We know the Raspberry Pi as one of the most popular and affordable mini PCs ever created. The Foundation's purpose has always been to grant a full-featured desktop experience for a fraction of the price elsewhere. Hence, the mere $35 cost of the popular Pi board continues to happily esteem those who cannot afford a high-end device, as well as bring many new opportunities and uses every day. The Pi Foundation’s ingenuous PIXEL (Pi Improved XWindows Environment, Lightweight) operating system is powered by Raspbian, originally released in September for single-board computers. Now, it has been updated to breathe new life and inspiration into old computers by providing a lightweight interface for Macs and PCs. It is being described as “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment..Put simply, it’s the GNU/Linux we would want to use”, by the Pi Foundation.
If you’re into recycling, or you just feel the need to hack some old hardware with some fresh new software, PIXEL might just be the perfect environment for you. Pi founder Eben Upton says the experimental desktop platform works with x86-based machines running either Windows or MacOS. PIXEL is packed with the open-source Debian Linux operating system, recognized by users as both clean and modern in its presentation. In the form of a downloadable CD image, PIXEL is transferred to a USB stick or DVD, and comes bundled with a Chronium web browser, a nice selection of curated software such as office suite, and pre-installed programming tools. After a simple 1.3GB download, it’s said to virtually be a “live” version of Debian 8.6 (Jessie) with PIXEL on top of it.
Pixel for Windows and MacOS is currently in its prototype stage, so any Linux enthusiast, or first-time user for that matter, should be aware of where there files are going, and back them up as necessary (it’s unlikely Debian+PIXEL would mess up your files, but it’s still recommended). The Raspberry Pi website has updated some bug fixes this week, and has included some tips on installing Pixel updates, as well as syncing their Google accounts in Chromium. Further, a second update warns users that the Raspberry Pi server is far too busy, and to use the torrent for your download, or even find the bootable DVD on this month’s edition of MagPi magazine.
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