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A 64-bit OS for the Raspberry Pi 3
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pi64 is a 64-bit OS for the Raspberry Pi 3, backed by a 4.14 Linux kernel.

It is essentially a minimalist Debian distribution shipping with systemd and a basic networking setup, just enough to let you boot and run apt-get!


The latest images are always available in the releases section.

There are 2 versions : lite and desktop. The desktop version is based on LXDE.


Once downloaded, you can follow these instructions for writing the image to your SD card.

During first boot the installation process will continue for a few minutes, then the Raspberry Pi will reboot and you'll be ready to go.

Getting started

The default user is pi and its password raspberry, it has passwordless root privileges escalation through sudo.

Once logged in, you might want to run sudo pi64-config in order to get assisted with your setup!

On the lite version, SSH is enabled by default.


How do I update the Linux Kernel?

You can upgrade the Linux Kernel using this command :

sudo pi64-update

This would make sure the latest release from is installed.

Do not use apt-get to install or update a kernel, kernel modules or kernel headers as this is not supported.

Can I still run 32-bit programs with pi64?

You should be able to run 32-bit programs out of the box as long as they're statically linked. You can check this with the file command :

$ file ./my-executable
./my-executable: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, EABI5 version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, not stripped

If your 32-bit program is shown as dynamically linked instead, you should still be able to run it by enabling multiarch and installing program's required libraries :

sudo dpkg --add-architecture armhf
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libc6:armhf

Here we're only installing the GNU C Library, but your program might need additional libraries.

How can I remove SSH?

On the lite version and for convenience, SSH is installed and enabled by default. This allows you to plug your Raspberry Pi to your home router and get started without the need of an extra monitor / keyboard. If you want to remove it, just run :

sudo apt-get autoremove --purge -y ssh avahi-daemon

Is there a way to run custom post-installation steps?

You can just drop a file called setup on the boot partition. When the installer notices that file at /boot/setup, it will automatically execute it using bash when installation finishes.

This can be useful if you want to distribute your own image based on pi64.

How to build pi64 from source?

If you feel adventurous and want to build pi64 from source, you can easily do so through Docker.

This is mostly useful if you want to make a custom Kernel build or want to tweak the distribution to your needs.

To proceed with the build, run the following command :

docker build -t pi64 .

Then you can build an image of the lite or desktop version :

docker run -it --privileged -v $PWD:/root/pi64 -v /opt/vc:/opt/vc  -w /root/pi64 \
    pi64 make build/pi64-lite.img

docker run -it --privileged -v $PWD:/root/pi64 -v /opt/vc:/opt/vc  -w /root/pi64 \
    pi64 make build/pi64-desktop.img

The image will appear under the ./build folder.

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