Operating System Choices for Raspberry Pi

RP_SD-150x150With all the activity around the Raspberry development community, this article is bound to become obsolete sooner rather than later… however, now that you’ve got a new Raspberry Pi to play with you have some decisions to make.

Perhaps you have already tried one of the many available distributions on your Pi, such as Raspbian or RaspBMC, and are looking to make a change.  Maybe you’re still running Noobs and are ready to step out and try one of the other available operating systems that might be better suited to that particular project you have in mind.


No matter the reason, the tool you’re looking to begin preparation for a new install is SDFormatter.

Once you’ve got the card prepared you have a serious decision to make.  An extensive list of operating system choices is available on elinux wiki.

The six operating systems available directly on the raspberrypi.org website are probably best suited to folks relatively new to using linux in an embedded environment.  They are well documented and lots of help is available in the forums.

  • RASPBIAN (Debian Wheezy)
  • PIDORA (Fedore Remix)
  • OPENELEC (XBMC Media Center)
  • RASPBMC (XBMC Media Center)
  • RISC OS (non-Linux distribution)
  • ARCH LINUX (A lightweight Linux distribution)
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