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You Can Now Run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 3 (tomshardware.com)
120 points by cwt137 39 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments

Wouldn't the license cost more than the hardware?

The site where they are sourcing the Windows ISO from seems sketchy, but apparently is legit...? [1] [2]

I guess the site is just an index of Microsoft hosted ISOs, so they are just providing a UI to generate the correct link, and you can check the link is actually going to Microsoft servers before downloading.

[1] - https://uup.rg-adguard.net/

[2] - https://www.ghacks.net/2017/03/13/adguard-website-download-w...

It's effectively emulating a Windows Update client to retrieve all the update bits. Then there's some hoop jumps to bake an ISO.

It's also important to point out Insider builds are free for use, with some restrictions, providing a cheap alternative. [1]

[1] https://insider.windows.com/en-us/program-agreement/

Are there any reasons to register windows 10, besides being able to change your desktop background? AFAIK the "this copy of windows is not genuine" message is benign.

It allows access to certain features. I believe Hyper-V and a few others are locked behind a license door.

It is benign but a bit annoying because it overlays all windows.

You can just use a "rogue" KMS server to activate Windows with no risks for you. For example, as an admin: slmgr /skms kms.digiboy.ir

I believe Win10 license price scales roughly with processor power, so it might be fine.

Also, screen size. Since ~2014 Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 is free to OEMs selling devices intended for screens smaller than 9 inches.

Which gets to the complicated part of the question in that this is the licensing for OEMs. Running Windows 10 on an RPi as a "consumer" that isn't an OEM (and isn't building/reselling devices) is an interesting question.

Though as a consumer, Windows 10 is also weirdly "shareware" these days in that it's not entirely that mean in what features it disables (versus say XP almost not working at all) when not activated and will happily explain in the Microsoft Store how much it costs to activate and let you buy it there. (Example: https://www.windowscentral.com/you-do-not-need-activate-wind...)

licenses are about 5$ on ebay

Those aren’t legitimate. Please don’t suggest that here

AFAIK the resale of software regardless of EULA restrictions has been declared legal in some European countries. They're not necessarily legit in the US, but we're not everywhere.

Also even in the US, if you're a home user there's no real concern. I wouldn't run a business on resold keys but I'd certainly use them for home if I needed one.

That' not true. Reselling volume licenses is perfectly legal in the EU.

are you the seller or how do you know? (serious question)

uupdump.ml is another site that does the same thing.

> Wouldn't the license cost more than the hardware?

That's an odd argument. Software has to cost less than the hardware that runs it? When you can get computers for $35 or less, that doesn't leave much of a margin.

The user ought to be interested in a term Microsoft has loved in the past. Total cost of ownership. If a user is looking at paying $35 for hardware + $119 for software and doesn't have a desire to pay for real support, as opposed to the imaginary support you get as an oem pc buyer, and we aren't interested in calculating the cost of power and net connectivity etc then the TCO is $154.

For $154 you can get a lot more computer with linux. The implication is that for cheap hardware only very cheap software is competitive because people willing to pay that much money would be better spending it on a better computer.

The unit cost of duplicating software is so close to zero that it might as well be zero and people are willing to give away great software so selling it becomes a challenge.

>For $154 you can get a lot more computer with linux.

Although I totally agree with you for that price you can get also get far more computer with Windows! Refurbished Intel machines with a windows 10 home license can be had all day long for $89+.

> Refurbished Intel machines with a windows 10 home license can be had all day long for $89+.

From where? Honestly curious. (I don't need state-of-the-art, and I'm a cheapskate, so...)

Microcenter! This link should work, but if not: microcenter.com -> products -> refurbished deals -> desktops. Select "sort by price, lowest first" and click search.


Check your local pawnshop.

I bought a C2 Duo laptop in 2015 for $AU50 with a 3 month warranty and did the Windows 7 -> 10 upgrade. Earmuffs if you can't stand the fan noise. :)

If you want a relatively expensive to run space heater slower than the rasberry pi with a 6 year old hard drive which will eat all data not backed up within 1 year. Also note that some of what you backed up will probably be silently corrupted.

My experience with SD cards suggests the raspberry pi is just as likely to eat your data as an old harddisk

You missed the opportunity to spell Microsoft with a "$". Seriously, you are quoting 90's tribal chants.

I'm sitting in front of an 8 year old PC with a quad core, 2.4GHz intel cpu with 8GHz of RAM. It will run rings around any raspberry pi. I use linux machines for work all day long and my home pc for all my personal use. I had one hard drive die a couple years back, but that has nothing to do with the OS. That is all the data loss I've had in 25 years of using PCs. No viruses, and BSOD's are a distant memory (BTW, the linux machines at work crash sometimes too).

Although to say that I'm not a fan of Microsoft would be an understatement I'm not telling you that its impossible to find an acceptable windows environment or impossible to prefer your windows environment. I am making a handful of much easier claims.

- Objectively if you you $150 to spend then spending $112 on the OS leaves you so objectively worse off than spending $0 that its hard to justify the retail cost of a windows license even if you prefer the windows environment. In essence the claim is that windows isn't so much better than pi + windows is better than 5x the computer + linux. Microsoft agrees which is why device makers for cheap devices have historically been able to get a lower per unit than for more fully loaded devices even if the windows sku they shipped with was a less featureful version.

You can't get an acceptable desktop machine for $89 to compare to your $35 rasberry pi. Such a machine will likely be underpowered, it will use 30x as much power, and it will be more likely to die relatively quickly.

Average hard drive lifespan is 3-5 years of use if I recall correctly. Many drives especially if used relatively less may in fact last longer but the average user is less likely to experience hard drive failure insofar as they trash the entire computer before it fails or in fact HAVE experienced it but in fact experience it as "my computer doesn't work anymore" rather than specifically understanding which component failed. Especially if by the time it fails a new machine is objectively desirable.

If you buy an 8 year old machine it would be remarkable if it lasted more than 2 years more during which it would have been liable to use $80 more electricity based on 20 hours of weekly usage.

In brief if you spend $170 and find some dude on craigslist with a particularly good deal you might be able to have a slightly worse or slightly better experience than someone with $35 in their pocket can have any day of the week and twice on sunday.

In short people buying small cheap computers like the pi aren't just too stupid to use craigslist they are making an objective choice with reasonable tradeoffs.

And you're willing to sell that computer for 89-154 USD?

Maybe tasty_freeze isn't. (Maybe technofiend isn't, either.) But if technofiend is right, then somebody is. That somebody doesn't need to be tasty_freeze.

And tasty_freeze isn't the one who made the $89-154 claim. tasty_freeze's claim is that 8-year-old machines work fine, and don't lose data (much).

This is what I find on craigslist for $80

System: Window 10 Pro Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G840 @ 2.80 GHz Memory: 4GB Storage: 250GB

It's 6 years old dual core slow hard drive and runs like a dog. You could use the extra money to buy a small ssd instad...

There are (heavily used) PCs with those specs in that price range on eBay, but they'd be pretty hard to mount on a quadcopter or whatever.

> 8GHz of RAM

I assume you mean GB, right?

SQL Server Enterprise costs about $7000 per core, and Adobe Creative Suite (pre-subscription model) was $2600, both oft run on computers that cost less. And those aren't even that expensive overall.

Well, at least you'll have a Windows machine that isn't vulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre.

But can it run x86 software?

Yes. Through a VM like qemu or a tool like ExaGear

Disclaimer: Microsoft employee, I work on Windows

Windows 10 on ARM64 devices can run x86 applications. This [1] video on Channel 9 seems to cover it pretty well.

[1] - https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/P4171

I wonder if the RPi has enough power to run even something like Notepad++

Can anyone think of a good reason why you would want to run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi? I'm not trying to start a Windows/Linux debate, I'm just wondering if the wealth of Windows software is largely unavailable on ARM anyway, why not just run Raspbian anyway?

For the joy of the hobby? Isn't that why most things get done on a Raspberry Pi?

Also, this is recent builds of Windows 10 on ARM that includes the x86 emulator to run a ton of traditional x86 Windows software.

(Not far from here is the rabbit hole of folks installing these same Windows 10 on ARM builds on Microsoft's Lumia 950 and 950 XL hardware. One such video I saw showed someone running Steam on it to grab and play Fallout 1.)

Testing? e.g. your main machine is Ubuntu|macos and you just want to fire up Windows 10 Edge.

That said, it seems unpowered for general usage. Perhaps MS might look at officially supporting sub-$US100 SBCs such as ROCKPro64.

Because raspberry pi is just one of many single board computers; and they are getting more powerful by the day.


Caution: To do this you need to run a rat's nest of a batch file that runs a bunch of different code obtained from the web.

If you're going to try this, try on devices you don't care about. Or spend innumerable hours auditing code.

Pass -- for now.

Did they ever fix the SD Card issue? IoT-Core has been possible on the RPi3 for a while but none of my micro SD cards would boot the image but would happily run every other OS for the RPi I never bothered playing with it.

This is different than the IOT version. It's just Windows on ARM.

Windows IoT has specific storage requirements if I recall correctly. This is regarding SD card speed.

Sorry Only just saw this, I tried with a number of Class 10 cards (Adafruit sell a Window IoT kit which includes a Class 10 card) From a couple of manufactures. All of them would take the image just not boot the image. I was never too bother to check if their was any error messages thrown out over serial. It was just a pasing interest and I couldn't be arsed enough to get another SD card on MS's tested list to try again.

Personally I think the Github page is more informative than the very brief article


Linus Tech Tips had an interesting video[1] last year about a Zotac micro-PC which costs something like $180[2]. It got me thinking, if the included Windows license cost $100 (though I'm sure they get it cheaper as an OEM) then the device would fall into the Raspberry Pi's "a computer for less than $100" range. When dealing with tiny cheap hardware, the cost of Windows no longer fades into the background (like it does with a $1000-2000 workstation) and becomes the most expense part of the device. The "free-as-in-beer"dom of Linux really stands out in these kinds of situations.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32g1ByDRzO0 [2] https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-Fanless-Dual-Core-1-10GHz-ZBOX-...

Microsoft was (nearly) giving away Windows 10 Home OEM licenses for SFF Intel Atom pcs for a short period of time. I cannot remember what this program was called to get a link for reference. Maybe someone else familiar with the program can throw in a link.

I got perpetual free keys from university that I just keep moving to whatever PC's I'm using.

Technically you are pirating.

I don't think so? The keys were given to students but afaik they are intentionally valid past graduation and transferable to new machines via microsoft account.

Edit: perhaps you misunderstood - I didn't take keys that were licensed for university owned machines, I got a key that was given to students for their personal devices as part of some agreement with microsoft.

Although I have no qualms about actually pirating windows either ever since they started pushing advertising into the start menu.

MSDNAA allows using the software after no longer being a student.

Wow, I checked but apparently the Pi 3 DOES meet the Windows 10 system requirements just barely. I wonder how fast the UI and Cortana run...

Win 10 Specs: Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC. RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit. Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS. Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver. Display: 800x600

Ras Pi 3: CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz. GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV. RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz) Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless. Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy. Storage: microSD.

> Ras Pi 3: CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz. GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV. RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz) Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless. Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy. Storage: microSD.

That's Model B, the Model B+ specs are a little bit better. But still only 1GB of RAM which I suspect to be the biggest bottleneck here. Storage also maybe but the Pi can boot from USB nowadays which might bring it to a good enough level.

My first thought is that you might be able to boot Win10 with 1GB of RAM, but there won't be much of anything left for your applications. Swapping is on the slow CPU hungry SD card too. It's not going to be fun.

Windows 10 does have memory compression, so maybe that helps in low memory situations like this?

I have some HP Stream 7 tablets. 1GB RAM, shipped with a full Windows tablet/desktop setup. Windows 10 runs better than Windows 8 did.

Comparable to a Raspberry Pi 3, I believe.

broadcom wrote directx drivers ??

I wonder if this could be done with LTSB? It's definitely better-suited to applications such as rpi (embedded etc.).

I wonder if the server version would work better since it can be run without a GUI.

Windows Server doesn't support ARM, neither does Windows IoT Enterprise. The Nano Server install is strictly for virtualized use.



Windows 10 IoT Core has been an option for Raspberry Pi for a while. It's a mostly headless (just the bare amount of UWP GUI support, no Win32), desktop-less SKU intended for embedded installs.

I couldn't think of anything more horrible than running Windows without a GUI. Why not use Linux at that point?

It's the same concept. For linux you'd use SSH which gets you to a shell for remote administration, for Windows you use powershell via the Enter-PSSession command.

I wondered the same thing, I would expect performance to be not great

1 GHz on x86 != 1 GHz on ARM

If it allows Atoms, then most arm processors should be acceptable.

The IPC and architecture is obviously very important.

Even 1Ghz on one x86 != 1Ghz on a different x86 CPU.

And of course on a different ARM CPU.

Cortex-A53 is an ultra low power, tiny core. It's okay for an embedded toy, it's miserable for a real computer. You really really want at least a Cortex-A72.

Interesting -- can you elaborate a bit more?

The image is from Microsoft's server, but the "core package", including drivers, EFI binaries and a copy of Balena's Etcher tool - where do they come from?

Windows 10 is already quite slow on older or low-powered desktops (like AMD A4 series), I can't imagine trying to use it on an RPi

This reminds me of an old joke: Q: Can you implement Communism in Switzerland? A: Yes, but it would be a shame.

Are the GPIO pins accessible via APIs too?

Yes. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/iot-core/learn-abou...

You could actually run Windows on Raspberry Pi 3 for a while now, I think it just was just a beta image or something. I'm not entirely sure, but I know I was able to install Windows IoT core on my Pi 3B.

IoT core is different than full windows. It’s almost like the “lite” version of embedded windows. It has no desktop or start menu, for instance.

From what I understand, now you can run full windows. Although I’m curious how well it runs

The lite version of embedded windows is embedded compact, which uses an entirely different kernel. EC can't run normal win32 apps, even if they're compiled for the architecture. IoT is somewhere in the middle. It's windows embedded with almost everything stripped out, but it still uses a normal NT kernel, and it can still run normal win32 apps.

Exactly, I knew of IOTCore already, but I don't know of any WinAPI to access such low level features

My understanding is the GPIO APIs are unique to Windows 10 IoT Core, and aren't available on full Windows 10 editions.

They are .net Core API's and work under Linux and Windows: https://github.com/dotnet/iot/

I could use one to test my websites on IE ;)

I know you’re kidding, but Microsoft provide VMs you can use to do this: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/v...

This looks neat, but hardly official. Let’s hope it doesn’t suffer a takedown-notice.

I might give this a try one day when I have time.

is "it runs win10" gonna be the new "it runs doom"?

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

"I've made a robot that screams!"


I mean I have been trying to do this for a while so I can put all my service tools on it and connect them to gas dispensers I service

It would be incredible to be able to run Windows on ARM, especially the Pi.

Wasn't Eben hinting at something last week?

SBCs do not end with just the Raspberry Pi. Many are much more powerful and have greater potential. They can include NVME M.2 and more RAM. Etc Etc.

They should. Plain and simple.

Not gonna lie I bust out laughing when I clicked comments and saw this first.

I came here to post this, but was happy it was already here.

I literally LOL'd upon reading this.

While I personally hate using Windows, I have been trying to get family members to update their machines from Windows Vista, and they won't because "new machines are too expensive and their computer works fine", and despite my best efforts, I cannot get said family members to let me install a Linux on there.

A Raspberry Pi is cheap enough that I might be able to swing them to using something a bit more modern.

EDIT: Not 100% sure why I'm being downvoted for this. Clearly I didn't realize how slow Windows would be.

And they will hate it with a heat of a thousand suns...it's slow enough without bloat. Not a desktop computer except for the truly patient or desperate. (Excellent for many tasks, but local interactive desktop not one of them - a netbook by any other name)

> except for the truly patient or desperate

More like the right desktop to make a patient person desperate

Tbh, I did see a use-case: a literal off-the-grid user, for whom every mAh was an issue. Used a RPi with the tiny display and wired kbd...but I think he went for text-mode Raspbian, for lower consumption, too.

It's going to be slow, even for basic tasks

Worse than my wife's notebook?


I've had decent success using a Pi Model 3b as a Linux desktop, but with the knowledge that I'm not going to open a dozen tabs on the thing or try to run Wireshark on a 2GB capture.

The original Pi was just a little too underpowered to use as a desktop. You could get Chromium to start, but it would be swapping almost instantly and slow to an absolute crawl. The Model 3 has just enough oomph to do basic web browsing or run Libreoffice. It can open Facebook, although you probably don't want Libreoffice open at the same time if you do.

I've found Windows 10 to be slow on more capable machines (older low end laptops mostly), especially ones with spinning hard drives, so I'm somewhat dubious about using it on a Raspberry Pi.

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