Raspberry Pi images and distributions

Raspbian Linux ‘wheezy’ is the actual standard operating system for most Raspberry Pis out there. It is a good system. It is based on Debian, it is safe, stable and optimized for your Pi. But it is boring to only use this system. A list of all operating systems currently available for Raspberry Pi can be found here.


Raspbian Linux is not the only option for you Pi. You can find some more on the official download site:

  • ArchLinux
    For the Pi developers it is the second choice. ArchLinux is very easy to use.
  • RiskOS
    This is a small OS developed by university of Cambridge.

Other Linux distributions also offer images for ARM processors. Here is a list:

There are also a lot of distributions that are experimental. A good example is Android. There are two distributions where developers tries to compile and optimize Android for Raspberry Pi. One for Android 2.2 and one for the current Android version. This is done, because Android can also be used with keyboard and mouse and the Raspberry Pi processor is a mobile processor also used in phones.


Apart from distributions there also a lot of images that are created for special reasons. This images all have a very special usage. There are many different kinds of things:

  • pwnpi
    This image is calledĀ ‘The Pen Test Drop Box Distro for the Raspberry Pi’ and is a collection of network tools. With this image you can use your Pi to control you home network. You can test security arrangements and optimize your network. There are more than 200 different tools for this.
  • OpenEnergyMonitor
    A control system for a special hardware plugin for Raspberry Pi which measures environment values, stores them and display the data.
  • OpenELEC
    A media server like XBMC.
  • RasPlex
    A media server again.
  • RetroPie
    This project turs you Raspberry Pi into a NES and SNES emulator, where you can also plug into original hardware (for example controllers and memory disks).

The list is much longer. Each project which changes a lot of things has to build an own image. For the Raspberry Pi community, this is a good thing šŸ˜‰

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2 Responses

  1. demonking says:

    This isn’t right, freebsd also works on a raspberry pi.


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