Raspbian is a Debian based Linux distro created and optimised to run on Raspberry Pi hardware systems.
Raspberry Pi foundation maintains software repos with thousands of the open source packages compiled and distributed for Raspberry Pi systems.
Starting with latest release, Raspbian sports PIXEL: Pi Improved X-Window Environment, Lightweight environment for desktop.
Raspbian Version History
Raspbian follows the code naming of its parent distro Debian.
Since 2013, there's been the following major releases of Raspbian:
- Raspbian 7 (Wheezy) – initially released on 27/09/2013
- Raspbian 8 (Jessie) – released on 28/09/2015
- Raspbian 9 (Stretch) – released on 17/08/2017
Raspberry Pi Desktop
There's also a Raspberry Pi Desktop – special version of Raspbian optimised to run on x86 virtual machines and hardware.