OS & CM4 Question - RPI-CM4

Hey dev here, just ordered a RPI-CM4 without core, I wanted to know if other os’s can be installed & what are some of the downsided and upsides of getting an CM4 with or without EMMC for the RPI-CM4.

Thank you inm advance.


Beautiful question! The RPI-CM4, like all Raspberry Pis, usually uses the Raspberry Pi OS (you might know it as Raspbian). But you’re not stuck with it - you can also use other Linux types like Ubuntu, Arch Linux ARM, or OpenSUSE. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you might even get non-Linux systems like FreeBSD or Windows 10 IoT Core (or whatever Windows has now…) to run.

To be honest, I still need to actually try FreeBSD and form an actual opinion on Windows 10 IoT.


The CM4 can run other operating systems, but you’ll likely need to do some configuration to get the uConsole’s screen and battery status working. You can wander over to the DevTerm forum to get an idea of the amount of tinkering required.

I would love to get Android and Windows 11 ARM running on the uConsole, just to tinker around with both.


As already mentioned, you can run a pretty wide selection of O/S’s on the CM4 with the caveat that you will need to do some tinkering to get the peripherals working. You will probably find burning the Clockwork Pi image onto an SD card and running it in a regular Pi so you can diff the extra requirements will probably be easiest.

As for with for without onboard EMMC, my opinion would be to use one without if you are going to tinker. Reason being that the. Uconsole does not appear to come with the necessary switch circuitry to set an EMMC card to bootloader mode. To do that you will have to source a separate carrier board just for burning the OS onto the card memory.

The other advantage of using the SD card variant is that when you have a couple of different OS’s configured you can keep copies, image them onto separate SD cards and just swap the card without going through the joy of of opening the Uconsole, extracting the card, mount it in a separate carrier board, burn image, dismount card, reinstall card, reinstall Uconsole case…Oops, didn’t image properly rinse and repeat…