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Raspberry Pi PIXEL desktop environment now available for PC and Macintosh

Back in September, the Raspberry Pi team released its own desktop environment (DE) – PIXEL. They said at the time that this is their best guess as to 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.” Now it has been made available for all x86 machines.

PIXEL is a lightweight DE built on top of Debian. It is lightweight so that it runs well on Pi machines which are limited by their low spec hardware. To run Debian+PIXEL you simply need to download the ISO file and burn it onto a DVD or USB stick and boot into the medium with your computer. Alternatively you can buy the January 2017 edition of The MagPi magazine which comes with a free DVD of it with the issue.

The Raspberry Pi team provided two reasons why they are making this ISO file available, they are:

  • A school can now run PIXEL on its existing installed base of PCs, just as a student can run PIXEL on her Raspberry Pi at home. She can move back and forth between her computing class or after-school club and home, using exactly the same productivity software and programming tools, in exactly the same desktop environment. There is no learning curve, and no need to tweak her schoolwork to run on two subtly different operating systems.
  • And bringing PIXEL to the PC and Mac keeps us honest. We don’t just want to create the best desktop environment for the Raspberry Pi: we want to create the best desktop environment, period. We know we’re not there yet, but by running PIXEL alongside Windows, Mac OS, and the established desktop GNU/Linux distros, we can more easily see where our weak points are, and work to fix them.

It’s important to note that this is just a prototype of PIXEL for PC and Mac, not the final release version so you should expect things to go a bit funky from time to time, given the enormous amount of hardware out there. Additionally, this image is slightly different to that you’ll find on a Pi, it’s missing Minecraft and Wolfram Mathematica due to licensing restrictions.

Source: Raspberry Pi

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