Thursday 21 June 2012

Bringing RISC OS back to life

Picture courtesy of
There's a team hard at work to bring RISC OS to the Raspberry Pi. They've already got a pre-alpha version up and running, which can do vector graphics using Artworks. (Became Xara) Although most people remember the operating system from the early 1990's and associated it with Acorn. It has still continued to be developed by a loyal band of developers and has a non-profit license that enables people to try it for free, but profit-making companies are charged the princely sum of £20.

Furthermore it was designed to be run on specs far lower than the Raspberry Pi, so if it can be made truly native again without the need for too many services to be emulated, then it would run extremely fast.  From an educational point of view there's a large number of pros to using the OS:

1. Large number of educational applications already in existence
2. The best version of BBC Basic
3. A mature windowing system that is highly responsive
4. Excellent task management, which looks after every last KB and values every last scrap of memory.
5. Developed for ARM processors from the start.

Acorn who made RISC OS at the time was also the birthplace of many world-class inventions including the ARM chip, Sibelius, Artworks (Became Xara), Tomb Raider and ARM linux.

Bringing back a Super version of RISC OS would be a joy to behold!

Update: The RISC OS team have confirmed their attendance at the Cambridge Raspberryjam event!

About the Author: This Blog is being written by a shamelessly biased source who actually used to work for Acorn at the time the StrongARM came out.


  1. Where can I follow progress of the effort to get RISCOS onto the RPi?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Check the forum at

  2. You can always keep an eye on my Twitter account @eslweb or the Raspberry Pi forums