Adafruit launches educational distro for Raspberry PI
Adafruit Industries has published a new Linux distribution called "Occidentalis" for hardware hacking and teaching electronics using the ARM-based Raspberry Pi mini-computer. Its developers say that they decided to create Occidentalis because Raspbian – a Debian-based distribution released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation last month – didn't include many of the tools and software components that most hardware hackers would need.
"Occidentalis" 0.1 includes updated firmware for the Raspberry Pi from developer Liam McLoughlin, also known as Hexxeh, and support for communicating with hardware using the Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) and the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocols. Bonjour support allows the device to appear on the network as raspberrypi.local making it quicker to find on a network.
The Bonjour support, along with sshd being enabled by default (with a default username and password of pi and raspberry), allows users to immediately ssh into the system on boot. The developers note that the ssh keys are generated on first boot and, of course, advise users to change the default sign-in credentials. 1-Wire (typically used for DS18B20 temperature sensors) is supported, and drivers for Wi-Fi adapters sold by Adafruit are included.
Also referred to as the "Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro", Occidentalis is named after rubus occidentalis, more commonly known as the black raspberry, and is derived from Rasbian "Wheezy" from 15 July. Further information about the distribution can be found in the provided documentation. Version 0.1 of Occidentalis is available to download as a 746MB ZIP file which contains an 3.96GB image for a 4GB or larger SD card.
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