Windows 10 IoT Core vs Raspbian – Which is better?

“There is no comparison”, said a friend; “Raspbian is a full-blown operating system for Raspberry Pi while Windows 10 IoT is a heavily trimmed down operating system.” He said further that the Raspbian is a dedicated OS for Raspberry Pi while Windows 10 IoT Core supports many other single boards from other companies. Keeping this in mind, let us do a quick review – Raspbian vs. Windows 10 IoT Core.


 Raspbian vs. Windows 10 IoT Core

  1. Raspbian is an operating system designed mainly for the Raspberry Pi boards; Windows 10 IoT Core runs on a variety of single-board computers
  2. Raspbian is an open-source software built on Debian; Windows 10 IoT Core is a closed, proprietary operating system from Microsoft
  3. Raspbian comes with some 3500 modules so that programmers can save time when building apps for the Raspberry Pi boards; No such modules in Windows 10 IoT Core
  4. Raspbian is a full-fledged operating system for Raspberry whereas Windows 10 IoT Core is a heavily trimmed down operating system for different single board computers
  5. Raspbian can be configured and tweaked as per the users’ wish while Windows 10 IoT Core needs a Windows 10 computer to install, modify, and even for removing apps on Raspberry Pi
  6. Many apps can run in foreground with Raspbian while only a single app can run in the foreground (other apps can still run in the background)
  7. Raspbian comes with a highly supportive community that provides help for the operating system; Windows 10 IoT lacks dedicated support as of date.

Windows 10 IoT Core – Main Features

Windows 10 IoT Core doesn’t seem to be developed only for Raspberry Pi. I drew that conclusion because Microsoft hasn’t released any updates for Raspberry Pi 3B+ and later versions. At the time of writing this post, it is not possible to flash Windows 10 IoT Core to Raspberry Pi 4.

But the IoT Core sure runs on many other single board computers. Both the problem and advantage of using Windows 10 IoT are that you’ll need a Windows 10 computer to flash the single board. That gives you a bigger GUI to work on, but you cannot directly install apps to single board computers. You’ll need the Windows IoT Dashboard for even a minor change or modification.

For other OS-related to single board computers, you may have to study the command prompt commands for configuring and flashing your app to the board using an SD card.

Another issue with Windows 10 IoT Core is that you can display only one app in the foreground on display. It can run many others though, in the background.

Raspbian – Essential Features

Raspbian is an operating system created by Raspberry Pi enthusiasts using Debian. Raspbian is not affiliated in any way to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity, that aims to educate people in computing while creating easier access to computing education.

It is an open-source operating system created to become most used OS on single board computers, especially on the Raspberry Pi boards. Raspbian will face problems when it attends to write on single boards of other companies.

The above are some noticeable features and differences between Raspbian vs. Windows 10 IoT Core. I look forward to your comments on the comparison.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

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