Raspberry Pi OS 64-Bit Is Now Available: Improves App Compatibility

Get the most out of your hackable mini computer!

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After staying in beta for a very long time (From May 2020), the RPI Foundation announced Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit for all the Raspberry Pi models based on arm64.

You can try out the new releases starting with Raspberry Pi 3 to Raspberry Pi 4 and 400, all based on 64-bit Broadcom SoCs.

In the release post, Raspberry Pi’s Director of Software Engineering, Gordon Hollingworth, said, “We’ve come to realize that there are reasons to choose a 64-bit operating system over a 32-bit one. Compatibility is a key concern: many closed-source applications are only available for arm64, and open-source ones aren’t fully optimized for the armhf port.”

Adding to that, he said, “Beyond that, there are some performance benefits intrinsic to the A64 instruction set: today, these are most visible in benchmarks, but the assumption is that these will feed through into real-world application performance in the future.”

Gordon also said that while 32-bit pointers allowed addressing only 4GB of memory, this won’t be an issue in the 64-bit version as it can allocate the entire 8GB of memory. To previously allocate 8 gigs using the 32-bit RPI OS, the developers used the ARM Large Physical Address Extension (LPAE). Hence, as there are no longer any overheads needed in the 64-bit version, we may see a little improvement in the performance.

What are your thoughts about the Raspberry Pi OS? Have you driven it on your Raspberry Pi, or do you use other Raspberry Pi distros like Pop!_OS or Manjaro? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

We have a whole section full of articles dedicated to Raspberry Pi and its hacks; hence if you’re new to the platform, you might want to check it out.

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar is a passionate tech writer whose love for tech started in 2011 when he got a Dell Inspiron 5100. When he's not covering Linux and open-source, you'll find him binge-watching anime or Tech content on YouTube.