Some variation of Linux is the de facto standard for Raspberry Pi. However, smaller, lesser known operating systems do exist and some would seem appropriate for such a small device.

Are there any other operating systems that are compatible with the Raspberry Pi?

  • 2
    I'd be really interested if it would be possible to get MicroC/OS-II working, for some embedded real-time systems work. Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 15:29

7 Answers 7


RISCOS is in the works and there is QT available now. Some bare metal programmers are working on OS's from scratch as well but these are more for fun & research than full blown OS's.

  • 6
    Bare metal OS sounds like fun. Care to share links? Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 22:20
  • @Nick McCloud: Provide a few additional links, and you have the answer mark!
    – RLH
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 18:14

As mentioned earlier, RISCOS is probably in the most advanced state right now. You can also read about making FreeBSD work on RPi here. Some people are working on their own bare metal OSes but they are mostly a hobby projects, here is an example. There are some technical problems with getting different OSes on Rpi, mostly because of the lack of publicly available documentation to some peripherals, especially USB (which is known to have a lot of problems even on Linux).

  • On the Amiga, it a lot of games would effectively take over the machine when they started and while they were running, but would then return control to the OS when they were done. Would you think there would be be any practical way for a program with root authority to do so under Raspian?
    – supercat
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 15:04
  • @supercat: As far as I know this is not possible on Linux. Today's hardware is much different than it was in Amiga era and it a lot of it wouldn't be able to run properly if you disable OS. Even on Amiga (at least that's how I remember this), disabling multitasking was mostly done by games which you couldn't really leave and you would reboot the whole system after finishing playing. And rebooting Amiga was something you would do regularly, actually. Unix systems design is just much different and more complicated to the Amiga one. Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 17:27
  • A friend of mine was an Amiga developer back in the day, and he was very happy when he found out how to write a game which would could quickly restore the OS to the state it had before running the game. I know that device drivers wouldn't work unless they were re-implemented on bare metal, but being able to use the same machine for development and testing could be handy. But if Raspian doesn't support that, such is life. I wonder what sort of development would be possible under the fast-booting RiscOS?
    – supercat
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 20:42
  • @supercat: As far as remember there was no "restore" operation on Amiga, you could only enable/disable "multitasking". This means that in some cases, it was not possible to go back to working system after screwing some things up. And it's not just about re implementing drivers - some hardware today just expects host to always work (respond to/generate some interrupts, read buffers etc). Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 5:19

Haiku, an OS whose design was inspired by BeOS, has an extremely early port available for the Pi. Read here for more details.


NetBSD is in work (booting, not more); FreeBSD also (only the boot loader).


You can also run Plan 9 by Bell Labs on the Pi.



There is also version 4 of Android being developed and Aros a remake of the Amiga Operating System.




There is also a port of Firefox OS.

It was reported on the official raspberry site too http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1787

September 2016 update:

Above link are broken (the Raspberry foundation site one is still functional). At present, september 2016 the Firefox OS porting on raspberry seems stalled.

Firefox Os passed the baton to B2G and the development efforts seems to me somewhat halted.

  • Links are broken, even the link in the official site. Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 18:51
  • @ThomasWeller The present state of the art of Firefox OS (now B2G) is described here: gioyik.com/p/raspberrypi-final-state, thanks for pinpointing the broken link
    – Eineki
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 9:01

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