Getting ready for launch: first root filesystem available for download

I need to start this post with a huge thank you to Webfusion, who have donated a server to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for downloads; and to Liam Fraser, who is administering it for us (at the same time as filming Raspberry Pi tutorials, doing exams and generally being a busy and fantastic volunteer).

Because we anticipate an awful lot of download traffic, we’re having to limit the number of direct HTTP downloads which are available so our shiny new server doesn’t fall over under the strain. We would strongly encourage you to torrent the images instead. After a certain number of HTTP downloads have been made, all the disc images you’ll download from us will only be available as torrents, so you’ll need to install a client like BitTorrent before you start so you can download the files. It goes without saying, but if you torrent the image, please help us out by seeding.

This disc image is not the one we expect people to be using as standard (that’s from Fedora, and has some other exciting stuff bundled with it, which we hope to be putting up over the next few days). It’s the Cambridge reference filesystem, which is a fully functional Debian Squeeze installation containing LXDE and Midori (browsers); development tools; and sample code for accessing the multimedia functionality on the device.

Head over to our new downloads page, and get downloading!

Edited to add: we’ve been really overwhelmed by the number of you who have so generously been offering to host download mirrors for us, so people don’t have to use a torrent client. Thank you all very much. If you are hosting a mirror, you can help us out by adding a link to – and it would also help us enormously if you could let us know how many downloads you’re seeing, which will help us gauge the sort of numbers we need to be looking at for future batches of the Raspberry Pi itself. You can email me via the contacts page.

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About liz

Liz volunteers full-time for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. She runs the community, does the Foundation's PR, stuffs envelopes with the stickers you buy, works with the press, takes the photos and videos you see here, and also wields a soldering iron in emergencies. Liz is also a food blogger, an award-winning freelance writer and a freelance editor. She has a background in educational publishing. Liz is responsible for all the They Might Be Giants lyrics which mysteriously found their way into Learning and Teaching Scotland's online material, and bakes a mean flapjack – you can read more about her at her blog,

216 thoughts on “Getting ready for launch: first root filesystem available for download

  1. Thanks for this download and thank you Webfusion for supplying the server!

    Currently mirroring the torrent to a 1Gbit-server to supply some more bandwidth.

  2. i’m waiting so i can d/l via http as i don’t have a bittorent client inside my dev vm but as soon as I can grab it i’ll post instrucutions on how to extract it and configure scratchbox2 in the dev vm to use it. Now everyone stop downloading it for a few minutes please :) and get off my lawn

  3. You know what would be an excellent way for a non-profit foundation like you to get this useful, free software in the hands of the users it’s intended for, without costing you a lot of (donated) money, that is better used for other, useful things? Thepiratebay. Also: megaupload. :)

  4. Last steps towards launching!
    I have two (quite off-topic) questions:
    - Do you plan to publish the schematics of the pcb?
    - Is it possible to use (when available in substantial quantities) T
    the RPI for commercial purposes unrelated to education? Or will there be any legal obstacle?

  5. Quick question before download – how big is the unzipped image? Does it require a specific SD card size to use? (e..g 2G) or will it work on any size?

  6. When providers cry about data usage, and servers run short of bandwidth… …the seeders come to the rescue and save the foundation!

    -Do your part and seed, seed, seed

    • No – it’s never been the release for purchase date. It’s the date the factory finishes production. Before we can sell them, we need to QA them and get them shipped out to distribution depots, so it’ll be some days after that.

  7. Hi Raspberry Pi Crew,

    I have a server available as a mirror if needed. I am willing to offer up some TB’s traffic to this project. The server is located in EvoSwitch (NL) and has a 1Gbit/s uplink. It can serve as both a seedbox as a HTTP mirror. Please let me know if your interested.

    Greetings from the Caribbean!

  8. sweet, i gotta grab the torrent, i will seed for at least a week after the rpi is released wish i could offer a http mirror, but as my server is not in a datacenter i think our router would melt (although i can offer my torrent tracker if you should ever want to use it)

  9. Wow, my download speed via torrent was ~180Mbit ;) now seeding. ratio is at 26.3. There seems to be much much interest in the raspberrypi.. hope they are not sold out when i want to order one.

  10. Thanks Liz & the team who put this image together.

    Currently seeding, so adding my bit to the spread of this file (I don’t want your shiny new Webfusion server to melt).

    Could someone please put together a quick how-to on the best way to get this image onto an SD card? Is it best to do it through my Debian VM? Or is there a simpler way to do it through Windows?

    I have an 8Gb Samsung SD card and a reader.

  11. Just wanted to say “be careful” with third-party mirrors. I haven’t checked any of the mirrors, but the files might be corrupt, either because a bad guy added malware, or because some volunteering guy who wants to offer a mirror had his own computer infected. The file has 835830118 bytes (797.1MiB) after I got it from the torrent. If you want to make sure you got the official release, check the downloads page for the SHA1 sum. On Linux/Unix, you can use the command line tool “sha1sum” like this:
    $ sha1sum

    and it should print this:

    • If you download on Mac OS use:
      $ openssl sha1
      to verify your file.

      should return:
      SHA1( = 4bf7a47151ab6f1835be53ec99d8d750861213d4

      • To discover where your SD card is (I am using Ubuntu 11.10)
        plug your SD card into your computer
        enter terminal
        sudo fdisk -l
        This will display info on all the disks mounted on your computer
        Your SD card will be identified something like this:

        Disk /dev/xxxxxx: 3980 MB, 3900394496 bytes

        xxxxxx is the name of your SD card, the size is dependent on your SD card size.

  12. I downloaded the file using bit torrent and while the sha1 sum for the zip file itself matched the one posted on the download link (leading me conclude that the file downloaded properly), the unzipped img file debian6-17-02-2012.img with it’s accompanying sha1 check file debian6-17-02-2012.img.sha1
    don’t match with each other. I thought you might want to know that you zipped up an image with a non-matching check file so that you can correct this issue in the future. (I am sending you this to help reduce your support efforts.) Thanks for posting the image I am sure it is correct, but I am equally sure that you will get questions about this mismatched check file as well. Take Care, Barry Mead

    • Hi Barry.

      It all looks good from the file I have. I used the command ‘unzip’ and then ‘sha1sum’ to verify the .img file and get identical results. File was compressed using ‘zip’.

      It’s odd that you got a missmatch. Would like to hear more on this.



    • The difference is because the sha1 checksum posted on the download page is for the zip file, The sha1 checksum for the img file is for the unzipped version, that is, the img file that’s inside the zip file, or debian6-17-02-2012.img. I just checked, and each checksum matches its respective zip and img version of the file.

    • It looks like the sum provided in the zip file is of the .img file only. The sum provided on the downloads page is of the entire zip archive. Under this assumption, I ran the check both ways. Both sums checked out.

  13. Well done all, and thanks. the first of many I hope.

    However, I’ve downloaded the torrent, and it is now seeding, but I can’t get it to work.
    I loaded it onto an SD card, took the hard disk out of my PC and rebooted. Nothing happened! ;)

  14. You advocate the use of dd in deployment, but that is slow as hell unless you pass whole bunch of parameters to increase the read/write byte count.

    Nope, I just cat that turkey:

    cat foo > /dev/sdx

    is glorious

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  16. This shows the real power of torrents. They are not just about sharing the latest X-Men movie. Can’t wait for the release of the ‘little computer that could’

  17. /opt/vc is an interesting directory. no config.txt in the FAT partition so I assume we’ll need to d/l a new rootfs or drop that file in once it’s finalized?

    • Thank you! Much appreciated :-)
      I didn’t realize Comcast was blocking torrents until someone else mentioned it. Explains why nothing happened for half an hour…

  18. What is the purpose of this? It’s not what you plan on shipping with the Pi, and it’s not what you expect users to use. So, why? Just to waste a lot of bandwidth?

  19. Pingback: Getting ready for launch: first root filesystem available for download | Raspberry Pi | Raspberry Pi |

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    • Ha, much more seeders than leechers:

      Seeders: 1064
      Leechers: 81
      Downloads: 2365

      So leechers will have more than enough download speed … bittorrent FTW!

  22. To anyone using a mirror: For the love of god, checksum your image.

    To Liz: Please please please put checksums of the official files in the body of the post, because the downloads page has been periodically inaccessible, and a lot of people are using untrusted 3rd party mirrors from the comments.

    Also, totally could have launched with just an official torrent, and one dude on a consumer-grade home connection seeding. This has the level of popularity to make that work. You get that massive seed explosion when you’ve seeded your first copy (because everyone’s clients have been swapping pieces the whole time they’re waiting for attention from the seed) and then it just feeds on itself.

    Within an hour it would have had 20 GB/s worth of seeds.

  23. Well done and thanks to all involved. Have ‘Torrented’ it and seeded (I think) – there seems to be some upload activity (I haven’t a clue about Torrent)

  24. just a suggestion, but I’ve just re-compressed with 7zip and it’s 618MB instead of 816MB.
    I know 7zip may not be Linux compatible, but maybe there is something better than zip?

  25. Can I just point out that bit torrents are a real major problem for those of us whose ISP’s routinely block or strangle Bit Torrent Data rates. Virginmedia are reknown for doing this! If I use HTTP I get 30 megabits – but using bit torrent I am lucky if I get a few kilobits. Sometimes it simply stops and wont continue.

    I have a client but it simply doesn’t work in any reasonable speed and I have been told by Virgin that this is a deliberate policy to discourage bit torrent. So your decision to restrict HTTP effectively means that those of us on Virgin may be unable to download.

    Please can you reconsider this decision fairly urgently. There must be some way that this vital software can be provided to those of us for who torrents are not viable.

    • Well, it’s not vital until the board comes out…

      We have limited HTTP bandwidth and have to make decisions like this. There are mirrors that others have put up you can try. If you have a problem with your ISP throttling torrent, you unfortunately have a problem with your ISP throttling torrent. Which isn’t helpful I’m afraid, but that’s really where the problem lies.

    • I’m on Virginmedia 10M and I downloaded it within a reasonable time via bit torrent no problems. Its now happily seeding.
      I’ve never had many issues with downloading an viginmedia except when I go over my limits during the core hours.

    • And thank you for your vote of pessimism.

      With a 10k first batch, I would guess that appropriately 10k people will get one. That’s still 10k people. And the next batch will follow in very short order.

      • Im sorry that you SAS it like a negative tone, but I would call it beeing realistic. Just saying that with all the attention Rpi has gotten (dammit, i have ppl fron the economics departement asking about it!!) it’s better be prepared than getting dissapointed on the releasedate :)

        • I don’t think the Foundation wants to put itself in a position where they are gambling millions of dollars into a potential product that has sold a grand total of 10 units so far.

          It is the volunteers’ private money that is being used to purchase the units. Would you take a second mortgage on your house to finance the purchase of 100k units? (Actually a second mortgage wouldn’t even be enough) There is no bank nor institute in this world that would lend millions of dollars to a business/charity that has had no significant commercial success yet.

          The Foundations KNOWS this as they’ve talked about it more than anyone imagines. This is the sole reason they’re using their private money to begin with. Enthusiastic posts on an internet blog or forum don’t convince the bank to invest bucketloads

          10,000 units will be plenty to assure the financial success. Keep in mind that’s over 250,000$ worth of private money being used. I don’t know anyone that has such amounts of money nor do I know anyone that would enjoy spending that much money without assurance they’ll get it back. If it turns out the 10k units don’t sell quite as good, someone will have lost a lot of money

          • I’ve used gobs of AVR’s, the very nice ST Microelectronics ARM Discovery boards, LeafLabs ARM boards, an IGEPv2 and a few Intel Atom embedded class motherboards for projects.
            I’ve never seen this level of excitement over any embedded computer.
            They will sell like hotcakes.
            If they are fast enough to do native ARM compiling on-board, they will continue to sell like hotcakes for a long time.

  26. Any chance of an archive of just the binary blob, for those of us who already have built a custom rootfs and kernel. Bit a bind to have to download c. 800MB (compressed) for 24MB (uncompressed).

    btw. qemu-nbd (on Linux) is a good tool for extracting / investigating the partitions, saves all that messing around with image offsets.

    # the max_part bit can be set in a /etc/modprobe.d/ file
    $ modprobe nbd nbd max_part=8
    $ sudo qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 debian6-17-02-2012.img # associate image with device
    $ sudo mount /dev/nbd0p1 /mnt/b # mount rpi boot
    $ sudo mount /dev/nbd0p2 /mnt/r # mount rpi root
    $ sudo umount /dev/nbd0pX
    $ sudo qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd0 # remove nbd from image

  27. Hate to be the bad guy here, but… do you really think the actual targets users of Raspberry Pi can do this? SOME nerdy kids will be able to do it, but I thought this computer was supposed to expand the number of people who are exposed to programming. In its present form, this presents a barrier to adoption. It causes a delay, frustration, and possibly an insurmountable obstacle. Heck, some teachers aren’t going to be able to do this for themselves. Sad but true, I know. So, are we going to have an ivory-tower computer that only geeks can get up and running? That’s a shame and a missed opportunity. Has any user testing actually been conducted to see if ordinary folks can follow the impenetrable ‘alphabet soup’ of instructions? (Maybe the real instructions are better than the advice posted here in the comments section, much of which is specialist jargon that will do nothing to make Raspberry Pi accessible to a casual user.)

    • You may be missing the point about an initial developer batch vice the later consumer edition.

      I suspect that post launch, there will be a significant number of aggrieved / confused purchasers who expected their $35 computer to be a bit more than a bare board, and those non-techie types without a well stocked “draw of bits” will feel hard one to have to fork out another $35 for all the other bits (SD Card, (powered) USB hub, HDMI cable etc.

      • As soon as the boards start arriving, there are going to be loads on eBay with “warning: does not play Call of Duty” in the text. That’s an interesting proof that the RPi is a worthwhile project; too many people have no idea how it is different from a PC.
        This is the fastest torrent I have ever seen. I’m only on ADSL here, but I’ll leave the seed up at least until I hit a 1:1 ratio and probably after; nice Zen Internet don’t cap upload data. ;-)

    • They’ve explained in a few different blog posts that things will be packaged up for when they do the educational release. Instructions, some educational materials, a case, and probably a preloaded SD card.
      So yes, the raspberry pi is going to hang out in the ivory tower while the X-Mansion is still being built.

  28. Wow! more than 1300 seeders the second day. seeders on this torrent may give you an idea on how much people will make an order for the Raspberry the first hours it comes on sale! ;)

    • I stayed up last night watching in amazement at my download speed climbing after and faster, since I’m out in the sticks on plain old ADSL it’s great to see a torrent working like it should. I saw the seed count get up to 1000 and decided to get some sleep. I’ve been seeding throughout the night, and will continue for several days—my ISP doesn’t seem to be able to measure how much data I use. Impressed to see we are over 1500 seeds at 11:42am today.

    • If they open the store at the same time (4am for me) they uploaded this image, I can say goodbye to my R-Pi in the first batch. I’ll have to wait a few more weeks or maybe by another development board to keep me busy while I wait for the next batch.

    • I wonder how many times this was downloaded (adding the tracker and all the mirror logs/statistics) … lol mirrors are so 1990 … there are currently 1861+ seeds (“mirrors”) on the bittorrent.

  29. I am so glad to see software, further proof – if any was needed – to naysayers that the RPi is not vapourware. I am downloading this release by torrent now, and will be downloading all future releases. I will seed this for at least 2 weeks after the boards are on sale and minimum 7 days for each subsequant release to make sure it gets out to as many people that need it.

    Thanks Liz, JamesH, Eben et al!

  30. Woah, It is a long time since I seeded a torrent. But right now, I give you my upload :) Everyone should get this…

    I also have an Website and you could maybe create a script, where you can submit mirriors, that everyone can mirror the Image on their server.

    I think that many persons would mirror the images ;) Then no one needed to download a torrent-client… ;)

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  32. Please add RSS feed for downloads so i can help seed without having to notice the download has been uploaded.

    Roll on ArchLinux thats what i really want \o/ oh and the R-PI to run it on ofc

  33. I haven’t got a Server to donate but will be seeding any images I get 24/7 till the end of the World or Hell freezing over, which ever comes first.

  34. Used the .img to make a .vdi using a convertdd debian.img debian.vdi which worked fine. Tried to use the virtual disk in Virtualbox but it just hangs. Any one have any experience with using a converted .vdi

    • VirtualBox is virtualization. The RaspberryPi is an Arm Processor so you will need use QEMU. QEMU will emulate the Arm Processor.

  35. Well, i’ve only got 10m up to offer, but it’s feeding the torrents as we speak (uh… type?) I’ll leave it up as long as I can!

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  37. Getting quite excited now! I believe I’m currently seeding, which is the first time for that. I just ‘stopped’ playing around with computers years ago, I’m going to enjoy this!

  38. I understand RaspberryPi to be an effort to make computing more available not just nerds but also common people. who may not be into things like ‘dd’ and other mysteries around it.

    Therefore I strongly suggest to be totally explicit about how things are to be done! No implicit background knowledge should be required!

    On the download page linked by this article I have noticed two locations where such information is incomplete and not explicitly provided!

    * First of all, please don’t say “suitable SD card” but mention explicitly what kind of card, having what capacity is required! Simple, it should be sufficient for the interested reader to get all necessary information to order it or buy at a local store.

    * Second, it is totally insufficient and somehow not suitable for this project just to mention a unix tool like ‘dd’ without giving proper and complete information how to use it. You should always provide a complete and working example along with it.

    Please be always considered that RaspberryPi is not just for nerds like you!
    Please be kind to the rest of the world!
    Please make RaspberryPi an awesome project just be little different than one of those many other nerdy open whatever projects.

    Thank You! No offence!

    • Disappointing, isn’t it? Apparently we have to wait for a ‘proper’ release, later, before kids can get to grips with the ‘Pi’. The danger is that any goodwill and positive press coverage will be a thing of the past before the ‘Pi’ shows up in the classroom. There is a short window of opportunity here, and then we’re into the summer holidays. Is that educators’ manual (or students’ manual) being written?

      • @AskAboutZenu.

        Sorry, but why are you so disapointed? You have made assumptions that are not correct , you have no idea what is or isn’t being written, and you are somehow disapointed? Can I suggest that instead of jumping to conclusions and being unremittingly pessimistic, you actually read up posts of the forums,and try to understand what is going on?

        To help you. This rootfs release is basically aimed at nerd’s, its to give people a head start on getting the initial batch of Pi’s up and running. The foundation has ALWAYS said these initial batches are expected to sell mainly to the hacker side of the community rather than the educational side – this is to ensure that the educational side DOES get the sort of documentation that is needed. This documentation is largely going to come from the early adopters (but not exclusively – there is professional stuff underway as well).

        As someone else has said, a full blown educational release, with all the required information is due around Q3 – which has always been the case as stated by the Foundation.

        Also, note that this isn’t the final rootfs, that will be a Fedora release, which will be more fully documented. Meanwhile, this release give the nerds something to play with before they even get the hardware.,

    • This is exactly what will happen, in time.

      The whole operation is being run by a very small team, who have other more important things to be doing at the moment. They’re concentrating on getting the manufacturing and distribution sorted. Once that’s up and running they’ll have more time to dedicate to the educational side.

      And the idea is that the community of nerds can contribute to the documentation for non-nerds, but the nerds don’t have their boards yet!

  39. Will all the information that will be realised on the 2nd batch, you think people who buy the cards in the first batch will later be able to buy the 2nd batch’s case and educatinal stuff?

  40. Great seeding, even better than ubuntu releases. I will continue to seed for as long as I can but unable to upload a great speeds. I am a little excited to get one of these Raspberry Pi computers to play around with and see what I can learn to do with it. I just want to have some fun trying something new. It’s not much more than an average paperback book yet has the potential to be a lot more informative and entertaining.

  41. In Canada, our ISP’s do not like anyone residential “Providing Content” as in any virtual servers or using torrents. This may lead to disconnection of Internet service. A direct link is very much welcome! I don’t know if any other Countries may impose the same laws or not. Please update Downloads page for Direct links please.

  42. just downloaded the filesystem, so psyched!
    Its an sd card image with 3 partitions copying out the root filesystem can be done with dd.
    dd if=debian6-17-02-2012.img of=pifs.img bs=512 skip=157696 count=3256320
    mount -o loop pifs.img /mnt

    you could also just mount the root filesystem directly.

    LOOP=$(losetup -f)
    losetup -o $((157696*512)) /path/to/debian6-17-02-2012.img $LOOP
    mount $LOOP /mnt

    btw, the zipped image could have been ~200-250 MB smaller if you ran “aptitude clean && dd if=/dev/zero of=bigfile; rm bigfile” before zipping. Thanks though.

  43. Tips for the maintainers of the image:
    * remove NFS mounting settings from /etc/fstab and the scripts related to NFS
    * remove things related to user “ubuntu” as it has been removed
    * it would have been nice for “pi” to have GID 1000
    * clean configuration backups (/etc/ has some “filename~”)
    * clean /etc/hosts from unwanted host names
    * clean / from those personal folders. I think you have made mistake by starting X while the user home directory was “/”.

    This is what I have noticed on my first look.

  44. Pi is gonna be sweet
    I’m dling 350KBps on my NAS wit torrent client and uploading 150KBps
    So i will be more than generous to seed while i sleep. BTW Att DSL SUCKS

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