Update – issues fixes
Some users have reported issues with the main card crashing since installing the PIXEL update. This has been traced to a bug in the icon handling code for the carte which has now been fixed.
Some users reported bug with syncing their Google accounts in Chromium. This has been traced to a set of outdated Google API keys included in the version of the browser shipped in this image. This has now been stock-still with an updated Chromium build.
We recommend everyone install these fixes, whether you updated an existing image or yous downloaded a new image.
To get all the fixes, open up a final and enter:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
You lot will need to reboot for the fixes to have effect.
If yous still feel problems with any of these after applying the fixes, please let us know in the comments below or on the forums.
Original mail starts here…
Information technology was just over 2 years ago when I walked into Pi Towers for the starting time time. I only had the vaguest thought of what I was going to be doing, but on the kickoff day Eben and I sabbatum down and played with the Raspbian desktop for half an hour, and so he asked me “practice you think you lot can make it better?”
Bear in mind that at this indicate I’d barely ever used Linux or Xwindows, never mind made any changes to them, then when I answered “hmmm – I recollect and then”, it was with rather more than confidence than I actually felt. It was obvious that there was a lot that could be done in terms of making it a better feel for the user, and I spent many years working in user interface pattern in previous jobs. Only I had no thought where to commencement in terms of changing Raspbian. I clearly had a bit of a learning curve in front end of me…
Well, that was 2 years ago, and I’ve learnt an awful lot since and so. It’south actually surprisingly easy to hack most with the LXDE desktop once you get your caput around what all the $.25 practise, and since and then I’ve been slowly chipping away at the bits that I felt would most benefit from tweaking. Stuff has slowly been becoming more than and more than like my original concept for the desktop; with the latest changes, I think the desktop has reached the betoken where it’due south a complete production in its own right and should accept its own proper noun. So today, we’re announcing the release of the PIXEL desktop, which volition ship with the Foundation’south Raspbian image from now on.
One of the things I said (at least partly in jest) to my colleagues in those offset few weeks was that I’d quite similar to rename the desktop environment once information technology was a bit more Pi-specific, and I had the name “pixel” in my heed about two weeks in. It was a nice reminder of my days learning to programme in Bones on the Sinclair ZX81; nowadays, everything from your Tv set to your phone has pixels on it, but back so it was a uniquely “computer-y” word and concept. I also like crosswords and word games, and in one case it occurred to me that “pixel” could be made upwards from the initials of words like Pi and Xwindows, the name stuck in my head and never quite went away. So PIXEL information technology is, which at present officially stands for “Pi
The latest set of changes are nearly entirely to exercise with the appearance of the desktop; there are some functional changes and a few new applications, about which more below, but this is mostly almost making things look nicer.
The get-go thing you’ll notice on rebooting is that the trail of cryptic kick messages has (more often than not) gone, replaced by a splash screen. One characteristic which has frequently been requested is an obvious version number for our Raspbian epitome, and this tin now be seen at the lesser-right of the splash paradigm. We’ll update this whenever we release a new version of the prototype, and then it should hopefully be slightly easier to know exactly what version you lot’re running in futurity.
I should mention that the code for the splash screen has been carefully written and tested, and should not slow down the Pi’s boot process; the time to go from powering on to the desktop actualization is identical, whether the splash is shown or not.
In one case the desktop appears, the commencement thing y’all’ll find is the rather stunning background epitome. We’re very fortunate in that Greg Annandale, i of the Foundation’s developers, is as well a very talented (and very well-travelled) photographer, and he has kindly allowed us to use some of his work as desktop pictures for PIXEL. There are sixteen images to choose from; you can find them in
/usr/share/pixel-wallpaper/, and you lot can use the Appearance Settings application to choose which one y’all adopt. Practice have a expect through them, as Greg’s work is well worth seeing! If you lot’re curious, the EXIF data in each image volition tell y’all where it was taken.
Y’all’ll also observe that the icons on the taskbar, menu, and file managing director take had a makeover. Sam Alder and Alex Carter, the guys responsible for all the cartoons and graphics you run across on our website, accept been sweating blood over these for the last few months, with Eben providing a watchful eye to make sure every pixel was exactly the correct color! We wanted something that looked pragmatic plenty to be appropriate for those people who utilize the Pi desktop for serious work, just with merely a touch of playfulness, and Sam and Alex did a great job. (Some of the icons you don’t run into immediately are even nicer; it’due south almost worth installing some education or applied science applications but and then those categories announced in the menu…)
Speaking of icons, the default is now not to show icons in individual application menus. These ever made menus expect a bit crowded, and didn’t really offer any improvement in usability, non least because it wasn’t always that obvious what the icon was supposed to represent… The menus look cleaner and more readable as a effect, since the lack of visual clutter now makes them easier to utilize.
Finally on the subject of icons, in the by if your Pi was working particularly hard, y’all might have noticed some yellow and ruddy squares appearing in the superlative-right corner of the screen, which were indications of overtemperature or undervoltage. These have at present been replaced with some new symbols that make information technology a fleck more than obvious what’s really happening; at that place’s a lightning commodities for undervoltage, and a thermometer for overtemperature.
If yous open a window, you lot’ll run across that the window frame design has now changed significantly. The former window design always looked a bit dated compared to what Apple and Microsoft are now shipping, so I was cracking to update it. Windows now have a subtle curve on the corners, a cleaner championship bar with new close / minimise / maximise icons, and a much thinner frame. I reason the frame was quite thick on the former windows was so that the grab handles for resizing were big enough to find with the mouse. To avoid this trouble, the catch handles now extend slightly outside the window; if you hold the mouse pointer just outside the window which has focus, you’ll come across the pointer change to show the handle.
Steve Jobs said that ane thing he was insistent on nigh the Macintosh was that its typography was skilful, and information technology’s true that using the right fonts makes a big difference. We’ve been using the Roboto font in the desktop for the last couple of years; it’south a dainty-looking modernistic font, and it hasn’t changed for this release. Notwithstanding, we take fabricated it expect amend in PIXEL by including the Infinality font rendering package. This is a library of tweaks and customisations that optimises how fonts are mapped to pixels on the screen; the effect is quite subtle, merely information technology does give a noticeable improvement in some places.
About people have their Pi fix to automatically log in when the desktop starts, as this is the default setting for a new install. For those who prefer to log in manually each fourth dimension, the login screen has been redesigned to visually lucifer the rest of the desktop; yous at present see the login box (known as the “greeter”) over your chosen desktop pattern, with a seamless transition from greeter to desktop.
Wireless power switching
One asking nosotros have had in the past is to be able to close off WiFi and/or Bluetooth completely, especially on Pi 3. There are now options in the WiFi and Bluetooth menus to plow off the relevant devices. These work on the Pi 3’s onboard wireless hardware; they should likewise piece of work on most external WiFi and Bluetooth dongles.
You can also now disconnect from an associated wireless access point by clicking on its entry in the WiFi carte.
There are a couple of new applications at present included in the image.
RealVNC have ported their VNC server and viewer applications to Pi, and they are now integrated with the system. To enable the server, select the option on the Interfaces tab in Raspberry Pi Configuration; you’ll see the VNC card appear on the taskbar, and you lot can and so log in to your Pi and control it remotely from a VNC viewer.
The RealVNC viewer is also included – you tin can notice it from the Net section of the Applications menu – and it allows you to command other RealVNC clients, including other Pis. Have a look here on RealVNC’s site for more information.
Please note that if you already use xrdp to remotely access your Pi, this conflicts with the RealVNC server, and so you shouldn’t install both at once. If y’all’re updating an existing image, don’t run the
sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server
line in the instructions below. If you want to use xrdp on a clean paradigm, first uninstall the RealVNC server with
sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server
before installing xrdp. (If the above paragraph means nix to you, so you probably aren’t using xrdp, and so you don’t have to worry about whatever of it!)
As well included is the new SenseHAT emulator, which was described in a blog postal service a couple of weeks ago; have a await here for all the details.
There are updates for a number of the built-in applications; these are mostly tweaks and problems fixes, but there take been improvements made to Scratch and Node-RED.
Ane more than thing…
We’ve been aircraft the Epiphany spider web browser for the last couple of years, but it’s now starting to prove its historic period. And then for this release (and with many cheers to Gustav Hansen from the forums for his invaluable help with this), we’re including an initial release of Chromium for the Pi. This uses the Pi’s hardware to accelerate playback of streaming video content.
We’ve preinstalled a couple of extensions; the uBlock Origin adblocker should hopefully keep intrusive adverts from slowing down your browsing experience, and the h264ify extension forces YouTube to serve videos in a format which tin exist accelerated by the Pi’southward hardware.
Chromium is a much more demanding piece of software than Epiphany, but it runs well on Pi two and Pi iii; it tin can struggle slightly on the Pi i and Pi Zero, but it’due south notwithstanding usable. (Epiphany is yet installed in instance you lot find it useful; launch it from the command line by typing “epiphany-browser”.)
How do I get it?
The Raspbian + PIXEL epitome is available from the Downloads page on our website now. Note that the uncompressed prototype is over 4GB in size, and some older unzippers will fail to decompress it properly. If y’all have problems, utilize 7-Zip on Windows and The Unarchiver on Mac – both are free applications which have been tested to decompress the file correctly.
To update an existing Jessie image, blazon the following at the control line:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-go dist-upgrade sudo apt-become install -y rpi-chromium-mods sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer
and so reboot.
If yous don’t use xrdp and would like to use the RealVNC server to remotely admission your Pi, blazon the following:
sudo apt-get install -y realvnc-vnc-server
As always, your feedback on the new release is very welcome; feel costless to allow u.s. know what you call up in the comments or on the forums.