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The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released PIXEL on PC and Mac. PIXEL being the desktop environment that makes the Raspbian operating system 5 Ways New Raspbian Jessie Makes Raspberry Pi Even Easier to Use 5 Ways New Raspbian Jessie Makes Raspberry Pi Even Easier to Use Following the release of Debian Jessie in July, the Raspberry Pi community has been blessed with a new release of the Raspbian variant, based on the "parent" distro. Read More look good. This means that anyone can enjoy the same experience even when switching from a Raspberry Pi to a PC or Mac.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation originally launched PIXEL in September 2016 in order to make the Raspbian operating system more aesthetically pleasing and more intuitive to use Upgrade Raspberry Pi's Raspbian OS With the PIXEL Desktop Environment Upgrade Raspberry Pi's Raspbian OS With the PIXEL Desktop Environment Since its release in 2012, the Raspberry Pi's Raspbian operating system has had a few revisions, but the desktop environment had remained largely the same. Pixel changes that. Read More . PIXEL, for the uninitiated, stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight”.

Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, states that PIXEL “represents our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment”.

To this end, it offers “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.” It’s also all built on top of Debian, providing users with “access to thousands of free applications”.

And PIXEL is now available for PC and Mac.

Breathe New Life Into an Old Computer

PIXEL can be installed on any PC or Mac with an x86 processor and at least 512MB of RAM. PIXEL can be downloaded completely for free, and then burned onto either a DVD or USB stick. Due to licensing issues, the only elements regular Raspberry Pi users will find missing are Wolfram Mathematica and Minecraft. Even though Minecraft is now available on Apple TV.

Upton is quick to point out that “this is a prototype rather then a final release version”. Which means that “due to the wide variety of PC and Mac hardware out there, there are likely to be minor issues on some hardware configurations”.

We wouldn’t recommend installing PIXEL on your brand new PC or Mac. However, if you have an old computer lying around 5 Reasons Why Apple Is Wrong About Old Windows PCs 5 Reasons Why Apple Is Wrong About Old Windows PCs During a recent Apply keynote speech, Phil Schiller stated it was "sad" that 600 million Windows PCs were more than five years old. We disagree and think it's a Microsoft triumph. Here's why. Read More unused and unloved, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s new Linux desktop environment could prove to be very useful in breathing new life into an old computer.

What do you think of Raspberry Pi, Raspbian, and PIXEL? Will you be installing PIXEL on one of your old computers? If so, please do let us know what you think of PIXEL as a desktop environment. If not, please let us know what’s putting you off trying PIXEL.

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  1. Mike Gilligan
    January 27, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Ran Pixel in Memory today. Looks nice & clean. However, doesn't support SSE (I think its called...?) when I started up the Chrome Browser. Is this because it was only running in memory, or due to the age of the computer - which was running Win Vista & about 7-8 yrs old?

  2. Kenneth Herring
    December 23, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I think this is a great idea, hopefully this will soon be available in a version you can install and run on lower end systems.

  3. Wayne
    December 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I'm donating an older laptop (4 yrs?) and typically I put Ubuntu on old equipment I donate. I was considering trying ChromeOS but I will definitely give PIXEL a shot first!

  4. JerryJ26
    December 23, 2016 at 1:14 am
    • Dave Parrack
      December 23, 2016 at 11:44 am

      And here are those same instructions in the article you're commenting on.

      "PIXEL can be installed on any PC or Mac with an x86 processor and at least 512MB of RAM. PIXEL can be downloaded completely for free, and then burned onto either a DVD or USB stick. Due to licensing issues, the only elements regular Raspberry Pi users will find missing are Wolfram Mathematica and Minecraft. Even though Minecraft is now available on Apple TV."

      • Dave Parrack
        December 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

        I can add "And then boot from that DVD or USB stick" if you want, but that's surely stating the obvious.

  5. Glenn Lake
    December 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I wish this article would have explained how to install PIXEL.

    • asitis
      December 22, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Burn the PIXEL image to a USB stick and boot from your PC from it.

      • Glenn Lake
        December 23, 2016 at 3:20 am

        I went to the site and it looks like you just did a copy and past of there site. Your article could have been a single line linking to the site. I would hope you would have at lease installed it and made a first hand report on it. Lately the whole MUO site has become a click bate site to in draw in eyes and not show much. With all the embedded links it makes it a pain to read.

        • Dave Parrack
          December 23, 2016 at 8:31 am

          This is a news article. I didn't copy and paste anything. I did, however, quote some of what Eben Upton said.

          This isn't clickbait in any way. The content matches the headline.

          We may indeed do a fuller article reviewing PIXEL for PC and Mac at a later date, but this is just a quick post informing our readers it's a thing.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 23, 2016 at 8:27 am

      It does. You download it, burn it to a DVD or USB, and then boot from it.