Raspbian VS Debian

Raspbian VS Debian: differences, analogies.

We will see the simplest way to compare these two distro. Both eligible for your Raspberry-pi but with different attitudes. Let’s see.



According to http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianFAQ#What_is_Raspbian.3F Raspbian is an unofficial port of Debian Wheezy armhf with compilation settings adjusted to produce code that uses “hardware floating point“, the “hard floatABI and will run on the Raspberry Pi.


Instead the official Debian Squeeze image issued by the Raspberry Pi foundation was based on debian armel which uses software floating point and the “soft floatABI. The foundation found it necessary to use the existing Debian port for less capable ARM devices due to time and resource constraints during development of the Raspberry Pi. Therefore, it does not use of the Pi’s processor’s floating point hardware – reducing the Pi’s performance during floating point intensive applications – or the advanced instructions of the ARMv6 CPU.


As said, the Debian Squeeze Image, does not offer the hardware acceleration given by raspbian and needed, for instance, by XBMC. So the Debian Squeeze distribuited by the Raspberry Foundation could be more suitable for those involved in development or in using the gpio for external hardware (like connection the Raspberry to an Arduino or an LCD); BECAUSE it is the closest to Debian as possible. INSTEAD Raspbmc could be a very good starting point for those who want to use the raspberry as multimedia station, or a car computer with better performance thanks to the “Hard Float”.

I suggest also this reading:  as it will explain better how much of Debian is in Raspbian

Tell me what you think, leave a comment.


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Author: Giuseppe Urso

Giuseppe lives in Haarlem now with his shiny dog, Filippa In 1982 received his first home computer, a Commodore 64, followed by Datasette and a 1541 Floppy Disk Drive. In 1999 he installed his first Linux distro (LRH6). In 2006 he switched to Debian as favourite OS. Giuseppe Urso actively sustains the Free Software Fundation and his founder Richard Mattew Stallman, he speaks to people trying to convince them to join the fight now, and about how important is to use Free Software only. He has a job as Infra Specialist at Hippo Enterprise Java Cms an Open Source Enterprise class Content Management System, one of the coolest company ever, in Amsterdam. He's always ready to install Debian on other people computers for free.

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