I have a raspberry pi that I put windows OS on and I want to use excel. The problem is that the SD card that came with it for booting does not have enough space for downloading excel. I bought a hard drive to keep excel files on, is there a way to download the software to the hard drive? Another option is to copy the excel software I have on my computer to the hard drive, is that possible?


2 Answers 2


I have a raspberry pi that I put windows os on

I think you are perhaps mistaken about that. If you are positive, leave a comment and I will delete this.

Note that even if you did, an excel binary from a normal Windows computer cannot be run on it because the Pi hardware has a different instruction set. You'll need a version that was compiled for it, which is probably going to be hard to find if it wasn't already part of whatever Windows version you did install.

The problem is that the SD card that came with it for booting does not have enough space

That's because there are actually two partitions on it. The first one is quite small (a few hundred mb) and v-fat formatted. It contains only a minimal amount of software sufficient for beginning the boot of the OS. The second one is much bigger, probably the rest of the card, formatted ext4, and contains all of the user software.

The reason you have not found the second partition is because you are looking at the card in a Windows computer, and Windows does not, without additional software drivers, recognize the ext4 format. Ext4 is the native format used by GNU/Linux systems, and the OS on the card is almost certainly Raspbian/RpiOS or some other GNU/Linux variant.

Unfortunately, you cannot run Windows software such as excel on such a system, and there is currently no version of Windows you can install on a Pi to usefully do this.

There is spreadsheet software available for linux, I think most notably via the OpenOffice or LibreOffice suites, that can read (possibly only older) excel files. However, a better place to research that -- if you can't find enough existing documentation online, and don't search "raspberry pi excel", search for "open libre office excel" -- is our big sibling site Unix & Linux.

LibreOffice is a fork of the original OpenOffice which should be more up-to-date as the development of the latter ended a number of years ago, although there is another fork, Apache OpenOffice, which is current.


As @goldilocks has stated, your idea for installing Excel on Raspberry Pi is not workable at the present time (nor any future time I hope). If this "is the only reason I bought the raspberry pi.", then you must now declare yourself as disappointed - sorry.

However, this need not place your end objective at risk; I assume that objective is to do calculations on numbers stored in tables? Two options come to mind:

  1. Recall that Excel happily imports csv file formats (comma separated variables). Therefore, you can create csv on RPi, and have your Windows PC access these files via Samba server on your RPi.

  2. There are numerous applications and libraries available for Raspberry Pi that can operate on .csv files. Anything (any calculation I mean) that Excel can do, can be done in open-source software that runs on Linux - for example.

My answer for you is to declare your independence from big tech cartels.

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