Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi Foundation logo
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
Raspberry Pi 2 model B
Raspberry Pi Model A +
Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi ( pronunciation in British English : ˈrɑːzb (ə) rɪ ˈpaɪ ) is a single-board computer developed by the British Raspberry Pi Foundation. The computer comprises a one-chip system ( SoC ) of Broadcom with an ARM - CPU . The board is shaped like a credit card . The Raspberry Pi hit the market in early 2012; its great market success was partly a revival of the home computer for programming, which had become largely insignificant by thenand experimentation. The computer, which is very simple compared to conventional personal computers, was developed by the foundation with the aim of making it easier for young people to acquire programming and hardware skills. The sales price was set accordingly low, which is around 5 to 60 euros depending on the model .

More than 22 million devices had been sold by the end of 2018. The development of the Raspberry Pi has received several awards and honors. There is a wide range of accessories and software for numerous areas of application. It is widely used as a media center , for example , because the computer can decode video data with full HD resolution (1080p) and output it via the HDMI interface. As operating system are primarily adapted Linux - distributions with graphical user interface for use; Windows 10 also exists for the latest model in a special Internet of Things version without a graphical user interface. The boats usually takes place by a removable SD card . The newer generation with the BCM2837 or BCM2711 can also be started from a USB mass storage device or network. There is no native interface for hard disk drives .



The motive behind the development of an inexpensive computer was the declining number of computer science students at Cambridge University and the year-on-year decline in programming skills of the new students. One of the reasons it was thought that computers today are usually expensive and complex and that parents often forbid their children to experiment with the family PC as a result. The aim was to give young people a cheap computer for experimenting and learning to program. It was hoped that they would learn the basics and programming of computers in a playful way, just like in the days of home computers (such as the Apple II , Atari XL, TRS-80 , Commodore 64 , Sinclair ZX80 ).

The name is pronounced like raspberry pie , the English word for raspberry pie . “Raspberry” follows on from the tradition of naming computers after fruits, such as Apple or Acorn . The "Pi" stands for "Python interpreter". Originally, the computer was to be delivered with a built-in interpreter for the Python programming language , similar to the way in which a BASIC interpreter was almost always built into the home computers of the 1980s .

The project's logo was selected as part of a public competition. It shows a stylized raspberry .


Eben Upton (2014)

There are two organizations behind the Raspberry Pi: The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a foundation and registered as a charity in Great Britain. The production and sale of the hardware is done by Raspberry Pi Trading, which belongs to the Raspberry Pi Foundation and transfers all profits to it.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has set itself the goal of promoting the study of computer science and related topics, especially in schools. It was founded on May 5th, 2009 in Caldecote , South Cambridgeshire . The trustees of the foundation are:

  • David Braben - founder of the computer game manufacturer Frontier Developments and co-author of the computer game Elite
  • Jack Lang - former Acorn employee, business angel and founder of several start-ups around the University of Cambridge
  • Pete Lomas - Co-Founder and Head of Development at Norcott Technologies
  • Robert Mullins - University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory at St. John's College , Cambridge
  • Alan Mycroft - Professor of Computing in University at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory
  • Eben Upton - Engineer at Broadcom Europe, founder of several software start-ups and former director of computer science at St. John's College, Cambridge; CEO of the Raspberry Pi trading company


A prototype with an Atmel - ATmega 644- microcontroller was produced in the year of 2006. The circuit diagrams of the board have been published.

Revision 2 of the Raspberry Pi Model B

The developers were not impressed by the device's performance. However, due to the smartphone boom that was beginning at that time, suitable ARM processors came onto the market. With the BCM2835 they found an inexpensive processor with relatively high performance and designed a new multi-layer board for this CPU . For the Atmel one was still a breadboard got along.

50 Alpha boards were delivered in August 2011. These boards were functionally the same as the later Model B of the Raspberry Pi, but larger because they had measuring points for troubleshooting. The retail version has the footprint of a credit card. These test boards have already shown that the desktop environment LXDE under Debian as well as Quake III Arena and H.264 videos work with a resolution of 1080p via HDMI. A slightly modified Revision 2 has been sold since autumn 2012. It has two mounting holes, minor bugs have been fixed and some pins are assigned differently.

At around the same time, due to the unexpectedly large sales figures, production was relocated from China to Wales , to a Sony factory , and the working memory (RAM) of model B was doubled to 512  MB .

A camera module for the Raspberry Pi went on sale on May 14, 2013 . A variant without an infrared filter is available under the name Pi NoIR (November 2013).

Raspberry Pi Compute Module

Announced on April 7, 2014 and available since June 9, 2014, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, a Raspberry Pi the size and appearance of a DDR2 SODIMM memory module, is available . The model corresponds roughly to the technical specifications of model A, but has an additional 4 GB eMMC flash memory. Since the module lacks the usual I / O connections, these can be retrofitted with an optional I / O board if necessary.

The B + model was presented on July 14, 2014. The number of GPIO and USB ports has been increased, power consumption has been reduced and audio output has been improved. The SD card slot has been replaced by a more compact one for micro SD cards. The B + model replaces the B model, which costs the same price. Model B will continue to be offered and is intended for customers whose applications are designed for the shape of the circuit board and pin assignment. For the first time with the B + model, an official specification for expansion boards was presented.

The A + model was presented on November 10, 2014. While model A can be viewed as a partially equipped version of model B, model A + is a new development that is cheaper and more compact. Like the B + model, it has a 40-pin connector for expansion boards and a micro SD card slot, but is about a quarter shorter than the A, B and B + models.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B in a transparent housing

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B was presented on February 2, 2015, although Eben Upton had announced in July 2014 that it would not appear before 2017. Its equipment is very similar to the B + model, but now has 1 GB of RAM and a Broadcom BCM2836 quad-core processor based on ARM Cortex-A7 with a clock frequency of up to 900 MHz. The new model is said to be up to six times faster than its predecessor in multithreading applications and to support both Ubuntu Core Snappy and Windows 10. Windows 10 IoT Core was officially announced at the Microsoft “Build 2015” developer conference .

The Raspberry Pi Zero was presented on November 26, 2015. The equipment is similar to that of the Model A +, but the processor is no longer clocked with 700 MHz, but with 1 GHz and the board width has been reduced from 56 mm to 35 mm. The HDMI connector has been replaced by the smaller Mini-HDMI and the USB-A socket by the smaller Micro-USB socket (B). The 40-pin plug connector for GPIO pins, like the composite video output interface not equipped.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B was presented on February 29, 2016. It extends the previous model to integrated WLAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and has a faster CPU with 64-bit - ARMv8 architecture.

At the end of 2016, version 1.2 of the Raspberry Pi 2 model B with the new CPU of the model 3 was presented. Apart from this, the equipment is identical to that of the original Model 2; the CPU is still only clocked at 900 MHz instead of the 1200 MHz of the model 3.

The Compute Module 3 (CM3) was presented on January 16, 2017. It has the SoC of the Raspberry Pi 3 and 1 GB of RAM (previously: 512 MB). The CPU performance is said to have increased tenfold compared to the CM1. The CM3 is available in two versions: a standard version and a Lite (CM3L), whereby the latter does not have the soldered 4 GB flash memory. The CM3 is compatible with the CM1, the only visible difference is the 1 mm increase in width.

The Raspberry Pi Zero W was presented on February 28, 2017. The equipment of the model is almost identical to the Raspberry Pi Zero, but has been expanded to include the functionality of integrated WLAN and BLE with the additional chip already used in the Raspberry Pi 3 model B. The Raspberry Pi Zero WH has been available since January 12, 2018, which technically corresponds to the Raspberry Pi Zero W, but whose 40-pin connector is already provided with appropriate pin connectors at the factory.

On March 14, 2018 ( Pi day ) the Raspberry Pi 3 model B + was presented. The processor clock was increased by 200 MHz to 1400 MHz and a new radio module is used. This now also supports 5 GHz WLAN according to the IEEE 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth  4.2. In addition, it now also has Gigabit Ethernet , which is still connected via the only USB port and thus limits the maximum transfer rate to approx. 300 Mbit / s. The new model is prepared for Power over Ethernet .

In January 2019 the Compute Module 3+ (CM3 +) based on the Raspberry Pi 3 model B + was released. Like this one, it uses the BCM2837B0 processor, but only clocks it with 1200 MHz and, unlike the previous versions of the Compute Module, is available with 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB of memory in addition to the Lite version without eMMC memory. So far, Compute Module was only available with max. 4 GB eMMC available.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

In June 2019 the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B was presented, which has undergone extensive changes. For the first time, LPDDR4 instead of LPDDR2- DDR-SDRAM is used as the main memory and for the first time different sizes are available (1, 2 or 4 GB), although since February 27, 2020 the 1 GB version is no longer for sale to end customers is available. However, this is still available for corporate customers. Due to the fall in RAM prices, the 2 GB variant is now sold at the price of the 1 GB variant; the price of the 4 GB variant remained unchanged. The CPU has the more powerful Cortex-A72 cores, the clock has been increased by 100 MHz to 1500 MHz. The radio module has been updated and now supports Bluetooth 5 BLE. The four USB ports are now connected directly to the SoC via PCIe 2.0 ; two of the USB ports support USB 3.0. Power is supplied via USB-C , which, like the Raspberry Pi Zero models, is USB-OTG- capable. However, the USB-C connection does not meet the specification and only works with "passive" cables. (See # Problems with USB-C cables ) The network connection is now also directly connected to the SoC and now delivers “real” Gigabit Ethernet; there is no limitation to approx. 300 Mbit / s as with the 3B + model. The graphics core of the previous VideoCore IV models has been replaced by the VideoCore VI and supports, among other things, OpenGL-ES 3.0 and 4K resolution, which are output via two micro-HDMI connections.

On May 28, 2020, the Raspberry Pi 4 also appeared in a version with 8 GB of RAM.



The different products under the name Raspberry Pi have the following properties:

Raspberry Pi

zero Zero W / WH 1 Mod. A 1 Mod. A + 1 Mod. B 1 Mod. B + 2 Mod. B 2 Mod. B v1.2 3 Mod. A + 3 Mod. B 3 Mod. B + 4 Mod. B
publication Nov. '15 Feb. '17 /
Jan. '18 
Feb. '13 Nov. '14 /
Aug. '16 
Apr. –
Jun. '12
Jul. '14 Feb. '15 Sep '16 Nov. '18 Feb. '16 March '18 Jun. '19 May. '20
Recommended price a in US $  5  10 25th 20th 35 25th 35 - 35 55 75
Weight in g  9  9 31 23 40 45 40 k. A. 40 49 46
Board dimensions in
length 65.0 85.6 65.0 85.6 85.6 65.0 85.6 85.6
width 30.0 56.0 56.0 56.0 56.0 56.0 56.0 56.0
Overall size in
length 65.0 93.0 70.4 93.0 93.0 k. A. 93.0 93.0
width 31.2 63.5 57.2 63.5 63.5 k. A. 63.5 63.5
height  5.0 17.0  2.0 20.0 20.0 k. A. 20.0 20.0
SoC BCM2835 BCM2836 BCM2837 BCM2837B0 BCM2837 BCM2837B0 BCM2711
CPU family ARM11 ARM Cortex-A
Type ARM1176JZF-S Cortex-A7 Cortex-A53 Cortex-A72
Cores 1 4th
Clock in MHz 1000 700 900 1400 1200 1400 1500
architecture ARMv6 ( 32 bit ) ARMv7 (32 bit) ARMv8 ( 64 bit )
GPU Type Broadcom Dual Core VideoCore
Clock in MHz 400 250 300/400 i 500
VideoCore IV
( OpenGL-ES 1.1 / 2.0; Full HD 1080p30)
VideoCore VI
(OpenGL-ES 3.0; 4K )
Cape. in MB 512 256 512 (256) k 512 (256) g 512 1024 512 1024 1024 2048 4096 8192
Memory card slot microSD b SD b microSD b SD b microSD
Video output digital Mini HDMI (Type C) HDMI (Type A) 2 × Micro-HDMI (type D)
analogous n. v. Composite Video (FBAS) c
Audio output digital HDMI (digital)
analogous to c n. v. 3 pole 4-pole 3 pole 4-pole
network Ethernet n. v. 10/100
Mbit / s e f
n. v. 10/100
Mbit / s f
Mbit / s l
MBit / s
2.4 GHz,
b / g / n
n. v. Broadcom
2.4 u. 5 GHz,
2.4 GHz,
b / g / n
2.4 u. 5 GHz,
Broadcom / Cypress
2.4 and 5 GHz,
b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth n. v. 4.1 LE n. v. 4.2 LS LE 4.1 LE 4.2 LS LE 5.0 LE
USB 2.0 1 OTG 1 2 (via hub ) e 4 (via hub) f 1 4 (via hub) l 2 + 1 OTG
USB 3.0 n. v. 2
Pins 40 h 26th 40 26th 40
GPIO pins d 26th 17th 26th 17th 26th
further interfaces CSI j , I²C CSI, DSI , I²C
Current consumption in  mA 100-140 500 100-230 700 500-600 800 810 800 1400 600-1500
Power in  W 0.5-0.7 2.5 0.5-1.2 3.5 2.5-3.0 Max. 4th Max. 4.24 Max. 4th Max. 7th 3.0-7.5
Operating voltage in  V 5.0 ( micro-USB standard , micro-USB-B ) 5.0 ( USB-C )
Operating systems GNU / Linux, BSD, Plan 9 , RISC OS …, Windows 10 IoT Core …, Android , webOS OSE
zero Zero W / WH 1 Mod. A 1 Mod. A + 1 Mod. B 1 Mod. B + 2 Mod. B 2 Mod. B v1.2 3 Mod. A + 3 Mod. B 3 Mod. B + 4 Mod. B
aexcluding VAT
bsupports SDHC , SDXC , MMC and SDIO
cin the models with a 4-pin jack plug , the analog video signal is integrated there. With the Zero model, this is only available via pads on the circuit board; on the other models it is available via a cinch socket
dusable as SPI , I²C, UART
eintegrated in the controller chip LAN9512 from Microchip
fintegrated in the controller chip LAN9514 from Microchip
G Introduced with 256 MB, from October 2012 equipped with 512 MB
HPin header only equipped with the Zero WH model
i 300 MHz (3D core) / 400 MHz (VideoCore IV subsystem)
j from May 2016
kintroduced with 256 MB; equipped with 512 MB from August 2016
lMax. 310 Mbit; integrated in the controller chip LAN7515 from Microchip

Compute Modules (CM)

CM1 CM3 CM3 Lite CM3 + CM3 + Lite
Release date April / June 2014 January 2017 January 2019
Recommended price a in US $ 30th 30th 25th 30/35/40 25th
Board dimensions
in mm
length 67.6
width 30.0 31.0
Overall size
in mm
length 67.6
width 30.0 31.0
height 3.7 4.7
Weight in g 7th k. A. k. A. 9 9
SoC : BCM2835 BCM2837 BCM2837B0
CPU Type ARM1176JZF-S ARM Cortex-A53
Cores 1 4th
Clock in MHz 700 1200
architecture ARMv6 ( 32-bit ) ARMv8 -A ( 64-bit )
family ARM11 ARM Cortex-A
GPU Type Broadcom Dual Core VideoCore IV, OpenGL-ES 1.1 / 2.0, Full HD 1080p30
Clock in MHz 250 400
Video output Composite video ( FBAS ); HDMI 1.3a b
Audio output HDMI (digital)
512 1024
Non-volatile memory
( eMMC , in GB)
4th n. v. 8/16/32 n. v.
USB 2.0 ports 1 b
network -
Pins 60
GPIO pins c 48
further interfaces I²C; twice DSI ; twice CSI
Power consumption in W min. 3.505 min. 5.005
Operating voltage in V 2.3-5.0; 3.3; 1.8
Operating systems GNU / Linux, BSD , Plan 9, RISC OS
CM1 CM3 CM3 Lite CM3 + CM3 + Lite
a excluding VAT
bSignals are on a 200-pin contact strip and cannot be reached directly via connectors ( mechanically compatible with SO-DIMM )
c usable as SPI, I²C, UART
SDHC card instead of a hard drive


The first generation processor uses the ARMv6 instruction set with the extensions Thumb and Java - Bytecode (Jazelle). The RAM is connected via a 64-bit bus and is soldered directly onto the processor as a package-on-package .

Since the Raspberry Pi Foundation feared a reduction in the service life in the event of overclocking , the processor was initially equipped with a "sticky" bit that is irrevocably set as soon as the processor is overclocked, and thus signals an expiry of the guarantee. After extensive tests had shown that overclocking up to 1 GHz had little effect on the service life, a new driver was introduced on September 19, 2012 to overclock the processor, the GPU and the memory without loss of warranty. The frequency and voltage are only increased during operation when the power is required and the temperature of the chip does not exceed 85 ° C. The sticky bit is only set if the overclocking is higher than recommended.

Significant underclocking to up to 50 MHz and lowering the voltage is also possible, which leads to a significantly reduced power consumption, especially with model A.

A SoC called BCM2836 is used in the second generation. The ARM Cortex-A7 with a clock frequency of 900 MHz used there in a quad-core configuration uses the ARMv7 instruction set and achieves a total computing power of 6,840 DMIPS . The processor is also three times more energy efficient than its predecessor.

A BCM2837 is used in the third generation. The ARM Cortex-A53 with 1.2 GHz clock frequency used has 50-60% more power than the second generation or almost ten times the power compared to the first generation. With the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +, the BCM2837B0, a revised version of the third generation, was introduced and the clock was increased by 200 MHz. This version has improvements in clock and voltage regulation and a metal heat spreader . This should enable higher clock rates and longer operation under high load without throttling the CPU performance.

The fourth generation uses an ARM Cortex-A72 with 1500 MHz.


The ARM11 processor is combined with Broadcom's "VideoCore" graphics coprocessor (VC IV). OpenGL ES 2.0 is supported, and films in full HD resolution (1080p30 H.264 high-profile) can be decoded and output via the HDMI socket and composite RCA socket .

On August 24, 2012, it was announced that licenses for hardware-accelerated decoding of VC1 and MPEG-2 encoded videos can be purchased additionally. The license is limited to the Raspberry Pi specified with the serial number when ordering, so that a separate license is required for each of these microcomputers. According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the existing license for decoding H.264-encoded videos also allows such videos to be encoded.

In March 2014, Broadcom published documentation and driver code for the BCM21553 SoC under a BSD license , which can also be used to create a free graphics driver for the BCM2835 used.

A corresponding driver was published by a single programmer in March 2014 following a programming competition called by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and endowed with USD 10,000.

With model 4, the graphics unit was replaced by the VideoCore VI and now supports OpenGL-ES 3.0 and 4K. The two micro HDMI sockets of the M4 model supply signals for displays with resolutions up to 4K ( UHD ), i.e. with 3840 × 2160 pixels . One screen can be controlled with 60 Hz, two at the same time only with 30 Hz each.


The BCM 2835 SoC generates the audio signal using simple pulse width modulation (PWM) and outputs it via the audio output of the 3.5 mm jack socket. A real digital-to-analog converter (DAC) was omitted for reasons of cost. However, this solution is considered to be weak because the DAC and low-pass filter are missing, since without these disturbing background noises, which arise as a multiple of the modulation frequency, cannot be eliminated. Electrically, this output is better suited for connecting active speakers or the amplifier of a conventional stereo system than for headphones without amplifiers. An audio signal is also output in digital form via the HDMI output.

Since Raspbian Stretch, a new audio driver has been used whose analog signal-to-noise ratio is supposed to achieve CD quality. The technique of delta-sigma conversion is used for this.

Various third-party manufacturers also offer dedicated audio solutions in the form of USB audio cards or as plug-in cards that use a simulated I²S interface. There are also solutions that extract the audio signal from the HDMI interface.

Real time clock

The Raspberry Pi does not contain a real-time clock (RTC). The device therefore knows neither the date nor the time when it is switched on. If it is connected to the network and it does not itself offer critical parts of the network infrastructure (such as the name service ), the time can usually be obtained via NTP . Otherwise, a separate real-time clock must be connected if the software used requires the correct time.

General purpose input / output (GPIO)

Demonstration of the Raspberry Pi via Breadboard infected LEDs and buttons

The Raspberry Pi provides a freely programmable interface for inputs and outputs (GPIO, "General Purpose Input / Output"). LEDs, sensors , displays and other devices can be controlled via this interface . There are five groups (ports) of GPIO pins, but generally only port P1 is used. P1 has 26 pins for model A and model B and 40 pins for model A + and model B +, each as a double-row pin header, of which

  • 2 pins provide a voltage of 5 volts, but can also be used to supply the Raspberry Pi with power,
  • 2 pins provide a voltage of 3.3 volts,
  • 2 pins to identify the #HAT via I²C,
  • 8 pins serve as ground ,
  • 17 pins (model A and B) or 26 pins (model A + and B +, as well as Raspberry Pi 2 model B), which are freely programmable. They are designed for a voltage of 3.3 volts. Some of them can take on special functions:
    • 5 pins can be used as SPI interface,
    • 2 pins have a 1.8 kΩ pull-up resistor (to 3.3 V) and can be used as an I²C interface,
    • 2 pins can be used as a UART interface
    • With the Model 4B, two more I²C and four more UART interfaces have been added

The GPIO interface P6, which was added in revision 2, allows the Raspberry Pi to be reset or started after it has been shut down.

There are libraries for numerous programming languages ​​to control the GPIOs. Control via a terminal or web interface is also possible.

Expansion boards (HAT)

With the B + model, an official specification for expansion boards, so-called "Hardware attached on top" ( HAT ), was presented. Every HAT must have an EEPROM chip; This includes manufacturer information, the assignment of the GPIO pins and a description of the connected hardware in the form of a "device tree" section. This allows the necessary drivers for the HAT to be loaded automatically. This also determines the exact size and geometry of the HAT and the position of the connectors. Model A + and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B are also compatible with these.

Camera interface

A Camera Serial Interface (CSI) is available for direct connection of a camera .

The five megapixel camera, available since May 2013, is controlled via CSI. The focus cannot be changed and the camera module does not have a microphone. The camera takes photos with a maximum resolution of 2592 × 1944 pixels, videos can be recorded with 640 × 480 , 1280 × 720 and 1920 × 1080 pixels, among others . The frame rate is 1 to 90 frames per second, depending on the resolution and setting, the sensor comes from Omnivision (OV 5647). In poor light, picture noise quickly occurs .

Since October 2013, the "PI NoIR" variant has also been available without a built-in infrared filter , which enables night vision recordings with the aid of an infrared headlight .

A new camera module was presented at the end of April 2016. It has an eight megapixel resolution image sensor of the type IMX219 from Sony . It takes photos with a maximum resolution of 3280 × 2464 pixels. This camera is also available without a built-in infrared filter.

Screen interface

A DSI ( Display Serial Interface ) is available for the direct connection of screens .

A screen that can be connected directly via the DSI interface has been available since September 2015. Its screen diagonal measures 7  inches (178 mm) and it has a resolution of 800 × 480 pixels. The screen area is 155 × 86 mm² ( screen size ); because of the wide bezel, however, the entire display device measures 194 × 110 mm² ( display size ). It is 20 mm thick and weighs 277 g. It is also touch-sensitive (capacitive multi- touch screen ; up to ten fingers) with an integrated controller and fastening bolts for the Raspberry Pi (except for models A and B). It is connected via I²C. The display consumes 2.25 W.

Operating systems

For the Raspberry Pi are several open source - operating systems available. They are installed either by writing a memory image on the SD card or, since June 3, 2013, with the easier-to-use in-house development NOOBS -Installer ( English abbreviation for new out of box software ), whose files are only saved on the SD -Map must be copied. With BerryBoot there is an equally easy to install boot loader that enables several operating systems to be installed in parallel on one card and to be used optionally. Since version 1.3 this is also possible with NOOBS.

Linux systems

Raspberry Pi OS

Raspbian desktop with programs open

The recommended Linux distribution is the Debian- based Raspberry Pi OS, formerly called Raspbian. This operating system is based on a preliminary version of the Debian 10 system ( Debian Buster ) of the ARM hard float architecture (armhf) with adaptations for the instruction set of the ARMv7 processor. LXDE is preconfigured as a graphical user interface . The approximately 3 GB image can be transferred to SD cards with at least 4 GB. After the boot process, the partition of the Raspberry Pi OS can be extended to the entire SD card. The Raspberry Pi Foundation creates its own Raspberry Pi OS image with suitable firmware for the Raspberry Pi models based on its distribution. It is therefore recommended to always obtain the distribution from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Other Linux distributions

In addition to Raspbian, a version of Arch Linux , CentOS and some versions (remixes) of Fedora  and others compiled for ARM processors is also available . a. under the names Pidora and FedBerry - offered. Gentoo Linux and Manjaro Linux can be installed and operated on the Raspberry Pi. There is also Kali Linux , the new edition of the security distribution BackTrack, and Bodhi Linux for the Raspberry Pi. OpenSUSE also offers executable images and with the openSUSE Build Service the possibility of creating your own program packages and thus creating your own openSUSE-based distributions. There is also the Slackware offshoot Slackarm, which runs on all models.

Ubuntu can be operated on the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4. Since the ARMv6 architecture is not supported, there is no support for the first generation Raspberry Pi.

SolydX also offers an image for download. SolydX RPI is based on Debian and comes with Xfce as a desktop.

With the appropriate distributions (OpenELEC, LibreELEC , OSMC or XBian) the Raspberry Pi can be used as a media center. Kodi can also be used with the remote control of the television if it is connected via HDMI and supports CEC . Kodi is also included in Recalbox and can be optionally selected at RetroPie. But both actually represent an emulator for old game consoles.

In addition, the Android system is ported to the Raspberry Pi. A variant of an Android-based operating system is emteria.OS, which is available for Raspberry Pi 3 B and 3 B +.

From the Pi 3 B model series, the webOS Open Source Edition from LG can be used.

Other systems

Furthermore, the BSD variants FreeBSD and NetBSD , but also Plan 9 and the related Inferno are ready for use on the Raspberry Pi.

With the arm64 platform, OpenBSD even offers 64-bit support for the Raspberry Pi 3.

A developer version of RISC OS 5 is also available.

Although Windows RT can run on ARM processors, it initially did not seem possible to transfer this operating system to the Raspberry Pi, as Windows 8 requires at least 1 GB of RAM, which the Raspberry Pi did not have. With the appearance of the Raspberry Pi 2 in February 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would run on it and would be free for participants in the Windows developer program for the Internet of Things . It should be noted that this version of Windows 10 is referred to as a small device variant, is not compatible with classic desktop applications and requires at least 256 MB RAM and 2 GB memory for operation.


Some programs have been adapted for the Raspberry Pi to benefit from the hardware accelerated graphics by the GPU. This includes in particular the Kodi media center software . As part of the adaptation of Kodi to the Raspberry Pi, an independent video player with GPU support was developed under the name OMXPlayer. The game Minecraft is also available in a special free version with an integrated programming interface . The libraries Qt and NGL were ported to the Raspberry Pi under the name "QtonPi".

Since November 2013, every private Raspberry Pi user has received a free copy of the Mathematica software .


With QEMU , a Raspberry Pi 2 can be emulated with restrictions, i.e. the original software for Raspberry Pi 2 can be tested on a normal PC.


Since December 2015, two Raspberry Pi named 'Ed' and 'Izzy' have been on the International Space Station (ISS). In collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the UK Space Agency , these were developed for spaceflight by Timothy Peake . Equipped with so-called Sense Hats, these have various measuring devices such as B. magnetometers, gyroscopes, barometers and cameras.

Programs for these computers can be submitted by children and young people as part of the so-called 'Astro-Pi-Challenge'. It was initially conducted for UK residents in 2016. The European Space Agency (ESA) then took over the lead over the project and has been running it across Europe since the 2016/17 school year. The meanwhile 4th edition of this competition is divided into 2 groups. 'Mission Zero' is aimed at under 14s. They should be enthusiastic about getting started with programming. The codes submitted may run for 30 seconds on one of the computers. Mission Space Lab for under 20s aims to conduct scientific research with the help of Astro-Pies. For this purpose, individual experiments are selected in a multi-stage process lasting approx. 1 year, which are then carried out on the ISS by astronauts.


Because of the low price and the low power consumption, the Raspberry Pi is particularly suitable as a control unit for robotics and embedded projects , media centers , thin clients or servers, apart from its intended use as a school computer .

Since the sale of the Raspberry Pi, technical media in particular have been reporting regularly about new projects with the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi was named Innovation of the Year at the T3 Gadget Awards 2012. Eben Upton, one of the developers of the Raspberry Pi, was awarded the silver medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2013 .

The Raspberry Pi appears in numerous films and TV series, including in Point Break CSI: Cyber and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD , in the series Revolution and Mr. Robot , the Raspberry Pi even plays a central role in the plot.

In May 2012 the first issue of the free community magazine MagPi was published online. The magazine takes up all topics to do with the Raspberry Pi. Since issue 36 was published in July 2015, MagPi has also been published in print. Since June 2013 there is an English and since August 2013 the German-language magazine "Raspberry Pi Geek" from Medialinx Verlag.

After the great success of the Raspberry Pi, a number of similar single-board computers came onto the market. The Cubieboard , the BeagleBone Black , the Banana Pi or the HummingBoard should be mentioned in particular. Some of them imitate the Raspberry Pi in terms of appearance, size and position of the connectors and try to achieve extensive compatibility with the Raspberry Pi. For the alternative systems, there are currently no core communities of the same size as in the case of the Raspberry Pi.


Xenon flash crashed

In February 2015 it became known that the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B crashed when photographed with a xenon flash . The Raspberry Pi Foundation confirmed this behavior. It is caused by a component ("U16") that is responsible for the internal power supply. This generates the internally required voltages from the 5 V of the micro USB connection. For this purpose, a chip without a housing was chosen and soldered directly onto the board. If the chip is flashed, the photoelectric effect occurring in the exposed silicon disrupts the voltage regulation. The result is a voltage fluctuation that leads to the Raspberry crashing. The problem here is the rapid change in brightness caused by a xenon flash or a laser pointer . Other bright light sources do not cause any problems. Various solutions are discussed as to how future revisions can be made insensitive to such light sources. As a simple solution, the manufacturer recommends covering the component with a drop of electrically non-conductive and opaque adhesive.

Sensitivity to short circuits

The Raspberry Pi models 3B + and 3A + are sensitive to an accidental short circuit between the 3.3 volt and 5 volt rails. The MaxLinear (MXL7704) power management IC (PMIC) will be destroyed. Since this is provided with customer-specific firmware , it cannot simply be exchanged. The previous models without this turned out to be more robust. A solution is being worked on; there are also reports that the fault could occur without a previous short circuit. So far this has not been reproducible. The PMIC is also used in the Model 4B.

Problems with USB-C cables

In July 2019, it was announced that the USB-C socket on the Model 4 did not conform to the USB specification; therefore USB-C cables with a so-called e-marker chip refuse to work. These are mainly found in more powerful power supplies - for example in notebooks; Apple has been adding cables to its Macbooks since 2016. "Passive" USB-C cables without the chip, such as those enclosed with smartphones, work perfectly on the 4 model. With the revision 1.2 the problem with the USB-C cables is solved.


Web links

Commons : Raspberry Pi  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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