Dyalog for the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Over 1 million units, which retail for as little as US $25, have been shipped since they became widely available in early 2012.

The Raspberry Pi foundation aims to interest young people in computers by making sophisticated computer hardware and software easily available for all levels of education, all over the world. APL is highly effective at solving problems that involve performing complex calculations on lists or arrays of data. Its bit-manipulation capabilities make it a great tool for embedded, robotics and computer vision applications. This makes APL is a highly attractive notation for expressing solutions to many of the computational challenges that Raspberry Pi projects are likely to encounter at all levels of education or business.

Technical Details

Dyalog for the Raspberry Pi is a complete 32-bit Linux interpreter with the same APL language features as 32-bit Dyalog on any other platform, including Linux/x86, AIX and Microsoft Windows.

Dyalog (Unicode edition only) is currently only supported on the Raspbian (Debian) operating system with the Wheezy (armhf) Hardware Float. ARMEL (Software Float) is not supported due to its negative performance impact within the Dyalog interpreter.

Dyalog can be installed and run on the following Raspberry Pi versions:

  • 1 Model A
  • 1 Model A+
  • 1 Model B
  • 1 Model B+
  • 2 Model B
  • 3 Model B

The Raspberry Pi must have at least 100 MB available in the root file system for the installation of Dyalog – another 100 MB is also required temporarily for the installation image.

Installation and Usage

Dyalog can be installed on the Raspberry Pi using standard apt-get commands. The precise commands to use, as well as complete installation instructions are detailed at http://packages.dyalog.com/.

NOTE: The licence for Dyalog for the Raspberry Pi is for non-commercial use only. To license Dyalog for the Raspberry Pi for commercial use, e-mail us.

Sample Code on GitHub

Sample code for Dyalog for the Raspberry Pi is available from the https://github.com/APLPi open source repository. This repository will be maintained and extended as the Dyalog for Raspberry Pi project develops.


The Dyalog for Raspberry Pi User Guide includes details on installing and running Dyalog on your Raspberry Pi. Additional documentation is available in the /opt/mdyalog/<version>/32/unicode/help/ directory once Dyalog has been installed.

The Dyabot

The Dyabot

The progress of the Dyabot, a robot that is being developed at Dyalog using Dyalog on the Raspberry Pi, can be monitored through the following blogs:

  • Dyalog developer blog includes information on how to replicate the Dyabot's hardware
  • Dyalog blog includes configuration information and describes (with APL code samples) various experiments performed using the Dyabot.

In addition to these two blogs, Dyalog's CTO presented a summary of his adventures with his Dyabot at Dyalog '13. The video of this presentation also includes footage of the head-to-head between two teams of APLers trying to "convince" Dyabots to navigate an obstacle course...