Raspbian PIXEL version September 2016: what's new [Full Guide]

fond01_250px version 2016-09-23 raspbian a new GUI appeared. It is called Pixel ( P i I improved X windows E nvironment, L ightweight – improved light environment of Xwindows for Raspberry Pi ).
Office has therefore been revamped but also other functions that I propose you to discover in this article.

Simon Long, UX engineer to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, told the story that hides behind this version of Raspbian shipping PIXEL blog : “ there is a little more than two years, I entered the IP Towers for the first time.” The first day, Eben and I we sat and played with the Raspbian Office for half an hour. He asked me “do you think you can do better?


this conversation led to two years of hard work, dedicated to the design of this new interface.” You’ll soon notice the difference as soon as you start your Raspberry Pi. Rather than see the text that scrolls on the screen, with Raspbian PIXEL you will have an image that is displayed at startup:

then get the homescreen with a stunning photograph of an Icelandic road that adorns the office. “ we fortunate that Greg Annandale, one of the developers of the Foundation, is also a very talented photographer (and who traveled a lot): he has kindly allowed us to use some of my images for the office of PIXEL ‘ says Simon.


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after 2 years of attendance of LXDE I think I learned a lot and it is actually surprisingly easy to change the LXDE desktop, once one has in mind what all the parts of the program are doing.» From there I focused on the LXDE parts that I felt having to refine. The result approached more in addition to my original concept of the office; with those changes, I think that the bureau has reached the point where it became a complete product and deserves to have my own name. So, today, we are announcing the leaving the PIXEL, which will be integrated into the Raspbian image provided by the Foundation from that day.


one of the things Simon said (at least partly in jest) to my colleagues in the first weeks of its activity was that he would rather rename the desktop environment, once it would be a bit more specific to the Raspberry Pi, and that he thought of the name ‘ Pixel “.” It was a pleasant reminder of the days during which he learned to program in BASIC on the Sinclair ZX81 ; Today, all objects, from your TV to your phone have pixels, but at the time it was a Word and a concept for computing. Simon also like crosswords and games of words, and once it seemed obvious that “pixel” might be composed of the initials of words like P i and X windows, this name has remained in my mind and has never really left him. So it’s PIXEL , which means now officially ‘ P i I improved X windows E nvironment, L ightweight.

what’s new?

the latest changes are almost entirely related to the appearance of the desktop. There are a few functional changes and a few new applications (learn more below) but the idea was mainly to make the environment more pleasant.

the first thing you will notice when you restart is that scrolling boot messages is (almost) gone, replaced by a home screen (splash screen). One thing that has often been requested is a version number obvious for the Raspbian image provided by the Foundation. This version number is now displayed at the bottom right of the boot image. It will be updated for each release of a new version of the image. It will be slightly easier to know exactly what version you use in the future.


if should be noted that the splash screen code has been carefully written and tested, and that it should not slow down the process of starting the Raspberry Pi; the time between switching on and displaying the desktop is the same as the start screen is displayed or not.

background images of the bureau

once the desktop appears, the first thing you will notice is the presence of a rather amazing background image. It’s Greg Annandale who kindly allowed the use of part of my office for PIXEL work like background images. There are 16 images of your choice; You can find them in / usr/share/pixel-wallpaper / , and you can go to Menu > Preferences > appearance Settings to choose the one you prefer. Then right-click on the desktop and go to Office Preferences . Look at them all, images of Greg vallent the detour! If you’re curious, the EXIF data for each image will tell you where it was taken.


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you will also notice the taskbar, on the menu, and the File Manager icons underwent a rejuvenation treatment. Sam Alder and Alex Carter, responsible guys all animations and graphics that you see on our website , were heavily involved in recent months, with Eben checking each pixel was exactly the right color! The idea was to have something that looks professional enough to be accepted by the people who use the office of the Raspberry Pi to do a serious job, but with just a touch of mischief. Sam and Alex did a great job. ( some of the icons you don’t see currently are even prettier, and it’s almost worth to install educational applications or engineering just so these categories appear in the menu…) )


A way of icons, the choice was made to not to show the icons in the menus of each application. These menus would have seemed a little tight, and offer not really improve ease of use, especially because it’s not always been easy to understand what the icon is supposed to represent… The selected menus appear cleaner and more readable, being less crowded, they are easier to use.

eclair_jaune_150px to finish with the icons, in the past, if your Raspberry Pi worked a lot, you probably notice red and yellow squares that appear in the upper right of the screen. These are indications of overheating or undervoltage. These squares have been replaced by new symbols that are more obvious to understand what is happening; There is a Flash (left image) for the monitors, and a thermometer to overheat.


If you open a window, you will see that the design of the window has changed significantly. The old window air a bit dated compared to offer what Apple and Microsoft today, she had to be updated. The windows now have slightly rounded corners, a clean title with new icons close/minimize/maximize bar, and a much thinner frame. One of the reasons why the framework was rather thick on the old windows was that it had to be large enough to grab it with the mouse. To avoid this problem, the hanging area is now extended slightly outside the window; If you position the pointer just outside the window that has the focus (which is selected), you will see the pointer change and display the handle.



Steve Jobs has said that one of the things on which he insisted on the Macintosh was that its typography to be good, and it is true that the use of good fonts makes a big difference. The Roboto font is used for the Raspbian Office for two years; This is a nice modern font, and it has not changed for this version. Howeverthe appearance has been improved in PIXEL with Infinality (rendering of fonts). It is a library that allows adjustments and customization that optimize how fonts are mapped to the pixels on the screen. the effect is quite subtle, but noticeable improvement in some places.


most users have their Raspberry Pi parameter to be connected automatically when the office opens, this is the default setting for a new installation. For those who prefer to connect manually to each time the login screen has been redesigned to match visually with the rest of the office; you see below the login box (known as the “greeter”) on the desktop, with a smooth transition from greeter to the office.


stop the WiFI and Bluetooth

a request that came back often is the ability to cut WiFi and/or Bluetooth completely, especially on Pi 3. There are now options in the menus WiFi and Bluetooth to turn off the devices. This works on the wireless devices to the Pi 3; It should also work on most external WiFi and Bluetooth dongles.

you can now also sign an associated access point by clicking on its entry in the WiFi menu.

new applications

there are new applications included in the image.


RealVNC has adapted its VNC server and and its visualization in the Raspberry Pi tool, and they are now integrated into the system. To enable the server, select the option in the tab Interfaces in Configuration of the Raspberry Pi ; You can see the VNC appears on the taskbar, and you can then connect to your IP and control it remotely from a VNC Viewer.


the RealVNC Viewer is also included – you can find it in the Internet section of the Applications menu – and it allows you to control other RealVNC, including other Raspberry EPS 😀 customers. Take a look on the RealVNC website for more information.


Note that if you use already xrdp for remote access to your Pi, this program is in conflict with the server RealVNC . Do not install both at the same time. If you’re updating an existing image, do not run the line sudo apt - get install realvnc-vnc-server in the instructions below. If you want to use xrdp on a clean image, first uninstall the server RealVNC sudo apt - get purge realvnc-vnc-server before installing xrdp . (If the paragraph above means nothing to you, then you are probably not xrdp , don’t worry about it!)


one final note about VNC: If you have a PC with a browser with a Java plugin, you can connect as indicated above by typing adresse_IP:5900 in the address bar

vnc_java1vnc_java2vnc_java3 a new window will open:

vnc_java5 will be the copying of your screen of Raspberry Pi.


If your browser has no Java plugin, use VNCviewer for example. In this case the address to enter will be adresse_IP:5800

vnc_viewer_01vnc_viewer_02 vnc_viewer_03_600px you will then have access to the Raspberry Pi via VNCviewer.

emulator SenseHAT

the SenseHAT emulator is also present in the image of Raspbian. It has been described in in a blog post of the Foundation a few weeks ago. You will find all the details.



there are updates for a number of integrated applications; These are for the most part, tweaks and bug fixes, but there has been improvements to Scratch and Node-RED.

one more thing…

the Epiphany Web browser has been installed in the past two years, but it is now starting to grow old. For this version (et avec beaucoup de remerciements à Gustav Hansen pour son aide précieuse à ce sujet dans les forums), the Foundation included a version initial Chrome for the Raspberry Pi . This uses the hardware of the Raspberry Pi to speed up the playback of video content streaming.


some extensions are pre-installed: the adblocker uBlock Origin should, hopefully, prevent intrusive ads to slow your browsing, and extension h264ify forcing YouTube to send videos in a format that can be accelerated by the hardware of the Raspberry Pi.


chrome is much more demanding than Epiphany software, but it works well on Pi 2 Raspberry and Raspberry Pi 3; He can row slightly on the Pi 1 Raspberry and Raspberry Pi Zero, but it’s still usable. ( Epiphany is always installed in the case where you find useful.) You can run it from the command line by typing “ epiphany-browser )

image Raspbian + PIXEL is available on downloads site of the Foundation. ” Note that the uncompressed image is more than 4 GB, and that some older decompression tools fail to decompress correctly. If you have problems, use 7-Zip under Windows and The Unarchiver on Mac – both are free applications that have been tested and that relax the file correctly.

to update an image of Jessie existing, type the following commands:

 sudo apt - get update sudo apt - get dist-upgrade sudo apt - get install y rpi-chromium-mods sudo apt - get install-y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu sudo apt - get install python-sense-emu-doc y realvnc-vnc-viewer 

then restart your Raspberry Pi.

If you do not xrdp and you want to use the RealVNC server for remote access to your IP, type the following:

 sudo apt - get install y realvnc-vnc-server 

as always, your comments on the new version are welcome. be sure to know what you think of this version in the comments or forums.

some people have reported that since the installation of the update, the opening of the “Other” category in the main menu causes a system crash… a crash if you prefer.

the investigations have shown that applications whose menu entries have no associated icon – there will be an update in a few weeks, but if you need to solve this problem, in the meantime the fix, do the following:

menu entries are all files with an extension .desktop ; applications installed by the user rank them in directories / usr/local/share/applications or / usr/share/applications . Open a terminal and navigate to each of these directories, then use grep to find the affected files-

 grep -.desktop - IRiL "Icon" include 

for each file listed in the above line, use an editor and open them (replace filename by the name of file)

 sudo geany filename 

Add the following line at the end of each file and save

 Icon = application-x-executable 

au_plafond with this new version Raspbian acquires a little more maturity. Of course users who do work in console mode or in headless don’t go jumping on the 🙂 ceiling but everyone who makes a pedagogical use of Raspberry Pi with its operating system will have a tool that graphically, approximates modern systems, at least by its appearance in the hands…

PIXEL: the brand new desktop for the Raspberry Pi

Introducing PIXEL

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