The Raspberry Pi and Linux
The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost single board computer, created with the aim of supporting and promoting the teaching of computer science. One million units are projected to have shipped by the end of the year. I will detail the history of this charitable project before looking at progress to date and challenges for the future. The project has had great success at building and growing its development community, and we now have a community developed rebuild of Debian for armv6 with the hard floating point ABI (Raspbian). How is it we are able to attract so much interest?
I will discuss the various software challenges the Foundation and its volunteer developers have faced. These include working with proprietary graphics drivers, assembling a patch set suitable for mainline inclusion and accelerating common graphics toolkits. Finally I'll take a look at the weird, wacky and wonderful projects the community have come up with so far.
Besides being a PhD student at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, Alex acts as lead software developer for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In that role, he leads and co-ordinates software development efforts for the device including the production and distribution of the Foundation's official Linux SD card images. When studying for his PhD, Alex works with LLVM and Clang as part of his research in to compilation techniques for a novel many-core architecture.