Mozilla Positions Firefox OS as a Competitor to Raspbian for Raspberry Pi

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 27, 2014

The Mozilla Foundation held its much anticipated festival in England this past weekend, and one of the projects shown off by developers is a port of Firefox OS working with he Raspberry Pi. The diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi devices (shown here), priced at $25 and $35, have quickly won over hackers and hobbyists who are taking Linux in new directions, including even supercomputing.

Now, Mozilla appears to belive its Firefox OS mobile platform can engage developers working on robotics and other applications for Raspberry Pi boards.

Mozilla's wiki lays out four goals for Fxos on Raspberry Pi:

- Be at parity with Raspbian/RPi as a hobbyist environment. Users will be able to read from sensors and control motors, LEDs, solenoids, slave boards, etc. A modified Fx OS for Raspberry Pi will be able to fly a drone;

- Be competitive with other media player OSes available for Rpi;

- Be competitive with other IDEs for FxOS on Raspberry Pi targeted at beginning programmers, like IDLE and Scratch;

- Enable programmers (via DOM/CSS) to develop robotics etc. by building a declarative model of a reactive system. With one type of output device, the actual electronics could be interfaced with. With another type of output device, the model could be simulated on a client computer.

Mozilla also plans to ensure “the custom PiFxOS media player UI will be competitive with other media player OSes available for Rpi” and will deliver robotics development tools.

You can already run Firefox OS as a virtual machine inside the Raspbian OS, as noted here.

You can also check this page for information on running Firefox OS and the Raspberry Pi in tandem. 

Mozilla could be the perfect partner to take the Raspberry Pi to the next level in its evolution. Like the folks who invented the Pi, Mozilla has a good track record at working with open source platforms and projects. It will be interesting to see what it can do with the Pi.