Operating systems for Raspberry Pi

The Rapsberry Pi hardware wouldn’t be of much worth if there were no supported operating systems. Luckily, the Raspberry Pi supports many operating systems, most of them Linux-based. Because the Raspberry Pi has an ARM-based CPU, not all operating systems can be run on the device. For example, you can’t install a Windows OS on your Raspberry Pi (although some newer versions of Raspberry will be able to run Windows 10 IoT, a version of Windows for embedded devices).

The recommended way of installing an operating system on your Raspberry Pi is by using a program called NOOBS. NOOBS (stands for New Out of Box Software) enables you to install the operating system of your choice, even if you don’t have any experience with Linux-based operating systems. With NOOBS, you can install the following operating systems:

  • Raspbian
  • Arch Linux ARM
  • OpenELEC
  • Pidora
  • Puppy Linux
  • Raspbmc

Rasbian is the operating system of choice for beginners. It is based on a popular Linux distribution called Debian and was specially designed for the Raspberry Pi. It features a nice GUI, similar to the one found in Windows:

raspbian desktop

If you are familiar with Linux-based operating systems and the shell, you can install Arch Linux ARM, a port of Arch Linux for ARM processors.

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