Previously, if you were one of the lucky people who ordered their Raspberry Pi and had it arrive on time, you had to figure out what version of Linix you’d want to install on the tiny ARM-based computer that’s about the same size as an iPhone. Most users went with some form of Debian because they has aspirations of running XMBC on it for use as a home theatre, while others begain a slow migration to Arch or Puppy Linux verisions that could run on ARM processors. Today, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the release of their first Debian-based OS, called Raspbian OS.

More info and a video after the jump. 

We are pleased to announce the release of our first SD card image based on the Raspbian distribution,” RPF said via its official blog. “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.”

If you’re still using Debian squeeze, you will benefit from many tweaks and performance improvements to the firmware, kernel, and applications. If you’re already on Debian wheezy (beta), the performance boost won’t be as big but will still be ‘very worthwhile.’ It’s the first official image to take full advantage of Raspberry Pi’s floating point hardware for, amongst other things, much faster web browsing.

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Raspbian is so much faster than the images we’ve been using so far, and we’re really excited about it; we’ll be encouraging all of you Raspberry Pi owners to upgrade to it as soon as it’s available on our downloads page,” the foundation said last week, while teasing performance boosts in web browsing.

The Pi, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a $35 computer running on a ARM11 processor with a VideoCore IV graphics card and 256MB of RAM. Its designed to teach kids in technical schools as well as private buyers the joys of programming and supports a wide range of mods and voltage alterations to allow higher overclocks. The Raspberry foundation provides supported Linux images for users to boot off with a SD card and offers programming tools such as Python for users to get cracking on their homebrew software.

The tiny credit card-sized board also has RCA and HDMI out supporting resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, can output audio through a 3.5mm jack or over HDMI using Passthru software, has a RJ-45 ethernet jack for network connectivity and two USB ports for peripheral and storage media connectivity. Its proven extremely popular in the modding community and has also been the basis of several set-top box projects designed to integrate the tiny PC into a home theatre system. If you want one, you can buy it direct from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with a waiting time of up to five weeks while your board is custom-manufactured depending on which version you order.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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