DietPi Releases 8.12 With Support For The Rockchip RK3588 SoC

This month DietPi released version 8.12 of this SBC-oriented Linux distribution. Most notable is the addition of support for the NanoPi R6S and the Radxa ROCK 5B SBCs. The ROCK 5B features the new flagship Rockchip RK3588 SoC with quad Cortex-A76 and quad Cortex-A55. What makes DietPi interesting as an operating system for not just higher end SBCs but also lower-end SBCs compared to options like Debian, Raspberry Pi OS and Armbian is that it has a strong focus on being the most optimized. This translates in a smaller binary size, lower RAM usage and more optimized performance.

The DietPi setup experience is as straightforward as with the aforementioned options, except that right from the bat you get provided with many more options to tweak. While the out of the box experience and hitting okay on the provided defaults is likely to be already more than satisfactory for most users – with something like the optional graphical interface easy to add – enterprising users can tweak details about the hardware, the filesystem and more.

When we set up DietPi on a Raspberry Pi Zero, it definitely feels like a much more light-weight experience than the current Debian Bullseye-based Raspberry Pi OS. Even though DietPi is also based on Debian, it leaves a lot more RAM and storage space free, which is a definite boon when running on a limited platform like a Raspberry Pi Zero. Whether it’s polite to state in public or not, DietPi definitely rubs in that many standard SBC images are rather pudgy these days.

31 thoughts on “DietPi Releases 8.12 With Support For The Rockchip RK3588 SoC

    1. :-)

      Text from

      The image generation is based on a shell script dietpi-installer:

      * The script will convert any ‘bloated’ Debian/Raspbian installation into a lightweight DietPi system.
      * The script will NOT support converting existing installed software (e.g. Nextcloud, Plex Media Server) over to the DietPi system.
      * All existing software (APT) and user data will be deleted.

      The script has to be executed on the running target system which you want to convert to a lightweight DietPi system, or when booting the original image as a container.

  1. I’m quite impressed with diet pi. The install used less to 60MB on a recent build and that was with a few extra services loaded. It has installed on devices that Ubuntu server has not. It is certainly worth experimenting with.

  2. I use DietPi for more than 3 or 4 years now on an HP x86 thin client repurposed as my home server as well as on two RPi Zeros with some custom software playing Spotify streams for the kids. In addition to the advantages already mentioned the boot time is also a lot faster as it is with other options – especially on the Zeros. I would definitely not go back again.
    There is also quite a large community available now to help out in case any issues should come up…

    1. Nice. I wanted to put ARMbian and PiHole on a Neo3 replacing an Orange Pi Zero (why waste that sweet Wi-Fi connectivity?), but ARMbian doesn’t support the Neo3 (anymore?). DietPi takes a bit more time to install, but works fine.

    1. While useful for specific cases, I wouldn’t call yocto great. It takes a huge amount of time and skill to tame the beast, and the standard recipe list is quite limited. And then for every layer you add you add protential compatibility issues.
      Getting into yocto unprepared is something you will definitly regret.

  3. Several years ago when it was still possible for normal people to get affordable small computers like the Raspberry Pi, DietPi was a wonderful OS option. Unfortunately with the never-ending chip shortage, forever-inflation, and China no longer respecting America (never-ending COVID, the U.S. military and borders being destroyed right before our eyes), the situation is not likely to improve. Case in-point: the Radxa Rock 5B. The bare 16GB RAM board begins at at a whopping $219 USD (@Ameridroid, preorder only, no payment or delivery guarantee), and then there are necessary add-ons to buy, if you can find them. Add a power supply, case, and 128GB eMMC storage (HARDKERNEL module) and you are pushing over $350 plus shipping, and that’s just for a headless box! Affordable and available are no longer viable terms in this market space.

    1. You don’t need a 128GB emmc, 64GB works and is much cheaper. Also you can get a 128GB m.2 very cheap and just use that for the best speeds. I had a spare 128gb m.2 so I only bought the Rock 5B and it is a very good board. There are less capable boards for less that you can look at. I don’t understand what you’re rant has to do with DietPI.

    2. What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      1. Nationalistic rhetoric aside, availability issues for genuine Pi Foundation hardware have been a headache. I haven’t put in an order in the last few weeks, but when I ordered a batch of Pi Zero W2s, it was around four months until delivery.

        For smaller projects, I have switched to using ESP32 Development Modules where I need a full Internet and Bluetooth stack while running a turn-key application. I have some reservations about using an Asian company’s (Espressif) processor design and a tool chain I don’t trust my ability to guarantee free of back doors, but m I bite my lip and let the need to get work done take precedence over availability problems.

      2. I can’t get past

        > the U.S. military and borders being destroyed right before our eyes

        Right, so the US military and borders are being “destroyed” by the largest defense budget and tightest border security in US history are driving factors in private companies producing silicon on the other side of the world prioritizing major customers over hobbyists? Am I getting that right?

        From where I’m at in the semiconductor industry, it looks like the US military is buying so much hardware through Raytheon et al with that gigantic budget that we can barely keep up. Sorry we don’t have much left over to sell to hobbyists. If you want it to change, get the government to cut military funding and there will be plenty of Arduinos and Raspberry Pis on Amazon again.

    3. > Bare 16GB RAM board

      16GB should not be one’s starting point. 8GB will be more than enough unless data science or FEA/CFD are your hobbies (which the Pi isn’t great for anyways), and for probably 95% of use cases 4GB will be plenty.

      Last time I bought one it came with a power supply. Cases run around $15-25 for a non-deluxe module. I have no idea why you’re talking about EMMC for a pi4, it just doesn’t make sense. Let’s say $20 for one of the nicer 128GB micro-SD cards.

      Now, I agree that stock and price are ridiculous, which is why I haven’t bought one for years (and likely never will again at this point, the foundation has become annoying to me). It’s just that the costs that you are tacking on top of the pi are really over the top. Realistically, accessories are about $50, not $130, unless you’re really trying to spend money.

    1. The picture shows a Raspberry Pi because apparently it must be promoted at any cost, but the article refers to the DietPi distribution which supports a quite large number of boards aside the Raspberries; some of them are still in stock among either the usual resellers or their respective manufacturers. The term “Pi” is now often used to indicate either a Linux capable small board, or a distribution that supports it. Not always though (examples: The Tinkerboard or the excellent Armbian distro).

    2. You are criticizing the company for the actions of scalpers. They have raised their prices recently but I believe it was to add 5 dollars to the boards. That is not in the same ballpark as “rocking horse droppings”.
      If people would refuse to pay scalpers’ prices and stick the scalpers with their stock, that would discourage the actions. I’m fact, the head of the Raspberry Pi organization recently said that in an interview.

      1. The company however deserves to be criticized wrt the Zero availability during the past years: aside from a few lucky buyers, it has been 99% unobtanium for at least 2 years before Covid, the war in Ukraine, the HK and now Taiwan turmoil. The reason? they sold only a very small quantity of them, presumably at a loss, to drive away people from the competition. There were no scalpers because from day one those boards were almost impossible to find at the advertised price, unless one was ready to shell out like 3 times the cost for useless bundles with stuff that everyone already had (SD card, power supply, cables, etc) to justify the price increase, and those were also hard to find too. Then when someone complained on public forums, almost immediately someone else would reply that they could buy their one at the advertised price, like 1 person in 1000 would make a difference.
        I repeat: this went from day one and has nothing to do with scalpers. Scalpers came during and after Covid, and yeah, the situation is quite different now, but some of us didn’t forget that and are now voting with their wallet.
        CMs and Zeros aside, I’ve bought all RPis in the past, from 1 to 4, some multiple times. The Rpi 4 will be my last one, although I have to admit the RP2040 is a really interesting chip and I could make an exception; but for running Linux I’m definitely looking elsewhere.

    3. I so wanted to preorder an Orange Pi 5 with the RK3588, but then it turned out that Wi-Fi is extra (M.2). Then I saw a YouTuber using a USB wifi adapter with it, and I felt ashamed of not realizing it can be done.

      Maybe I will get an OPi5 and put a 1TB NVME SSD on it. Maybe I’ll get one of the new, 7400MBps ones. With DietPi. Maybe its counter will go over and tell me there’s insufficient space. Maybe I’m crazy.

      1. Orange Pi 5 uses the RK3588S which is less peripherals and I/O options with a single NVMe slot that’s PCIe 2.0 so pointless getting a super fast SSD drive as speeds are capped well below 500MBs. A vast improvement over an sd card with recommendations to just get a cheap SSD that’ll give you 300-400MBs which is more than enough for a SBC.

        Due to the lack of kernel support from Rockchip the community is working hard to get the driver issues sorted with Radxa Rock 5B a great starting point as it’s better supported for now and offers the full RK3588 experience (extra peripherals, connectivity, etc) but for a greater cost.

      2. Yeah, on the early pi’s that is what we had to do to control our robots without a cable :) buy a compatible usb wifi dongle and you were off and running (well driving anyway). Of course that used one USB port.

      3. Watch out for some of the higher density drives. They can suck the juice. With my RPI-4s, I found that I had to stick with Samsung 500G T5s and T7s as the boot drive. Other SSDs would cause the RPIs to reboot, lockup, do funny things….. Of course you could plug in a powered USB 3.0 Hub and run your large drive from there. Always an option!

    4. At least the Pico and Pico W seem to be available. A lot of use-cases don’t require a full blown Linux OS running on board. At least for my projects. That said I am glad I bought quite a few RPI-4s, 3s, 2s, Compute, Zeros, Zero Ws when I could at the ‘normal’ pricing. I am still not ‘hurting’ for ‘want’ of an RPI. Knock on Wood!

      I’ll have to try DietPi sometime. PI OS server/workstation versions have been meeting my needs, so never ‘looked’ elsewhere.

    5. I picked up a Libre Computer “Le Potato” last week for $35. no scalpers, no backorders, just MSRP in-stock and shipped immediately. It’s got a quad-core 64-bit AML-S905X-CC SoC, eMMC support, HDMI 2.0, everything I could ask for. It doesn’t have on-board wifi, but USB dongles are cheap.

      I might never buy a Pi again.

  4. One of the nice features of DietPi is the variety of supported hardware types (RPi, ODROID, NanoPi, etc.) as well as the Native PC and Virtual Machines options.
    I use DietPi on different hardware types and also in VMs (VirtualBox, VMware, UTM) and also as a couple of Proxmox VMs resp. Containers.

    If you actually do not get a RPi, easily use one of the other supported types and have the identical usage (look&feel).
    Especially the Proxmox option helps me to overcome non available RPi hardwares for many applications. In addition, the computational power is perfectly scalable (CPU kernels, RAM size, disk space).

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.