The Raspberry Pi is a fantastic low-cost computer that can be used on a massive range of projects from home automation, robot control up to firewalls or just for learning computing. It comes with a version of Linux designed for the Raspberry Pi but did you know you can run Windows 11 on it?
While the Pi is designed for Linux you can run Windows on it. There are a few things you need to get Windows 11 running on a Raspberry Pi and it is not supported in any way by Microsoft or licenced but it’s a fun project to try. The Raspberry Pi has an ARM processor so you will need a version of Windows 11 for ARM. (Jump to the bottom of the post for the video guide).
For my project I am using a Raspberry Pi 400 (which based on Pi 4) with a 256GB m.2 SSD drive to store the system on.
Step 1 – Get an ISO of Windows 11 for ARM
You can’t directly download an ISO of Windows 11 for ARM from Microsoft but there is a great site that enables you to build an ISO from publicly available files from Microsoft.
Head to uupdump.net and click on the arm64 version of the latest beta channel build
Click on the Windows 11 Insider Preview build
Click on Next and then pick on the version. I use the home version
Click on Next and then choose the Download and convert to ISO and include updates
That will download a small script to you machine. Extract the zip file and run the cmd file, that will download and create the ISO of Windows 11.
You may have to click More info on the Microsoft Defender Smartscreen protection.
After the script has downloaded all the components it creates an ISO of Windows 11.
Double click on the ISO and then it will mount the file in Windows, in the sources folder is the ESD file you need later in the process.
Step 2 – Deploy to an SSD drive
The next step is to deploy the image to an SSD drive. I have a 256gb m.2 SSD drive which I am using for the Raspberry Pi you will need something similar. Minimum of 32GB for Windows 11. Plug the drive into your Windows 11.
Download an app called Deployer from the Microsoft Store.
Run the app and click on your model of Raspberry Pi (the Pi 400 is the same as a Pi 4).
Chose the standard type of deployment and then browse for the install.wim which is on the ISO you downloaded in step 1. When you double click on the ISO file it mounts the image as a drive on your system so look for that drive and go to the sources folder.
Next pick your USB drive to install Windows 11 to (make sure you do not pick your system drive as you would wipe your PC!).
Click Deploy and it will start the process. Once complete you can remove the USB drive from your PC.
Step 3 – Start up Windows 11 on the Raspberry Pi
Put your USB drive with Windows 11 into your Raspberry Pi and then start up your Pi.
Windows 11 will then complete the installation of the OS and eventually you will get the standard Windows 11 out of box experiences. Complete this and Windows 11 will be running on your Raspberry Pi.
Windows 11 is not particularly fast, part of that is down to my device only having 3GB of RAM and a basic VGA driver. You don’t get many of the curved edges on windows like you would on the standard Windows device, its not licenced and not supported so you can’t use it in productions but its fun to try. Edge works well and you can even get Office working on it.
Step by step video guide to installing Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi
Here is my step by step video guide on how to install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi