Brief: Raspberry Pi’s own Debian Linux based operating system is now available for regular computers. This is an interesting news if you have an aging PC or Mac.
I bet you have heard of Raspberry Pi. This single board computer started a trend that hasn’t stopped till date. Started as $25 computer, Raspberry Pi became a hot favorite among Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hobbyists. Lots of interesting projects, both home-made and industrial, have come up based on Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi is not your regular computer. It has different hardware (mostly very basic) and more importantly, different processor. This is why it runs its own custom Debian-based Linux distribution Raspbian OS.
Raspbian OS comes with PIXEL desktop environment which is also developed by Raspberry Pi team. As per them, PIXEL has “what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a curated suite of productivity software and programming tools, both free and proprietary”.
Why Pixel OS is a good news
Remember that Raspberry Pi is a tiny device with low-end hardware. The Raspberry Pi OS is customized to run on a device with just 512 MB RAM. This also means that newly released Raspberry Pi OS would be a good choice for decades old computers.
But this is not what Raspberry Pi team had in mind when they released Raspberry Pi OS for regular computers. Their main focus is their loved PIXEL desktop environment and they wanted more people to use Pixel without the need of buying a Raspberry Pi.
“if we like PIXEL so much, why ask people to buy Raspberry Pi hardware in order to run it? There is a massive installed base of PC and Mac hardware out there, which can run x86 Debian just fine. Could we do something for the owners of those machines?”
No Minecraft, sorry
But the regular desktop version of Raspberry Pi OS will not have the Minecraft preinstalled. It’s because they don’t have a license to put those on any machine that’s not a Raspberry Pi. You won’t be getting Wolfram Mathematica either.
Not ready for everyone
Don’t get too excited just yet. This first release is just an experimental version.
This means that you should treat it as a beta version. There might be hardware issues with it for now because it is not tested against a wide variety of hardware range. Raspberry Pi team is not even sure that they will continue this ‘experiment’ for a long time or not but they are surely going to try it out.
Ready to ‘taste’ Raspberry Pi OS?
A live DVD with Raspberry Pi OS on it is available with the MagPi magazine’s this month’s issue but you don’t need to buy that in order to try Raspberry Pi OS on your desktop.
You can download the ISO from the link below and burn it on a DVD or USB stick and take it for a ride:
What do you think of Raspberry Pi OS coming to non-Raspberry Pi devices? Will you give it a try? What do you think of PIXEL desktop environment? Do share your views.