Raspberry Pi users have been relying on the 32-bit version of the Raspberry Pi OS, previously known as Raspbian, for a long time. Now, Raspberry Pi, the company behind the low-cost single-board computers, has announced the release of the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS. It brings better app compatibility and performance improvements to Raspberry Pi models.
Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit Announced
Raspberry Pi announced the 64-bit version of the Raspberry Pi OS via an official blog post. The company stated that it has been trialing the beta version of the OS for the past year and is now available for a wider audience.
The switch to the 64-bit OS means that users will now be able to run more applications with compatible Raspberry Pi boards. Moreover, on-device applications and services would be able to access higher amounts of RAM on high-end Raspberry Pi units like the Raspberry Pi 4 which comes with 8GB of RAM. Plus, users can see significant performance improvements.
In the official blog post, Gordon Hollingworth, the Director of Software Engineering at Raspberry Pi said, “We have continued to build our Raspberry Pi OS releases on the 32-bit Raspbian platform, aiming to maximize. But we’ve come to realize that there are reasons to choose a 64-bit operating system over a 32-bit one. Compatibility is a key concern: many closed-source applications are only available for arm64, and open-source ones aren’t fully optimized for the armhf port. compatibility between devices and to avoid customer confusion.“
It is further revealed that using 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS had another “theoretical concern” as it only allowed support for 4GB of memory. The company uses the ARM Large Physical Address Extension (LPAE) to access up to 8GB of memory.
Now, it is worth mentioning that the 64-bit Chromium, which is installed by default with the new Raspberry Pi platform, does not currently support Widevine DRM. This means that websites or services that require DRM like Netflix or Disney+ Hotstar will not work on the 64-bit version of the OS.
Moreover, you will need a compatible Raspberry Pi board to run the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS. While units like the Raspberry Pi Zero 2, Pi 3, and Pi 4 support the 64-bit platform, the Pi 2, Pi 1, and the original Pi Zero with older chipsets do not support the updated OS. Additionally, the 64-bit won’t be an automatic one for users who are currently using the 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS.
So, if you have a compatible Raspberry Pi board and want to try out the new 64-bit platform, go to the downloads page to create a bootable USB or SD card. Also, let us know your thoughts on the new 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS in the comments below. Also, while you are here, check out some cool Raspberry Pi projects or learn the basics of setting up a Raspberry Pi using the linked guides.