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I finally got accepted to place a pre-order, and one option to "add" is the OS on the SD card preloaded. Is this needed, or can I download the OS elsewhere? Could I just put on my own version of Linux instead?

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    The main thing is that you need an SD card of 2GB or more and that the SD card is compatible if you intend to use your own SD card – EdChum Jul 3 '12 at 21:46
  • Good to know... I can get the Kingston cards :) I'll be happy I think. It should ship in 12 weeks apparently – Canadian Luke Jul 3 '12 at 22:20
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You will need an SD Card with a Pi compatible operating system on it. Several options are available from the official Raspberry Pi downloads.

You may not need to buy one. Assuming you already have a compatible 4GB or larger SD Card and reader/writer you can create your own and save a few dollars. Directions for creating your own card can be found in How do I install an OS image onto an SD card?.

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