Raspberry Fox

Raspberry Pi to get official Firefox OS version?

Coman Hamilton
Raspberry Pi computer via Shutterstock

Mozilla hopes to release Firefox OS as a Raspberry Pi operating system for robotics and media players.

Mozilla has unveiled a version of Firefox OS for the Raspberry Pi at last weekend’s Mozilla Festival. The experimental PiFxOS build for the single board computer is said to be designed for robotics and media players.

Mozilla has outlined a series of sprints for next year in which it will develop its latest OS. The first of these will enable users to read from sensors and control motors, LEDs, solenoids and slave boards, as well as enabling PiFxOS to fly a drone. Later Sprints aim to help the Firefox OS to compete with media player OSes and Raspberry Pi IDEs. The final sprint will enable a declarative model of a reactive system, allowing the Pi to be used in robotics.

Test at your own risk

Developers can already test out the new OS, but Mozilla warns that the current system is still highly unsafe. Users are advised against connecting the Pi to the internet. “FOS builds for the RPi are intended for DEVELOPERS,” Mozilla writes on its Hacking b2g Raspberry Pi page. “They are WILDLY INSECURE. Don’t connect your RPi to a network on which you don’t mind it getting completely pwned”

The expansion into Rasperry Pi comes as Mozilla recently announced a steady expansion into the budget smartphone market, where Firefox OS phones are sold for as little as $35. Meanwhile, Raspberry Pi announced last month that it has shipped 3.8 million units since it began selling the Raspberry Pi in 2012.

Firefox OS running on Raspberry Pi (Source: Richard King)

Firefox OS running on Raspberry Pi (Source: Richard King)

Raspberry Pi already provides a number of operating systems for its device, the most popular of which is Raspbian. Although Mozilla’s OS has a while to go before Raspberry Pi can consider including it as an official OS, the company has shown its determination to bring the OS to various devices, including smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs.

Firefox’s OS build for the Pi is based on Philipp Wagner and Oleg Romashin’s version released last year. This latest version of the OS marks a major step of from its previous release, which did not support input devices of any kind (“no mouse, no keyboard”). Although restricted in its capacity, previous implementations of the Firefox OS for Pi for public information displays sparked much interest from Pi-enthusiasts and Mozilla alike.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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