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Victoria Raspberry PiMakers And Others - Pi OS 64-bit presentation


In this presentation we will do a quick overview of the Raspberry Pi 64-bit development; discuss the pros and cons of the 64-bit Pi OS; and, then (re)introduce the Raspberry Pi Imager. At the end, we can noodle around on a demo machine and answer any questions.

Development History

  • 2016: Raspberry Pi 3 introduces the ARMv8-A architecture (encompassing the 64-bit AArch64 architecture and associated A64 instruction set).
  • May 2020: Pi OS 64-bit beta released.
  • Feb 2, 2022: Pi OS 64-bit released for the public.
  • Current: Pi OS 64-bit is based on Debian Bullseye.

Raspberry Pi 32- and 64-bit Support

Product Processor ARM core Debian/Raspbian ARMport (maximum) Architecturewidth
Raspberry Pi 1 BCM2835 ARM1176 arm6hf 32 bit
Raspberry Pi Zero BCM2835 ARM1176 arm6hf 32 bit
Raspberry Pi 2 BCM2836 Cortex-A7 armhf 32 bit
Raspberry Pi Zero 2 BCM2710 Cortex-A53 arm64 64 bit
Raspberry Pi 3 BCM28371 Cortex-A53 arm64 64 bit
Raspberry Pi 4 BCM2711 Cortex-A72 arm64 64 bit

Table adapted from:

1. The table in the "Raspberry Pi OS (64-bit)" article lists the Raspberry Pi 3 processor as the BCM2710. Elsewhere, including the documentation page, "Processors", and the product page, "Raspberry Pi 3 Model B", state that the Pi 3 uses the BCM2837 processor.

Pi OS 64-bit Features


The 32-bit operating systems are limited to addressing up to 4GB of memory. The Pi 4, running Pi OS 32-bit, uses the ARM Large Physical Address Extension (LPAE) to access up to 8GB of memory, where each process is limited to accessing 3GB. (The top 1GB of the virtual address space is reserved for the kernel). Pi OS 64-bit removes this limit.

Compatibility with software that is only available for arm64.

64-bit versions of applications, optimized for arm64, can run 5-30% faster.

Some 64-bit instructions are for energy efficiency.


The 64-bit version of Chromium, installed by default, has no version of the WidevineCDM. This means downgrading to the 32-bit version of Chromium in order to play streaming media such as Netflix or Disney+.

sudo apt install chromium-browser:armhf libwidevinecdm0

The Pi OS 64-bit still has hardware acceleration issues and that may slow down video playback.

Raspberry Pi Imager (Re)Introduction

Raspberry Pi has developed the Raspberry Pi Imager for writing a number of images to a microSD card. The main advantage of the Imager is the ability to customize the Raspberry Pi images with the hostname, enable SSH (password of key authentication), set the default username and password, configure Wi-Fi, and set locale. Other writers, such as Rufus, balenaEtcher, UNetbootin, and dd, only write the an image to removable media.

Questions / Raspberry Pi OS Demo

Ask any questions and we can discover the answers together using the demo Pi.

Demo Pi

  • Pi 4B (8GB)
  • Vanilla install, with SSH and RealVNC enabled.


Upgrade to the 64-bit Pi OS if you want to run software that's only available for the arm64 or takes advantage of the newer instruction set for performance or energy efficiency.

The 32-bit Pi OS is suitable for users that browse the web, check email, and edit documents with their Pi.

The 32-bit Pi OS is also maintained for backwards compatibility. That means a microSD card with the 32-bit Pi OS can, theoretically, be taken from a Pi 4 and run a Pi 1.

There are many other 64-bit OSes - available through the Raspberry Pi Imager or downloaded from the distro's website.

I will post my Pi setup and share the link, when I'm finished setting things up. This document will include SSH, VNC, ZSH, and other security and customization configs.

References (Alphabetical by Title)

Bullseye – the new version of Raspberry Pi OS:

Jeff Geerling - It's official: Raspberry Pi OS goes 64-bit:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B:

Raspberry Pi Documentation: Processors:

Raspberry Pi OS (64-bit):

Raspberry Pi OS:

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