Raspberry Pi OS now available in 64-bit, improving application compatibility

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The Raspberry Pi series of single board computers have been hugely successful over the years, thanks to their fantastic versatility and low cost. From powering DIY electronic projects to functioning as inexpensive PCs for learning programming, the Raspberry Pi series can do it all, and now another big upgrade has arrived: a 64-bit version. of the default operating system.

There are a few different operating systems available for Pi boards, including a few attempts at Android, but the default operating system most people use is Raspberry Pi OS. Previously known as Raspbian, it is a Debian-based Linux desktop specifically designed for the Pi family. Even though some newer Pi computers have 64-bit ARM processors, Raspberry Pi OS has only remained 32 bits, except beta versions.

Raspberry Pi said in a blog post (via Ars-Technica), “we have continued to build our versions of Raspberry Pi OS on the 32-bit Raspbian platform, with the goal of maximizing cross-device compatibility and avoiding customer confusion. […] But we realized that there are reasons to choose a 64-bit operating system over a 32-bit one. Compatibility is a major concern: many closed-source applications are only available for arm64, and open-source ones are not fully optimized for the armhf port. Beyond that, there are performance benefits intrinsic to the A64 instruction set: today these are most visible in benchmarks, but the assumption is that they will trickle down to application performance. real in the future.

Moving to 64-bit means more apps and services can access the larger amounts of RAM on higher-level Raspberry Pi boards (like the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4), and most people should see an improvement. performs. The only catch right now is that 64-bit Chromium doesn’t support Widevine DRM, so websites that require DRM (like Disney+ or Netflix) won’t work – you’ll need to install 32-bit Chromium instead .

You also need a 64-bit Raspberry Pi board to use the new 64-bit Raspberry Pi operating system, which currently includes the Pi Zero 2, Pi 3, and Pi 4. The Pi 2, Pi 1, and Pi Zero from origin have older chipsets. which are not compatible, and these devices will remain on 32-bit operating systems.

It seems that users of the existing 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS will not be automatically upgraded to the 64-bit version, which is probably a good idea. If you want to try the new version, head over to the downloads page to create a bootable USB or SD card.

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