Raspberry Pi gets customized OS called Raspbian

Jul 18, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video.

(Phys.org) -- The no-nonsense, bareboned, elemental $35 computer called Raspberry Pi is making headlines again with its Wednesday announcement of its new Raspbian operating system, described as an OS specifically optimized for the Pi computer’s hardware specs. That means the Raspberry Pi now has a recommended operating system for making the device work. Raspbian meets the team’s goal of delivering a faster running OS for the little computer, and it is of course no accident that Raspbian evokes the word Debian, the Linux OS flavor, as it is a custom Debian build that brings faster performance to the device.

The new OS allows better use of the 's floating point hardware and allows for faster web browsing. Also, there is an omxplayer accelerated media player that comes preinstalled with this image. (Omxplayer is a video player specifically made for the Raspberry PI's GPU,).

The Raspbian distribution is available from the Raspberry Pi downloads page. “We are pleased to announce the release of our first SD card image based on the Raspbian distribution," said the Raspberry Pi team. “Users who are still using Debian squeeze will definitely want to switch to this, as it contains numerous tweaks and performance improvements to the firmware, kernel and applications,” said the Pi team blog. “Those who are using the recent Debian wheezy beta will also see a very worthwhile, but somewhat smaller, improvement."

The Raspberry Pi foundation behind the device has a history that goes back to 2006 when the idea for a tiny and cheap computer first hatched. Design plans were subsequently laid out as plans progressed for a Model A and B, priced at $25 and $35. Earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi officially announced it was taking pre-orders and high anticipation from eager public was so high that retail partners were unable to cope with the traffic hitting their websites for the PC, with board features such as a 700 MHz ARM11 processor, an SD card slot, HDMI output, USB, and Ethernet ports. Disappointed fans were told the device sold out of its first production run. With licensed manufacture deals, the Raspberry Pi foundation earlier this week, however, announced progress in that its partners were now working at building capacity, with 4000 Raspberry Pis being made every day. As a result, the Pi team said there were no longer supply-choked limits to orders of just one per customer. “Both of our manufacturing partners have been working at building capacity so you we can lift that limit,” said the team.

RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics (Allied) are taking general orders. Talking about the order change, a source at RS Components said, “This means that customers worldwide can now order multiple quantities of the Raspberry Pi Model B board, along with the associated accessories, including SD cards pre-loaded with the latest Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi cases for safer storage. Customers will be provided with a forecast future delivery date when placing their order, and these orders will be fulfilled after all orders placed before 16th July have been shipped.”

Explore further: SDSC joins the Intel Parallel Computing Centers program

More information:

www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1605
www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

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User comments : 5

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SatanLover
5 / 5 (2) Jul 18, 2012
is it a new os or modified linux?
Neurons_At_Work
5 / 5 (2) Jul 18, 2012
is it a new os or modified linux?

I'm sure it is a modified version of Debian, specifically set up to take advantage of the Pi's unique hardware capabilities. What had been done through software emulation in the other available packages is now done directly in hardware making overall operation faster and more efficient.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 19, 2012
is it a new os or modified linux?

From the Raspian hmoepage:
Raspbian is an unofficial port of Debian Wheezy armhf with compilation settings adjusted to produce optimized "hard float" code that will run on the Raspberry Pi. This provides significantly faster performance for applications that make heavy use of floating point arithmetic operations. All other applications will also gain some performance through the use of advanced instructions of the ARMv6 CPU in Raspberry Pi.
SatanLover
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2012
Thats what i thought, the article makes it seem as if they made an entirely new OS from scratch.
Krrypton
not rated yet Jul 30, 2012
Thats what i thought, the article makes it seem as if they made an entirely new OS from scratch.

Only if you ignore the lead, where it says "it is of course no accident that Raspbian evokes the word Debian, the Linux OS flavor, as it is a custom Debian build that brings faster performance to the device"...