Raspberry Pi Foundation brings Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 4
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has finished beta testing 64-bit versions of Raspberry Pi OS, previously only available as a 32-bit operating system. For context, the Pi Foundation has used 64-bit processors in its single-board computers (SBC) since 2016. Hence, all recent Raspberry Pi machines from the Raspberry Pi 3 onwards will be capable of running 64-bit versions of Raspberry Pi OS.
In a blog post, the Pi Foundation stresses that 32-bit versions of Raspberry Pi OS will continue to be available. In fact, the Raspberry Pi Imager utility defaults to Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit. If you want to download the 64-bit version, the Pi Foundation hides it within the Raspberry Pi OS (other) category, along with Raspberry Pi OS Lite. Also, Liliputing notes that Widevine DRM-protected content will not work on the 64-bit version of Google Chromium. Currently, this version lacks a WidevineCDM library, but the 32-bit version does.
Still, Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit allows the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B to use more than 4 GB of RAM without a workaround. For reference, while the Pi Foundation developed a way for the 4 GB of RAM limitation in Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit, an individual process could not use more than 3 GB of RAM.
Additionally, the Pi Foundation clarifies that it has based Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit on Debian 11 Bullseye and the Linux 5.10 kernel. Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit is available to download now and is compatible with all Raspberry Pi Zero 2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 4 machines.