10 Best Raspberry Pi Operating Systems In 2023

The Raspberry Pi is a revolutionary device that has taken the computing world by storm since its release in 2012. Developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, this small and affordable computer was designed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools. However, its widespread availability and versatility have made it an incredibly popular tool for DIY enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals in various industries.

One of the key features of the Raspberry Pi is its flexibility when it comes to Raspberry Pi operating systems. Users can access various options, allowing them to customize their Raspberry Pi to suit their needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a basic operating system for simple projects or a more robust system for complex applications, there is sure to be an option that meets your requirements.

In this article, we will explore some of the best Raspberry Pi operating systems available in 2023. We will delve into the features and benefits of each system. Whether you’re a beginner looking to experiment with the Raspberry Pi for the first time, or an experienced user looking for a new operating system to try out, there is sure to be something on this list to suit your needs.

10 Raspberry Pi Operating Systems

10. Pidora (Discontinued)

Pidora is based on Fedora 18. If you are a Raspbian user, you will notice big differences between the pidora and the Raspbian. The 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 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 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 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. It is compatible with all versions of the Raspberry.

1. Ubuntu Mate

Ubuntu MATE 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. It 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 Raspberry Pi operating systems based on Linux. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What operating system does Raspberry Pi use?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides an official operating system for the Raspberry Pi, which is called “Raspberry Pi OS” (formerly known as Raspbian). It is a Debian-based operating system optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware and comes with pre-installed software and tools that make it easy for beginners to get started with the device.

Can you install Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 4?

Yes, it is possible to install Windows 10 on a Raspberry Pi 4, but with some limitations. Microsoft offers a Windows 10 called Windows 10 IoT Core, a lightweight version of Windows 10 designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including the Raspberry Pi. However, Windows 10 IoT Core is not a complete desktop operating system and does not support running traditional Windows applications. Instead, it is designed to run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps specifically built for the Windows 10 ecosystem.