I've been using Raspbian for several days now, and I'm satisfied with it. However, I was wondering if I should also try Raspbmc until I feel like playing with it.

I'm going to use my Raspberry Pi mainly as a media center, but I'd like to be able to browse something if I need to. So the question basically is: what I lose if I choose Raspbmc instead of Raspbian and what I obtain in return?

1 Answer 1


Raspbmc is optimized mainly for one task - to run XBMC. If you do other things, like launching LXDE desktop/browsing, I would recommend using Raspbian and installing XBMC separately.

  • 1
    +1 One question though, when you say 'installing XBMC separately', do you mean manually installing XBMC yourself on top of your previous installed instance of Raspbian? Sep 25, 2012 at 15:40
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    Yes, you need to install a separate package (about 35 megs) to run XBMC. But if you are only looking to be using XBMC, Raspbmc or Xbian is a better way to go, since those launch XBMC on startup (although when installing XBMC you can choose this behavior by yourself). On the other hand, if you will want to tinker with Linux, not optimized, not trimmed version is better (Raspbian). Sep 25, 2012 at 15:46
  • @TomasQ. Is the default XBMC package provided in the official Raspbian repo optimized to handle RPi hardware? Will XBMC on Raspbian run as smoothly as on Rasbpmc or OpenELEC? Jan 7, 2013 at 13:08

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