Looking for a way to get the most out of your Raspberry Pi? Launching a project that just needs something more? Oddly enough, Linux can be a problem, so why not consider an operating system other than Linux? Some have been released or adapted for use on the Raspberry Pi.
List of non-Linux Raspberry Pi OS for 2019
Looking for a Raspberry Pi operating system that is not Linux? These nine alternatives should suit you:
- Windows 10
- Windows 10 IoT Core
- OS RISK
- android stuff
- Plan 9
- Chromium OS
It’s an enticing mix, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at each one and help you decide which Raspberry Pi operating system you’re going to install next.
1. Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi
Most Raspberry Pi users are happy with Linux for many reasons, not least because it’s free to use and open source. And yet, it’s incredible that there’s a free version of Windows 10 that will run on the Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+.
Two tools are available: WOA Deployer for Raspberry Pi and Windows on Raspberry Imager. Both do the same thing. Once launched, they prepare an ARM version of Windows 10, which is then written to an SD card.
Not sure what to choose? If you want everything to work out of the box, choose WOA Deployer for Raspberry Pi. Need configuration options? Use Windows on Raspberry Imager.
Download : WOA Deployer for Raspberry Pi for Raspberry Pi 3B/B+
Download : Windows on Raspberry Imager
2. Windows 10 IoT Core
Looking for something more functional than Windows 10? Microsoft’s dedicated version of the Internet of Things is ideal for IoT projects. Compatible with the Raspberry Pi (and available as an option on NOOBS), Microsoft describes Windows 10 IoT Core as «…a version of Windows 10 that’s optimized for small devices with or without a display and runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, the Arrow DragonBoard 410c and MinnowBoard MAX. Windows 10 IoT Core uses the rich, extensible Universal Windows Platform (UWP) API to create great experiences.”
This makes it look a lot like Android stuff (see below).
The difference between this and the other operating systems listed here is that it is more of a deployment system. With an application deployed (either from the default selection or one developed by you), the Raspberry Pi essentially becomes an application.
Download : Windows 10 IoT Core
Also taken from UNIX is NetBSD, which is more closely related to BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), which itself is an extension of UNIX.
But what does BSD offer the Raspberry Pi user? Well, like Linux, BSD is open source and similar to UNIX. Many applications and utilities work with both, meaning that switching to BSD is the easiest option on this list. BSD has strengths that Linux doesn’t, such as better GPIO connectivity.
Download : RaspBSD for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3
Download : FreeBSD for Raspberry Pi B and 2
4. OpenBSD for Raspberry Pi 3
OpenBSD for Raspberry Pi, an alternative to FreeBSD, is more suitable for use as a network server. Many administrators consider OpenBSD the most secure server operating system available.
So, if your goal is to find a non-Linux operating system for a server project, OpenBSD is your best bet.