9 Best OS for Raspberry Pi 3 in 2024

Maybe you’ve recently acquired Raspberry Pi 3 – the mini type of micro-computers. So. you’ll need to install an operating system on your SD Card – for Raspberry Pi 3.

But first, you’ll require to download and install the NOOBS on your card to that it’ll be simple to install your operating system.

Therefore, in this guide, I’ve outlined the top OS (operating systems) you should consider for your Raspberry PI 3.

Reviews: 9 Best OS for Raspberry Pi 3 in 2024

1. Raspbian Raspberry PI 3 – With Pre-compiled Software

Use this image installation guide for Raspbian OS or just install it using NOOBS. Luckily. Raspbian OS has much pre-compiled software such as java, sonic pi, scratch, python. 

Raspbian OS is officially the best OS for your Raspberry PI 3. So, just install the Raspbian image on your SD card. Here’s how to install the Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi 3. 

Raspbian is your ultimate OS based on the Debian GNU or Linux, and it works great with Raspberry Pi 3 hardware like its armhf processor. Raspbian’s first build was in 2012 but has continued to improve its performance and stability.

Raspbian Pros 

  • Raspbian has more than 35,000 pre-compiled software packages, including email client and LibreOffice. 
  • It’s a Debian distribution OS that’s equally lightweight.
  • Works excellently with your Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi 4. 
  • Raspbian allows for easier troubleshooting and set up. 
  • Raspbian OS has greatly been reviewed, and there are numerous online guidelines to set up or troubleshoot the Raspberry Pi 3 operating system. 
  • Comes with the special version of Minecraft 

2. RISC OS Pi for Raspberry Pi 2, 3, & 4

RISC OS Pi was first launched in 1987, and it was designed by the same manufacture of an ARM microprocessor. Luckily, RISC OS is a swift and smooth raspberry Pi 3 operating system.

You can use the guide by Burngates’s RISC OS – for beginners. Castle Technology provides the RISC OS Pi free of charge for all the Raspberry Pi users.

RISC OS Pi is definitely a variant from your old-style Raspberry Pi 3 OS. First, RISC Pi OS ill work on its own. However, it won’t work on an electronic prototype, and its Linux build – but you’ll like its fantastic new-type build. 

RISC OS is an excellent software that’s easy to set-up, and it’s relevant to your newer model of your Raspberry Pi. However, you might require some clickable scroll wheel and the three-buttoned mouse. 

Luckily, RISC OS allows commercial applications in your Store app or free ones that include amazing software like Packman. Equally significant is that you can download RISC OS – allows manual installation or only using NOOBS to install the OS. 


  • It’s a Cambridge-designed OS and was the primary OS to work with ARM processors.
  • RISC Pi OS is founded on the BBC Micro-computer that has a highly responsive Universal Storage Platform (USP)
  • However, it needs an SD card at minimum 2GB to run RISC Pi OS 

3. Retro Pi – Built on EmulationStation & Raspbian 

Retro Pi is an excellent operating system for Raspberry pi, particularly if you love your games as much as I do. This Retro Pi platform allows you to play games on Raspberry Pi 3 while you’re relaxing.

Retro Pi is an excellent retro gaming OS based on Linux – and they’ll run on Debian or Raspbian to allow the launching of emulators and ROMs. 

It has slick user interfaces, and it’ll be easy to browse using your game controller. Retro Pi OS provides emulation for several old-age retro platforms. Notably, RecalBox comes as RetroPie’s operating system alternative. 

Retro Pi Pros

  • It’ll easily install on your Raspberry Pi 3 – you’ll wow at the fantastic gaming experience it’ll give you.
  • Retro Pi is designed on EmulationStation and Raspbian, and thus we won’t require knowledge or excessive expertise on
  • Completely transform your retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi 3

4. OSMC for Raspberry Pi 3 

OSMC is a short form for Open Source Media Center that’s an excellently feature-rich operating system for your Raspberry Pi. In fact, I would dare say that OSMC is very easy to use the Raspberry Pi operating system. 

It’s an excellent OS for people who are beginners with the media centers or even noobs in the technical or software-related fields. You’ll easily choose and play any media, check progress, or change its settings using the left-aligned menu. 

OSMC will support Kodi plug-ins that are Debian-based, which are great for Do-It-Your own raspberry pi project. Further, OSMC supports Samba Sharing, SSH, and FTP, among other types of platforms, to ease your raspberry pi operations.


I would encourage that you test your Raspberry Pi 3 OS with NOOBS. However, your choice of OS will depend on the Raspberry Pi project, stability, and ease of use.

However, I know that the market has projects that won’t require the use of NOOBS. So, choose wisely, either the ready-made of the OS we’ve outlined here that you’ll see and touch its inside.

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