Want to use more than one operating system with your Raspberry Pi? Then you need the Berry Boot loader.
Berry Boot is a boot loader that can be used with the Raspberry Pi. This means you can have more than one operating system installed on a SD memory card allowing you to choose which one you would like to use when the Raspberry Pi starts up.
Convenient if you use several operating systems and seem to always find the wrong one is in when you start up the Raspberry Pi.
Berry Boot comes with a selection of operation systems to install which include:
- Debian Wheezy Raspbian - the recommended operation system for the Raspberry Pi
- OpenElec - a multimedia center based on the XBMC media player for watching video files, catch up TV, Internet video streaming, music and photos.
- Sugar – children's learning OS with a large selection of educations activities.
- RaspRazor - an alternative version of Raspbian that uses a QT desktop enviroment
- Puppy Linux – a small Linux OS designed to be run from USB sticks and memory cards.
- LTSP Sever – Light Terminal Server Project. Network multiple machines to one that serves applications and the Internet.
- Berry Web server – Lighttpd webserver with PHP and SQlite for serving websites from your Raspberry Pi.
Unlike other boot loaders I have used Berry Boot is able to add and remove operating systems without having to Format or Partition the memory card. This is because it uses compressed disk image files and does not install the files as normal to the memory card. It's like using the files within a zip archive without un-archiving the zip file. Additional image files are used for your data which grows as you add programs and files so all the operating systems can expand to the free space on the SD card as you use them.
You are not limited to SD cards only. Berry boot itself needs to be on a SD card for the Raspberry Pi to load it but the operating systems can be kept on a separate USB stick, which must be for berry boot's use only, so only use this option with an empty USB stick. You can also use a hard drive but you will need a separate partition for the berry boot files.
The down side to this system is that the Raspberry Pi has to uncompress the data as it loads the files meaning it is a bit slower than having the operating system normally installed. This is not a problem for normal use as you probably won't notice but if you are getting performance issue such as pauses with video or audio files with Raspbian or OpenElec then try using a SD card or USB stick with good random access read/write performance. If your using non branded or cheap memory cards then their speed may be an issue.
You can add additional operating systems but you will need to convert the image file to a format that Berry Boot can use beforehand. Some operating systems can not be converted for Berry Boot such as the RiscOS as it doesn't use a compatible file system.
Download Berry Boot from here
See the Berry Boot website for more information and how to convert other operating systems for berry boot www.berryterminal.com/doku.php/berryboot