Adafruit’s custom Rasp Pi distro eases some pain

Many of you have still not yet received your Raspberry Pi. When you do, you’ll find that there is work to be done in the operating system to get things working as you might want them to.  The wonderful folks over at Adafruit have tackled this by releasing their own distribution of Linux for the Raspberry Pi.

Based on the shipped distribution “Wheezy”, Adafruit’s distribution “Occidentalis v0.1. Rubus occidentalis” or “the Black Raspberry” now includes the following:



  1. Chuckt says:

    ODROID-X: The $129 Quad-core Alternative to Raspberry Pi,news-39078.html

    Here is Hardkernal’s website:

    Why suffer when you can get a Quad Core Alternative?

    • RooTer says:

      quadrupled price for quad cores? seems right

      as for happy hacking low cost but still capable raspberry pi seems more appropriative

    • mosheen says:

      You can expand it for a dollar with any number of common chips.

      • Chuckt says:

        Which common chips? That is adding to the complexity of the Raspberry Pi so if this is a teaching platform for kids then now they have to know which chips to add on top of everything. It should have just came with more than 8 GPIO pins.

      • Mysterio says:

        It comes with 17 usable GPIO pins if you don’t need to use the others for dedicated I2C, SPI or com. And yeah just google or check mouser/newark/digikey for “I2C GPIO expander” to find expansion chips that will work just fine.

      • Rob says:

        Learning how to modify and expand are vital skills (why, that sounds like hacking…). I don’t see a problem with this. :-)

      • Chuckt says:

        All the users I talked to say that adding a GPIO expander is one mess they would like to avoid. I liken it to when I took programming courses and my instructor taught us to write loops instead of gosub (routines) because it becomes a messy practice of writing code that looks like spaghetti and it takes hours for new programmers to figure out the code and your employer wouldn’t like having to pay someone. Instead of wiring all these new wires to have some extra functionality, the maker of the Raspberry Pi should have just accomodated users to give people a device that was meant to be used properly. If the makers meant users to hook it up to more stuff then put some more GPIO pins on it.

  2. Isaac says:

    Whenever someone comes along and says, “None of the current systems work… let’s make our own” I can’t help but link this XKCD comic:

  3. DrLuke says:

    I don’t see the big fuzz. One week ago I was completely new to linux, and by now I managed to recompile the kernel on arch linux and enable the i2c and spi drivers on the way there. It’s no black magic, it just needs you to sit down for a day or two and read into the topic.

  4. Beat707 says:

    Nice, but what about Audio support? I will read the site, maybe its there…

  5. jc says:

    Forking already now, are we ?

  6. Reggie says:

    pi has got 17 gpio, not 8.

  7. Reggie says:

    I’d like to know what the hexxeh firmware actually is? the firmware blob for the pi is proprietary to broadcom, it might be a hexxeh kernel image on there though, however, I believe that is the bleeding edge kernel and isn’t necessarily stable.

    i2c and spi are both very simple to enable on the stock raspbian, just edit /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf and comment out or delete the 2 lines that refer to i2c/spi :)

    It doesn’t take an extra distro to do that.

    • Peter says:

      Agreed. They are free to do as they want and can fork when they want but this looks like a situation where a HOWTO on enabling I2C/SPI and WiFi support would have been a cleaner solution.

      I worry that the RaspPi landscape will soon be littered with too many choices. Sure, some special use cases will require a special distro but the changes described here don’t rise to that level (IMHO).

      • jack says:

        “I worry that the RaspPi landscape will soon be littered with too many choices.”

        It’s not worth worrying about, because it’s inevitable.

        Lamentable, yes, but inevitable.

  8. Brian says:

    Check out another blog I wrote on getting the Wii remote connected to the Raspberry pi. PS thanks for linking my SPI post hackaday!

    Wii remote:


  9. WhiteCrane says:

    I recieved 2 raspi’s last week and so far have been running the official raspbian and the puppy linux distro on each one respectively. So far they both work great, although once I settle into one of the distros(most likely the offcial version due to the support) I’ll use the other as a test bed for all the other OS options that keep popping up. I can’t see why I wouldn’t try this one out just to see how it performs. The android os might be fun to try as well.

  10. Drone says:

    ahavi daemon – arrrgh! I remember trying to get rid of that zeroconf nonsense in another distro. Came with a Nightmare of dependencies that were just boating things up. The I2C/SPI/One-Wire enable stuff should be relegated to a Wiki entry so the user can decide what to do about them. The WiFi support out of the box is nice, provided it’s off by default and doesn’t get in the way.

  11. Whatnot says:

    Those few extras surely don’t require 2 extra GB, so is there a reason why it goes beyond the 2GB? Future proofing? Just curious.

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