4 best Raspberry Pi Server OS You Can Use

Raspberry Pi Server OS

Raspberry Pi is actually an indispensable single-board computer that basically comes in handy for a lot of work. Don’t you believe me? Just go through this list of Raspberry Pi projects in order to get a gist of what this tiny device is capable of. Considering how useful a Raspberry Pi actually is – it is an important task to select the right operating system for it actually. Of course, you guys can also do a lot of things with Linux. But, an OS specially configured for a specific purpose can save you considerable time and effort. In this article, we are going to talk about 4 best Raspberry Pi Server OS You Can Use.

4 best Raspberry Pi Server OS You Can Use

Are you guys looking for a Linux server distribution in order to run on your Raspberry Pi? Can’t figure out what distribution to have to use? We can help! Follow along with this list as we talk about the 4 best Raspberry Pi server distros as well!

Raspberry Pi OS Lite

Raspberry Pi OS is actually the official Raspberry Pi foundation operating system. It basically comes with a desktop and many useful applications. The “Lite” version of the OS is slimmed-down and also comes along with a terminal console interface rather than a Desktop environment. Raspberry Pi OS is Debian. So it is perfect for running because a server OS on the Raspberry Pi and supports all Raspberry Pi server applications. That also run on Debian ARM. Even OpenMediaVault!

Notable Features

  • Raspberry Pi OS Lite is maintained directly via the Raspberry Pi foundation, so there will always be new improvements and features in order to look forward to.
  • The “Lite” release of Raspberry Pi OS is actually the basis for most server apps on the Pi platform, and hence 99% of server apps will also run perfectly on it.
  • It is incredibly easy in order to set up, thanks to the official Raspberry Pi imager tool.

Downloading Raspberry Pi OS Lite

Downloading Raspberry Pi OS Lite is unnecessary, because the official Pi Imager app takes care of each and everything. In order to install the imager, ensure you have Snap package support on your Linux PC. Then, enter the command below in order to install it.

sudo snap install rpi-imager

If you guys do not use Snap packages, click here in order to find other ways to install the imager.

Installing Raspberry Pi OS Lite on the Pi

In order to install Raspberry Pi OS Lite on your Pi, do the following. First, open the Raspberry Pi imager on your computer. Whenever the imager is open, choose the “CHOOSE OS” button.

Inside “CHOOSE OS,” just choose Raspberry Pi OS (other) in the menu. After that, you have to select “Raspberry Pi OS Lite (32-bit)” from the list. In order to download and install the OS to the Pi SD card.

Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server is actually one of the best Raspberry Pi server distributions out there. It supports the Snap package system, that actually comes loaded with tons of pre-configured server applications. It also advantages from Canonical, the corporation behind Ubuntu. Making sure that the OS gets regular software patches and broad support for a variety of server applications. Such as Plex, Docker, NextCloud, Apache, Nginx, and the list goes on.

Notable Features

  • It supports for Snap packages, that contain many pre-configured, easy-to-set-up server applications.
  • Ubuntu is actually based on Debian, so Ubuntu Server users on Pi will also use software intended for Raspberry Pi OS/Raspbian as well.
  • The company behind Ubuntu handles regular software updates, so the OS will never really go stagnant.

Download Ubuntu Server

In order to get your hands on Ubuntu Server for Raspberry Pi, head over to’s RPI page. When there, just choose the Pi device you use, and download the server OS image. They also have support for Pi 2, Pi 3, and Pi 4.

Install Ubuntu Server on the Pi

In order to install Ubuntu Server on the Raspberry Pi, do the following. First, make sure that you have a fast SD card to use at least 16 GB in size. Then, just download the Etcher USB or SD tool.

After downloading Etcher, open up the app, and choose the “Flash from file” button, and then choose the Ubuntu Server image. Then, tap on the “Select target” button in order to select your SD card.

When you’ve chosen your SD card, then just choose the “Flash!” button in order to install Ubuntu Server onto the Pi’s SD card.


DietPi is actually a slimmed-down, minimal release of Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian). It is ideal for those who really have an older Raspberry Pi device, however, still want a full-featured Linux experience, and hence it makes an excellent Pi server distribution. Best of all, it is fully functional and comes along with each and everything you’d expect with Raspberry Pi OS/Raspbian but much lower on system resources.

Notable Features

  • It is actually a slimmed-down, more efficient version of the existing Raspberry Pi OS and also has the same software support and features.
  • It runs on minimal system resources, that makes it perfect for those using older Pi devices.

Download DietPi

In order to download DietPi, head over to their website. When on the website, scroll down and choose “Raspberry Pi” from the list of devices. After choosing your device, download links will appear. Tap on the download link in order to download your OS.

Install DietPi on the Pi

In order to install DietPi on the Pi, do the following. First, you have to download the Etcher USB/SD card flashing utility, install it, and open it on your computer. When the app is launched, look for the “Flash from file” button, choose it, and then select the DietPi image.

After choosing the DietPi image, tap n the “Select target” button, and choose your SD card. Then, tap on “Flash!” in order to install the image to the Pi’s SD card.


OpenMediaVault is actually a turn-key Raspbian-based Linux distribution that permits users to create a NAS (network-attached storage) server along with a web UI. It is incredibly easy to use and works great on the Raspberry Pi 4 and also older models. As the distro is built upon Raspbian, users also advantages from running traditional Pi server apps supported in the community (Plex, Docker, and also many others).

Notable Features

  • It permits users to quickly and easily set up even the most advanced Linux server operations along with an excellent web GUI.
  • Built on Raspberry Pi’s version of Debian, it also supports each and everything Raspberry Pi OS does.

Download OpenMediaVault

In order to get your hands on OpenMediaVault for Raspberry Pi, just head over to their official SourceForge. They have support for Pi 4 and also Pi 3 (though Pi 3 is not recommended).

Install OpenMediaVault on the Pi

Setting up OpenMediaVault can actually be a little involved since you have to deal along with a web interface. In order to learn how you can install OMV on your Raspberry Pi, now please follow our in-depth guide on the subject.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Watch NFL Games Free + Paid Anywhere

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Windy Moore

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