17 Best Operating Systems (OS) for Raspberry Pi 4, 3 (2023) (2023)

Since its release in 2012, the Raspberry Pi has made a wave in the industry. Initially designed to bring coding to schools and third-world countries, the Raspberry Pi is much more than that.

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This powerful minicomputer (also called SBC – Single Board Computer) was produced in the United Kingdom by Broadcom and The Raspberry Foundation.

The Raspberry has many uses, such as using it as a media center, hosting a Minecraft server, replacing your traditional desktop computer, as controller for smart home applications etc.

The new advances of the Raspberry Pi 4 have added 2 USB 3.0 ports that allow you to transfer data up to 10 times faster.

You can choose the amount of ram you need by selecting 2,6 or 8 gigabytes. The developer added dual screen compatibility, which can support up to 4K resolution.

Whatever you decide to do with your Raspberry Pi, you need an operating system to match your criteria. An intuitive and effective operating system makes life that much easier.

You are sure to find something on this list that is going to accommodate your needs. So, let’s have a look at some of the best OS for Raspberry Pi 4 (or even version 3):

Table of Contents

1) Raspberry Pi OS

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The original and most well-known software for the Raspberry Pi 4 is from the developer. The developer of the Raspberry Pi can be trusted, and the software runs perfectly on the system.

It is as easy as heading over to the website and downloading the installer for your OS.

Choose your system specifications, and the software writes it to an SD card for you.

The OS, previously known as Raspbian, has seen some upgrades and now allows you to do more than ever. It’s a complete desktop package ideal for people who want a portable computer to handle all their daily tasks.

2) Twister OS

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Twister OS is an operating system for single-chip computers. It aims to be the best operating system out there for SBCs by offering various customizable options for you to feel right at home.

The standard system comes with a bunch of themes that are both nostalgic and modern. It has an emulator that allows you to use traditional PC applications on your Raspberry Pi 4.

The Chromium Media Edition also lets you install things such as Netflix, Hula, and ShowMax.

The beautiful LibreOffice Suite takes care of your admin requirements and is a lovely addition to Twister OS.


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It is the perfect retro game emulator for the Raspberry Pi 4. It is designed to run on low-end computers and supports a range of USB joysticks. The open-source Linux-based operating system is user-friendly and updated regularly.

If you want to create a retro gaming system, look no further than this fantastic operating system for the Raspberry Pi.

4) Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server can run perfectly on the Raspberry Pi and is an excellent all-around OS to use for all your daily work tasks.

Browse the web, send some emails, or even do some shopping; it can all be done on the Ubuntu server.

Not only is it a great system to use, but it has been around for years. That gives you the confidence that the OS is loved and praised by many.

5) Ubuntu Mate

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This OS gives a familiar feel and delivers an efficient system to get all your work done. Many features make this software suitable for developers, and one of them is the ability to build and test your apps on the system.

A new feature added to the Ubuntu Mate is the option to boot from USB.

That allows you to access other BIOS information and further alter the OS. It also supports Raspberry Pi.

6) RetroPie

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RetroPie isn’t an OS per se, but it sits onto the current OS, acting as an emulator to play all those classic retro games. It does this exceptionally well when connecting the Raspbian or the new Raspberry Pi OS.

It can emulate classic games up to 16bit with no load time or lag issues. What is excellent about RetroPie is that it has developed hardware for the Raspberry Pi too. The hardware allows you to connect a range of retro game controllers to your setup.

The software is excellent for people in the arcade industry and can even be used to set some retro games up in your man cave.

7) LibreELEC

This Linux-based OS is the perfect minimalistic system to install Kodi on your Raspberry Pi. Kodi is a media center that offers multiple solutions to watch your favorite TV programs and movies.

LibreELEC’s system is designed around the essential, and as such, it hardly uses any precious system resources. That gives you the ability to watch movies and stream without the interruption of lag or buffering.


This simple and free operating system is easy to use and has gained popularity among Raspberry Pi users worldwide. They are renowned for their work with Kodi, a multimedia platform for Raspberry Pi.

Their flagship device contains the Raspberry Pi 4, enabling them to support video up to 4k.

9) Kali Linux

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Kali Linux is an operating system designed for security professionals for performing penetration testing and security audits.

It comes in 32bit and 64bit architecture and is one of the richest operating systems on this list which contains also many other pre-installed tools.

Kali Linux’s community is somewhat phenomenal, providing support and advice on everything from how to install Kali to editing its ISO file.

Choosing this OS is best for you if you want endless flexibility and customization with lots of security tools already installed in the system.

On Github, you can find more instructions, including downloads to help you make the most of Raspberry Pi 4. This OS can transform your Raspberry Pi device into a penetration testing toolkit.

10) Manjaro

This professionally made OS is great for someone looking for a lightweight all-in-one package. It makes little use of vital system resources and is available in 64bit architecture.

Manjaro’s communities are a bunch of helpful and knowledgeable individuals who can guide newcomers through the installation progress.

It is also possible to run many Windows-based applications on this OS through support channels such as Steam.

New owners of the Raspberry Pi love how easy and intuitive the system is to use. That is the reason this OS is most recommended for people who are new to single-chip computer systems.


RISC is world-renowned in the ARM architecture industry and is the first free, open-source software of its kind. It has allowed people to drive the new era of process innovation further into the future.

Its OS is no different, and it is fully supported by a group of developers and specialists of over 1300 people. The open-source system is excellent for users looking for options and customizability for their Raspberry Pi.

There is nothing over complicated here and what you see is what you get; RISC leads innovation technology above and beyond expectations.

12) Windows on Raspberry (WoR)

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It is an excellent application that allows you to run Windows on your Raspberry Pi. It is perfect for people looking to have a portable Windows device.

Whether it be for office use or a media center, this software can come in handy when looking to achieve your desired results.

It can be installed relatively simply through a Windows or Linux operating system. The process involves downloading an ISO file of the OS you want to use and letting Windows on Raspberry handle the installation for you.

Now you can enjoy Windows 10 on your Raspberry Pi 4.

13) Mozilla Web Things GateWay

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Ever wanted to control IoT devices in your house at the touch of a button? Here is your answer: it comes in the form of a Raspberry Pi 4 and Web Things GateWay.

It is a great UI interface to set your home up for automation, allowing you to control your blinds, lights, TV, and more. Someone who likes futuristic and techie gadgets would enjoy adding this software to their Raspberry Pi 4.

Coming from a developer like Mozilla, you are guaranteed that the software is always up to date, and any bugs flattened out.

It is for someone who wants ease and comfort in their life and someone who likes to have control of his/her smart home, wherever he/she is in the world.

14) OctoPi

OctoPi is an open-source 3D printer controller application. It can be used in time-lapse video creation too.

The software provides a web-based interface for connected printers and is easy to install. Choosing software like OctoPi is excellent for new to 3D printing people that need help and advice to get started.

The lower price of 3D printer technology has brought about a new age of creators, using software like OctoPi to help achieve their dreams.

There is a multitude of tutorials and information on the website to guide you through each step.

15) Open Media Vault

This software is ideal for users who want to use network storage capabilities without knowing how to do so.

It makes it easy to access various applications on your Raspberry Pi, such as the DAAP media server, RSync, Bit Torrent client. There is a bunch of other application that can be used with it too.

Perfect for home and office use and is generally used by media centers around the world.

16) Kano OS

Kano was designed with kids in mind and is terrific for teaching kids how to code from an early age. Kanos OS has an attractive operating system that is fluid and intuitive, allowing kids from the age of 6 and over to use the system.

It all started as a Kickstarter campaign that took the world by storm and raised over a million dollars. People loved the idea, and the company took off.

As of late 2020, it seems like Kano’s use of the Raspberry Pi 4 is incompatible, but it is still included on this list because of its potential.

You can install the OS on older model Raspberry Pi’s while waiting for a new version to be released.

17) DietPi

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This lightweight software package is for people that want the most out of their Raspberry Pi. It uses Whiptail menus in the OS so that you don’t need to waste time with command lines.

You can use DietPi to download various video platforms or even set up a Matrix Synapse chat server. Compatible with a range of ARM architecture chips, it is used by thousands of people around the world to create innovative processes.

The software is highly optimized and has been benchmarked on countless systems. It is proven to be one of the most efficient OS for Raspberry Pi out there.

Final Thoughts

Raspberry Pi is the future of computing, and its small size and substantial computing power allows for an endless array of applications. Anywhere from the home, office, or factory, the Raspberry gets the job done.

Remember choosing an OS compatible with the tasks you need to be done is vital in your progress. Hopefully, one of the operating systems on this list inspires you to create a more innovative system for your home or office.

Harness the power of this technology to create anything from media servers, chatbots, and automated processes in your factory.


17 Best Operating Systems (OS) for Raspberry Pi 4, 3 (2023)? ›

Raspberry Pi OS 2023-05-23 is their first update in three months and most significant with today's release is now being powered by the Linux 6.1 LTS kernel rather than Linux 5.15 LTS as used previously. With the newer kernel comes new hardware driver support, performance optimizations, and other new kernel features.

What is the operating system for Raspberry Pi 2023? ›

Raspberry Pi OS 2023-05-23 is their first update in three months and most significant with today's release is now being powered by the Linux 6.1 LTS kernel rather than Linux 5.15 LTS as used previously. With the newer kernel comes new hardware driver support, performance optimizations, and other new kernel features.

What is the new operating system in 2023? ›

Windows 12 was announced to be available in March 2023, but some new PCs are available with pre-installed Windows 12 that can be upgraded after the release date. If you are now using Windows 11 and looking for its new version then Windows 12 is now ready to release.

What is the most popular operating system 2023? ›

Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
Operating System Market Share Worldwide - July 2023
3 more rows

What is the most powerful Raspberry Pi 2023? ›

The most powerful Raspberry Pi to date includes almost everything you could wish for, including up to 8GB RAM, a 1.5GHz Quad-core CPU, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.0 ports. If you want a Raspberry Pi that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, then the Raspberry Pi 4 B is what you need.

Why are Raspberry Pi sold out 2023? ›

The $35 Raspberry Pi has long enabled fun projects that required just a little computing power—but during the height of the pandemic, it became difficult to get hold of one. Supply chain issues hit the production of these affordable boards hard, causing shortages that have lasted since 2021.

Why are Raspberry Pi so expensive 2023? ›

While Pis are again being produced in high numbers, increased component costs – as expected during a supply chain crisis – have led to price rises for the models including the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4, the Compute Module 4, and the Raspberry Pi Zero.

What is the world's most popular desktop operating system as of 2023 2022? ›


Is Linux still used 2023? ›

Web server statistics aggregator Statcounter announced last week that as of June 2023, Linux accounts for three percent of worldwide desktop operating system use. However, this is still surpassed by ChromeOS, which means that desktop Linux has less than half of the desktop Linux market.

Which operating system is better? ›

Windows and macOS are generally the most capable in terms of hardware, software, interface, and utilities, while Chrome OS is more lightweight and runs on inexpensive computers.

Which OS is most successful? ›

Developed and maintained by Microsoft, Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system globally, accounting for nearly 72% market share for desktop and laptop computers. Since the early 90s, Windows has dominated the desktop market and continues to become a formidable force in the personal computing market.

What are the top 3 most used operating systems? ›

The three most common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. Modern operating systems use a graphical user interface, or GUI (pronounced gooey).

What is the most using operating system in the world? ›

Microsoft's Windows is the most widely used computer operating system in the world, accounting for 64.27 percent share of the desktop, tablet, and console OS market in June 2023.

Which Raspberry Pi OS is most powerful? ›

Raspberry Pi 400 is your complete personal computer, built into a compact keyboard. Featuring a quad-core 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, wireless networking, dual-display output, and 4K video playback, as well as a 40-pin GPIO header, it's the most powerful and easy-to-use Raspberry Pi computer yet.

Is there going to be a Raspberry Pi 5? ›

Don't expect a Pi 5 next year,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi in a December 2022 interview, referring to 2023. “Next year is a recovery year” he continued, so it looks like second half of 2023 and into 2024, is “when we can start to think about what might be a sensible Raspberry Pi 5 platform.”

Which is faster Raspberry Pi OS? ›

Which Raspberry Pi 4 OS should you choose? The Raspberry Pi 4 is the one with the strongest specifications in the Raspberry Pi stable of single-board computers (SBC). It is the most powerful of all Raspberry Pis with the highest amount of RAM and the fastest clock speed.

Which is the official os for Raspberry Pi? ›

This is it. Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian) is our official supported operating system.

What is the operating system for Raspberry Pi? ›

Raspberry Pi is a very economical computer that runs Linux Operating System. Now, let's talk about which specific distribution of Linux Raspberry Pi uses. Raspberry Pi officially recommends the use of the Raspbian Operating System. It is a Debian-based OS, explicitly made for Raspberry Pi and hence its name Raspbian.

What operating system does the Raspberry Pi run? ›

The Raspberry Pi operates in the open source ecosystem: it runs Linux (a variety of distributions), and its main supported operating system, Pi OS, is open source and runs a suite of open source software.

What operating system is my Raspberry Pi using? ›

Raspberry Pi OS is Linux based operating system and to see the currently running version type the cat /etc/os-release command at Linux prompt.

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