Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi

SARPi Reviews of the Raspberry Pi

In this SARPi reviews section you'll find summaries of the various Raspberry Pi hardware versions and revisions which are supported by the SARPi Project, their suitability for running Slackware ARM, and any other opinions that may be relevant, or notable.

What is a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi (short: Pi, RPi, or RasPi) is an ultra-low-cost [$35] credit-card sized single-board computer which was conceived with the primary goal of teaching computer programming to children. It is developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who are a registered charity in the United Kingdom (UK). The foundation exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing. The first Raspberry Pi Model B (256MB RAM) was released on 29 February 2012, which was supplanted by an upgraded (512MB RAM) version on 04 October 2012. Basically, the Raspberry Pi is a miniature ARM-based PC which can be used for many of the tasks that a conventional desktop PC carries out, including spreadsheets, word-processing, games, and is also more than capable of playing High-Definition video. It's a very neat little box of tricks that's just oozing with potential! It's based around mobile phone technology and Rob Bishop said about the Raspberry Pi Model B, "In many ways this is a cellphone without the baseband, without a radio." during his Raspberry Pi Foundation - Google campus presentation on 01 October 2012. Since the initial launch of the Raspberry Pi, there has been a number of revised model updates/upgrades released. These ARM devices are expected to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world. (Read more).

Is Slackware ARM and the Raspberry Pi a good combination?

Running Slackware ARM on any Raspberry Pi is a match made in heaven. That's mainly down to the operating system rather than the hardware because Slackware, as a general rule, runs flawlessly on anything it's installed on. Obviously, Slackware ARM runs faster on a Raspberry Pi 4 than it does on a Raspberry Pi 1, but it doesn't care how fast it's going or how powerful the hardware is that's running it. Slackware ARM just does what it's designed to do on the RPis, and that's usually without any problem(s).

Raspberry Pi Reviews

Below is a list (in reverse chronological order) of available Raspberry Pi hardware versions, their initial release dates, and SARPi support status. Click the 'Hardware Version' links for further information.

Hardware Version Release Date SARPi Supported
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 24 June 2019 Yes
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ 14 Mar 2018 Yes
Raspberry Pi Zero W 28 Feb 2017 No
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 29 Feb 2016 Yes
Raspberry Pi Zero 26 Nov 2015 No
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B 02 Feb 2015 Yes
Raspberry Pi Model A+ 10 Nov 2014 Yes
Raspberry Pi Model B+ 14 July 2014 Yes
Raspberry Pi Model A 04 Feb 2013 Yes
Raspberry Pi Model B 15 Oct 2012 (512MB)
29 Feb 2012 (256MB)

The SARPi Project doesn't support the Raspberry Pi Zero [W] but Slackware ARM can still be installed and run on the device. There are members of the Slackware community who have gone to the time and trouble, and cost, of installing Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi Zero but we haven't. For a $5 computer that's advertised as 'A tiny Raspberry Pi that’s affordable enough for any project!', you might not be aware that initially the cable(s), adapter(s), and anything else that's required, can cost +3-4-5 times more than the device itself. The Raspberry Pi Zero [W] features the same SoC as the Raspberry Pi Model B. So, in essence, it's ARMv6 technology from 2012 which was considered 'old' in 2012! Compare that to the price of a Raspberry Pi 4, which has a much more powerful Cortex-A72 (ARMv8) 64-bit CPU and, at least, double the amount of RAM, which is LPDDR4 @ 2400MHz!

Updated: 25 Jun 2019 21:41:20