What is the best OS to run on Raspberry Pi?


I want to buy a Raspberry Pi mostly to use as a toy, er I mean learning tool, for myself. When you check Wikipedia it lists something like 15 OSes for Raspberry Pi with an indeterminate number of those "in the process of being ported." Yeah, right! The list includes Chrome OS, which as far as I know is a distant dream, so I'll put this one in the questionable Wiki entry category.

From what I understand, although I could be wrong, there are currently only a few functional OS choices, and all are Linux distros, which makes sense. It seems that a version of Debian called Raspbian is the leading choice for an OS. Are there other choices out there, or is Raspbian the way to go for the Raspberry Pi?

Topic: Hardware
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Yeah, Raspbian (Debian that is optimized for the Raspberry Pi.) is the way to go, particularly starting out.  You will find the most help and resources for it, save the challenge of a different, OS for later.  Incidentally, since you mentioned Chrome, you may be interested to know that there actually is an active effort on porting Chromium OS to Pi, but at this point it is just to the stage of being able to boot.


There is an "official user guide" scheduled to be released in October.  You might want to keep your eyes open for that - it could be useful.    


It's pretty neat what people have done with a $35 piece of hardware.  Check out this portable workstation someone assembled: http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-turned-into-a-portable-w...


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Debian is the recommended distro on their FAQ page:


"We recommend Debian as our default distribution. It’s straightforward to replace the root partition on the SD card with another ARM Linux distro if you want to use something else (there are several available on our downloads page). The OS is stored on the SD card."

There are other choices available on the downloads page:


I haven't used any of these, so I can't really make a recommendation. But perhaps it would be a good idea to play with a couple, and see which one works best for you before making a final decision.

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That  rumor about Android being ported to Raspberry Pi isn't just a rumor.  Having hardware accelerated graphics and video playback capability will be pretty sweet for a $35 computer. There is an article about it on Ars.  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/08/android-4-0-ported-to-raspberry-pis-35-linux-computer/ 

Spencer Killen
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The top linux OSs are listed on raspberrypi.org under downloads the best being raspbian, theres also full 100% support for xbox media center through raspbmc or open elec which can play hd videos, apple airplay ect, The ports for chromium OS and android have been acomplished but are still pretty unuseable

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 BUY IT! its awesome.....the best part is you get to learn how to tweak a linux distro down to almost nothing.......I love it....as a matter of fact, check out this link for Home automation;





All kinds of projects are coming up for me with this litle gem.



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