Raspberry Pi gets new installation system
Source: Raspberry Pi A new installation system for the Raspberry Pi that allows users to experiment more easily with different Linux systems on the device has been released. Called NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software), the software installs onto a 4GB or larger SD card and offers a choice of operating systems to install on first boot.
That selection of operating systems is already on the card so NOOBS doesn't need to be connected to the internet to download OS images. The current version comes with Raspbian, Pidora and two versions of the XBMC media centre software. Once selected, NOOBS runs the installer for that operating system into the free space on the card and reboots into the fresh installation. NOOBS is ideal for users who want to tinker with different operating systems on the card but also want a quick way to restore the installation to a pristine OS. NOOBS can be called up by holding down the shift key during boot. The NOOBS environment also has an editor for the currently installed operating system's config.txt and the Arora web browser to allow users to consult resources on the internet.
The Foundation is working with its partners to offer NOOBS-enabled cards with Raspberry Pis in the near future. Users who want to try it now will find it on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's download page as a ZIP file; instructions how to copy that ZIP file onto an SD card for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are available. Source code and an issue tracker can be found on the NOOBS GitHub page, which also has instructions how to build, or rebuild, your own customised NOOBS image. NOOBS code is published under an MIT licence.