5 alternative OS for the Raspberry Pi

THEthe project Raspberry Pi it is probably one of the most famous technological projects of the last years and has led to the success of the ARM boards.

These small devices are now in the homes of millions of people and are contributing substantially to the development of IoT technology.

The success of the Raspberry Pi was possible thanks to a powerful but low-cost architecture and its perfect integration with the Linux kernel and gradually with the various distributions.

However, given the enormous success, over the years other operating systems have also become compatible with our beloved raspberry.

These alternative operating systems are very interesting to try even if in many respects they are less customizable both at kernel and OS level than their GNU / Linux counterpart.

But let's see these projects:

Plan 9

1 Plan 9

Plan 9 is a project born around the 90s and is released under open source license.

It is an operating system especially dedicated to developers and draws inspiration from the good old UNIX.

Its graphic environment, RIO, is very light and minimal and therefore lends itself particularly to being used on the Raspberry Pi.

The installation process is simple and is in line with that of a normal GNU / Linux distribution.


2 OpenBSD

OpenBSD It is a famous distribution and you will surely hear about it (if you are reading this article on this blog, you can certainly change the term with 😉).

For those who have never heard of it, BSD systems are Unix-like systems that originated within the University of Berkeley.

Over the years, a strong community of users has formed (even though it is much less than the GNU / Linux number) and there are thousands of companies that use BSD systems for their security.

The community that revolves around the BSD world has also developed a distribution specifically dedicated to the Raspberry Pi, called RaspBSD.

As for the desktop environment and applications are almost, when not practically, the same that can be found in the repositories of GNU / Linux systems.



RISC OS, of which I had already spoken before, is a very light operating system.

His birth dates back to the '80s at the University of Cambridge.

University from which the Raspberry Pi was born and where the Raspberry Foundation is based.

This operating system is on the list of recommended systems of the NOOBS installer and is officially supported by the team behind the software part of the Raspberry.

It has a graphical interface that has nothing to envy to other SO, once you have a little bit of a hand, and has a good number of applications available.

In addition, it also includes a BASIC interpreter, which may be quite famous among long-time developers.


4 Android

Android I do not think it needs any introduction, as it is the most used operating system in the world (at least this says Google).

Android is formally a distribution based on the Linux kernel but the actual operating system is developed by Google.

With the classic GNU / Linux distributions it shares only the kernel and the basic tools.

As far as applications are concerned, there are a myriad of them even though in the end they are applications for smartphones that do not have many of the features and potential of desktop applications.

Interface side, probably not the best for desktop use, needless to deny it, it was not designed for this type of devices, but you can still perform most of the everyday operations without major problems.

Officially there is, at least released by Google, an official version for the Raspberry Pi, so you have to address the various community projects.

Windows 10 IoT Core

5 Windows 10 IoT Core

Finally we talk about the "enemy" par excellence, the closed source counterpart of the GNU / Linux systems, Windows 10 IoT Core, which is easily understandable from the name is the version of Windows 10 dedicated to IoT systems.

Even this system, just like RISC OS, is located within the NOOBS installer and therefore receives official support from the Raspberry team.

This version of Windows is specifically a deployment system on which a developer can test and improve the IoT project.

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