RASPBIAN JESSIE with PIXEL operating system for Raspberry pi, pre-loaded on a micro SD card
Recent versions of Raspbian have been based on Debian Wheezy but Raspbian has now been updated to the new stable version of Debian, which is called Jessie.
This version comes with the PIXEL (Pi Improved XWindows Environment, Lightweight) desktop environment, adding a stylish desktop experience and a polished user interface.
There are modifications to the underlying system to improve performance and flexibility, particularly as regards the control of system processes, and as with any update, there are numerous bug fixes and tweaks. And at the same time as the upgrade to Jessie, a bunch of changes and improvements has been added to the desktop user interface.
The first thing anyone starting the new Jessie image from scratch will notice is that the default behaviour is to boot straight to the desktop GUI, not to the Linux command line. It is still possible to set the Pi to boot to the command line for people who prefer that. The menu bar now features an eject icon at the top right – this is a new plug-in that allows USB drives and the like to be safely ejected without the risk of losing data.
There are updates to several of the applications that used to come with Raspbian. There are new versions of Scratch, Sonic Pi, and the Epiphany web browser; none of these have changed fundamentally in operation, but they all include bug fixes and performance improvements.
Support has been added for some of the new Pi peripherals that have been released recently, including the Sense HAT as used in Astro Pi – this is now supported under Scratch and Python.
Python users used to have to launch Python with sudo in order to allow access to the GPIO lines – Python can now access GPIOs as a standard user. Also for Python, the Pygame Zero game environment is installed by default
"One of our main aims with regard to Raspberry Pi is not just to make it a great cheap computer for education, but also to make it a great cheap computer in its own right. To this end, we want to make it possible to use a Pi to do the sort of things you’d do on a Mac or a PC, so we’re including some more applications that we think people will find useful. In this release, we have added the LibreOffice suite and Claws Mail."
- Simon Long, UX engineer
View more changes to the operating system
PIXEL (Pi Improved XWindows Environment, Lightweight) Features:
- RealVNC support for remote desktop
- New splash screen
- Login screen options
- Stunning desktop backgrounds
- Refreshed icons
- Windows improved design
- Infinality font rendering software
- New apps and utilities including SenseHAT emulator