Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your Raspberry Pi run. However, Raspbian provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation on your Raspberry Pi.
The initial build of over 35,000 Raspbian packages, optimized for best performance on the Raspberry Pi, was completed in June of 2012. However, Raspbian is still under active development with an emphasis on improving the stability and performance of as many Debian packages as possible.
Raspbian comes pre-installed with plenty of software for education, programming and general use. It has Python, Scratch, Sonic Pi, Java, Mathematica and more.
Raspbian is available in two formats, Raspbian Stretch with desktop and Raspbian Stretch Lite.
How to install Raspbian OS image on an SD card
This resource explains how to install a Raspberry Pi operating system image on an SD card. You will need another computer with an SD card reader to install the image.
You will need to use an image writing tool to install the image you have downloaded on your SD card.
Etcher is a graphical SD card writing tool that works on Mac OS, Linux and Windows, and is the easiest option for most users. Etcher also supports writing images directly from the zip file, without any unzipping required. To write your image with Etcher:
- Download Etcher and install it.
- Connect an SD card reader with the SD card inside.
- Open Etcher and select from your hard drive the Raspberry Pi
.zipfile you wish to write to the SD card.
- Select the SD card you wish to write your image to.
- Review your selections and click ‘Flash!’ to begin writing data to the SD card.