Raspberry Pi 4 Preview Release | Endless OS 3.7.7~beta1

We are happy to release a preview version of Endless OS on the Raspberry Pi 4!

This is released as a “preview version” due to some limitations in graphics performance and hardware support, as detailed below. Nonetheless, it includes all the usual Endless OS features supported on other platforms, along with a wide selection of applications. We look forward to improving our Raspberry Pi releases during the coming months.

As a preview release, we especially welcome community feedback on our forum regarding interest in using Endless OS on this hardware, particularly in which contexts these devices are used, what works well, and what needs to be improved.

Installation Instructions

This image requires the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with either 2GB RAM or 4GB RAM. While the OS may boot on the 1GB edition, we expect that it would work poorly with this limited amount of RAM. You will also need a SD card that can hold the uncompressed image you choose to install (16GB for the base image, 32GB for the English variant). For a better experience, we recommend using a fast SD card (Class 10 or faster).

Download the desired image from here (base image with few apps pre-installed, 2.27GB download, signature) or here (English variant with more apps pre-installed, 13.31GB download, signature) and follow the instructions below for the operating system that you are going to use to create the Endless OS SD card for the RPi4.

Please let us know on the forum if you encounter any difficulties during the installation.

Endless OS

To create the SD card from Endless OS, you can use the included GNOME Disks application. After downloading the image and connecting the SD card, launch GNOME Disks, select your SD card on the sidebar on the left, click the ☰ menu on the top-right, and select “Restore Disk Image…”. Choose the image you just downloaded and click “Start Restoring” and then “Restore”. This is very similar to the process of creating Endless USB sticks from Endless OS, described with screenshots on this article.

Windows

To create the SD card from Windows, we recommend using Rufus. If you don’t have it already installed on your computer, download the latest portable version from their website and launch it. After allowing it to make changes to your device (make sure the prompt says it is from a verified publisher, at the time of this writing it is published by Akeo Consulting), connect the SD card to your machine. Select your SD card under “Device”, and “Disk or ISO image” under “Boot selection” by clicking “SELECT”. Then find your image and click on “START”.

After the process is finished, close Rufus and safely remove your SD card.

Mac OS

To create the SD card from Mac OS we recommend using balenaEtcher, which can be downloaded from their website, and following a similar process to what is described in this article but making sure to select your SD card and the image you have downloaded from the links on these notes.

Apps Support

Most of the apps which are available in the App Center on other versions of Endless OS are also available on Raspberry Pi. Not all available apps have been tested on this device, so please report problems to us or to the apps’ developers. (As mentioned below, apps like games which make heavy use of graphics may perform badly in this preview release – this does not need to be reported.)

Hack

One of the great applications pre-installed on Endless OS on Raspberry Pi is Hack. Learn to code, explore tools for art, and discover craft projects through the Hack icon on the desktop.

Hack on Raspberry Pi should be considered a late alpha, as opposed to the early beta of Endless OS on Raspberry Pi in general. Applications currently run from ½ speed (for applications with low graphical demands) to approximately 1/100 speed (worst-case for applications with actual 3D rendering or video decoding demands). In general, graphically demanding applications are not recommended for use (see below in Hardware Support and Known Issues for a more detailed explanation).

Some Hack applications are unavailable on Raspberry Pi, due to the different architecture of the platform, so some or all activities in a pathway may be unavailable initially.

Hardware Support

As mentioned on the installation instructions, a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 4GB RAM is recommended for a better experience.

Most essential RPi4 hardware functions are supported, including the SD card, USB, HDMI display and audio, ethernet, 2.4GHz WiFi, and Bluetooth. Please note the limitations with the display and graphics support detailed below.

Known Issues

  • No display driver; a simple framebuffer is used, meaning that common display functionality is not available, including display hotplug, resolution changes, display rotation, etc. Please connect your HDMI display before powering on the device.
  • No hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, which means the graphical user experience is not fully smooth, and apps that make heavy use of graphics may perform badly.
  • No hardware-accelerated video decoding; videos may not play back smoothly.
  • HDMI audio only works on port 0 (not port 1), and analog audio is not supported yet.
  • The 5GHz WiFi frequency band is not available (but 2.4GHz is working).
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