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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 official Debian Squeeze image issued by the Raspberry Pi foundation uses "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.
Raspberry Pi distributions that are optimized for ARMV6 and are optimized for "hard float" 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 operatins upto 10x, please read detailed discussion on Raspberry Pi forums - http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=61497#p61497
|Distribution||Latest||First||Type||License||Memory footprint||armhf||Image/Installer||Packages||Username:Password||default GUI|
|Arch Linux ARM||2012-09-18||2012-03-01||Linux||OSI GPLv2||Yes||raw image||4,604||root:root||none|
|Bodhi Linux||2012-09-13 (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||?|
|Fedora Remix||2012-07-07 (F14)||2012-07-07 (F14)||Linux||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||No|| Fedora RPM: installer
Windows Zip: installer
Other Linux: Python script
|Gentoo Linux||2012-10-04||2012-04-27||Linux||GPLv2||~23 MiB||Yes|| 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||2012-09-11 (1.0.1)||2012-08-01 (1.0.0)||Raspbian||(GPLv2)||~20 MiB||Yes||Raw Image||(core) + Raspbian Repositories||root: raspi||none|
|OpenELEC||2012-10-13||2012-05-10||Linux 3.2.30 (embedded)||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||85 MiB (inc. XBMC)||Yes|| build instructions
raw image (unofficial)
|~140 (+ 7 via xbmc)|| root:openelec
|openSUSE||2012-10-16||2012-07-30||Linux 3.1||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||279 MiB (inc. X11)||Yes||raw image||5000||root:linux||icewm via startx|
|PwnPi||2012-06-29 (Squeeze)||2012-05-26 (Squeeze)||Linux||GNU General Public License version 3.0||No||Image||20,000+||root:root||xfce|
|QtonPi||2012-05-27 (0.2)||2012-05-07 (0.1)||Linux||No||qt 5 sdk + sdcard image|| root:rootme
|Raspbian||2012-09-18||2012-05-28 (Wheezy)||Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||~30 MiB w/o desktop||Yes|| pi image list
|Xbian||2012-10-13||2012-07-29||Raspbian||OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||Latest image||4,000+||root:raspberry||XBMC|
|raspbmc||2012-10-10||2012-06-30 (Squeeze)||Raspbian||custom||Yes|| nightlies
|Risc OS||2012-07-10 (5.19)||2012-07-09 (5.19)||ARM RISC OS||Shared Source||No|| System Files
Unofficial SD Card Image
|SliTaz||2012-05-29 (4.0)||2012-05-29 (4.0)||Linux||GPLv2||<~34 MiB||No||raw image||root:root||Openbox|
|PiBang Linux||October 12th, 2012 (RC3)||November 29th, 2012 (Alpha1)||Linux||Core: OSI mixed (GPLv2 BSD etc)||Yes||Latest image||pi:raspberry||Openbox|
The Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix is a Linux software distribution for the Raspberry Pi computer. It contains software packages from the Fedora Project (specifically, the Fedora ARM secondary architecture project), packages which have been specifically written for or modified for the Raspberry Pi, and proprietary software provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation for device access.
Debian was the default distribution on the Alpha boards. Boot time depends on width & speed of SD-card. Alpha board boot into Debian prompt (no GUI) was timed taking about 34 seconds.
The Debian distro for Raspberry Pi is the Cambridge reference filesystem, which is a fully functional Debian Squeeze installation containing LXDE (desktop) and Midori (browser); development tools; and sample code for accessing the multimedia functionality on the device.
Arch Linux ARM is based on Arch Linux, which aims for simplicity and full control to the end user. It provides a lightweight base structure that allows you to shape the system to your needs. For this reason, the Arch Linux ARM image for the Raspberry Pi does not come with a graphical user interface, though you can easily install one yourself. Please note that the Arch distribution may not be suitable for beginners.
Arch Linux ARM is on a rolling-release cycle that can be updated daily through small packages instead of huge updates every few months.
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
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
Red Sleeve Linux is a Linux distribution that aims to bring the RHEL clone design to the ARM architecture. There are images for several ARM devices including the Raspberry Pi.
IPFire is an Open Source firewall distribution for x86 and ARM-based systems. It turns the Raspberry Pi computer into a small router for home networks and very small businesses. As the Raspberry Pi computer comes with only one NIC, it works perfectly as a 3G router without plugging in additional hardware.
The generally small system that provides essential services for networks can be enhanced by addons which add new features to IPFire. So the system can be turned into a file server and much more.
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
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.
- Fits on a 2GB SD card
- Low RAM usage and low CPU usage
- Very smooth UI
- Auto mount USB
- Hard Float binaries (hardfp)
- Workaround for a kernel bug which hangs the Raspberry Pi under heavy network/disk loads (again, many thanks to DarkBasic).
- AFP support
- NFS support
- AirPlay support
- CEC support
- Experimental lirc support
- Samba is installed by default
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
Bodhi Linux is a small Linux distribution using the [ http://www.enlightenment.org/ Enlightenment] window manager and the ARM build is based on Debian.
If you hit any snags or find bugs with this image please let us know in the R_Pi section of our user forums so we can improve this release.
- 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
http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-raspberry-pi-educational-linux-distro/occidentalis-v0-dot-1 Occidentalis v0.1. Rubus occidentalis is the black raspberry. It is derived from Raspbian Wheezy July 15 Made a few key changes to make it more hardware-hacker friendly!
- I2C and hardware SPI support
- I2C/SPI modules initialized on boot
... Please keep in mind, adafruit is not full time linux distro maintainers - we will try to fix any bugs we find but this distro is not for beginners or people who are new to linux!
RISC OS is a fast and lightweight computer operating system designed in Cambridge, England by Acorn. First released in 1987, its origins can be traced back to the original team that developed the ARM microprocessor. RISC OS includes BBC BASIC which was primarily conceived to teach programming skills as part of the BBC computer literacy project.
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.
The following distributions have been announced and may have been publicly demonstrated but distributions are not generally available quite yet.
NetBSD is an operating system based off 4.3BSD and is geared towards embedded systems. There has been an unofficial public beta release here, however the since there is no video or networking support yet, the only way to interface with it is through a serial console.
Details about the work Chromium OS is Google own version of linux os
KidsRuby is what it sounds like – a Ruby for kids – and it’s running beautifully on the Raspberry Pi. This is exactly the sort of application we want to see on the device, and we’re really pleased to see it up and running. It looks like there will be some optimisation for speed before we launch, but what’s there already is very useable.
R.Pi blog entry: http://www.raspberrypi.org/2011/09/kidsruby-on-raspberry-pi-another-video-demo/ More info & Video: http://confreaks.net/videos/637-gogaruco2011-kidsruby-think-of-the-children?player=html5
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).
- RISC OS Open (ROOL) has released the sources. Community members have ported the OS to the BeagleBoard and similar hardware
- 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
OpenWrt is described as a Linux distribution for embedded devices. The Rpi is now supported by the Attitude Adjustment (12.09-beta) release available here:
- openWRT Thread about Raspberry Pi status
These are other popular distributions that are often asked about for Raspberry Pi but are not available.
GeeXboX is a free and Open Source Media-Center purposed Linux distribution for embedded devices and desktop computers. GeeXboX is not an application, it’s a full-featured OS, that one can boot as a LiveCD, from a USB key, an SD/MMC card or install on its regular HDD. The GeeXboX distribution is lightweight and designed for one single goal: embed all major multimedia applications as to turn your computer into an HTPC.
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