Note: Our Raspberry Pi distros round-up has been fully updated. This feature was first published in May 2015.
Believe it or not, the Raspberry Pi is now five years old. In its relatively short life the Pi has ushered in a new revolution in computing that stretches far beyond its original remit which was to promote basic computer science education in schools.
There have been several fresh Pi developments over the past few years. The Pi Zero was released in 2015, and the Pi and its ‘essentials’ kit is available for less than £10 (around $13, AU$17). The Pi Zero W was added to the Zero family in February 2017, featuring a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, all for just over £14 (around $18, AU$24) with accessories.
The latest mainstream Pi, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B was released in 2016. It sports a quad-core 64-bit CPU and 1GB of RAM for under £30 (around $45, AU$60), and it’s suitable for applications requiring more processing power.
There are a number of Linux kernel-based operating systems designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi. These include fully featured distros such as Raspbian, which offers a fully functional desktop environment and is based on Debian, as well as speciality distros like RetroPie, which supports a large number of controllers and is aimed at gaming fans.
In this article, we’re going to look at five of the most popular and distinct Raspberry Pi distros.