New Raspbian release, and NOOBS v1.3 goes gold

Update: Rob has now added a “NOOBS Lite” option to the downloads page. NOOBS Lite is a minimal 20MB version of NOOBS with no local OS images; images are downloaded from our repository at install time.

Alex has produced a new Raspbian release, which integrates a number of recent improvements. Along with kernel and firmware updates, highlights include:

  • Sonic Pi is preinstalled so you can jump right in to learning to program while creating your own music.
  • Significant performance improvements to Scratch thanks to Tim Rowledge and Ben Avison.
  • A build of PyPy 2.1 is now included to allow you to try out this high performance Python JIT compiler. See here and here for some background on our work on PyPy.
  • Python libraries required for interfacing with Pi-Face are preinstalled. Once you enable the SPI kernel module in raspi-config you can leap right in.
  • The Oracle JDK is preinstalled – see yesterday’s announcement.

Due to the addition of Java, the standalone SD card image now requires at least a 4GB SD card, as with 2GB there’s not enough free space left to be useful. The image itself is sized at 3GB to reduce the time it takes to dd it.

But that’s not all!

Following last week’s successful beta test, NOOBS v1.3 has also been released. This is a major upgrade from v1.2, and realizes many of our ambitions for the system. Highlights include:

  • The ability to install multiple OSes on a single card.
  • Support for network installation of OSes from our repository.
  • Multiple “flavours” of Raspbian, including the ability to boot directly into Scratch.
  • Improved integration of language, keyboard and display settings between NOOBS and guest operating systems.

See the beta test announcement for an exhaustive feature breakdown. Thanks to Rob, Floris and Gordon for putting this release together, to Liam and Pete at Mythic Beasts for the recent comprehensive overhaul of our image hosting infrastructure, and of course to the 2,000 participants in the beta test program.