5 Things You Can’t Do With Raspberry Pi 2

Christian Cawley 24-02-2015

Fans of the Raspberry Pi were astonished to learn that a powerful new model is being released, an announcement that came just a couple of months after the Raspberry Pi Model A+ What Can You Do With The New Raspberry Pi A+? Curiously, this new Raspberry Pi doesn't feature any additional hardware. In fact, it has fewer ports. Just what are the Raspberry Pi Foundation up to? Read More and Model B+ The Raspberry Pi B+ Is Here. What's Changed? Read More flew off virtual shelves.


With a quad core CPU and boasts of being able to run Windows 10 Another New Raspberry Pi... and it Supports Windows 10 Read More , the Raspberry Pi 2 is the first genuine upgrade of the original board from 2012.

But is the Raspberry Pi 2 really all that? Has the surprise of Windows 10 somehow got in the way of the facts? Well, yes it has. In fact, despite the hype, there are a few things that you still can’t do with a Raspberry Pi 2. At least five, in fact.

It (Still) Won’t Run Most Software

As with other versions of the Raspberry Pi, the new version isn’t capable of running a large proportion of applications and tools available for Linux computers.

The reason? Well, it’s easy to forget, but the Raspberry Pi has an ARM processor, and this new version is no different. Other than a higher spec (900 Mhz and four cores) the CPU architecture means that applications written for a computer with an Intel x86 or x64 CPU simply won’t run without considerable reworking, a task many developers simply don’t have the time to do.

So while you’ll be able to run a certain amount of useful software on your Raspberry Pi, this is all compiled to run on a device with an ARM processor. The rest of the Linux application library is nevertheless closed to you.


You Can’t Photograph the Raspberry Pi 2 with a Flash!

Following the announcement of the Raspberry Pi 2, excitement turned into amusement when it transpired that the device is prone to one of the most unusual hardware bugs ever recorded.

Basically, it resets in the presence of a bright light.

Rather than being an amazingly compact and sophisticated example of an AI, the shutdown is due to the sensitivity of the U16 power supply chip. The bug was discovered by Peter Onion, as explained on the Raspberry Pi website.

Xenon flashes found on many smartphone cameras interfere with the chip because of the photoelectric effect, which results in electrons being emitted and interference with the activity of the transistors within the chip.


In most cases you probably won’t be photographing your Raspberry Pi 2, but as the previous versions of the little computer are one of the most widely snapped pieces of hardware around, there is a good chance that it will happen at some point. It’s worth pointing out that the device shutting down without warning can corrupt the SD card 3 Reasons Why Your Raspberry Pi Doesn't Work Properly I've been living with the Raspberry Pi for several months now, and have found this astonishing little computer to be even more amazing than expected. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Raspberry Pi is as fruity... Read More so we wouldn’t advise you do this to your Raspberry Pi 2 without having a contingency for your current project (like a cloned SD card Easily Clone Your SD Card For Trouble-free Raspberry Pi Computing Whether you have one SD card or several, one thing that you will need is the ability to back up your cards to avoid the problems that occur when your Raspberry Pi fails to boot. Read More ).

No More Retro Gaming Centre… (For Now)

One of the great uses for the Raspberry Pi’s original version is as the main component of a retro gaming system. While emulators will continue to run on the new model the most popular solution for retro gaming fans to get all of their game ROMs and images in one place isn’t currently an option.


Sadly, a new build is required for RetroPie to be compatible with the quad core processor found in the Raspberry Pi 2, so for now at least, you won’t be able to take advantage of the extra RAM to improve emulation of N64 and PSX games…


Hold On, That’s Not Windows 10… Is it?

Windows 10’s “compatibility” with the Raspberry Pi 2 has made a few headlines, but how accurate is it, really? Well, the headlines never tell the whole story, do they?

Microsoft are keen to support the maker community, which is why they’re providing this new version for the Raspberry Pi (and other hobby development boards), but it won’t be anything like the Windows 10 you see on a desktop PC. Instead, it will likely be a version of the ARM build of Windows 10, a successor to the tablet-based Windows 8 RT.


It’s also unlikely that there will be a GUI at all with this version, and will instead be purely a command-line OS. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but not quite the story sold in the headlines. Even with a GUI, the best anyone can expect is the ability to run apps intended for Windows RT or Windows Phone devices – not exactly a great selection of software.


Instead, Microsoft are hoping people will use languages widely used in its own applications to develop projects that might highlight new areas of development by the tech giant.

To find out more, it’s worth registering for the Windows for IoT Development program.

So, You Can’t Run Microsoft Office On It

With a more powerful Raspberry Pi 2 capable of running Windows 10, there is an obvious possible use for the new computer. With Windows 10 support, surely the low price can save IT budgets around the world, enabling organizations to spend money on easy to set up compact computers that cost a fraction of their desktop competitors?


As we’ve seen, there is no way standard Windows applications can run on the Raspberry Pi 2.

This shouldn’t put anyone off, though. Office suites that run on ARM are available, and the current Raspberry Pi computers are already capable of performing the basic office tasks of email and word processing Use Your Raspberry Pi Like a Desktop PC There are so many amazing things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi, from running your own space program to building a media centre. Although ostensibly intended as a compact computer that can be... Read More .

The key to this is in choosing the right office suite, and scaling hardware to the needs of the user.

Raspberry Pi 2: Evolution, Not Revolution

Obviously, these are the main problems with the Raspberry Pi 2, a computer that is the evolution of the fascinating and flexible device envisioned by Eben Upton Raspberry Pi's Father Speaks: Eben Upton On The Future of Technology And More Enthusiasm radiates from Eben Upton. He's the driving force behind the Raspberry Pi, that small computer that has been revolutionising hobbyist computing since its launch in 2012. Tall, and dressed casually, the founder of the... Read More . There is no doubt that the successor to the Raspberry Pi will prove to be hugely flexible, but it will continue to have its shortcomings, especially when it comes to tasks that are neither educational nor DIY projects.

What do you think? Have we covered everything you can’t do with the Raspberry Pi 2? Are we being unfair? Tell us in the comments.

Raspberry Pi 2 B picture by Iced tiger

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  1. Leo Kolezhuk
    February 28, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I described another project based on Raspberry Pi, a HOME SECURITY AND AUTOMATION SYSTEM:


  2. Peter
    January 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    The author of this article doesn't know what a Raspberry Pi is for. Most people will not use this as a personal computer but for DIY projects, which is what the device was meant to do. The author is also being too hard on the version of Windows 10 that is compatible with the device. The OS is more than capable for all major needs.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 26, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      "The author" wrote most of the posts on this site about thee Raspberry Pi, and knows exactly what it is for.

      This rather old article was written to challenge the incorrect media hype about the Pi 2 and the Windows support.

      You're reading it out of context.

  3. Amanda
    January 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I bought the pi 2 near it's date of release and with a few very simple tweaks was able to run retropie perfectly, in fact it was able to process n64 games at a ridiculously higher speed than the previous model.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 11:17 am

      IIRC there were problems with different emulator components rather than the retropie itself. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. developer
    December 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

    how to enable the camera in raspberry pi2 and i am running the board with android lolipop version

  5. Adeyfk
    December 11, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Newsflash: board designed for education and electronics projects, only capable of what it was designed for!

    Really? If i want to run X86 applications and have a nice GUI, I'll buy an X86 computer. Why, because that's what the software is designed for! Is your next post going to be; 5 Mac applications that won't run on an IBM mainframe?

    That said, I'm writing this on a RPI2, running Linaro LXDE lightweight desktop, using Libre Office. Then copied into here on Chromium.

    • Christian Cawley
      December 11, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Well said: the post was written in February when a lot of press (who should have known better) were hyperbolising the Pi2's possibilities. We debunked it.

  6. vadik_lyutiy
    November 27, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Regarding 1st point. You can run x86 software on Raspberry Pi with ExaGear Desktop.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks for sharing that. I imagine the results are better on the RPi 2.

  7. Anonymous
    September 22, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    The only reason I would install Windows on one my RPi, would be to see if C# works with the outputs. Be kind of neat, but not that big of a deal. Maybe also could watch Netflix with it, I couldn't get it to play in debian.

    OpenOffice does work on Raspberry, but is irrelevant with Google Docs. I used one as my "main" computer at work for quite a while. Did have problems accessing local network, but think was my fault.

  8. Anonymous
    July 16, 2015 at 12:04 am

    While i bow to your superior knowledge of the pi2, i would just like to point out a few things. First and foremost, its a project board and no one i know actually uses it to replace their desktop, it wont run office? not sure many people would have that function high on their list as most will aslo have an existing desktop for that kind of app. If i really wanted a small microsoft office compatible device i need look no further than a windows phone or tablet which again im sure many people own alongside the pi. I think your wrong about classic gaming and emulators as i have retropi running nearly all the emulators i need, so i think that statement is also wrong. Never taken a photo of my pi so that also may be a fact but really wont affect what people use it for. Lets face it, its made to experiment and learn and with mini desktops being as cheap as £119 from certain websites, not to mention tablets and phones that are more powerful than ever before i just dont see anyone looking at the pi2 and thinking, great, a small pc that solved my space problems. If you really want a VERY small, fully compatible, portable pc then this is not for you, shell out a bit more and buy an INTEL COMPUTE STICK or better still a Hannspree PC on a Stick, no wires, no power supply and with an Intel Atom Processor Z3735F 1.83 GHz and 2 gb of ram for just over £119 its a better choice.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Your alternative suggestions are great, lee, BUT you can run Open Office adequately on a Raspberry Pi should you need to. Case closed.

  9. Anonymous
    June 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Just a quick comment - Windows 10 does have a GUI on RPi2 - Check out Microsofts Developer page. But you are right, it will be a watered down version unlike the standard 'desktop' version.

    To someone who asked about a stronger alternative - you're looking at a $300+ single board computer - I like Advantech, although there are cheaper mfgs out there.

    To me, I don't see much use in a RPi outside of education and custom electronics projects (which is what I am using for). With that said, custom electronics projects covers a mighty wide swath of possible applications.

  10. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 2:50 am

    this ideal of my project: this is a device that wearable at the part of bind's head. i planned to use pi camera to inspect the environment for motions and object recognizing to allow a bind be aware what s happening in his place. like for ex. a blind can pass through in the road. i assumed that the traffic light is there, then the camera inspects if the sign is go (green) or red (stop) that tells a blind to avoid accident. in this case, our project would help to lessen the sacrifices of every blind people. i hope you understand my point.. and pls forgive my engish i dont

  11. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 2:41 am

    hi..may i ask something ? is the object detection can be convert into speech? i mean is it possible when the camera detects object then it automtically recognize and saying it by audio as what it is ? because i have a project in title of " audio navigator for blind impaired" anyone can help me, because my knowedge of making this is very limited.. pls ? thanks in advance Godbless you all

  12. whatin tefuk
    May 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    "Microsoft is"

  13. D Owen
    May 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    As the RP2 is still not quite capable of replacing a desktop PC, what would be the next best option? i.e. an alternative with a very low price tag and small size, but capable of running a full version of Windows and most of the basic Windows apps... ?

    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2015 at 12:14 am

      By the time you shell out for Pi2, case, power supply, hdmi lead, wifi ect ect you would be better off getting something like Hannspree PC on a Stick for around £120. Its a usb computer that running an Intel Atom @ 1.83ghz with 2mb cache and 2gb ram, has wifi, bluetooth and so on, touch screen compatible and many more features, comes fully loaded with windowd 8.1 pre installed which on its own is worth 60 quid. Something like this is a good alternative if you are looking for a VERY small mobile pc. Otherwise get a cheap windows tablet, most come with office and should get a free win 10 upgrade when available. Hope that helps.

  14. alex
    April 29, 2015 at 3:37 am

    But can't you use google docs?

  15. Barney
    April 27, 2015 at 3:40 am

    What a shoddy article, it's a shame it comes up in Google searches for Pi 2 projects.
    The entire goal of the Pi foundation is to use the device as a learning tool, it's great there's so many neat projects, but anyone saying this should be some mass market cheap PC replacment is missing the point.
    Also, still nothing concrete about Win 10 , even now end of April, except a possible July date for PC.

    • Christian Cawley
      May 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      You've completely missed the point of the article, which was a response to the OTT claims from tech news sites that the Pi 2 was some sort of wonder machine.

      They were the ones saying it should be a mass market PC replacement, not us.

  16. Dennis
    April 27, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Never shows up at $35 but for that price I can buy a Mk808B plus that comes in a case, has Android preloaded, more memory and has power and HDMI cables in the box. 99% of users will at much greater expense only build a Kodi/XBMC TV box that's already installed. A wireless mouse is all you need.

  17. lachlan
    April 7, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Debian maintains an ARMhf (v7) port so you can run the full Debian without needing Raspbian now.

    On top of that you can compile from source if you have something obscure you need to run so it opens up a lot more possibilities than the original which was just too slow to use.

  18. Mike
    April 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    With due respects to the author. I disagree with many of the points he made. I think that most people if not all, buy the Rpi to experiment with and to be creative. Such as making a retro game machine or to keep an eye on your child as they sleep. Just whatever you can come up with. I own an Rpi B+ I did not get it in hopes of replacing my AMD 8 core system or even my Mac. I got it so that I could learn how to be able to turn LEDs off and on, learn Python, make a weather station if I want to. The Rpi opens up a whole world of possibilities just limited by your imagination. Instead of trying to make it out to be something it's not, then criticize it, why not explain what it really is and all the neat stuff you CAN do with it!

  19. kamhagh
    April 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Yes, but remember raspberry pi is not meant to replace a desktop at all, its just and cortex-a board! and its for learning!
    I can easily make my rooms light switchable from the internet with pi and a relay! and many other things(personal web server with an Incredibly low power usage 1.5w vs 250w~ idle(my Desktop which uses around 500w when doing stuff and my PSU is 650 silver) don't look at it as a pc!

  20. levent
    March 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I’m using it as web server, mail server for my emails and acces point for my backyard it is on 24/7 I dont have to worry about electricity bill

    • kamhagh
      April 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      its funny if you compare the cost of a year of usage vs your computer or phone, still it can do so much! anyway its not just about costs but saving energy :)

  21. Shaun
    March 24, 2015 at 7:05 am

    I just ordered a Pi2 two weeks ago, and wasn't aware of the Windows 10 thing at all. I want it initially to replace a Microserver that I'm using as an HTPC.
    I plan to later tinker more with the Pi, but it's main use will be as a Media player connected to a server. I read here that H.264 is not supported on the Pi2. Is this correct? I plan to be using Xbian on the Pi though. Still waiting for delivery. Should be any day now.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 26, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      H.264 has been available on the Pi since mid 2012 - I'm not sure why you gathered otherwise from this post.

  22. Anonymous
    March 22, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I use windows computers with Office at work and thats more than plenty of that stuff. Raspi doesn't need Microsoft support. Let it be.

  23. Chief
    March 21, 2015 at 1:37 am

    I almost quit reading it after #1, completely untrue. Best not to lead off with a dud. Every device has it's purposes, lamenting because a device doesn't do something it was never designed to do isn't productive. As far as retropie - even if it hadn't of been updated already, you could still roll your own by installing an emulator yourself. Mute point, as retropie was updated pretty quickly, and you can always compile it from the latest source - takes about 10-12 hours on the pi 2, but works fine. If all someone is doing is installing pre-built os images on a raspberry pi to play a few games, they are missing out on one of the main purposes of this great learning tool. Best to break out of the shell and get their feet wet. BTW, not knowing how to compile in Linux is exactly why someone should jump in and do it . You can't learn if you avoid it, and learning is a major part of what the Raspberry Pi is all about.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      "I almost quit reading it after #1, completely untrue"


      "If all someone is doing is installing pre-built os images on a raspberry pi to play a few games, they are missing out on one of the main purposes of this great learning tool."

      Pretty much proves your own point wrong.

      People use the Pi in different ways. Some just flash, others roll. The device might have been envisioned as an educational tool (and certainly the tutorials we produce here, and the ones I'm involved with in Linux User & Developer are aimed at this) but the fact remains that a heck of a lot of owners of the Pi have grabbed it as a gadget that does various tasks using images and scripts written by other people.

      Overlooking this is odd; decrying it even odder.

  24. Simon
    March 18, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Seems to be a very negative interpretation of what is an amazing piece of hardware and software, I can't tell you how amazing the pi 2 (and indeed the original pi) is (are)!! It is better for this device to run Linux rather than Windows as in my experience Windows is un-reliable, crashes on a regular basis, and is expensive whereas Linux is absolutely rock solid in it's reliability and costs nothing so do I mind if it runs Windows.... absolutely not Linux is brilliant!!! And if you want to play games then probably best to buy a console lol??? :)

    • Christian Cawley
      March 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      There's nothing negative about it: the point of the post is to temper people getting over excited over the possibility of Windows, and establish just what the Pi 2 can do.

  25. Janardan
    March 8, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Very good article, Thanks. Avoid any disappointments after purchase. But still sets expectation clearly.

  26. Joe
    February 27, 2015 at 12:32 am

    "these are the main problems with the Raspberry Pi 2"

    Almost all these "problems" are software, not hardware. Developers simply need update their code for the new device.

    As for Windows 10 apps, Microsoft will only allow their developers to port/compile if they see profit potential.

  27. Michael Hoffman
    February 26, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    @AndrewB Linux can have major issues with x86 software. Just because you can target multiple CPU architectures doesn't mean that it will work on all of them. This was particularly obnoxious on 64 bit versions of Linux for a while, though I have had fewer problems with it recently, which is quite nice.

    Also compiling some stuff can be murderously difficult. Compiling the Linux Kernel is particularly difficult, but that shouldn't be on the list of things to do for anyone who is not using the raspberry pi for dev work.

    I'm honestly surprised by this article because I never though of someone using an RP for general computing. Is this common now? It's really nice if you want to work with distributed computing on a budget.

  28. afizzle
    February 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Your sort of missing the point of a Pi. It's a learning device at best a media center (let's not forget building things like camera and small RC car systems.

    It's not meant to replace a PC. Why you try to use it as such is beyond me. Microsoft Office? Can't take a flash photo of it? Really...?

  29. Andrew B
    February 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Raspbian has pretty much every package that is in Debian Linux, all compiled for the Pi, ready-to-download-and-install.

    Surely with all the other Pi articles on this site, you know this?

    And in general, in Linux, there is little to no no concept of "applications written for x86", because the GNU toolchain targets multiple CPU architectures. You know, like ARM, which that slightly popular version of Linux known as Android runs on...oh....several hundred million phones?

    This seems like a silly clickbait article with no useful content.

  30. rishi
    February 26, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Who the f@@@ cares or wants to use windows on the rpi.....thats upto companies and if they want to use it.....THe rpi is not made for being a utility....its made for academia and people like me who have used linux/bsd for a long time......why are u denigrating gaming on the rpi?
    the rpi is not competing with android or the ps4.....its a hobby project.....
    package maintainers do a lot of good work...and its upto them if they invest time along with devs ...for example..
    bring blender 3d on the pi..gimp already runs......
    the pi's biggest strength is cpu-gpu coding
    and in the future hsa code since arm is a member of hsa.....
    the creator of pi himself said to create an ideal multithreaded coding emvironment....not just cores but code that works parallelly across the cores...that is what the new pi is for.....otherwise those like wen i was in college i coundnt afford a pentium 4 but my parents would have paid for the pi...if it existed.. write ideal code for multicores u need to catch them young...and appeal to parents that they are not wasting money wen buying the pi.

    Till today proper code does not exist to use multicores ideal path or revised mexhanisms need to be developed which can only be done if u have resources like the ....rpi.

    • Martin
      March 31, 2015 at 2:40 am

      I'm rendering in blender right now on my pi :D who needs windows!

  31. Mr Fitz
    February 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    * writing (sorry)

  32. Mr Fitz
    February 25, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Not sure why you even bothered worrying this article. I don't think it serves any purpose. I think people who know about the RPI, know what to expect and so don't need someone to point out it's flaws. At least it would have been more constructive of you to word things more positively, e.g. It would have been nice if the RPI did this...

  33. Elijah
    February 25, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Saying it won't run most linux software is not even close to being right. There's a huge selection of pre-built packages out there that run on ARM and distros like debian fully support ARM. ARM is hardly new, raspberry pi 2 takes advantage of that. And saying it's considerable rework to make code run on ARM is also generally incorrect, most C/C++ applications simply need rebuilt and applications written in python/java/etc may need no change at all. In the few cases where a prebuilt package is not available, get the source and rebuild it yourself on the pi2 - it's not rocket science and far from being 'closed to you'.

  34. chippyash
    February 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Who cares about running Windows, in whatever version or variant? My RPi2 arrived last week and is now starting to power a whole greenhouse worth of automation. That's where the RPi wins for me; doing useful stuff, cheaply and simply.

    • James Bruce
      February 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      An awful lot of the press RPi has gained in the last few weeks has been over the (incorrect) assertion that it will run Windows 10. Everyone is talking about that. The RPi certainly has its strengths in small embedded applications - but run Windows 10 it does not.

  35. ben Sewell
    February 25, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Good for XBMC at the moment and low end tech. Webserver in a small box and potential thin terminal opportunities.

  36. bam
    February 25, 2015 at 1:25 am

    And it won't decode h265, holding it back as a cheap play-all media player in the future.

    The flash shutdown problem probably isn't that big a deal, I believe if you cover the chip it is fine. (Still an odd problem to have though)

  37. Bryan
    February 24, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Most smartphones have LED flashes, not xenon.

  38. Angel Blue01
    February 24, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Something important that it lacks: gigabit ethernet. A must have for a server.

    • Morgan
      February 26, 2015 at 4:14 am

      Depends on what you're serving. I'm using a Raspberry Pi B+ (the older, slower, single core model) to serve 24/7 surveillance video of my back porch so we can keep an eye on our dog when we're at work. Along with the video feed, it also serves some basic web pages.

      I've used that same Pi to display 1080p video from our media server onto a TV, with the stream coming over the Pi's ethernet port. It's more than capable of things like that.

      No, you won't be using the Pi or any other small ARM board as a datacenter server, that would make zero sense and that's not what it is made for. You'd have a datacenter class server with GigE or 10GbE ports for that. But you knew that, you just had to throw out a strawman (the Pi can't do X because it wasn't designed for it, therefore it suxx lol).

      To put it another way, my car can't fly because it doesn't have wings, but I don't let that bother me because I bought it to be a car, not to be an airplane.

  39. Andrew
    February 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    There is a version of Office for Windows 8 RT, so it is certainly possible that it or its successor will run on this Windows 10.

    • likefunbutnot
      February 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I am looking at Office 2013 on a Surface 2 right now. It does everything but run Office Add-ins and Macros (well, and there's no Access for WinRT). Is it even possible to get RT without a copy of Office 2013?

      Office also exists for Android and terrible fruit devices. For it to not continue to exist on Microsoft's home-grown platforms yet still run on its competitors would be a marketing disaster.

  40. Lucas
    February 24, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Actually #1 is wrong. Waaaay wrong. Linux applications are about compiling from source and you DON'T need to 'rework them', just complile for ARM. You can even do it on powerfull PC with x86 - just set target to ARM. This way - most of apps do work just fine. Look at debian, look at the vast repository for other ARM based routers, NAS devices...

    • H Romeo Pinto
      February 25, 2015 at 6:49 am

      Well said...and #1 is the one that really matters in my opinion.

    • Will Castillo (@WillCastillo)
      February 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      With all due respect, this article makes no sense at all. Seems to be written by somebody who knows nothing about RPis. We could debate every single point.

      You already desmounted #1.
      No Xenon flashes? Big deal. Cover the darn tiny chip causing the problem or use a flash diffuser (guess you have one if you use a xenon flash, right?).
      No retrogaming? Yeah, tell me son that what he's being doing since last weekend is an illusion.
      All about Windows 10 at this point are pure speculations but, who cares?
      No MS Office? Use LibreOffice! Again who *&(% cares? And who really knows? Speculations.

      This article left a lot to be desired.

    • James Bruce
      February 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Most people don't have the slightest idea how to compile linux software, and not everything is available in src format anyway.

      And Will - an awful lot of people care about it running Windows 10, and the press has gone crazy over that - just because you don't particularly care about running any kind of Windows doesn't mean no one else does

    • Morgan
      February 26, 2015 at 4:05 am

      @James Bruce:

      You don't have to "know how to compile Linux software". The only "Linux software" is the kernel itself. The rest is open source software that happens to run on GNU/Linux (the GNU userland + the Linux kernel = GNU/Linux). Since it's open source software, yes it can run on the Pi. The compilation is done by the package maintainers, and nearly all packages available for x86 (barring some drivers that wouldn't make sense on ARM) are available in the APT repositories for Raspbian.

      But hey, go ahead and keep spewing out random words to bolster a point you obviously know nothing about.

    • Jon
      March 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm


      Usually, I don't smash people over the head with technicalities. Especially when the technicalities are dubiously correct to begin with.

      As shocking as it may seem. The fact that the vast majority of systems running Linux also run a GNU userspace is completely, freaking, irrelevant. I'm tired of the "It's GNU/Linux you idiot" strawman.

      Pretend for a moment that I'm a person with more time than brain cells (you could point out here that this comparison is technically dimensionally incorrect, but oddly, nobody cares.) and that I wrote my own userspace. Kernel by Linus Torvalds, userspace by Joe's Barbecue Sauce and Software Design. The real problem is the kernel. A Windows Kernel running a GNU userspace would be able to (in theory) run windows applications. A Linux kernel with a Microsoft userspace (shudder) would not. Whatever userspace you choose, most people don’t have the slightest idea how to compile software for themselves.

      In fact, most people don't even know what a compiler is.

      Cross Compiling? I dare you to hangout at a grocery story until you meet someone who can describe that concept correctly.

      Maybe, the super technical elite are not the only ones who matter in the universe. If this is the case, then let me modify #1 to make it more clear.

      It (still) Won’t Run Most Software that people want to run.

      What do people want to run? Spotify, Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Portal 2, Photoshop, Maya, Dropbox. I don't care how hard you look, those applications are not in the Raspbian repositories. (Note here that there is no such thing as "APT repositories". Apt is a client, one of many, and that has nothing to do with the servers.)

      Go find a regular person. Someone with a life, preferably. Ask them what software they run. I'll bet you they'll list far more proprietary software than free software. Why? There is more proprietary software on earth, for one. And as proprietary software does not generally run on the pi, #1 stands even without my modifications.

      We are a community. You are focusing more on building yourself up by shoving everyone else down. Go back to where you came from and think very hard about what you intend to accomplish by making these posts.

    • Martin
      March 31, 2015 at 3:12 am


      I do see and understand the points you are making. However I think the Pi and most people who transition to it will be perfectly fine without windows programs. I for one (just got my first Pi 2 about a month ago) am perfectly fine with Banshee instead of iTunes, GIMP over Photoshop, chromium over chrome, Firefox as Firefox, libre Office over MS Office, I can go on and on. There is at least one easily accessible alternative which can be found and obtained by a simple "xxxx program alternative for xxxx OS" Google search. Of course I can only speak for myself, but I don't think most people are as tied to windows as you may think. Especially once they realize there is free software that's just as good if not better.

      Plus, who really was expecting it to run a full desktop version of windows 10... For free? Plus running Office or Photoshop as well? The Pi is as powerful as cell phones from a few years ago... With that in mind, probably Half of the computers sold today barely can run photoshop, let alone a $35 computer.

      Also, the reason most people run proprietary software has nothing to do with preference, choice or more of which, its simply because most people using windows and just humans in general (me included) don't think you can get anything worthwhile for free. We are conditioned to think $100 to use a piece of software is normal, and when you see "free" software you think its a scam, a virus or garbage software. Most people just don't know the alternatives exist until they are in a position where they can't use their typical programs, and go looking... then they probably are generally surprised like myself. Well,

    • me
      April 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

      JON :
      are you from a third world country were people dont learn what a compiler is? no shame in that but actually here in occidental europe kids learn this at what can be compared to " middle school" from USA.(not how to use it at that age but what it is and the purpose of it) so yes lots of people , specially those who might be interested in buying a raw device like that know what linux is and know what "to compile" means. Now of course if you ask some old ladies they have no clue but they dont give a f**** about raspberry in the first place. Besides all my friends, dumb as they are use Firefox because some dude told them to. all people I know or remotely know, or all users I have been helping ( Im among others thing helpdesk /hotline guy) use VLC and not windows media player though they can't barely use Word. You are like 15 years late . Things change.. Opensource is highly appreciated even among the #IknownothingaboutcomputerandImproudofit

  41. dwayne turner
    February 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    The more it evolves the bigger the share of the home computer market it will gain. It runs my home media center and it does that great for a 35.00 computer.

    • me
      April 6, 2015 at 10:18 am

      I cant see why everybody is telling PI2 cost 35 usd. it doesnt. it cost about 50 euros. (vat included).. if anyone can show a shop where it's sold 35 USD ..

  42. Russ
    February 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    RetroPie has a build out for the Pi 2 but the functionality isn't totally there yet. I am trying to push using them for digital signage use because of the low cost.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Good to know, thanks Russ!

    • Doug
      March 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Hey Russ I have looked at them as a digital signage. There is a program out there for them that will work but it sure is limited.

  43. Guy
    February 24, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Good article Christian, puts things back into perspective.

    RPi2 is still a nice improvement, but let's not get carried away thinking it can replace a laptop or desktop. Although...if most people only are in the Facebook/Email/Pinterest/Twitter crowd, then it possible could replace a laptop. As much as a Chromebook does, anyway.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      The more i think about it, the more I can see it being the low-end catch-all PC for homes and small businesses (perhaps even some larger ones on an ill-advised IT cost cutting exercise).

      Not sure whether to be happy or sad about that!

    • James Freeman
      March 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Its not supposed to be a high end micro pc its original purpose was to make computers more available to people who couldn't afford a computer hens the reason they made it a $35 computer. So no it can't run microsoft office but that's because that's not its intended purpose.