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18 December 2012, 11:03

Pi Store opens doors

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Zoom The Pi Store as seen from the client on the Raspbian Linux distribution.
Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has opened the Pi Store, a "one stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi needs". The Pi Store comprises of a backend run by IndieCity and a desktop client which runs under X on the Raspbian Linux distribution; it can also be found online at

All but one of the twenty-four launch titles in the store are free to download and range include desktop applications such as LibreOffice and Asterisk, development tools (Pi3D along with sprite and audio packs), back issues of "The MagPi" e-magazine and a tutorial on writing games. A selections of games such as FreeCiv, Iridium Rising and OpenTTD are also available. The one commercial title, Storm in a Teacup costs £1.99 (with a 33% launch discount) and is a game that has previously been available on iOS.

As with other stores, users can leave comments or rate the entries and, for free applications, can "tip" developers. Applications can also have videos and screenshot collections, content ratings, category tags and recommendations or similar items; these are functions that are not normally available with a typical Linux software repository.

The client software is available in the latest Raspbian images that can be downloaded from the Foundation's website. If a user already has a Raspbian installation set up, they can add the store client using the following command:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pistore

It appears though, with the GPL and LGPL software listed in the store that the correctly displaying the licences has been overlooked. It seems that IndieCity's site, normally home to independent Windows software, requires that software be placed under one of their EULA licences which offer either restricted remixing of assets or are simply classic proprietary licences. One user noticed this anomaly and was told, via Liz Upton, that IndieCity were adding a new option to the site to "Specify your own licence" and will arrange for the current entries to be updated appropriately.

Interestingly, the store works around the issue which has caused problems for other app stores when distributing applications with a GPL or LGPL licence; the act of distributing requires the distributor to make source code available in some way. Eben Upton told The H that in fact, the store hosts no GPL or LGPL software. When a user selects an item of free software in the store to install, it actually triggers an apt-get request from the normal Raspbian repositories. The store is set up to filter out GPL software being hosted on the service, but the apt-get technique allows it to be listed alongside commercial software and be rated and reviewed in the same space.


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