In this video I see how well Windows 11 works on a Raspberry Pi. There are various community projects working on bringing Windows to the ARM based Raspberry Pi and I thought I would see if Windows 11 would work on it.
I tried a few different combinations of hardware and ended up with successful install of Windows 11 running the latest Windows Insider build.
Can you run Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi?
The answer is yes, with a bit of work. I tried a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 and a 4GB Raspberry Pi 400. The main different between the 4 and the 400 is the built-in keyboard with a heatsink and a slightly faster CPU. Both versions of the Pi worked and what made the most difference was the storage. Initially I tried with a 32gb MicroSD card and while I could get through the initial setup the performance was slow and the swap file kept corrupting, the slow read and write speeds caused a real bottle neck.
My 2nd attempt was with a 240gb m.2 SSD drive which worked much better. I mounted the SSD drive on a M.2 SSD to USB 3.0 Adapter which I plugged into the Pi. Read and write times are much quicker and Windows 11 works perfectly with no swap file issues. Once I had gone through the initial setup I joined the machine to the Windows Insider program, and it downloaded the latest Windows Insider update. The only real issue is that many of the windows do not have rounded corners, which is due to only having basic display drivers for the Raspberry Pi. Other than that, it works great, widgets works as does the new Microsoft Store. I also installed the ARM64 version of Microsoft Office which runs just fine. I also managed to install x86 applications on it as well.
How to get Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi
To get Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi you can use some of the great work done by the community to get you started. First head over to https://www.worproject.ml/ and get the Windows on Raspberry Pi deployment tool. This tool applies a Windows image to a USB drive or SD card. It installs the Raspberry Pi drivers, startup files and copies the image over. You need to supply a Install.wim file which can be found on a Windows installation ISO. As Microsoft doesn’t offer a Windows 11 ARM ISO you can use another resource that enables you to download them directly from Microsoft and not from any 3rd party source. Checkout the resource that issued from their web site.
Once you have the ISO you can mount it in Windows (by double clicking on the ISO file) and then the install tool applies the install file to the USB drive. Depending on your USB drive speed and bandwidth the whole process can take about an hour. You then transfer the USB drive to the Raspberry Pi and complete the Windows setup.
I should say the image runs in test mode so not suitable for productions and you will need to sort out your own licensing for the install but as project to test Windows 11 on ARM it works great and now I have a little desktop computer for testing out Windows 11.
Here is Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 400 in action and if you have any questions about Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi then let me know in the comments.