Raspberry Pi's Pixel Can Work On Old Computers

Raspberry Pi Pixel Desktop
The Raspberry Pi Foundation released its Pixel desktop that can be booted even on an old PC or Mac computer. Photo : Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Raspberry Pi's newly released Pixel desktop experience is now available for x86-based Mac and Windows PCs, being able to reinvigorate even old computers.

Raspberry Pi's Pixel

According to PC World, the Raspberry Pi Foundation just revealed an early Christmas present for all the fans of Raspberry Pi and Linux. The organization announced that it have rolled out to Mac and Windows PCs an early prototype of the Raspberry Pi's Pixel desktop experience. Users can now boot from a USB drive in order to run the Pixel desktop experience natively on their regular laptop. 

Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said in a blog post that for those who like Pixel the good news is that they will not need anymore to buy hardware in order to run it. It makes sense to have Pixel available to be installed on the massive base of PC and Mac hardware out there. Older computers can run just fine on x86 Debian.

The name of Pixel comes as an abbreviation for Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight. It is based on Debian Linux and provides a Linux desktop experience.

Pixel is designed to be more full featured than a typical Rasberry Pi desktop distribution while being a low-resource desktop environment. The Pixel desktop experience was first rolled out by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to Pi devices in September.

On regular PCs, the Pixel desktop experience is pretty much similar to that on a Raspberry Pi. Both "Wolfram Mathematica" and "Minecraft" apps are missing, since the Foundation possesses a license to install them only on Raspberry Pi devices. 

At the moment, Pixel for PC and Mac is just an experiment in its early stage. Due to the wide variety of hardware out there, it is possible that some hardware configurations may not work properly.

It is still unknown whether this version of the Pixel desktop will turn into a more official project. If this is the case, then Raspberry Pi will work to fix any issues that arise. 

Raspberry Pi's Pixel Also Works On Old Computers

A great advantage of the Pixel desktop is that it can run on almost anything, including older hardware. You need to be aware that if you plan to run Pixel you'll need at least 512 Megabytes of RAM. However, this is a requirement that any computer built in the last decade will easily pass. 

Those who want to install Pixel can download it directly from the Foundation's website and then copy it to a USB drive or DVD. You will need first to set your PC's BIOS to boot from your chosen media, in order to use Pixel desktop experience. 

If you want that any work you do on the operating system to be saved between sessions, then Pixel for Mac and PCs can be set to run in a "persistent mode." If you want to use this option then you'll probably need a larger USB drive in order to allow for a partition to save data and files. However, the advantage is that this way you'll have a mini-PC that can run separately from your computer's primary OS. 

According to Tech Crunch, by using the lightweight Pixel operating system its clean desktop UI, you can bring your old hardware into renewed service. If you have an old laptop lying around you could get it going again with the lightweight Linux-based modern OS for basic tasks, including browsing the internet via the pre-installed Chromium. Other software in Pixel that is all built on Debian includes a select suite of programming tools and productivity software.

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