This Raspberry Pi OS is a nostalgic throwback to Windows XP

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Linux Raspbian XP Professional is an operating system inspired by Windows XP that you can install on your Raspberry Pi 4.
  • The OS has a working Start Menu and several design elements inspired by Windows XP.
  • The Raspberry Pi 4 is the only Raspberry Pi powerful enough to run the OS.

If you're missing the grassy fields and blue skies of Windows XP, you can put an operating system onto your Raspberry Pi 4 inspired by the classic Windows operating system (OS). The OS is called Linux Raspbian XP Professional, and it has a working Start Menu, search bar, and menus and icons inspired by Windows XP (via Tom's Hardware). The Raspberry Pi 4 is the only Raspberry Pi model powerful enough to run the OS.

The OS is an XP overlay, so it can't run Windows XP applications natively, but there are several emulators that let you use Windows apps on Raspbian. Linux Raspbian XP Professional has some emulation platforms preloaded, including BOX86.

The PI LAB YouTube channel showcases the OS and details some of its features.

If you want to run Windows applications on the OS, you can also use its built-in Windows 98 virtual machine. Alternatively, you can use Linux programs like the LibreOffice suite.

If you're a fan of tinkering with Raspberry Pi devices and Windows, you can check out our guide on how to install Windows 10 IoT Core onto a Raspberry Pi 3.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • That seems like some possible trademark infringement. :-)
  • Did Windows 10 IoT ever gain traction? I'd rather work on that than Linux code, but I couldn't get it working on my pi 3 (or whatever Pi was the latest when it launched)
  • There's a release indeed. I couldn't install it myself (though I might do it at some point), but it's there. It doesn't have an UI AFAIK
  • Yes, Windows 10 IoT is all fine but it is not what you probably think it is. If you think you can have Windows 10 with desktop and applications on RPi then you're going to be very disappointed. It's a headless OS, meaning there's no GUI at all. Simplifying things - It allows you to run a specific app written for a specific purpose. That's it. For instance, you can have a screen connected to it and this screen will display your thermostat menu. That's how you should think about it
  • I'm not going to talk about how I think this is a waste of time and that I can't understand people who'd want to use very dated interfaces, but honestly, is this even legal? Isn't there a hard copyright by Microsoft that they're happily stepping on?