Raspberry Pi Lab

Operating Systems

Which Linux Distro?

by on Dec.25, 2013, under Operating Systems

Well, with Linux, there is not one right answer.  The only that that is for certain is that the Linux distro chosen must be for an ARM processor.  That means my personal favorite desktop and server distro, Ubuntu, is out of the running.

But there are good options.

The absolute best option would be Gentoo.  Start from the absolute bare bottom and custom compile the entire operating system specifically for the piece of hardware on which it is running.  While that would be the best option, I don’t have the time or desire to spend hours (perhaps days) tweaking, compiling, and re-compiling absolutely everything, so Gentoo isn’t an option for me.  At least not right now.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends a customized variant of Debian Linux they call Raspbian Linux.  It is a distro specifically optimized for the Raspberry Pi.  Sounds like a good option.

However, Ada Fruit recommends a Raspbian variant she calls Occidentalis Linux.  It is a Raspbian base that has been further optimized and tweaked for building and controlling your own DIY circuits.

So, If you are going to build something that doesn’t require controlling an external circuit, then go with Raspbian.  But I want to build stuff, so I am going to start with Occidentalis Linux.

Tell me about the distro you use and why you chose it.


Leave a Comment :, , , , , , more...

Can I Run MS-Windows On My RPi?

by on Dec.24, 2013, under Operating Systems

Well, since the Raspberry Pi is based on an ARM1176JZFS microprocessor, an ARM operating systems is required.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundations’s FAQ, running any version of Microsoft Windows, even the Windows 8 ARM, edition is out of the question.  It just, simply, will not work.  The ARM edition of Windows is just too much of a resource hog for the Rapberry Pi hardware.  But “resource hog” has always been a Microsoft hallmark.

You might be able to get DOS/Windows 3.1 running inside of an x86 emulator on the RPi.  If you have a specific application that needs that configuration,  give it a shot.  Please post back here and let me know your results.

As for Windows 95 or anything newer.  It just isn’t gonna happen – even in an x86 emulator.  According to the RPi FAQ, “trying to use a version of Windows even as recent as Windows 98 can take hours to boot into, and take several more hours to update your cursor every time you try to move it. We don’t recommend it!”

So, Windows is out!

Not a big surprise there!

I actually prefer Linux anyway.  I was just curious if Windows could be used.

Next, I’ll explore which Linux distro should be used to start my explorations.





Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , more...


All entries, chronologically...

Our Partners

Please take a minute to visit our partners

Looking for something?

Search the Site

If you can't find what you are looking for, please leave a comment somewhere, subscribe to our feed and hopefully your question will be answered shortly, so please visit again!