The first Raspberry Pi is just bare circuit board for now but developers at Toronto’s Seneca College have worked hard to fit a Fedora image on to a 2GB SD card to boot the computer into a GUI, complete with a small suite of applications and admin tools.
The environment is fairly basic on one level – just a word processor, Firefox and support for several programming languages – and the team admits it has yet to hook the 2D graphics in the remix into the powerful graphics hardware on the Raspberry Pi.
As a video presentation explains, the hard work has been in recompiling the supplied apps to they could run natively on Fedora to meet the distribution’s strict requirements.
“It’s our hope that as more people get working with this device and contributing to the effort that we will see fairly rapid improvements in the user experience,” said Professor Chris Tyler of Seneca College.
Fedora on Raspberry Pi was only the beginning of what could be done with the platform, he said.
Set to launch next week, the Raspberry Pi started out as the brainchild of a small group of developers and UK games developer David Braben, who together despaired at the state of UK computer education in schools.
Their answer was to produce a cheap, simple computer that could help boot a new generation of coders into software and programming.
Pushing on an open door, the idea has galvanised interest with a small army of developers committing time to developing the hardware design and the crucial software.