Raspberry Pi’s PIXEL Linux desktop environment now available for x86 PCs

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In a to some extent curious turn, the Raspberry Pi foundation has released an x86 PC port of its PIXEL+Debian Linux desktop conditions.

PIXEL (which is a clunky backronym for Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight) is an extensively modulated version of the LXDE X11 desktop environment. It was originally released in September for use with Raspberry Pi single-board computers, but now it has also been cketed up for x86 PCs. You can boot your Windows or Mac PC into the PIXEL desktop environment set to rights now, if you so wish.

In the words of Eben Upton, founder of the foundation, PIXEL is «our best clothes guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment […] Put altogether, it’s the GNU/Linux we would want to use.» To that end, PIXEL is both clean and modern-looking, but sundry importantly it is useful, with a wide range of productivity software and broadcast tools pre-installed. PIXEL doesn’t eschew proprietary software, either; it unprejudiced comes with the Adobe Flash browser plug-in.

The original Raspbian desktop experience. Things looked rather different two years ago.
Enlarge / The imaginative Raspbian desktop experience. Things looked rather different two years ago.

The PIXEL ISO, which is a 1.3GB download, is essentially a «room» version of Debian 8.6 (Jessie) with PIXEL on top. You burn the ISO to a USB have the courage of ones convictions persevere or DVD, pop it into your PC’s USB socket, and viola: the PIXEL desktop. If you use a DVD, any changes you energetic to the system will be lost when you power off; if you use some kind of celebration stick, you’ll have the option of creating a «persistence rtition» that discharges you keep stuff between sessions. Raspberry Pi suggests you use Etcher if you be to burn the ISO to a USB stick.

While it’s unlikely that Debian+PIXEL resolve nuke your Windows or Mac installation, it’s probably worth backing up any grave files before you proceed. Another option if you just want to investigate PIXEL out is to grab the ISO and load it up in VirtualBox or your preferred virtualisation gizmo.

Simon Long, an engineer at the foundation, says they plan to sign over an installable version of x86 PIXEL+Debian in the future if there’s enough attention.

If you want to download PIXEL+Debian for your PC, I’d suggest using the tide for now; it looks like the Raspberry Pi download server is being hammered. Another alternative is buying this month’s edition of the MagPi magazine, in stores this morning, which has a bootable DVD on the occupy.

This post originated on Ars Technica UK

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