RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi

RISC OS was officially released in 'beta' for the Raspberry Pi, as 'release candidate 6' (RC6) on 1st November 2012. Changes to the start-up firmware provided with recent Raspberry Pi boards (the software that starts up the board before RISC OS is invoked) has required a change to the RISC OS ROM and the latest beta release, released on 21st February 2015, is RC14.

The changes in the ROM image from RC5 to RC14 are as follows:

RC6 (RISC OS 5.19 31 Oct 2012):

RC7 (RISC OS 5.19 9 Mar 2013)

RC8 (RISC OS 5.19 19 Mar 2013)

RC10 (RISC OS 5.19 17 Jun 2013)

RC11 (RISC OS 5.21 11 Jul 2013)

RC12 (RISC OS 5.21 3 Mar 2014)

RC12a (RISC OS 5.21 14 Jun 2014)

RC14 (RISC OS 5.21 17 Feb 2015)

The changes in the disc image from RC5 to RC14 are as follows:

RC6 (RISC OS 5.19 31 Oct 2012):

RC7 (RISC OS 5.19 9 Mar 2013)

RC8 (RISC OS 5.19 19 Mar 2013)

RC10 (RISC OS 5.19 17 Jun 2013)

RC11 (RISC OS 5.21 11 Jul 2013)

RC12 (RISC OS 5.21 3 Mar 2014)

RC12a (RISC OS 5.21 14 Jun 2014)

RC14 (RISC OS 5.21 17 Feb 2015)

The latest beta distribution of RISC OS (RC14) is completely self-contained, occupying about 266Mbytes of storage on the SD card (including the ROM) leaving some 1609Mbytes free. It is distributed in the form of a zipped SD card 'image' - 99.9Mbytes to download and it unzips to a file 'riscos-2015-02-17-RC14.img' 1870Mbyes in size. It is thus suitable for all SD cards of 2Gbytes and above and may be written to them using Win32DiskImager. It will start up very swiftly into a fully functioning desktop. The first time it starts up, the default browser, NetSurf, will do some font-scanning and a 'welcome' page will appear on screen. Networking is now set to be active by default, if you have an Ethernet cable plugged in.

Further development of RISC OS continues but the RC14 beta release is latest official and supported release. Alpha development ROMs are built daily with improvements, fixes and the inevitable occasional bugs and broken features as development proceeds. These alpha images are available for those who know what to do without help. Since 17th February 2015 there have been some developments including work on reading EDID information from the monitor.

No additional hardware is required to support CMOS 'non volatile' machine settings as a module SDCMOS provides this functionality, storing these settings within the ROM image on the SD card. Additional hardware is available which provides a real time clock and battery, but this can otherwise be set automatically from the internet.

Known issues with the RC14 build: