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Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware.
An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your Raspberry Pi run.
However, Raspbian provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled
software bundled in a nice format for easy installation on your Raspberry Pi.
The initial build of over 35,000 Raspbian packages, optimized for best performance on the Raspberry Pi,was completed in June of 2012.
However, Raspbian is still under active development with an emphasis on improving the stability and performance of as many Debian packages as possible.

Note: Raspbian is not affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Raspbian was created by a small, dedicated team of developers that are fans of the Raspberry Pi hardware.
The educational goals of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and, of course, the Debian Project.