• Raspberry Pi OS Image Downloader

    by  • June 15, 2012 • .Net, Journal, Programming • 16 Comments

    When I first started out playing around with the Raspberry Pi I used the pre-made SD Card images available on the website, however I soon noticed these were out of date, and then found it a challenge to find up to date (usually nightly builds) of some of the Operating Systems. So I decided to automate this process to make it easier, and to provide a GUI interface for new users.

    The application scans a customisable (XML based) list of distributions and binary sources using a defined search pattern, if it finds any builds it adds them to a selectable list, allowing you not only to download the latest available builds but also older builds. Each Operating System distribution can have multiple sources so various flavours can be included.

    When you select and download an image, it is also cached so you don’t need to download the same file twice, cached files are marked so they can be easily spotted.

    Currently it is a Windows application (.Net 3.5) but I will port it via Mono to Linux and Mac OSX shortly.

    You can downloaded the latest release here. (r02-16-06-2012)

    *Update 16-06-2012*

    Well after some tinkering I’ve updated the downloader to version 2, new functionality includes:

    • If the downloaded image is ‘.img’ the tool can launch Win32DiskImager with the downloaded file as the argument
    • Added SliTaz Raspberry Pi Linux Distro and updated sources
    • Does not refresh source list every application start
    • Minor UI changes

    You can download the latest version here (r02-16-06-2012)

    *Update 15-08-2012*

    Since my last update there has been quite a few new distributions for the Raspberry Pi that have become available, including those that support the Hard-FP functionality of the CPU. I have therefore updated the r02 release and the DistroManifest xml file accordingly, this brings a variety of new distros including Gentoo, BerryTerminal and Meego.

    Some distros don’t have direct download links so my next version will include distros with website links.

    Next version wish list, probably out this weekend (18-08-2012):

    • Mac OSX & Linux clients (Currently porting with Mono)
    • Links to non-hardlinked distros
    • Better support for zipped updates/images
    • More distros
    • More efficient polling of sites


    Software engineer. Tea drinker


    16 Responses to Raspberry Pi OS Image Downloader

    1. June 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      This app is a god send, i didn’t know there were so many different images available.

      Thank you Kevin

    2. Sudarshan
      July 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      This app is brilliant, cant thank you enough. I have a small problem though, when i try to download an image for OpenELEC the format is .tar and in order to burn an image onto an SD card i was under the impression that we need a .img file

      how do i proceed?

      • July 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

        The current sources for OpenELEC give updates which require a premade card, if you wish to download the IMG files (zipped) you can update the Distribution Manifest XML file from http://mrpfister.com/src/DistroManifest.xml

        There is a new OpenELEC source available which has zipped versions of the SD card images you are after.

        • Clement
          August 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

          May you add this images source in the installation zip file of your tool.
          Thank for the great job.

    3. Robert Nix
      July 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Any chance of seeing this as a platform-agnostic tool, for those of us out here that use Linux or Macs?

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    5. Kirk
      July 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks so much for doing this! Just got my Pi and I’m so excited to try OPENELEC.

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    7. August 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Brilliant idea. Going to re-blog!

    8. August 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      This is an excellent way of simplifying the process. So far I’ve got Raspbmc installed (like probably 90% of the population), but still looking for THE best optimized OS. Thanks for this!

    9. Arjan
      October 8, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Thanks for making things easier for the average users.

      I just tried Imager_r02 on a Mac (osX 10.5.8 ppc) with Mono 2.10.2 and it works kinda… I can only download images that show releases and I can’t click the url’s to the websites.

      When messing around with opened windows while downloading I tend to receive a sigterm. (might be a Mono problem):


      at (wrapper managed-to-native) System.Windows.Forms.XplatUICarbon.ReceiveNextEvent (uint,intptr,double,bool,intptr&)
      at System.Windows.Forms.XplatUICarbon.GetMessage (object,System.Windows.Forms.MSG&,intptr,int,int)
      at System.Windows.Forms.XplatUI.GetMessage (object,System.Windows.Forms.MSG&,intptr,int,int)
      at System.Windows.Forms.Application.RunLoop (bool,System.Windows.Forms.ApplicationContext)
      at System.Windows.Forms.Application.Run (System.Windows.Forms.ApplicationContext)
      at System.Windows.Forms.Application.Run (System.Windows.Forms.Form)
      at RaspberryPiImager.Program.Main ()
      at (wrapper runtime-invoke) object.runtime_invoke_void (object,intptr,intptr,intptr)

      Native stacktrace:

      0 mono 0x000f89d8 _mh_execute_header + 1014232
      1 mono 0x00014214 _mh_execute_header + 78356
      2 libSystem.B.dylib 0x9726689c _sigtramp + 68
      3 CoreFoundation 0xa09c7154 NSGenericException + 56904
      4 ??? 0xbfffd290 0x0 + 3221213840

      Debug info from gdb:

      /tmp/mono-gdb-commands.XsiiNE:1: Error in sourced command file:
      unable to debug self

      Got a SIGSEGV while executing native code. This usually indicates
      a fatal error in the mono runtime or one of the native libraries
      used by your application.

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    11. Alex
      November 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Any updates Kev?

    12. December 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Is this project still being worked on?

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