Slackware ARM on a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Model B Review

The Raspberry Pi Model B, comes with 512MB of RAM, two USB 2.0 ports and a 100mb Ethernet port. The heart is a Broadcom 700MHz ARM11 ARM1176JZF-S core processor with the RAM chip mounted directly on top of it. This is known as a system on chip (SoC). You're able to install and run Slackware ARM Linux and use it as a desktop computer for word processing or Internet browsing, or even as a games machine to play Minecraft, or a multitude of other applications. Under Slackware ARM Linux you can easily set it up as an Apache web server, running MySQL (MariaDB), and get creative with PHP, Perl, Python, or any other supported scripting/programming language. The Raspberry Pi might not be very fast or powerful but it's cheap to buy and very cheap to use compared to many other alternatives. It's a very affordable tool with limitless possibilities for projects, testing, education, development, and good old fashioned 'back-to-basics' computer fun!

This is the original Raspberry Pi version, created and widely distributed before the advent of the Model A or Model B+. Although, initially, it only came with 256MB of RAM (rev.1), all Raspberry Pi Model B units manufactured after 15th Oct 2012 now come with 512MB of RAM (rev.2) - read about it here. The Raspberry Pi Model B was supplanted by the Raspberry Pi Model B+ on 14 July 2014. (see this link)

FatDog says ... If you're in need of a suitable Model B case/enclosure then look no further than Cyntech's range of Raspberry Pi Cases. They are ideal for housing (and protecting) your Pi, very robust, intuitively designed, extremely affordable, and look great!

You are able to purchase a Raspberry Pi Model B for around US $35 / GBP ~£25 / Euro ~€30 (ex tax).

Raspberry Pi top view
A Raspberry Pi Model B (top view - SD card slot is underneath)

Raspberry Pi Model B Hardware Revisions

There have been a number of revisions to the Raspberry Pi Model B since its initial launch and the device can be one of a number of variants. Depending on the hardware revision of the device, these subtle distinctions can include; different manufacturer and place of origin, different manufacturer of RAM chip, the location of the mounting holes, modifications to the power supply circuitry, and different GPIO headers.

To find out the hardware revision of your Raspberry Pi(s), use this command, as 'root' user, at the command prompt:

root@slackware:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep Revision

The currently available Raspberry Pi Model B revisions are:

HW Revision RAM PCB Rev Release Date Manufacturer
0002 256 MB 1.0 Q1 2012 Egoman
0003 256 MB 1.0 Q3 2012 Egoman
0004 256 MB 2.0 Q3 2012 Sony
0005 256 MB 2.0 Q4 2012 Qisda
0006 256 MB 2.0 Q4 2012 Egoman
000d 512 MB 2.0 Q4 2012 Egoman
000e 512 MB 2.0 Q4 2012 Sony
000f 512 MB 2.0 Q4 2012 Qisda, Sony

Raspberry Pi Model B Spec's

• System-on-a-chip (SoC): Broadcom BCM2835 (CPU + GPU. SDRAM is a separate chip stacked on top)
• CPU: Broadcom BCM2708 700MHz ARM11 ARM1176JZF-S core (ARMv6)
• GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV,OpenGL ES 2.0,OpenVG 1080p30 H.264 high-profile encode/decode
• RAM: 256MB LPDDR2 SDRAM @ 400MHz (* on Rev 1.0 models manufactured before 15 Oct 2012)
• RAM: 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM @ 400MHz (* on Rev 2.0 models manufactured after 15 Oct 2012 - read this)
• Secure Digital|SD / MMC / SDIO card socket
• Size: 86mm x 54mm x 17mm
• Power source: 5 V (DC) via Micro-B USB socket or GPIO header
• Power consumption: 700 mA, (3.5 W)

• HDMI socket
• 2x USB 2.0 socket
• RCA video socket
• Friction-fit SD card socket
• 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
• 3.5mm audio out jack
• CSI camera port for camera
• DSI display port for touch screen display
• Micro-B USB power socket
• General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) 26 pin, Serial Peripheral Interface Bus (SPI), I²C, I²S, Universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART)

For those interested further in the hardware side of the Raspberry Pi, see the RPi Hardware and RaspberryPi Boards webpages on

Updated: 03 Oct 2016 20:04:41