Raspberry Pi Update: PIXEL

Raspberry Pi lovers, this one is for you! Last week the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the release of a new OS update called PIXEL which brings a much needed overhaul to the default Raspbian software. PIXEL stands for ‘Pi Improved Xwindows Environment Lightweight’ and brings a host of much needed changes.

PIXEL desktop

Functionality wise, not a huge amount has changed, however the User Interface has had a complete visual overhaul. Gone is the Windows 98 era toolbar design, and in its place is a modern, flat visual experience. Having worked with the Raspberry Pi quite a lot this year, I’ve often looked at it and felt like I’ve taken 3 steps back in computing, however with the new overhaul adding some gorgeous backgrounds, curved windows, and a fresh lick of paint, it gets my thumbs up. Also gone is the string of boot messages which appear as you power up your Raspberry Pi, and replaced instead by a simple splash image along with the inclusion of Chromium as the default web browser which brings greater functionality for web usage.

To update to the new version, open a terminal windows and type in the following bash code:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Raspbian PIXEL splash screen

This will take a while, so be patient and check out the Raspberry Pi Foundation's release page here. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on the new OS and what you think of the changes.

This blog post was brought to you by Core Electronics - your home for Sparkfun and Adafruit in Australia!