhandler.conf. RTL8187B based adapters are recommended.
PiBox Development Platform is the official name of the core build system. It provides the platform on which the following two products are based.
PiBox Media Server is a purpose-specific implementation built on PiBox with a goal of providing a media server that can stream webcam video and stream video files as well as serve them over NFS and SMB. This is accomplished by adding custom opkg installs on the base PiBox development platform. The PiBox Media Server can be used as a node on a network or as a wireless access point. Additionally, PiBox Media Server will include (over time) support for sensor management making it similar to a home monitoring system.
PiBox Media Player is a purpose-specific implementation built on PiBox with a goal of providing a media player based on XBMC and other media players. The player is intended to integrate with PiBox Media Server over wifi with the server acting as a wireless access point. HDMI-based DLP projectors for use as a personal Drive In Theater experience. This is also accomplished by adding custom opkg installs on the base PiBox development platform.
Status of all projects are available from the News section of the issue tracker
Developers are wanted to help in adding new features and cross compiling additional packages. Also, feel free to fork the PiBox Development Platform for your own custom distribution. The aim is to make an easy to use meta-build, making creation of a custom distribution as simple as possible.
Created and maintained by Michael J. Hammel
OpenWrt is described as a Linux distribution for embedded devices.
The Rpi is now supported by the Barrier Braker release (14.07-rc1) available here:
The Rpi is also supported by the older Attitude Adjustment release (12.09-beta) available here:
The daily trunk is now finally available here:
You should mirror those files if you want to use them because they are build daily.
OpenWrt Wiki for R_pi http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/raspberry_pi
- openWRT Thread about Raspberry Pi status
Nard is a software development kit (SDK) written from scratch for the Raspberry Pi family of boards. Unlike Raspbian, which primarily is for desktop use, Nard focus on embedded systems running day and night for years. It has many features requested by industrial users.
Volumio is described as an Audiophile Music Player solution for Raspberry PI and embedded single board computers. Evolution of RaspyFi project it is based on a custom minimal Debian system fine tuned for Bit Perfect Audio Playback. It is designed to be operated in headless mode, controlling and configuring it via its WebUI or from third party clients.
•Ready to play: flash it and you're ready •Audiophile Quality: fine tuned ALSA for bit perfect and low latency playback •Control it via integrated Webui with PC, Smartphone, Tablet •FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, ALAC, PLS, Muse, DSD, OGG playback •Easy configuration of Wi-Fi networking and NAS Mounts •Airplay, UPNP, DLNA and WebRadios playback capability •Audio out via HDMI, USB, Analog Jack, S/PDIF, I2S (depends on platform) •All Raspberry PI i2s DACs supported •Multiroom Playback via Android App
Kano is a fast and fun OS for the RPi, pre-installed with modified Minecraft Pi and Chromium.
MINIBIAN is a minimal Raspbian-based Linux image for Raspberry Pi. The main focus is to have a small, updated and stable distribution that is fully compatible with official Raspbian “wheezy” image, without GUI and unneeded tools. So this image is perfect for embedded projects, or wherever you need to use all RPi resources for your specific tasks. The main advantage is that MINIBIAN has a very small footprint, boots in some seconds and uses just few of precious RPi RAM. Unlike other similar projects, MINIBIAN has not been obtained purging unneeded packages from original image, neither recompiling the source code: it’s just a customized Raspbian installation obtained from the same repository used for official RPi wheezy image. So kernel and binary files are exactely the same you will find on standard image, with the difference that MINIBIAN fit on 512Mb SD Card, is fastest, and updated more often.
https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:ARM OpenSuSE Arm Port exist quite of many Years .
Since July 2012 it been avalible as well for The RPI.
The Image Status are currenty betta still , but works . The OpenSuSE RPi image are made Minimalistic , without Yast !!
Install required Software are quite simple with zypper , same as on x86.
Current Infomations gathered at the RPI Forum http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=87
Meego MER & XBMC
The MeeGo MER project provides a Linux-based, open source software platform for the next generation of computing devices. The MeeGo MER software platform is designed to give developers the broadest range of device segments to target for their applications, including netbooks, handheld computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, tablets and more – all using a uniform set of APIs based on Qt. XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. Meego TV 1.2 uses XBMC as a reference GUI (that is, a starting point for creating a custom GUI).
Puppy Linux is designed to be a small tiny Linux distribution (<100MB). One distro version of Puppy for ARM is SAP6 Debian6 armel binaries and another PuppiPlan all under the Puppy initiative. Puppy Linux is going back to his roots. Designed to run from 256MB ram. Making every bit count. Join the Puppy geek adventure for 2012. Woof Woof
RPi-Buildroot is a set of Makefiles and patches that make it easy to generate a complete customized embedded Linux system for your Raspberry Pi. This distro is based on Buildroot so it's perfect for somebody looking to build a trimmed down or task-specific system.
Please note that this distro is intended for advanced users.
- More Information
- Git Repository
- Test-drive SD card images and toolchain
- Marshmallow Entertainment System
Aros Hosted on Linux
Aros is an open source Amiga like operating system (OS) at the api level. This version runs as a task under Linux to take advantage of the drivers available inside the GNU Linux OS core.
- Youtube videos
These are other popular distributions that are often asked about for Raspberry Pi but are not available.
Ubuntu was initially planned to be the default distribution, but the current version of Ubuntu only supports ARMv7 onwards, not the ARMv6 architecture used by the Raspberry Pi's processor. Therefore Ubuntu does not work on Raspberry Pi, and there is no further information about this changing in the near future.
A bug report on this subject was submitted to Ubuntu's bug tracker. The responses to that bug include an unofficial viewpoint from a Canonical employee, outlining the amount of work required to support ARMv6 (and therefore, potentially, Raspberry Pi). See Bug 848154