Raspberry Pi Series

10 Raspberry Pi Linux Distributions To Get You Going In 2020

Linux distributions for Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi informs you everything you need to know about the Raspberry Pi. In this article, we feature 10 Linux distributions for your Raspberry Pi in 2020. If you thought it is only Raspbian we have for Pi, take a look.

This is the first 10 things article in a series of articles about the Raspberry Pi. In this article, we feature 10 best Raspbian alternatives for your Raspberry Pi. Although the question here is not which is best for but which is best for which task. ​

10. Pidora

This version of Linux is based on the Fedora 18. If you are a Raspbian user, you will notice big differences between the pidora and the Raspbian. Most notable futures however of the Pidora is its ability to function well in a network without the display. Check here for more info about the headless mode. Whereas most Raspbian OS will come with one inbuilt programming language, pidora comes with a variety of them. ​

9. Gentoo Linux

You need an operating system that you can optimize for almost any task. Gentoo Linux is the answer. With the ability to configure it to run almost any application. The operating system can run as a secure server, a development workstation or even as a gaming station. Its adaptability supports it to run also as an embedded solution as well as a professional desktop.

Gentoo also has an established community of engineers and enthusiasts as well. This means users will benefit from the good documentation, referencing and a nice infrastructure for software porting. The Portage package management system, around which Gentoo Linux focuses is what makes it flexible on any device. This is why we rank it at number nine. Gentoo is a good distribution for intermediate technologists who want to learn Linux. Therefore the reason why it is most suitable for the Raspberry Pi.

8. Kali Linux

kali linux for raspberry pi

Kali Linux is built to offer information security tools. Although this software is portable with digital forensics. It also can serve as a general-purpose operating system. It is possible to run kali on the Raspberry. However, it will be suitable for people who want to learn about ethical hacking or want to gain an understanding of digital cryptography.

7. OpenELEC (Open Embedded Linux entertainment center)

OpenELEC was designed as a distribution for home theatre Personal Computers. The OS is based on the Kodi media center (XBMC).  This software is built to easily consume less space and boot quickly from flash memory. Free openELEC image systems are available for the Raspberry. It provides complete media software with several add-ons on which you can run the raspberry. Installing this distribution on raspberry is easy and fast.

6. FreeBSD

For those who want to transform their raspberry pi into a web server, FreeBSD is just perfect. FreeBSD is suitable for powering embedded systems and running servers. system administrators are likely to fall in love with the interface as well. This is the only Unix like the software we have mentioned on this list. Given its power, however, it’s notably a great distribution for Raspberry users looking to run the device as a server. ​

5. Rokos

If your business aims much on generating bitcoins, rokos will fit your niche. Ubuntu designed Rokos to enable bitcoin miners to run a full node on the Raspberry. Considering that the 4-8 GB memory threshold could not support a full blockchain. Ubuntu encouraged the use of a spacious external USB drive.

4. Arch Linux

This version was created to be ported with ARM systems Like the Raspberry Pi. Arch Linux principle of self-centrism ensures that everything is in user control. The distribution is also easy to use, lightweight with a simplistic beautiful user interface.

3. Snappy Ubuntu

Snappy Ubuntu is only available for the pi 2 upwards. It is a robust operating system, with more security features and simplicity. It was initially designed for clouds, but it’s proving its proficiency in embedded devices. The system images can fit on a 4 GB SD card.

2. Linutop

Linutop OS is based on the Xubuntu distribution. Most features here are business oriented. The raspberry version comes pre-installed with the epiphany browser, internet kiosk, and a display kiosk. Linutop is compatible with all versions of the Raspberry.

1. Ubuntu Mate

ubuntu mate raspberry pi

Ubuntu comes with an inbuilt text editor, file manager, browser, command line terminal and an image viewer. The traditional user interface environment is elegant with a classic touch. It is user-friendly with the overall Ubuntu design. This provides user support and a frequently updated repository. I would recommend Mate to beginners, those who have used Windows before are likely to encounter a very familiar environment. You will find all the productive utilities you need for your raspberry here. ​


The above Linux distributions are not a presumption of the end of the list. There are more operating systems based on Linux that can run on Raspberry Pi. We chose these ones however because they are the most notable ones. The question which is best can only be answered by you depending on the needs.

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