A Raspbian desktop update with some new programming tools

Today we’ve released another update to the Raspbian desktop. In addition to the usual small tweaks and bug fixes, the big new changes are the inclusion of an offline version of Scratch 2.0, and of Thonny (a user-friendly IDE for Python which is excellent for beginners). We’ll look at all the changes in this post, but let’s start with the biggest…

Scratch 2.0 for Raspbian

Scratch is one of the most popular pieces of software on Raspberry Pi. This is largely due to the way it makes programming accessible – while it is simple to learn, it covers many of the concepts that are used in more advanced languages. Scratch really does provide a great introduction to programming for all ages.

Raspbian ships with the original version of Scratch, which is now at version 1.4. A few years ago, though, the Scratch team at the MIT Media Lab introduced the new and improved Scratch version 2.0, and ever since we’ve had numerous requests to offer it on the Pi.

There was, however, a problem with this. The original version of Scratch was written in a language called Squeak, which could run on the Pi in a Squeak interpreter. Scratch 2.0, however, was written in Flash, and was designed to run from a remote site in a web browser. While this made Scratch 2.0 a cross-platform application, which you could run without installing any Scratch software, it also meant that you had to be able to run Flash on your computer, and that you needed to be connected to the internet to program in Scratch.

We worked with Adobe to include the Pepper Flash plugin in Raspbian, which enables Flash sites to run in the Chromium browser. This addressed the first of these problems, so the Scratch 2.0 website has been available on Pi for a while. However, it still needed an internet connection to run, which wasn’t ideal in many circumstances. We’ve been working with the Scratch team to get an offline version of Scratch 2.0 running on Pi.

Screenshot of Scratch on Raspbian

The Scratch team had created a website to enable developers to create hardware and software extensions for Scratch 2.0; this provided a version of the Flash code for the Scratch editor which could be modified to run locally rather than over the internet. We combined this with a program called Electron, which effectively wraps up a local web page into a standalone application. We ended up with the Scratch 2.0 application that you can find in the Programming section of the main menu.

Physical computing with Scratch 2.0

We didn’t stop there though. We know that people want to use Scratch for physical computing, and it has always been a bit awkward to access GPIO pins from Scratch. In our Scratch 2.0 application, therefore, there is a custom extension which allows the user to control the Pi’s GPIO pins without difficulty. Simply click on ‘More Blocks’, choose ‘Add an Extension’, and select ‘Pi GPIO’. This loads two new blocks, one to read and one to write the state of a GPIO pin.

Screenshot of new Raspbian iteration of Scratch 2, featuring GPIO pin control blocks.

The Scratch team kindly allowed us to include all the sprites, backdrops, and sounds from the online version of Scratch 2.0. You can also use the Raspberry Pi Camera Module to create new sprites and backgrounds.

This first release works well, although it can be slow for some operations; this is largely unavoidable for Flash code running under Electron. Bear in mind that you will need to have the Pepper Flash plugin installed (which it is by default on standard Raspbian images). As Pepper Flash is only compatible with the processor in the Pi 2.0 and Pi 3, it is unfortunately not possible to run Scratch 2.0 on the Pi Zero or the original models of the Pi.

We hope that this makes Scratch 2.0 a more practical proposition for many users than it has been to date. Do let us know if you hit any problems, though!

Thonny: a more user-friendly IDE for Python

One of the paths from Scratch to ‘real’ programming is through Python. We know that the transition can be awkward, and this isn’t helped by the tools available for learning Python. It’s fair to say that IDLE, the Python IDE, isn’t the most popular piece of software ever written…

Earlier this year, we reviewed every Python IDE that we could find that would run on a Raspberry Pi, in an attempt to see if there was something better out there than IDLE. We wanted to find something that was easier for beginners to use but still useful for experienced Python programmers. We found one program, Thonny, which stood head and shoulders above all the rest. It’s a really user-friendly IDE, which still offers useful professional features like single-stepping of code and inspection of variables.

Screenshot of Thonny IDE in Raspbian

Thonny was created at the University of Tartu in Estonia; we’ve been working with Aivar Annamaa, the lead developer, on getting it into Raspbian. The original version of Thonny works well on the Pi, but because the GUI is written using Python’s default GUI toolkit, Tkinter, the appearance clashes with the rest of the Raspbian desktop, most of which is written using the GTK toolkit. We made some changes to bring things like fonts and graphics into line with the appearance of our other apps, and Aivar very kindly took that work and converted it into a theme package that could be applied to Thonny.

Due to the limitations of working within Tkinter, the result isn’t exactly like a native GTK application, but it’s pretty close. It’s probably good enough for anyone who isn’t a picky UI obsessive like me, anyway! Have a look at the Thonny webpage to see some more details of all the cool features it offers. We hope that having a more usable environment will help to ease the transition from graphical languages like Scratch into ‘proper’ languages like Python.

New icons

Other than these two new packages, this release is mostly bug fixes and small version bumps. One thing you might notice, though, is that we’ve made some tweaks to our custom icon set. We wondered if the icons might look better with slightly thinner outlines. We tried it, and they did: we hope you prefer them too.

Downloading the new image

You can either download a new image from the Downloads page, or you can use apt to update:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

To install Scratch 2.0:

sudo apt-get install scratch2

To install Thonny:

sudo apt-get install python3-thonny

One more thing…

Before Christmas, we released an experimental version of the desktop running on Debian for x86-based computers. We were slightly taken aback by how popular it turned out to be! This made us realise that this was something we were going to need to support going forward. We’ve decided we’re going to try to make all new desktop releases for both Pi and x86 from now on.

The version of this we released last year was a live image that could run from a USB stick. Many people asked if we could make it permanently installable, so this version includes an installer. This uses the standard Debian install process, so it ought to work on most machines. I should stress, though, that we haven’t been able to test on every type of hardware, so there may be issues on some computers. Please be sure to back up your hard drive before installing it. Unlike the live image, this will erase and reformat your hard drive, and you will lose anything that is already on it!

You can still boot the image as a live image if you don’t want to install it, and it will create a persistence partition on the USB stick so you can save data. Just select ‘Run with persistence’ from the boot menu. To install, choose either ‘Install’ or ‘Graphical install’ from the same menu. The Debian installer will then walk you through the install process.

You can download the latest x86 image (which includes both Scratch 2.0 and Thonny) from here or here for a torrent file.

One final thing

This version of the desktop is based on Debian Jessie. Some of you will be aware that a new stable version of Debian (called Stretch) was released last week. Rest assured – we have been working on porting everything across to Stretch for some time now, and we will have a Stretch release ready some time over the summer.


Peter Vincent avatar

Wow! I had made a Scratch 2 version of the Secret Agents Python project for Code Club (but they decided it was too complex for youngsters so it was never published). I was thinking about converting it to work on RPi – and just at the right time, along comes this update which means I can tidy up my original version and offer it to RPi foundation instead after testing. Great stuff guys!

AJ avatar


Michael Horne avatar

Well done to everyone involved, especially on bringing Scratch 2.0 offline to the desktop! :-)

Andy avatar


This sounded great for teaching computing.

However, I just tried the apt-get and it cannot find either scratch2 nor thonny. In both cases it reports “Unable to locate package …”

Simon Long avatar

You did remember to do the “sudo apt-get update” first, didn’t you?

If so, just give it half an hour or so – sometimes the servers take a while to sync up with new content. The packages definitely exist and are on the repos.

Andy avatar


Yes, I did an upgrade and a dist-update first.

I’ve now waited for four hours and tried again. Still can’t find the packages! The upgrade seemed to find some things (xenial InRelease it seems) the dist-upgrade nothing.

Guess I’ll leave it some more.

Serge Schneider avatar

xenial? it doesn’t sound like you’re running Raspbian.

Andy avatar

I have some odd pointers to other stuff on this machine (although I can’t remember why in many cases).

However, the good news is that waiting just a little bit longer was worthwhile! It all seems to be wonderful now.

manuti avatar

Lot of good news. Very happy to have Thonny included and the improve of x86 version.
And … waiting for Strech!!!

GeekyTim avatar

Perfect timing! Was trying to update my x86 version last night and it failed, so this new version comes at the right time for me – thank you :-)

Ilfirin avatar

Oh hell, Flash. That is huge takedown.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

I think you’ll find you missed that boat around four years ago when Scratch 2 was first developed!


Ed avatar

Wow, was my previous reply modded away? It was somewhat critical but also fair, I thought, when I said that Scratch2 is currently the best solution.

Peter Gallagher avatar

Great work guys!

Michael Rimicans avatar

Typical…just updated all the Jam Cards and now this :D

Scratch2.0 should make life a bit easier now.

Milliways avatar

Why do you keep recommending apt-get; apt is nothing else gives a decent progress indicator.

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Using ‘apt’ gives a slightly nicer progress bar compared to ‘apt-get’, but then command-line completion works with apt-get.

Personally I find command-line completion more useful than a ##### progress bar.

Jeremy avatar

bash completion works fine for me with “apt”. Apart from the progress bar, “apt update” reports how many packages need updating, which can be useful

Stewart Watkiss avatar

It doesn’t appear to work on the standard Pixel – unless it was added in the latest (but not brought in with the dist-upgrade).

There are files for apt-get and aptitude in the /usr/share/bash-completions/completions folder, but nothing for just apt. If trying to tab during apt then it looks for a file and not the list of available packages which works from apt-get.

Egon Rath avatar

These are really great news, all of them. Thanks for keeping up the good work you all did over the last few years with raspbian, the pixel desktop and now the installable x86 image.

Jorn avatar

A new version of the x86 image and it arrives on my own birthday as well. You must have seen my wish list or did my wife tell you ? :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do.
We are learning so much from the Pi and have been able to use an old laptop since the first x86 image arrived.
Grown-ups with grey hair learn a lot from the Pi too :) It is a marvel.

rreignier avatar

The Release Notes have not been updated yet on the Downloads page ;)

Paul Fretwell avatar

I am starting my first code club in September, and have a busy few months ahead designing Scratch tutorials for physical computing. I had originally assumed that I could hide more complex code in custom blocks (aka functions) in scratch, but was dismayed to find out scratch 1.4 did not support these. This couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ll endeavour to publish my projects plans on my blog as I get going with this over the Summer.

Gustavo Gonnet avatar

Hi Paul, what ages will you be targeting with your tutorials?
the reason I’m asking is that I’m always trying to find things to do with my kids on the rasp-pi.

Paul Fretwell avatar

Ages 9 – 11 initially (i.e. Key Stage 2 primary school classes, which are years 4 – 6). Of course they may be applicable to a wider age range and it also depends on the ability of the individuals. But that is the age group I will be starting with and testing this all out on. My own daughter will be the initial test subject, and she fast approaching 10 years old currently.

Alan Mc (Irish Framboise) avatar

Fantastic news on Scratch 2! Thanks. Bravo. Now we can use our Pis with all the Code Club resources \o/

Cleo Qc avatar

Can we extend scratch 2 to support other hardware? As in other Pi add-on that work through i2c or spi?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Yes if you write an extension for Scratch 2 in javascript

CleoQc avatar

Thanks Gordon.
I’m assuming this is ScratchX then?

Dhiraj Patra avatar

I think spyder is much better python IDE.Though takes little bit more memory.

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Each new release keeps getting better. I’m looking forward to using Scratch 2 on the Raspberry Pi.

Bonzadog avatar

Very good news indeed…I shall try stretch when it is released.
Not keen on scratch at all – but there again that is just me.

Can one be notifies of OS Update News via Email?

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Whilst not just about releases of the OS, the Pi Weekly includes notifications of important new relating to the Raspberry Pi in a weekly email.

See: https://www.raspberrypi.org/weekly/

Alexandre avatar

Twice very happy! Tks.

Zander avatar

Electron on the Pi? This must lead to a large package.
Although I imagine it runs fine on 2B & 3 I wouldn’t have thought the startup would be great.

Anne Carlill avatar

Is “sudo apt-get install scratch2” the correct statement to type into the LXTerminal once you’ve done an update and upgrade?

Anne Carlill avatar

I’m only asking so that, if a novice comes here, they know what to do. It worked and I’ve got Scratch2 now, thank you!

If someone needs more comprehensive instructions I’ve put them on my blog: https://geekgran.wordpress.com/

Javiertecteo avatar

Que buena noticia de Scratch 2.0 y una manera mas facil de aprender python

stewart dunn avatar

Have been waiting for this to happen for some time
Scratch 2 and GPIO ready – Great work

Robert C Libby avatar

I just updated on two pi’s and the icon went away in the menu display. Is there away to get the icon back?

tim Rowledge avatar

If you have the same aversion to Flash as I (and so many others) do, it’s well worth taking a look at Snap! (snap.berkeley.edu) as an alternative. It is written in javascript (still not my favourite language, but better thanFlash) and works quite well on a Pi. The Snap! team is lead by Jens Monig, who was an original member of the Scratch team back when.

Carl Jacobsen avatar

Thank you for pointing to this! Looks quite interesting (and I’m allergic to Flash).

Eric Olson avatar

The Python IDE Thonny looks like a great choice–well developed and supportable. Flash, on the other hand, is a proprietary software almost universally being replaced by JavaScript for web applications. Just as the Pi version of Minecraft is controlled by a third party whose goals are somewhat different than the Raspberry Pi Foundation, so is Flash. While Scratch2 may currently be more popular than Snap!, the Foundation has a unique leadership position. It would be great to see Snap! running well on the Pi and promoted as the successor to the original version of Scratch.

Ed avatar

Scratch2 is written in Actionscript which is Adobe’s version of Javascript. Flash is needed as an interpreter for Actionscript, aka. there is no standalone Actionscript. But Adobe Air would work too.

MOB avatar

Here is information about the x86 image:

Gerome avatar

Ooooh looking forward to testing out the new x86 image with the installer. Being able to use the same OS for both my computer and my Pi will be much easier. It’ll be my main OS on my desktop if I can get Virtualbox running on it. Thanks so much for all your hard work!

At the same time boo to the MIT Scratch team for their idiotic decision to go with flash instead of html5, hence causing a delay of couple years before users could even run 2.0 from their Pi. It really is not cross-platform when flash could only ran on limited desktops and is proprietary software beholden to a single company, instead of being able download some source and just do a make. Although it appears MIT did finally assist in the long run, it should not have been this difficult and requiring Simon to waste all those man-hours on logistics instead of concentrating on things to make PIXEL even better.

h murray avatar

COMPLETE TRASH! this new update has caused total failure of my pi. none of the usbs work, no bluetooth, no wifi, and no network port. zero stars if i could rate it.

James Hughes avatar

I believe that you might be the only one, so, ask yourself this, is it the update itself, which works for the huge huge majority of users, or something to do with YOUR system?

R avatar

I’ve had the same thing happen before, it was a failed update that bricked the system. Reflash the card and you’ll be up and running again.

TerryR avatar

Does the x86 version on install format the whole hard drive or can you put it onto a dual boot partition under the Debian installer.

mikef90000 avatar

When in doubt, try installing it in a virtual machine to observe the installer behavior. That’s what I always do!

Simon Long avatar

It’s the standard Debian installer, so anything you can do with a standard Debian install should work.

Elfen avatar

Interesting that Scratch 2.0 is in Flash and not a stand-alone language. This denies Scratch Apps from being stand-alone apps and yet moves it to a broader “market.”

Lets see where it goes.

James Hughes avatar

This is down to the people who wrote Scratch2 – nothing to do with RPF, so any issues to do with that choice should be taken up with them.

Pablo avatar

This is great. Thank you, RPF and all involved.

I have already converted a Scratch 1.4 robot file to Scratch 2 and I know it will make things much easier for my children at school.

Just one strange thing I am finding… if I double click on an sb2 file it opens up as a completely blank file, if I right click an ‘open as’, Scratch 2 is not an option. The only way I can open files I have already made is to open Scratch 2 and File > Load Project, then it opens fine.

Thonny looks great too!

Simon Long avatar

Strange. I’ve just tested this here, and double-clicking a .sb2 file launches Scratch 2 for me with the file open, and I also have a “Scratch 2” entry in the right-click menu for an .sb2 file in the file manager. I did spend some time making sure this worked, so it looks as if something isn’t quite right in your system. Try removing the Scratch 2 package (sudo apt-get purge scratch2) and reinstalling (sudo apt-get install scratch2).

drmcw avatar

Would be nice if the GPIO extension could set the internal pull up and pull down resistors. Other than that it works really well. Fantastic news.

Silviu avatar

I use Raspbian Lite to make button controlled devices with Raspberry Pi and it’s the most stable and safe way to do this stuff. Thank you for the ongoing support and development. For example I did https://github.com/iugamarian/bshplyr

Mike avatar

Awesome work, Silviu! Thanks for this. I wanted to keep myself in Python and not have to use the Node Amazon Button hacks.

Chris McCarthy avatar

Having a full x86 install version is a fantastic move, thanks guys, I’m downloading it now as I type! I ran-up the Live version when it came out and it worked first time on an old AthlonXP I had lying around. I think having a matching UI environments for x86 & Pi hardware might make adoption by schools more of a no brainer. Let’s hope!

Richard avatar

Will the new X-86 Raspian allow you to get to the file system on the host computer if you are using the Raspian as a live USB image. I was not able to do so in the original version. The live USB image is VERY useful to be able to work on a lot of computers without messing with them. (for example, when I teach in a lab with a PC computer that I want to work on my Raspian projects, program in Python and Arduino, etc.

Speaking of Arduinio, how about getting someone to load the new latest Linux/ARM version of the Arduino IDE available at Arduino.cc?? The version available at the Raspian repository is VERY, VERY OLD and outdated (several YEARS OUTDATED), and now that there is an up to date Arduino IDE for ARM/Raspian, there is no good reason not to include it in the repository so that people can download and install directly, without having to go thru the install process from Arduino.cc

Did you fix the bugs on the menu not appearing and also the volume control not showing up in the original X-86 Raspian?

I was wondering if a new version was ever going to appear. How about making a link to the X-86 version directly from the downloads page?

Simon Long avatar

“Will the new X-86 Raspian allow you to get to the file system on the host computer if you are using the Raspian as a live USB image.”

The image is just standard Debian with our skin on top – if a Debian live image allows local drives to be mounted and accessed, then this should also do so.

“Did you fix the bugs on the menu not appearing and also the volume control not showing up in the original X-86 Raspian?”

Several bugs in this area have been fixed since the original release – please let us know if you still have issues.

“How about making a link to the X-86 version directly from the downloads page?”

We’re going to set up a separate download area for the x86 images – it’s on the to-do list.

MOB avatar

I try to boot the x86 image on an ASUS Eee PC 900, but I get:
“Failed to load ldlinux.c32
Boot failed: press a key to retry…”
Pressing key leads to same fail.

I burned using Etcher and it verified OK. I can boot other Linux (Quirky) from USB.

I get the same error on a Lenovo 3000 N200.

Sakari Castrén avatar

Sorry to hear that. My Acer Aspire One ZG5 runs Raspbian from hard disk. This goes to show mini laptops (at least some of them) are supported. I hope your Eeepc will soon be fixed.

MOB avatar

I did write a post about this problem and some new discoveries in the forum: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1178919#p1178919

MOB avatar

I found out what was wrong. The downloaded iso-file was corrupt. Now I downloaded it using the bittorrent-protocol and then it worked.

Sarah avatar

It’s a great news!
A question : Can I use Sense HAT and PiBrella boards with Scratch 2, and my Raspberry Pi3?
Thank you.

Simon Long avatar

Not yet, but watch this space… ;)

Paul Fretwell avatar

I was going to ask the same about the Explorer HAT Pro. But also someone mentioned it was possible to write extensions in JavaScript. Is this possible for sending I2C commands directly making it possible for us to develop Scratch blocks to control any I2C board we care to implement the code for?

Rob avatar

Is it possible to get Pepper Flash working in Firefox and if so how?
Tried several ideas but none work so far.


MOB avatar

Yes, this worked for me in Firefox ESR: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=99202

Joshua avatar

Exercise for the weekend:

Try to figure out how to use my now-updated x86 USB drive as an installer for the older laptops I wanted to install x86 Raspbian onto. I had previously imaged them using a USB-IDE cable and Etcher. Great work! Thank you for the much-anticipated installable image. I realize from another question above that the installer will probably not run from within the live boot option.

yangxuan avatar

If it’s possible to install PIXEL DE on debian amd64? docker only support x64

Simon avatar

Excellent, I now have an ageing MacBook running Debian/Raspbian with Pixel.

oldraspifan avatar

Hello, I got “Raspbian Jessie with PIXEL” as *.zip as I did it about 20 times before.
Raspbian seams to work without problems on my Pi2. But there is no access to the ext4 Partition
with my Linux Mint system (exited with non-zero exit status 32: mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sde2).
Then I booted the Pi with the previous Raspian Jessie and a existing “geparted” Version.
I connected a cardreader to the Pi and tried to reduce the uncertain ext4 partion
with geparted – it failed.

Inspite of all that – Raspbian is a great system !!!

MOB avatar

How do you find out all packages that exist in Raspbian for ARM that doesn’t exist in Raspbian for x86?

I found three packages so far: smartsim, 8086tiny, 8086tiny-dev.

One way to answer this would be to put all package names into a MySQL database, and then do a simple SQL query.

sfsdf avatar


Todays web apps are all about HTML5+ and javascript people.
Get with the times already.

The web is becoming a mature platform with stuff like HTML5, Javascript, WebGL2 and WebAssembly.
Check out this neat demo using WebGL2 and Javascript,
no Flash needed:
WebGL 2 lands in Firefox

MOB avatar

I tried https://playcanv.as/e/p/44MRmJRU/ in Firefox on Raspberry Pi 3 but it only says: “This demo requires WebGL 2.0 support. Please update to the latest version of Mozilla Firefox.”
It’s not https://RaspberryPi.org that has decided that MIT should use Flash for Scratch 2. Scratch 3 will only use JavaScript. The reason MIT used Flash for Scratch 2 was probably because they wanted it to run in browsers with high quality sound and that wasn’t good enough in JavaScript at that time. Flash was also faster than JavaScript at that time, but now JavaScript has been much optimized. In my experience sound in JavaScript in browsers is still unreliable and often is not heard after a while.

There are IDE:s for Scratch 2 that only uses JavaScript e.g. Tosh: http://tosh.tjvr.org/

Herman avatar

Apparently MIT has seen the light, so we may expect to see the alpha release of Scratch 3.0 by the end of 2017. Version 3.0 will be based on HTML5, no longer on Flash, hurray!


beta-tester avatar

oh no !!!
how could i miss the fact, that there is an Raspbian x86 version available?!

thank you for that Raspbian x86 iso image !!!

i just added that Raspbian x86 iso to my RPi-PXE-Server project.
now i can boot my PC just into Raspbian x86 via PXE-boot.

here is the link to my project, in case of interest:

Pablo avatar

Is anyone else upgrading using sudo apt-get etc. and rebooting to find just a black screen? I’ve tried 5 times now. The first was a success but the 4 since just produce a big black screen of nothingness!

Pablo avatar

Ah, I think I am just going over the 8GB cards’ capacity. The upgrade won’t fit on my 8GB existing image, but a new install will with 1.5GB free.

Joshua Marris avatar

It’s certainly a large image, and if you had anything else installed in the persistence partition, you’ll hit the 8GB max fairly easily. The main partition is never written over, so updates and installed packages will add space used (though further updates to the same packages should overwrite the space used previously).

I used a 16GB flash drive, so I managed to upgrade with room to spare.

Mickael avatar

Hi Simon,

Is there some works on experimental gpu driver on this release ?

Simon Long avatar

There are ongoing fixes and improvements in the kernel for the GPU driver, but it’s still undergoing development.

Mickael avatar

I’m working on gaming plateform project who really depending on it.
When GPU driver is activated, performances are good but there are a lot of bugs in the windows, and sometime during boot.
Then in chromium browser, the Pi temperature is getting really high and sometime temperature symbol appear.
But really good job!

Ed avatar

Looks like there’s a rebranding going on from PIXEL to rpd, which presumably means Raspberry Pi Desktop? As seen in the x86 image name but also package names in RPi Raspbian eg. pixel-wallpaper now called rpd-wallpaper. Good! I thought the acronym was so forced and childish in all caps.

paddyg avatar

Just tried thonny on the RPi and, sadly, it can’t cope with curses.cbreak() either (IDLE failed with this too). Programs with this in run fine from the command line and from Geany but not from IDLE or thonny.

James avatar

Can’t wait.

yokobond avatar

I tried the Scratch Arduino Extension https://khanning.github.io/scratch-arduino-extension/ but it dose not work. It say ‘install the plug-in’. I think ScratchDevicePlugin https://scratch.mit.edu/info/ext_download/ should be installed in the Electron’s web-view. How to do that?

Simon Long avatar

Unfortunately, the Scratch Device Plugin is not available on Raspberry Pi – it’s an x86-only application.

Kevin avatar

Hi Simon,
Thanks for the update. I have a problem with WiFi on a Compaq nc6400, I haven’t had to install any drivers.
To get WiFi working I have to.
1. In system tray, disabled wifi and then re-enabled wifi.
2. from a terminal window type ‘sudo ip link set wlan0 up’

The WiFi will then spring into life and the blue radio light above the keyboard flashes with network activity and I have a working connection.
Any ideas on how to get this working from boot up? even a batch file I could run to automate what I have to do?
Thanks for any pointers.

James Hughes avatar

Best bet is to post the same question on the forums, you’ll get more views and hopefully more help.

Marek avatar

Is this Python IDE will work on Rpi model A 256MB ?

MW avatar

First and foremost will people stop calling the x86-32 Linux Distro Raspbian x86 or similar, it is Debian Jessie with the Pixel (LXDE fork) Desktop.

Secondly yes the Debain Jessie with Pixel DE Distro functions well on a 7 year old Acer Aspire 5332 laptop as a LiveDVD.

This laptop is x86-64 capable so have not installed, running x86-64 Lubuntu 17.04 at present.

Regards Flash, well Scratch2 is 2 years old and nothing new about needing Flash, the RPF are responding to the needs of many users. Personally do not have Flash enabled on any of my machines.

Last but not least great to see the continuing efforts of the RPF / RPT in keeping the updates a comimg….well done to the whole team.

MW avatar

I see they have now dropped PIXEL from the x86-32 it now states:

Welcome to the Raspberry Pi Desktop
Powered by Debian

MW avatar

Also this latest update release of Raspbian Jessie has also changed the wording to:

Welcome to the Raspberry Pi Desktop
Powered by Raspbian

This should save a lot of confusion ??

softy avatar

Then perhaps someone should clone the Raspbian repo and recompile all the source on an x86 computer. Then it could be called Raspbian x86!

Dr H avatar


with the previous versions I had problems using an I2S microphone (Adafruit I2S MEMS Microphone Breakout – SPH0645LM4H), while I2S output works well. It seems to be a problem with the kernel.

Has this been fixed now?

kreisler avatar

Just curious, just saying. When can we expect Raspbian Stretch release?
I would hope for extended UX regarding Bluetooth support like Bluetooth speakers with latest Bluetooth versions.

Simon Long avatar

As I said in the post – “we will have a Stretch release ready some time over the summer”. I’m not able to be any more exact than that at this time; any actual date I quote will be used as a stick with which to beat us should we miss it… ;)

Mattias Brunschen avatar

Hi Simon,

“we will have a Stretch release ready some time over the summer”.

Since the days are getting colder now, I put my summer clothing in the wardrobe for this year.
Do you have some rough time scale, when Stretch will be available for the x86 version?

Greetings from cold Germany ;-)

Simon Long avatar

My comment above referred to the ARM version of Stretch, which was indeed released over the summer.

We are still working on the x86 version of Stretch; as above, I am not going to make any promises with regards release date, for the same reason as before… ;)

Gary H. Baker, EE avatar

Great work! This can only accelerate the spread of the “Pi-Way”. No real significant problems yet except with an apparent screen resolution problem when installed in VitualBox. Screen seems to default to very low resolution; especially irritating when using “lxterminal” to work at the CLI. I have not found a way to resolve this yet. Installing on Windows 10 systems in latest VirtualBox. Have not yet just blown away an existing laptop to see how she goes; work for this weekend…
Would be great if you gave VirtualBox a quick shot and posted the fix. Latest Debian 8 & 9 LXDE do not have this problem. Thanks!!!

MW avatar

Have you installed Guest Additions ??

Gary H. Baker, EE avatar

Debian 9 runs fine in default VirtualBox on same system. Are Guest Additions installed by default? How would I tell?

Gary H. Baker, EE avatar

VirtualBoxGuestAdditions was the fix. Thanks for the help. A little embarrassed that I didn’t already know this. Read about it in the VirtualBox help file. Than it was easy to do. Just followed the bouncing ball. Plus I am quite a bit more literate too. Learning is such a humbling experience…

Martyn avatar

I have just installed this release on two PCs, which were running Windows/XP – an ASUS EeePC and an HP Compaq. Both work fine and have given them a new life. However, although I can get sound from the 3.5mm headphone socket, I cannot get sound from the speakers, which were OK under Windows/XP. I have tried many amixer commands with no success. In fact when I try to list and control the devices using alsamixer, the speaker does not show up as an output device/connection. This must be a configuration or driver issue, but has me baffled – any suggestions welcome?

MOB avatar

I also have no sound from speakers or headphone jack on an Eee PC 900. I have Headphone and Speaker in AlsaMixer, and they are turned up, and also Master, but there is no sound.

Victor avatar

Greetings ..on the Raspberry Pi Jessie, I did a sudo apt-get upgrade , sudo apt-get install python3-thonny, unplugged the RPi3. I opened Chromium Web Browser ( v 51.0.2704.91 Ubuntu 14.04 Rasbian 8.0) . From the GUI, I searched folders and used ls -l. How do I open thonny IDE ?

Thank you for your time.

Alex Bate avatar

Hi Victor. Have you tried looking in the drop down menu under Programming?

MW avatar

chromium-browser is out of date, you should

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

this will fully update you Raspbian Jessie install…

Gary H. Baker, EE avatar

Regards the VirtualBox screen resolution problem mentioned earlier, now have solid hint regards this problem. In both RPi Desktop and Debian 9 install, “run > lxrandr”. Notice Screen Resolution in Debian 9 = 1024×768, and in RPi Desktop = 640×480. “lxrandr” is part of LXDE installs. I can now identify the problem, but do not know how to fix it.

Regards CLI LXTerminal usability problem, installed “terminator”. Can now easily control font sizes using CTRL-(minus) and CTRL – (plus). Nice instructions with “man terminator”

harmless182 avatar

I have downloaded the file multiple times (normal way and torrent way), but when I mount the image it says that the file is not a mountable file. Is that normal? I’ve tried to flash it to an usb drive (with Etcher), but when I hold alt, my macbook can’t find the usb drive. Am I doing something wrong?

I’m using a macbook pro, mid 2012. I hope someone can help me.

Alex Bate avatar

Our Etcher video should help you out.

harmless182 avatar

Sorry, not really the answer I was looking for. I know how to flash an image on to a usb drive or sd card, but I can’t seem to start it at boot, because the usb drive is not showing. My question is more like, is it normal that I can’t mount the image file with my macbook or should that be no problem. If it is a problem than I know the file I downloaded is corrupt (would be weird cause everyone is using it, but to be sure).

MW avatar

The original Live Image released last year would not boot on some Wintel EFi Macs as discussed on the Forum:


Simon Long avatar

That was the case with the previous image; we have significantly improved compatibility with UEFI Macs for this release, and it now boots on the two or three test Macs we have in the office on which the previous release would not boot.

There is a potential issue with the fix which may cause problems with booting on some much older Intel Mac hardware (which ironically probably did work with the previous image…) – some old Macs cannot boot from a hybrid BIOS/UEFI image, which is what this new version is, as the presence of the multiple boot options confuses them.

If you want to check whether your Mac is affected by this problem, try downloading the latest vanilla Debian stretch image (i.e. standard Debian, not the Raspberry Pi version) and see if you can boot that on your Mac. If you can, then you probably have a corrupt copy of our image or a corrupt Flash to the card. If the vanilla Debian image isn’t recognised as bootable by your Mac, then I’m afraid you are out of luck with running our image on that particular hardware.

Didier Wong avatar

Hi, I tried to install it on my laptop but at the partitioning step installation fails with this message: “The ext4 file system creation in partition #1 of SCSI2 (0,0,0)(sda) failed”. Could you please help me to solve above issue?

xia avatar

A question about Chromium on Raspbian. As the moment, the latest version of Chromium you can get via apt-get update is 56 while the latest Chromium version is 59. Is there any plans to keep the Chromium up-to-date in the raspberry pi repository?

Simon Long avatar

We update it from time to time when there are major functionality improvements, but because we apply our own optimisations for things like video playback, it isn’t just a question of taking the latest released version; we need to do a bit of work on it first.

xia avatar

Makes sense. Thanks!

Andrew Oakley - Cotswold Jam avatar

Just a heads up, this update moves the default wallpaper folder from /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper to /usr/share/rpd-wallpaper . If you had custom wallpapers (like we do at Cotswold Jam – new wallpaper every event, so we can easily see if we have any outdated SD cards) then you’ll find them in the old /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper folder.

If you had custom wallpapers in the pixel-wallpaper folder, here’s a good way to tidy this up, after the update:

sudo apt-get -y –purge autoremove
(removes pixel-wallpaper package and other obsolete crud)
sudo mv /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper/* /usr/share/rpd-wallpaper
(moves over any custom wallpapers, if you had any)
sudo rmdir /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper
(removes the old wallpaper folder which should now be empty)

Mike Redrobe avatar

Hurrah for a new installable version of x86 Rpd !

It’s grown in size a little, so it’s just too big to fit on a 2GB USB drive now…

Tamas Csakanyosi avatar

how can i check if update was successful? (i got a lot of 404 Not found messages during update)

Sebastian Rivera avatar

Awesome! I really like the new icons by the way.

Gary H. Baker, EE avatar

Flawless install on Toshiba Satellite C55 that used to run Windows 10 ever so slowly. Blew the incredibly slow Windows 10 install completely away. Its so nice to have a useful notebook again. Almost threw it away at one time.

Great job you guys. Now people who fearlessly and unknowingly used Linux on the desktop of a Raspberry Pi can go where most have feared to go. The can install your excellently curated and well developed desktop as created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Now most anyone can add the “Pi-Way” to any PC and use something they became familiar with on the $35 Raspberry Pi. This could be something really big. The performance, familiarity, ease of use and price are there. Thanks is just not enough for what your team has done and will do in the future. This should be a pivotal moment for Linux.

MOB avatar

RPD x86 works well on Asus Eee PC 900. I can e.g. run a slicing software for 3D-printers, which exists in a Linux x86-32 edition. I can also run Wine.

MOB avatar

Sound does not work on my EeePC 900.

R avatar

I can’t even get it to install on my 4G 701. Gets to installing files and fails.

Mike Spivey avatar

I installed the new image in VirtualBox today, and it looks really good. I was able to add the software I use for teaching quite easily and smoothly. A few requests for things that would be nice:

1. An x86_64 version.

2. A minimal version like Debian’s mini.iso (for both x86 and x86_64 of course) that includes only the essentials and not LibreOffice, Scratch, IDLE, Python games, etc. It would be quicker to download and install, and would still allow wanted packages to be added later on demand.

3. Looking across to the Pi, some automated way of quickly installing the ARM cross tools to the x86 installation. I did it after an hour or so of footling about, by adding the embedian.org repository and then using ‘dpkg –add-architecture armhf’. But it would be nice to have these tools included.

Of course, my needs and your direction of development may be different. For what’s there now, it looks very polished, well thought out, and an attractive lightweight alternative to other Linux desktops. I am cleaning off an old laptop to install it as I write.

gordon freeman avatar

well the ” persistence” mode does NOT work i even did sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade sudo reboot still nothing

Simon Long avatar

We’ve thoroughly tested the persistence mode on several machines, and it does work. You need to have the image on a USB stick, and that stick needs to have sufficient space to hold both the Raspbian image and a persistence partition – at least 4-8GB. There’s no need to update anything through apt – and if your persistence is indeed not working, there is no point in doing so, as there is nowhere to store the updates anyway!

gordon freeman avatar

i have a 16 gb flash drive it did not work

Bensimmo avatar

Could you have a look at this feature/bug.
It’s always happened through updates and new programs coming along. (and in fact installing other programs via apt)

They don’t appear in the taskbar launcher area for selecting.

On the forum

R avatar

I’m trying and failing to get it installed on my Eee PC 4G 701. Gets part way into the installing files section and just fails. What are the hardware requirements? I can’t believe the 4GB SSD isn’t enough given it was more than enough to hold the original Pixel x86.

Clementine avatar

Have you studied Whiskers, the Scratch 2 port under Squeak, which proves to be powerful and fast than Flash but which would require some stabilization and integration work?

Rogelio Oares Jr. avatar

I got a problem with my touchscreen from the time I have upgraded to raspbian desktop from PIXEL. I don’t know if there are now incompatibility issues but the touchscreen looks like have sticky mouse (left click). It keeps highlighting desktop icons whenever the pointer crossed it from one point to another. Can anybody got the same problem and did you resolved it? Thank you.

Andrew avatar

I just installed Raspbian Stretch Desktop on my Raspberry Pi Zero and tried to open Scratch 2. It acts like it is about to open, but then doesn’t do anything. I searched for an answer and came across this blog post saying that “unfortunately, Scratch 2 does not work on the Raspberry Pi Zero”, but did not give any explanation why. Why doesn’t it work on the RPi Zero? How can I get it to work?

Simon Long avatar

Scratch 2 uses Adobe Flash, which is provided on the Pi by the PepperFlash plugin. This is only available for ARMv7 devices, not the ARMv6 that is in the Pi Zero and Pi 1. There is no way to get Scratch 2 to work on ARMv6 devices – not unless you can persuade Adobe to release an ARMv6 version of the plugin. Even if they did, performance would be unacceptable on the older Pis.

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