The Linux-based PIXEL OS, the same one that the Raspberry Pi Foundation uses on its own micro computers, has now been released in an experimental state to the public.
The OS is compatible with both x86-based PC and Mac hardware and is incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for working from older computers, with the caveat that they need to sport at least 512MB of RAM. You’re able to boot from a DVD or a USB flash drive, with the latter giving you the option for ‘persistence’, allowing your sessions’ changes to remain the next time you boot up.
As mentioned, this is an experimental release and comes with some quirks. For instance, it’s not necessarily compatible with all machines at this stage, and as such should be installed with caution (be sure to back up). As is the case with the Raspberry Pi in general, community input is crucial for both development and ironing out the software’s kinks.
Raspberry Fields Forever
This release falls in line with the Foundation’s vision, which is “that everyone should be able to afford their own programmable general-purpose computer”. Up until now the organisation’s been achieving this through the development of the Raspberry Pi hardware, offering an incredibly cheap and compact computing solution, but it seems the group is equally interested in getting its software in as many hands as possible.
As per the official Raspberry Pi blog, the Foundation explains that PIXEL is attempting to offer “a clean, modern user interface; a curated suite of productivity software and programming tools, both free and proprietary; and the Chromium web browser with useful plugins, including Adobe Flash, preinstalled. And all of this is built on top of Debian, providing instant access to thousands of free applications.”