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Raspberry Pi: How To Install Raspberry Pi 64bit OS

by Sys-Engineer
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As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve a RaspberryPi 4b 8GB which I’m using as my Home Server. This little device is capable enough to do the tasks which I want it to do and didn’t cost that much either. The first 2 releases of RPi had only a 32bit CPU architecture but since the release of RPi3 and 4, they have 64bit architecture as well. Meaning that they could run 64bits OS as well.

I used to have RPi2 so when I removed my micro-SD card and placed it in the brand new RPi4b it worked without any issue. The only “down side” was that I had Raspbian 32bit OS installed which has a 32bit kernel accompanied with 32bit user space. While the kernel sees and uses all 8GB, all the process are limited to 4GB max. Yes, this can work without any issues but I wanted to try things out and some of the things which I wanted to try out were only available in 64bits architecture. So it was time to install the 64bit OS.

64bit OS is still in beta?

Upon searching for the correct OS images I noticed that the 64bit OS is still in development and the Raspberry Pi team still recommends 32bits OS.

We still recommend the 32 bit operating system for all Pis at this time, although have decided it is now time to begin the move toward a 64bit OS. For the moment this is a ‘beta’ program, the OS is in heavy flux and its functionality is likely to change significantly over the next few months.

gsh: Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator

So when I saw this I thought, well since this is written in May 2020, perhaps they’ve moved and progressed already to a final version but nope. So far there are only 4 64bit OS releases and after reading the “Known Issues” I decided to give it a try. So far and I have been running my RPi for almost 3 weeks without any issues. However in case you should see / notice some issues, make sure to report it here.

How to install Raspberry Pi 64bit OS?

  1. Click here to get to the 64bit repository. At the moment of writing the latest release is from 25th of May 2021 and open the latest release.
  2. Download the latest image in zip file. The file is 1gb so have a few seconds of patience. (You don’t need to unpack the .zip file)
  3. In the mean time also download the “Raspberry Pi Imager” here and install it.
  4. Once both files are downloaded and Raspberry Pi Image is installed, grab any micro-SD card and insert it to your device.
  5. Run the Raspberry Pi Imager and click on “Choose OS” under Operating System
  6. From the dropdown menu select custom and load your image file.
  7. Click on “Storage” and chose your micro-SD
  8. Click on “Write” and you’re good to go.
  9. After you’re done, simply remove the micro-sd card from your device and boot up your RPi running the 64bt OS version!

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