Here is my list of essential distro’s for your raspberry pi. There are plenty of great options out there. The top spot in my list belongs to raspbian. This is also where most people start. You can download the latest raspbian image here
If you want everything to work out of the box with no real effort raspbian is the way to go. It’s an awesome distro based on debian and optimized for your raspberry pi hardware.
If you are a fedora user this is your distro. It runs just fine on a raspbery pi. It will run a bit faster if you overclock it. If you are a debian user this is not your distro…
3) Arch Linux
Arch linux is not as plug and play as raspbian or pidora but it is fast and powerful. And if you are an arch fan you will love this distro. It’s pretty easy to get arch linux up and going on your raspberry pi.
4) Kali Linux
Kali linux is a great pentesting distro based on debian and runs well on the raspberry pi. It’s a great way to get your feet wet with kali with out having to devote a lot of hardware to running it. This distro will certainly benefit from a class 10 SD card and overclocking the CPU.
Freebsd runs fast and works well with the raspberry pi hardware. Setting up freebsd on your raspberry pi is not too difficult. My notes are here
I am adding a couple honorable mentions.
First off before I forget… For those of you who just want to run a media center no list would be complete with out Openelec or Rasbmc both of which can be downloaded on the raspberry pi download page
And for those of you who want a wicked fast system with a minimalist interface I recommend pibang. While Pi! is not as up to date or active as some of the distro’s at the top of the list its still a really nice option.
Edited to add all of these distro’s should run fine on your Raspberry Pi Model B+ 512MB.
Is your list different than mine? If so leave me some feedback in the comments. Have a distro I should look at? leave it in the comments as well…
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