Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: Should You Use Stock OS or Upgrade A Lean OS?

About DietPi vs. Raspberry Pi OS, If you’re using Raspberry Pi, you will likely use the least resources to achieve maximum results with a microcomputer.

DietPi vs. Raspberry Pi OS is a great starting point if you want to reduce the strain on your Raspberry Pi. 

DietPi is preferable when you want an operating system that utilizes less of your Raspberry Pi’s RAM and processing power.

It also comes with pre-installed, ready-to-use software while occupying only about 400MB. 

Does that mean you should prefer DietPi OS vs. Raspberry Pi OS for your Raspberry Pi?

We’ll show you the differences and help you make that tough choice. 

Table of Contents

What is DietPi?

DietPi is not only limited to Raspberry Pi. It is a Debian-based operating system perfect for single-board computers. However, it is designed to run optimally on Raspberry Pi.

Before installing, consider the factors that make DietPi appealing to Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and other SBC users. 

  • It’s a stripped-down Debian-based OS optimized to use minimal RAM and CPU resources and maintain maximum output. 
  • It uses a simple Whiptail interface.
  • Since it is based on Debian, which is Linux-based, DietPi gets constant security updates. 
  • DietPi allows you to customize and add apps you need from the installer. 

DietPi has checked all boxes as a lightweight operating system for Raspberry Pi. So how does it compare to Raspberry Pi’s default OS? 

DietPi Vs. Raspberry Pi OS Differences

Installation in progress

Installation in progress

System Requirements

DietPi can be installed in a system with fewer technical capabilities. You’d only need a system with 512MB RAM to install DietPi.

However, Raspberry Pi OS requires a minimum of 1GB RAM for a successful installation. 

You’ll notice that even a scaled-down version of Raspberry Pi OS, Raspbian Lite eats up about 1.3GB in storage. 

Ready-to-use Applications

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS:  Functional project using Raspberry Pi

Functional project using Raspberry Pi

One of DietPi’s most appealing features is having plenty of compatible ready-to-go apps. You can select apps that suit your preference.

Conversely, Raspberry Pi OS doesn’t have as many pre-installed apps. It comes with heavy apps that might make your Raspberry Pi experience some lag. 

Software and Interface Customization

DietPi comes with a Whiptail interface. Whiptail is a menu system for maintenance and software installation. In addition to Whiptail, DietPi allows you to customize apps easily.

On the other hand, you can still customize Raspberry Pi OS. However, it takes the extra technical ability to do it seamlessly. 

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: Newbie Friendliness

For a first-time Linux user, Raspberry Pi OS has the upper hand over DietPi.

It’s more robust with a more established community behind it.

However, DietPi’s thriving community on GitHub also provides updates, tips, and tricks. 

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: Resource Usage and Boot-Time

Some benchmarks show that DietPi uses RAM 58% less.

The benchmarks indicate 41% less CPU usage in DietPi vs. Raspberry OS. However, Raspberry Pi OS uses three times less boot time. 

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: Security

As an operating system built for convenience, DietPi has top security measures in place. The intrusion detection system and malware scanner keep away most attacks.

The SSH server and firewall add more security to the OS. 

On the other hand, Raspberry Pi OS has default SYN cookies, Password hashing, and a configurable firewall.

Compared to DietPi, Raspberry Pi OS’s security features might be more challenging to configure. 

How to install DietPi on your Raspberry Pi

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS:  Lines of code on a laptop 

Lines of code on a laptop 

From the above DietPi vs. Raspberry Pi OS differences, DietPi is a skinny workhorse you’d want to max out your Raspberry Pi.

Therefore, here’s a step-by-step guide on installing DietPi on your Raspberry Pi. 

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: DietPi Installation Requirements

  • Raspberry Pi single-board computer
  • MicroSD card or USB flash drive (Between 4GB and 8GB storage)
  • Computer devise with an SD card reader
  • Strong interrupted internet connection

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS: DietPI Installation Procedure

Dietpi vs. Raspberry Pi OS:  Computer screen showing installation 

Computer screen showing installation 

  1. Go to Scroll to DOWNLOAD. It should be on the top. 
  2. Select your correct Raspberry Pi model. Currently, the site covers RPi Zero 1 to RPi 4
  3. Use your browser to download the image. Alternatively, use the command line tool wget. 
  4. Use 7unzip to unzip the image since the download will be in .7z format. The unzipping tool is available on the 7zip site. 
  5. Write the DietPi image onto the SD card. 
  6. Slot the SD card into the computer’s SD card reader.
  7. Go to Download the Etcher Software.
  8. Open Etcher and select the downloaded DietPi image from the SD card. 
  9. Click FLASH. Be patient as flashing proceeds. It might take a while. 
  10. Once flashing completes, eject the SD card from the reader and computer. 
  11. Put the SD card in your Raspberry Pi. 
  12. Connect the RPi to a power supply and boot. 
  13. The RPi will ask you to configure the device on the first boot. 
  14. Set timezone, language preference, password, and network settings. Other settings include SSH access and internet connectivity. 
  15. Update your system. 
  16. Log in to the system using username ‘root’ and the set password. 
  17. Use the command ‘dietpi-update’ to update to the latest version. 
  18. Once the update is successful and complete, run the command DietPi-Software to launch and install the software.
  19. Once the software installation is complete, you have successfully installed DietPi on your Raspberry Pi. Good job.

How To install Dietpi on Raspberry Pi 4

You can install DietPi on various single-board computers. Follow the above procedure to install DietPi on Raspberry Pi 4. 

Pick Raspberry Pi 4 when picking RPi models. The procedure works if you follow the guide


Q: What is DietPi vs. Raspbian OS Lite?

A: Raspbian OS Lite is a stripped-down version of Raspbian.

Whereas Raspbian has a desktop and pre-installed apps, Raspbian OS Lite is a no-desktop Raspbian. 

DietPi is an even more toned-down Raspbian OS Lite with more configuration abilities.

DietPi comes with a desktop and apps. Moreover, it uses less RAM and is less taxing on the SBC processors. 

Q: Is DietPi based on Raspbian? 

A: Yes, DietPi is based on Raspbian. You must know that Raspbian and DietPi are based on a Linux-based operating system.

However, DietPi is created primarily for users who want to use fewer SBC resources but attain maximum results. 

Q: Is DietPi better than Raspbian?

A: DietPi is better than Raspbian if you want a non-bulky OS for your single-board computer.

If you have a modest device with limited RAM and processing power, DietPi offers a reliable Linux-based distro.

Furthermore, you can always access information and security updates from the Debian community. 


Speed, minimal lag, security features, and a strong user community are the highlights of DietPi. These features make any Raspberry Pi user want to use DietPi.

With such a straightforward installation guide, you can install Debian Pi on your Raspberry Pi and enjoy the power of a lean operating system.