We are pleased to announce the release of our first SD card image based on the Raspbian distribution. This is the result of an enormous amount of hard work by Alex and Dom over the past couple of months, and replaces the existing Debian squeeze image as our recommended install. Notably, it is the first official image to take full advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s floating point hardware for, amongst other things, much faster web browsing.
Users who are still using Debian squeeze will definitely want to switch to this, as it contains numerous tweaks and performance improvements to the firmware, kernel and applications. Those who are using the recent Debian wheezy beta will also see a very worthwhile, but somewhat smaller, improvement.
Among many others, we would particularly like to thank:
- Mike Thompson and Peter Green from the Raspbian project
- Simon Hall for his optimised ARMv6 memcpy() and memset() implementations
- Everyone who has contributed to the Raspbian project so far
Special thanks to Edgar (gimli) Hucek, whose omxplayer accelerated media player is preinstalled in this image, and Sergio Conde for his work on packaging it for distribution.
Those interested in the remarkable history of the Raspbian project might like to take a look at this brief timeline. Adam Armstrong has done some benchmarking which demonstrates the benefits of hardware floating point across a range of applications.
As always, the image is available from our downloads page.