Second Release of Debian 6 for Raspberry Pi

As Raspberry Pi boards have started to ship this week, the Raspberry Pi foundation has also posted a new Debian 6.0 “squeeze” release to the downloads section of this week-end.

This release contains several performance enhancements, including enabling the 128K system L2 cache for the first time, and first-cut ALSA drivers.

Enabling the L2 cache will boost the ARM CPU performance, however, it may decrease the GPU performance. So this setup is ideal for headless server, but for other applications, for example a media player decoding 1080p30 videos, the performance might actually go down. This is still customizable, as the L2 cache can be enabled / disabled with enable_l2cache parameter in the config.txt file stored on the SD card.

The ALSA drivers are here for audio support, so audio output might not have been supported in the first release (TBC), except if they used another type of audio drivers (e.g. OSS).

Debian 6.0 for Raspberry Pi can be downloaded via BitTorrent ( or by direct HTTP download (

The login credentials have changed, with “pi” as the username and “raspberry” for the password.

It’s unlikely much has changed compared to the first release from an application perspective, but if you don’t have your hardware yet, you can also have fun with qemu instructions.

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I did not yet know this: says

‘Debian “squeeze” … is the image we recommend you use.’ and ‘Fedora 14 Remix. A little buggy, so for now we’re recommending beginners use Debian Squeeze.’

As a Ubuntu user, I prefer Debian over Fedora, so I’m glad with Raspi’s choice.


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