ARM-based computing takes another step into the future with the release of RISC OS 5.30, featuring over 670 improvements and new features. Pull out those Raspberry Pi 3s and 4sRISC OS enthusiasts have reason to celebrate, as version 5.30 of the iconic operating system has been released. (Of course, the OS supports a few other well-known platforms, such as BeagleBoard.) This update brings a host of improvements and new features, making it a significant milestone for users and developers alike.

Enhancements and Improvements

  • A total of 347 improvements have been made to the HardDisc4 image and applications, with an additional 329 improvements to the main operating system “ROM” image, tailored to different hardware configurations.
  • Contributions from various sources, including 6 active bounties and a dedicated team of 27 developers on GitLab, have significantly enriched this release.
  • The release marks a milestone for the OMAP5, commonly used with the IGEPv5 hardware, which has transitioned to a stable release following the resolution of a critical video driver issue.
  • 76 bug fixes have been implemented, addressing long-standing issues and enhancing the overall stability and performance of the operating system.

RISC OS Pi Refresh


For users of Raspberry Pi computers (excluding the new Raspberry Pi 5), the new RISC OS Pi image offers several enhancements:

  • Inclusion of the Ovation Pro desktop publishing application by David Pilling.
  • Out-of-the-box Wi-Fi support for models with onboard chips, including 3B, 3A+, 3B+, 4B, 400, Compute Module 4, Zero W, and Zero 2W.
  • Integration of the full read/write edition of SparkFS into the standard distribution across all platforms.
  • Updates to the entire collection of applications bundled with RISC OS Pi, including the latest version 3.11 of the open-source web browser, NetSurf.
  • Toolbox example source code for developers to explore and utilize.
  • Improved welcome instructions to guide new users through the unique features of RISC OS.

Getting Started

To make the most of the new features, it is recommended to install the HardDisc4 elements first, including updating the !Boot application, before transitioning to the main operating system update.

New User Guide

A new edition of the User Guide has been published alongside the release of RISC OS 5.30. This comprehensive guide spans 57 chapters, covering topics from formatting an NVMe drive to using the tinted brush tool in Paint!

The release of RISC OS 5.30 brings this venerable operating system into 2024, with improvements that cater to both new users and seasoned veterans. With a focus on stability, performance, and usability, RISC OS is still a compelling choice for ARM-based systems.

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About RISC OS Open Limited

RISC OS Open Limited (ROOL) is a company founded by a group of individuals deeply involved in RISC OS projects, offering professional services for commercial deployment of RISC OS. With a core team originating from Pace's Cambridge Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) development team and prior experience at Acorn Computers, ROOL specializes in designing, developing, and integrating products based on ARM compatible processors. ROOL's expertise includes assisting partners and customers in efficiently integrating, optimizing, and deploying RISC OS-based solutions to leverage the ARM architecture's market-leading performance. Additionally, ROOL manages the RISC OS source opening activity on behalf of Castle Technology Ltd, as a not-for-profit endeavor. For magazine readers, ROOL's contributions underscore the ongoing development and support for the RISC OS ecosystem.

For those starting fresh, pre-imaged micro SD cards for Pi, Beagleboard, and Pandaboard, as well as physical ROMs for the Risc PC/A7000/A7000+, are available.