Introducing PIXEL

Update – bug fixes

Some users have reported problems with the main menu crashing since installing the PIXEL update. This has been traced to a bug in the icon handling code for the menu which has now been fixed.

Some users reported issues with syncing their Google accounts in Chromium. This has been traced to a set of outdated Google API keys included in the version of the browser shipped in this image. This has now been fixed with an updated Chromium build.

We recommend everyone install these fixes, whether you updated an existing image or you downloaded a new image.

To get all the fixes, open a terminal and enter:

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

You will need to reboot for the fixes to take effect.

If you still experience problems with any of these after applying the fixes, please let us know in the comments below or on the forums.

Original post starts here…

It was just over two years ago when I walked into Pi Towers for the first time. I only had the vaguest idea of what I was going to be doing, but on the first day Eben and I sat down and played with the Raspbian desktop for half an hour, then he asked me “do you think you can make it better?”


Bear in mind that at this point I’d barely ever used Linux or Xwindows, never mind made any changes to them, so when I answered “hmmm – I think so”, it was with rather more confidence than I actually felt. It was obvious that there was a lot that could be done in terms of making it a better experience for the user, and I spent many years working in user interface design in previous jobs. But I had no idea where to start in terms of changing Raspbian. I clearly had a bit of a learning curve in front of me…

Well, that was two years ago, and I’ve learnt an awful lot since then. It’s actually surprisingly easy to hack about with the LXDE desktop once you get your head around what all the bits do, and since then I’ve been slowly chipping away at the bits that I felt would most benefit from tweaking. Stuff has slowly been becoming more and more like my original concept for the desktop; with the latest changes, I think the desktop has reached the point where it’s a complete product in its own right and should have its own name. So today, we’re announcing the release of the PIXEL desktop, which will ship with the Foundation’s Raspbian image from now on.



One of the things I said (at least partly in jest) to my colleagues in those first few weeks was that I’d quite like to rename the desktop environment once it was a bit more Pi-specific, and I had the name “pixel” in my mind about two weeks in. It was a nice reminder of my days learning to program in BASIC on the Sinclair ZX81; nowadays, everything from your TV to your phone has pixels on it, but back then it was a uniquely “computer-y” word and concept. I also like crosswords and word games, and once it occurred to me that “pixel” could be made up from the initials of words like Pi and Xwindows, the name stuck in my head and never quite went away. So PIXEL it is, which now officially stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight”.

What’s new?

The latest set of changes are almost entirely to do with the appearance of the desktop; there are some functional changes and a few new applications, about which more below, but this is mostly about making things look nicer.

The first thing you’ll notice on rebooting is that the trail of cryptic boot messages has (mostly) gone, replaced by a splash screen. One feature which has frequently been requested is an obvious version number for our Raspbian image, and this can now be seen at the bottom-right of the splash image. We’ll update this whenever we release a new version of the image, so it should hopefully be slightly easier to know exactly what version you’re running in future.


I should mention that the code for the splash screen has been carefully written and tested, and should not slow down the Pi’s boot process; the time to go from powering on to the desktop appearing is identical, whether the splash is shown or not.

Desktop pictures

Once the desktop appears, the first thing you’ll notice is the rather stunning background image. We’re very fortunate in that Greg Annandale, one of the Foundation’s developers, is also a very talented (and very well-travelled) photographer, and he has kindly allowed us to use some of his work as desktop pictures for PIXEL. There are 16 images to choose from; you can find them in /usr/share/pixel-wallpaper/, and you can use the Appearance Settings application to choose which one you prefer. Do have a look through them, as Greg’s work is well worth seeing! If you’re curious, the EXIF data in each image will tell you where it was taken.





You’ll also notice that the icons on the taskbar, menu, and file manager have had a makeover. Sam Alder and Alex Carter, the guys responsible for all the cartoons and graphics you see on our website, have been sweating blood over these for the last few months, with Eben providing a watchful eye to make sure every pixel was exactly the right colour! We wanted something that looked businesslike enough to be appropriate for those people who use the Pi desktop for serious work, but with just a touch of playfulness, and Sam and Alex did a great job. (Some of the icons you don’t see immediately are even nicer; it’s almost worth installing some education or engineering applications just so those categories appear in the menu…)


Speaking of icons, the default is now not to show icons in individual application menus. These always made menus look a bit crowded, and didn’t really offer any improvement in usability, not least because it wasn’t always that obvious what the icon was supposed to represent… The menus look cleaner and more readable as a result, since the lack of visual clutter now makes them easier to use.

Finally on the subject of icons, in the past if your Pi was working particularly hard, you might have noticed some yellow and red squares appearing in the top-right corner of the screen, which were indications of overtemperature or undervoltage. These have now been replaced with some new symbols that make it a bit more obvious what’s actually happening; there’s a lightning bolt for undervoltage, and a thermometer for overtemperature.


If you open a window, you’ll see that the window frame design has now changed significantly. The old window design always looked a bit dated compared to what Apple and Microsoft are now shipping, so I was keen to update it. Windows now have a subtle curve on the corners, a cleaner title bar with new close / minimise / maximise icons, and a much thinner frame. One reason the frame was quite thick on the old windows was so that the grab handles for resizing were big enough to find with the mouse. To avoid this problem, the grab handles now extend slightly outside the window; if you hold the mouse pointer just outside the window which has focus, you’ll see the pointer change to show the handle.



Steve Jobs said that one thing he was insistent on about the Macintosh was that its typography was good, and it’s true that using the right fonts makes a big difference. We’ve been using the Roboto font in the desktop for the last couple of years; it’s a nice-looking modern font, and it hasn’t changed for this release. However, we have made it look better in PIXEL by including the Infinality font rendering package. This is a library of tweaks and customisations that optimises how fonts are mapped to pixels on the screen; the effect is quite subtle, but it does give a noticeable improvement in some places.


Most people have their Pi set up to automatically log in when the desktop starts, as this is the default setting for a new install. For those who prefer to log in manually each time, the login screen has been redesigned to visually match the rest of the desktop; you now see the login box (known as the “greeter”) over your chosen desktop design, with a seamless transition from greeter to desktop.


Wireless power switching

One request we have had in the past is to be able to shut off WiFi and/or Bluetooth completely, particularly on Pi 3. There are now options in the WiFi and Bluetooth menus to turn off the relevant devices. These work on the Pi 3’s onboard wireless hardware; they should also work on most external WiFi and Bluetooth dongles.

You can also now disconnect from an associated wireless access point by clicking on its entry in the WiFi menu.

New applications

There are a couple of new applications now included in the image.

RealVNC have ported their VNC server and viewer applications to Pi, and they are now integrated with the system. To enable the server, select the option on the Interfaces tab in Raspberry Pi Configuration; you’ll see the VNC menu appear on the taskbar, and you can then log in to your Pi and control it remotely from a VNC viewer.

The RealVNC viewer is also included – you can find it from the Internet section of the Applications menu – and it allows you to control other RealVNC clients, including other Pis. Have a look here on RealVNC’s site for more information.


Please note that if you already use xrdp to remotely access your Pi, this conflicts with the RealVNC server, so you shouldn’t install both at once. If you’re updating an existing image, don’t run the sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server line in the instructions below. If you want to use xrdp on a clean image, first uninstall the RealVNC server with sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server before installing xrdp. (If the above paragraph means nothing to you, then you probably aren’t using xrdp, so you don’t have to worry about any of it!)

Also included is the new SenseHAT emulator, which was described in a blog post a couple of weeks ago; have a look here for all the details.



There are updates for a number of the built-in applications; these are mostly tweaks and bug fixes, but there have been improvements made to Scratch and Node-RED.

One more thing…

We’ve been shipping the Epiphany web browser for the last couple of years, but it’s now starting to show its age. So for this release (and with many thanks to Gustav Hansen from the forums for his invaluable help with this), we’re including an initial release of Chromium for the Pi. This uses the Pi’s hardware to accelerate playback of streaming video content.


We’ve preinstalled a couple of extensions; the uBlock Origin adblocker should hopefully keep intrusive adverts from slowing down your browsing experience, and the h264ify extension forces YouTube to serve videos in a format which can be accelerated by the Pi’s hardware.

Chromium is a much more demanding piece of software than Epiphany, but it runs well on Pi 2 and Pi 3; it can struggle slightly on the Pi 1 and Pi Zero, but it’s still usable. (Epiphany is still installed in case you find it useful; launch it from the command line by typing “epiphany-browser”.)

How do I get it?

The Raspbian + PIXEL image is available from the Downloads page on our website now. Note that the uncompressed image is over 4GB in size, and some older unzippers will fail to decompress it properly. If you have problems, use 7-Zip on Windows and The Unarchiver on Mac – both are free applications which have been tested to decompress the file correctly.

To update an existing Jessie image, type the following at the command line:

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 -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer

and then reboot.

If you don’t use xrdp and would like to use the RealVNC server to remotely access your Pi, type the following:

sudo apt-get install -y realvnc-vnc-server

As always, your feedback on the new release is very welcome; feel free to let us know what you think in the comments or on the forums.


karan avatar

Way tooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Awesome!!

MalMan35 avatar

My exact thought! You did an amazing job Simon! I really like the beautiful flat design of the menu bars and everything else too (I’m crazy about web design). Funny thing is I had corrupted my sd card (don’t worry my files are safe) and had made a fresh install of Raspbian a few hours before this was posted!

freakedenough avatar

having an eyecandy desktop does not help you if its still impossible to do a right click with the official raspberry pi touch display

CodingKid avatar

easystroke will be your new best friend!

jelabarre avatar

As far as the “Flat” design goes (I for one would *never* call the Flat Look “beautiful), how readily can Pixel be customized to have a proper textured look (icons, controls, etc)? Or is my better choice to forego Pixel for some other environment?

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Good work!

Changes to a desktop theme are often overlooked in place of adding more functionality, but the tweaks that have been applied to the Raspbian desktop over time have made the desktop look much more professional.

I also think the change to Chromium is a big positive step. Whilst Epiphany is a fast browser, it didn’t work with all sites and visiting a non-working site could be frustrating.

I’m looking forward to updating to the new image.

alex eames avatar

Looks like some excellent improvements. Well done. Can’t wait to give it a spin :)

Matt Williams avatar

Is this ‘just’ a new theme for LXDE which will continue to track upstream changes or is it a fork? Is the plan to follow LXDE as it moves towards LXQt?

Simon Long avatar

This is our own theme which we will be using for the foreseeable future. We haven’t yet made a decision about LXQt, but whatever we end up using as the underlying software, it is going to look like this…

Daniel Bull avatar

Hopefully you will be able to use or modify the theme for LXQT as well because my understanding is LXDE is basically going to be phased out for LXQT?

James Hughes avatar

I did try and build LXQT for the Pi, never got it to work – has anyone succeeded? I wanted to then use the QT Wayland backend to get an accelerated desktop…..

Zander avatar

I think it would better for PIXEL to split off on its own over time as LXDE is basically dead and to move to LXQt would mean making the jump from Gtk+ to Qt meaning new default apps & a lot of the optimisations (to LXPanel particularly) would be lost.

That as well as I have an irrational hatred of Qt.

It would be nice if PIXEL could become its own system truly optimised for ARM and hopefully making the switch to Gtk3. I know Gtk3 has been controversial with CSD ext. but it does allow the possibility of switching to Wayland further down the line. I remember from the old Maynard demo on pi1 the performance gain from Wayland over X is incredible

Daniel Bull avatar

I’m going to give a different perspective on that Zander. I think forking LXDE to make Pixel would create a lot of maintenance work and the switch from GTK2 to GTK3 would also be time consuming. A better solution if people wanted to stick to GTK would be to use Ubuntu MATE which is already very popular on the Pi and in the process of moving to GTK3. QT seems a much better direction than GTK3 for LXDE IMHO but then I don’t share your dislike for it :)

I do agree with you though that Wayland is incredibly important for the future. To my knowledge most distributions are in the process of moving over to it, I heard recently Fedora was going to use it as default and I think KDE-Neon already is. The only other option is MIR but that’s a bit Ubuntu centric at the moment.

Zander avatar

As it won’t allow me to reply to Daniel I’ll try this way:

I understand what you are saying but LXDE is currently as ‘complete’ as it was ever intended to be and due to the Debian update policy any upgrades would take a long time to work there was into Raspbian anyway. I just because the project has been forked doesn’t mean it can’t pull in upstream changes!

Forking would allow us a true Pi environment. Going Help > About in pixel terminal would allow us to show “Raspberry Pi Terminal” instead of “LXTerminal”. Most of LXDE’s packages have already been modified in some way for Raspbian anyways so all that would occur is a formal name & maintainer change and due to the modularisation of LXDE and the size of the pi community, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be the same person.

And as for taking a lot of work you can build the likes of LXTerminal against Gtk3 today (albeit with a 100 deprecated warnings, most of which are related to GtkStock). This is where LXDE shows its benefits as being small. LXPanel, however, would take a bit more work as it would probably want to be reworked with LibPeas. But wouldn’t it be worth it? a LibPeas based panel would allow plugins to be written in Python allowing anyone to add an indicator for their project (weather station ext)

Jonathan avatar

> I think it would better for PIXEL to split off on its own over time as LXDE is basically dead and to move to LXQt would mean making the jump from Gtk+ to Qt meaning new default apps & a lot of the optimisations (to LXPanel particularly) would be lost.

I think that would be a real shame. There are already too many desktop environments, and most of them have serious resource problems (not enough contributors) — LXDE, XFCE, Cinnamon included. It would be great if the work that the Raspberry Pi community was putting in was shared with the wider community, and that’s best achieved by working together.

Kevin.M avatar

I got it working in both arch and pidora

sunbear avatar

I got it working with the wayland back end, but with much tinkering. Of course, nothing graphical other than wayland-gears would run… Maybe this updated Chromium will?

Matt Williams avatar

Brilliant. I forgot to say in my first comment that this looks really great so good work :)

john avatar

PLEASE, move to LXQt!!!

I don’t care about the theme (which is great, actually) so you can port it to LXQt.

LXQt is the future!

Beside being as light as lxde it has a new search field on the menu, it has a plan for Wayland (and maybe some day we can even use KDE apps on it, such as KDE Connect – which would be terrific)

PLEASE consider!!!

Jason avatar

Is it possible to get the icon theme online somewhere?

Simon Long avatar

It’s in our GitHub repo –

David Akerman avatar

Great stuff. I’d be trying it right now but the zip download links currently give 404 errors …

Simon Long avatar

It takes a while for the image to be spread across all the load balancers – keep trying!

David Akerman avatar

It worked moments later :-). I was going to edit or delete my post but it didn’t show, so I thought I hadn’t posted!

Bob avatar

This looks like it could be quite good. Whats the performance like on an original Model B Pi?

I don’t understand why you’ve made a boot splash screen that says “Welcome to PIXEL” though. Booting has nothing to do with the desktop environment. If someone changes the desktop environment they’re still going to get that a boot splash screen that says “Welcome to PIXEL”.

Simon Long avatar

Performance is unchanged from previous releases of the desktop.

And if someone installs a new desktop environment, they are at liberty to uninstall the Plymouth theme with the splash screen. In fact, if someone is using a different desktop environment, I’m not sure why they would want this update anyway…

Electra avatar

Boot up messages.
While the prettiness is nice(And the version is good). Please make it easy/trivial to switch back to the original messages(Maybe in the pi config program? Some debug options? Instead of having to edit grub config files).
The ‘cryptic’ messages are often the first signs of any problems and the best way to solve boot and startup problems when things go wrong. Plus it’s very reassuring for me to see them flow as it boots up.

Simon Long avatar

The splash screen is automatically disabled if you select boot to CLI rather than boot to GUI. If you are debugging a startup issue, it’s usually better to boot to CLI and then manually start the desktop anyway.

nelson avatar

Can you share where we can manually control that option? We have a cli app but it would be nice to show that boot screen.
Can we change the top message? We would like to have a “tool name” powered by raspbian

Simon Long avatar

Enabling and disabling the splash screen is with some extra arguments in /boot/cmdline.txt – if this line includes “quiet splash”, the splash screen is shown; if it does not include those words, the old text-based boot is shown.

The splash screen is a PNG file at /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/splash.png – you can change the image to whatever you want as long as you use the same file name.

Nelson avatar


Tony Csoka avatar

You could have taken liberty with the spelling and called it PIXLE, Pi Improved Xwindows Lightweight Environment.

Simon Long avatar

I did consider it, but no-one would ever have spelled it correctly! ;)

Daniel Bull avatar

The only issue I see with PIXEL is Google use it on their devices and from what I’ve read Google are about to ditch the Nexus brand completely and use Pixel for all their new phones etc. Hopefully it wont cause too much confusion but it may push you down the search results.

Samurai avatar

But it is good. Googling for one should bring up the other.

David Roberts avatar

Do the kernel+firmware for this release of Raspbian change the beta/experimental status of msd and network booting?

Chaos2 avatar

In my case a dist-upgrade had crushed my system. it is not booting from usb now. any solutions for that ?

Sorry for the bad english :-(

Sabrina avatar

Nice feature enhancements. Wireless power switching and chromium are my favorites.

Michael Horne avatar

Hi Simon. Great work, as always. Is it possible to have an option NOT to have the splash screen? As someone else has said, they often provide an insight into things going wrong. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to tell people how to access to the messages generated so they can have a look :-)

Simon Long avatar

For now, set boot to CLI if you don’t want to see the splash screen, and then start the desktop with “startx”. If there is sufficient demand for an option to remove the splash, I’ll look at adding it to raspi-config for a future release.

JC avatar

The changes look great, but I agree: boot messages are helpful, and I actually kind of like the look of them anyway. An option for splash or messages would be great.

James Hughes avatar

Can you change the splash screen to something else? This came up today on the forum.

Simon Long avatar

Yes, just replace /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/splash.png with another file with the same name.

James avatar

Out of curiosity, what might be visible if the splash.png was simply transparent?

Ed avatar

+1 on please please please no splash screen. I even enable scrolling boot messages on my Macs.

tai viinikka avatar

+1 on an easy option to see the boot messages. Yes, actually I find them even *more* important on the Mac since how else am I going to know when something has gone wrong?

But I’m a big fan of the Chromium and radio switch enhancements. I’ll keep using Epiphany on my Pi 1s, but Chromium is great when it’s usable. And thanks for the pre-installed plug-ins!

Good work, Simon!

bensimmo avatar

Hope to give this a try later as a fresh image and an update.

One little thing,
In the now old version I have on the Pi, it has not internet access so does not set it’s time.
I though like most OS’s I could click on the time on the taskbar and set it, but there is no option. I couldn’t find an option anywhere to set it.
I’m assuming there is not one (in the GUI at least)
– In Pixel, is this standard feature there (in settings and just on the clock itself ?)

If so, this SD card is going home and getting updated.

Simon Long avatar

No, sorry – manual clock setting is on the “to-do” list, but I haven’t got around to it yet. The “date” command in a terminal window is your best bet, but bear in mind that the Pi’s lack of an RTC means you will need to do it every time your Pi is powered on.

bensimmo avatar

Ok, Hope it gets in soon :), it’s the first thing the kids go to change and command line methods are laborious compared to a click click click click select.
They like it to show the correct time when they are using it. It’s because it goes to last saved time that it needs the easy change.

wulph avatar

encouraging them to use the command line builds character and is much more instructive than click-click-change. :)

Simon Long avatar

When I was at school (a long time ago…) the prevailing opinion was that being bullied “built character”. Doesn’t mean that we still think it’s a good idea in these more enlightened days…

Telling someone that such-and-such “builds character” is frequently shorthand for “I had to suffer this, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t have to” ;)

On a more serious note, we’ll be putting a version of Raspberry Pi Configuration in future builds to make setting locale and time zone as easy as it is on a Pi.

Dinusha Amerasinghe avatar

Any updates on Wayland/Weston integration?

Simon Long avatar

As we’ve said before, work on Wayland has been shelved for the time being. We are working on alternative options for compositing which fit better with the Pi’s architecture.

Daniel Bull avatar

Don’t let it gather too much dust on that shelf ;) It seems its gathered some momentum recently and once other distributions start moving over Raspbian might be left stranded. It is a way off still though to be fair so I can understand the shelving for the time being.

Sergi Granell avatar

Waiting for VC4 to be more feature rich/complete like the proprietary stack?

Tony avatar

Hi Simon, I agree with Electra, whilst I really appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this the Pi isn’t something designed to look like windows or mac. It’s Linux with it’s great flexibility and learning potential. Hiding away the booting screen where you can see problems and processes goes against the spirit of the Pi.
Clear fonts great, other eye candy like rounded borders, people can fit if they want and the more you add the more can go wrong, Plymouth is not needed. Yes a version number is such a good idea and many don’t use that and the menu system looks nice and clear.
Best wishes to you.

James Hughes avatar

Spirit of Pi? What’s that? How can you go ‘against’ something so ephemeral? This is just something to make using the Pi easier.

The huge majority of people do not care, or even understand the boot messages that rush by too fast to read anyway. So get rid of them. You can display them via dmesg if you need to. Most major Linux distro’s have splash screens and forgo the boot messages. It’s not like this is an unusual step.

montagsoup avatar

The Pi is meant to teach people things. The idea of getting rid of things because people don’t understand them goes against that idea. The Pi should encourage them to understand it.

Shawn avatar

While Pi is designed to teach people things, it’s counter intuitive to have said items zip by faster than can be comprehended. Now, if you’re going to argue that point, then argue in there that the default should display page at a time for human review…and watch that arguement light itself on fire and burn to death because, wait time and key press mkae longer boot time.

Pi’s entire approach-ability factor is essentially how straight forward it is and dead simple to pick up and become invested. I understand as a veteran user covering the boot sequence may be problematic, but new users skip that stuff over until they get a handle on what it’s all about. I mean, when I did tech repair years ago the very last thing I wanted to teach a new user was what everything in autoexec.bat and config.txt meant or how to alter it because that’s the first place they would go to play with things and then I’d be stuck undoing a slew of edits so their PC would boot. Also, usually in a boot sequence, it hangs if there’s an issue.

Compromise here would be to have single line displayed and scroll through during boot with green “OK” being he quick visual check and a hang at a problem per normal. Lambasting Simon for what is both an immense amount of work and clearly thoughtful design based on a non-point….is not solvent nor encourages people to want to learn about a device you open with arguing is the design.

Marek avatar

Is this desktop going to be usable on model A ?

Simon Long avatar

Yes, the desktop works fine on all Pis. Chromium will struggle on older machines though.

Mike Redrobe avatar

Great to move to a more standard browser with chromium.
Epiphany was increasingly old and buggy – replacing it was always my first job on install…

All nice pretty changes, not sure on removing “cryptic boot messages” – they are a standard part of linux and raspberry pi is supposed to be educating users, not hiding details – that is the way of apple.

Brandon L. Fesser avatar

At least the Pi still has a headphone jack…

Darrell avatar

Good one!

Kevin Partner avatar

Chromium! Fantastic news!

EdwinJ85 avatar

I’ve been manually add chromium to builds for my Code Club and the Guildford Pi Jam for a while now, this is going to save me a lot of time. The new desktop looks awesome, thank you and everybody else involved (especially the community) for your hard work – the experience has improved so much! :)

Steven K avatar

Great stuff I love the Pi in all its forms …I also loved my ZX81 back in the day too !!! Glad to hear of the improvements and hopefully a better browser Ive been using ‘Iceweasel’ which has been ok too

Albert avatar

The ZIP file is saying it is >800 petaBytes when unzipped.
Downloaded twice from downloads page and also from
All of them have the same problem.

Has anyone else seen this?

Albert avatar

Follow up.
Windows built-in ZIP capability reporting >800PB

Using 7Zip on Windows will expand the ZIP file.

PeterO avatar

Is it possible NOT to install this ? I prefer consistency across multiple platforms rather than having each look distinctive.

G avatar

Are we given the option to change the splash screen? A custom splash screen would be great for integrated environments.

Simon Long avatar

Yes, just change the PNG file at /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/splash.png with another one with the same name.

Daniel Chateau avatar

Might not be a bad idea to have a symbolic link of splash.png to whatever image you’re wanting so you can know what picture set the boot image to by just looking at the link.

Chas avatar

Or you could follow these detailed instructions:

Jonathan Sanderson avatar

I’m fully in support of hiding the cryptic startup messages. They scroll past far too quickly to read and are utterly meaningless to newcomers. I’m crusty enough to rather enjoy the throwback appeal, but I can’t see how it serves the primary use case for the Pi.

The new desktop photography is beautiful, really spectacular. Hardly necessary, but… damn, that’s good photography.

Ewan Mac Mahon avatar

They scroll past too quickly unless something breaks and they stop, and everything about a Raspberry Pi is meaningless to newcomers – surely the point of an education project is to teach people to understand what they didn’t before, not to hide it away out of their site so they don’t even know it exists?

Boot messages were common on mainstream Linux distributions when I started out and they didn’t mean anything to me either, but they piqued my curiosity and I found out what they meant – why take that opportunity away from others?

James Hughes avatar


Case rested.

Ewan Mac Mahon avatar

Sure; I know that _now_ but I didn’t back then. A pretty splash screen doesn’t make 21st-century-hardened-sysadmin me’s life any harder, but having the messages not just available, but up right in my face, helped late nineties newbie me get into this stuff in the first place.

Shipping Pis in a nice case wouldn’t make my life harder either, but there’s something to be said for the educational value of having the guts visible, even for users who don’t know what they are. Because they’re really users who don’t know what they are /yet/.

David Ferguson avatar

Is there a way to temporarily hide/show the splash screen? PiBakery has a status screen which shows which blocks are being processed, and I’m wondering if it will conflict with this.

Nice work though – the new look makes Raspbian look much more modern and sleek! I’ll be pushing out an update for PiBakery with this version soon.

Simon Long avatar

In /boot/cmdline.txt, just remove the words “quiet” and “splash” – that will restore the original boot behaviour without the splash screen.

Alec Clews avatar

Are there any updates for people who just use the CLI in our projects

Simon Long avatar

There are the usual kernel and firmware updates, and a few bug fixes. No major changes of which I am aware.

Supra avatar

Took me an hour to install.

Gustav Hansen avatar

Amazing work on the OS! Looks very nice!

Simon Long avatar

Thanks for all your help on Chromium!

Anton avatar

I particularly like the larger grab handles for resizing and the inclusion of Infinality patches (btw. newest FreeType works similarly:

Thank you again for the hard work!

Frederik Davids avatar

I did the dist-upgrade and I have now a black screen on my monitor and on the vnc server a grey-dotted screen. Anyone knows how to solve this?

Anton avatar

Also, for MacOS the `tar -xf used to work, no need for Unarchiver…

Anton avatar

`tar -xf <`, that is….

Anton avatar

`tar -xf `, that is….

AndrewS avatar

Looks like a great set of updates! :-)

However I wonder if the “09/16” in the splashscreen (which is perhaps easy to misinterpret – Americans might read it as September 16th?) should be changed to “September 2016” so that it matches the Version displayed on

Carl Jacobsen avatar

As an American, I successfully parsed it as September 2016, though for proper unambiguity, the version date really ought to be in ISO 8601 format: “2016-09”. Then it’s hard for anyone to misinterpret.

Ethical avatar

Wonderful update, I love this, so wonderful to see successful home made things, to inspire us all.

Lewis Cowles avatar

I don’t use the desktop on a Pi, but it’s still very cool to know should I choose to, it’s been improved.

Simon avatar

After updating, I get the new desktop/window look for all accounts over xrdp except root. Is it not intended to update for root as well?

Simon Long avatar

The root account has always been a bit of an outlier from a UI point of view – all the desktop changes are aimed at the default “pi” account and its associated profiles. I don’t make any changes to the “root” account, as you shouldn’t really be running the desktop as root anyway.

Sahaj Sarup avatar

hot damn!!!

Caspar Silvester avatar

Thanks for the hard work& also nice to read about the process for someone really interested in interface design! One remark about the ‘cryptic’ boot messages: the Rpi was my first real Linux experience and the messages learned me a lot. I understand the philosophy behind hiding them since for most of the users they are irrelevant and add clutter & complexity, but they also signify some of the hardware differences between the pi and pc’s. With the messages I was able to efficiently Google and solve pi specific problems I would have never guessed existed. For me the messages also served as an invite to look deeper into the OS, and I believe the strength of raspbian is closing the gap between a black box usable desktop vs embedded programming.

Anton Starikov avatar

It is XwindoW, not XwindowS.

Ed avatar

“X Window” even, or X Window System or X11.

Hummel avatar

Yes, “X Window” it is. no such thing as X Windows

paddyg avatar

Hi, good stuff. Slightly off topic but have you (Pi organisation) thought about nudging your new users into entering a different user and password when installing/first booting? Unchanged default passwords on IOT devices seems to be the new weapon of cyber criminals.

tai viinikka avatar

Agree entirely!

nelson avatar

Does anyone know the command to switch off wifi and blutooth?

Simon Long avatar

The command-line tool is called rfkill.

To turn off wifi, “rfkill block wifi”; to turn it on, “rfkill unblock wifi”.

For Bluetooth, “rfkill block bluetooth” and “rfkill unblock bluetooth”.

Ed avatar

rfkill is on the new image, I guess? It is in the repo but not on my upgraded/dist-upgraded system.

Lolo avatar

Congratulations ! Nice to see that changes are getting the Raspberry Pi more and more usable as a regular workstation ;)

Next time : user interface fully hardware accelerated :D
I’m still dreaming since Wayland on Pi demos posted here few years ago :’)

scottcarmich avatar

Finally! Chromium by default and hardware acceleration support built-in! I wish more distros would do this, but at this point, I’d say Raspbian w/ “Pixel” is the best.


rpi_bug avatar

I just try to update;the menu bar does not load;it appears and disappears: Small exemple :

(rpi 1)

Simon Long avatar

You are trying to upgrade a version of the desktop which is at least two years old! Your video shows the Wheezy desktop before I made any changes to it, so it’s from 2014 at the latest. The instructions provided in the posting are for updating a recent image only.

You should really download the complete new image – updating the version you have really isn’t practical.

rpi_bug avatar

Thank’s for your reply; I thought I be up-to-date ; I will backup everything and reinstall everything ;)

John Hopkinson avatar

This is a remarkable piece of work which you guys have accomplished. I was astonished by the number of entries in your blog, but happy to have read them all, especially about the update/upgrade process.
I have just finished an upgrade on a Pixel installation which is only one month old, and that has taken at least an hour. I cant imagine how I could have survived through a wheezy reprocessing, but I was about to try.
Back to the Windows zipfile. Thanks for the ‘impractical’ comment.
I dont know if you reread these files but I had to say something.

Richard Sierakowski avatar

This is really great work and the improvements, for me, make it a far more satisfactory experience far exceeding the offerings from the likes of Apple or Microsoft.

Hopefully it will become more widely accepted as the desktop environment for other Linux distributions.


RaspberryPieYum avatar

Hello Simon, I’m having some problems with the theme, i used dist-upgrade and after the reboot, the Pixel image appears and it auto logs me in, it seems to have the GNOME theme i installed from the Theme and Appearance Settings, the icon themes currently shows: Adwaita, Gnome, nuoveXT 2.2 and PIX which looks similar to this new one.
I can’t find the option to set the theme to default in the settings.

I’ll have to backup my things and download it again and use PiBakery this time to setup a bit quicker onto my offical 7inch Display :)

David Ferguson avatar

PiBakery doesn’t have this update quite yet – but I’m uploading a new version right now (it’ll take about ~7 hours because of my terrible internet connection).

Pete Stevens avatar

Drop us a line at [email protected] to see if there’s anything we can do to help. We can put you on the end of 1Gbps to the download servers.

RaspberryPieYum avatar

oh sweet! thanks for letting me know :D

Kratos avatar


don isenstadt avatar

excellent update! The chromium browser seems faster than the old epipany browser ..all this for $35! Simply amazing! I never thought this could become a “desktop replacement” but it sure seems headed this way! :-) thanks again

MH2 avatar

Great news. Now i have too hurry to get My R Pi 3 fr.o.m. The store.

Darrell avatar

Thanks so much for all the excellent work! Enjoyed the article, but I’m wondering how Pixel will work on smaller screens (looks like all the examples are on full sized monitors). I frequently use the Raspberry Pi LCD monitor and even smaller LCD touch screen on RPi projects. The main issue has been certain windows were fixed size and too big to display. Will Pixel improve that situation? Thanks again!

RogueM avatar

That has nothing to do with the ‘pixel’ LXDE theme, but the fact that some programs assumes a minimum resolution.

So don’t expect any improvement on that front, but that is not the RPF’s fault. fWIW I have been using this new image all day using the 7″ official touchscreen and it works fine for the most part, no better no worst than before, with the same applications causing the headaches as before.

Sad Pathetic Person avatar

Looks awesome! I might even use it for my pc because it looks cute

Micke avatar

Awesome! i really like this new design.

I was a bit shocked at first.. i was in the middle of installing the 7″ touchscreen and did a dist-upgrade not knowing of this update. so when i booted back in i dropped my jaw wondering if i was in another computer :)

Martin Mander avatar

This is fantastic, thank you! Is it wrong to be most excited about the new grippy grab handles?

Simon Long avatar

Not at all – they were a real challenge to implement, so I’m glad they are appreciated!

Cleo Qc avatar

Love the new look! Still investigating the other changes. I was under the impression that RealVNCServer would let us run Minecraft in a VNC viewer.
but it’s not working for me. I can VNC in, it’s no longer tightvncserver so the install worked. But no minecraft.

Andy Clark avatar

You might need to enable experimental direct capture on RealVNC – see for more info

Cleo Qc avatar

thanks, but I’m not seeing “Enable experimental direct capture method” anywhere. I’m seeing More / Options / Troubleshooting
Nothing else. I also checked under all other menus, nothing related to direct capture. #puzzled

Cleo Qc avatar
Cleo Qc avatar

I figured it out, at least partially. The option only shows up if you’re NOT already VNCing in. In other words you need an actual screen and keyboard to activate it. Kinda defeat the purpose if you ask me.
That said, even when activated, Minecraft doesn’t work for me.

Andy Clark avatar

Experimental screen capture and Minecraft playback only works for the main Raspberry Pi screen (it’s the only place that Minecraft will draw its output to). It won’t work in a virtual-mode server, I’m afraid.

Mustafa avatar

Nice work, but must everything now be named pixel (this is new branding for Google devices, yes?…and name of older Chromebook) Thus will make it harder to search for your product and support online. Would have been better to spell it differently or otherwise use unique name.

M Webb avatar

MATE DE is to resource hungry for the original Raspberry Pi’s and ZERO, which have 256/512 Memory.

Scott avatar

Apologies if this has already been the answered – Is Pixel currenlty available via NOOBS?

Simon Long avatar

Yes, full image, lite image and NOOBS images are all available for download from the website.

Cristian Istrate avatar

What is happening ? I see no image, nothing !!!

Scott avatar

After the Welcome screen I get a blinking cursor. No gui at all. I can log in through ssh but no working desktop. Thoughts?

John avatar


Romney Yeoman Walker avatar

Not sure whether this has already been answered as I’m still browsing through the comments but…

I had a similar situation, could login via SSH, but primary X desktop just showed a blank screen with an unusual mouse pointer.

I think my problem was due to using my own logon account (instead of the default pi user), and also having changed the ‘pi’ password. During the upgrade /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf was overwritten (it did warn me) and as a result it was trying (and failing) to autologon as pi. Disabling autologon, and then later enabling autologon to my own account helped to resolve this problem, along with some probably-related issues to do with the background photos and the new icons (which I haven’t yet fully resolved!)

I hope this is helpful…..

Jason Hale avatar

Wow! I install pixel onto my RPi3 and am instantly impressed!

To Like:
– Windows are clean and have subtle rounded corners.
– Icons are fresh, modern and easy-to-see.
– No noticeable slow-down in end-user performance

To Dislike:
– (ok, one nit… the temperature monitor still has no option for Fahrenheit… still making me *calculate* in my head…)

jeff avatar

I upgraded from the May/Jun version of raspbian using the above instructions (via xrdp if that matters) and upon rebooting I have no start menu – just the pretty background and a Trash can.

Nick Jorge avatar

Same exact experience here. I’ve tried uninstalling xrdp and switching to vnc and it hasn’t helped. I also used raspi-config to change the boot setup to Auto Login to Desktop, and I still don’t get a menu bar.

Any ideas?

dc avatar

Hi can you explain this command.
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer
I already have tightvncserver and I don’t want to install the app or a different app again.I think it says install python emulator document not sure about the realvnc-viewer part.

Simon Long avatar

python-sense-emu-doc is the documentation package for the SenseHAT emulator. realvnc-vnc-viewer is the viewer for VNC connections which allows you to control a remote machine; it is not the server, which would allow this machine to be controlled remotely.

Elfen avatar

In my mind, the Epiphany browser should be accessible in the menu along with Chromium. Or at least as an icon on the desktop. This would make it easier to access than to take an extra step of going to the console and activating it from there. Many Linux systems I use have 3 or more browers accessible in this manner.

Pixel is a great idea but I’m scratching my head on this – Lightweight? The R-Pi 2 & 3 have 1GB on them. Lightweight in my mind means that it would run on the original Model A like Wheezy does because of its RAM Limitation (256MB). Hell, a Good GUI should only take up less than 32MB of RAM – Win95 did it back in the day with only 16MB!

As long as it is hardware compatible with all R-Pi Hardware down to the Model A, I will be happy with it. But I would prefer to see the list of the loading process go by, as it does point out to issues in some of the broken R-Pi’s I repair. A shorted out USB Port (that has been crushed) does show up on that list, which makes it easy to diagnose and repair.

Simon Long avatar

The desktop environment is no more demanding to run in PIXEL than in any previous release. There may be a small performance penalty in some cases due to the framebuffer now having a depth of 32 bits rather than 16, but this will actually accelerate some applications (such as Chromium) which do not have to convert from 32 to 16.

The Epiphany browser can be added back to the menu by editing its desktop file – in /usr/share/raspi-ui-overrides/applications/epiphany-browser.desktop – just delete the line at the end that says “NoDisplay=true”.

That said, Epiphany has had no development for around a year now – it is effectively mothballed. By moving to Chromium, we can offer a much more modern browser which is still getting regular updates and which supports recent standards. Epiphany does run faster than Chromium on older models of Pi (which is why it is still in the image), but our recommendation would be that if you do want to run desktop applications, a Pi2 or Pi3 is more suitable than a Pi1 or Pi0. Unfortunately, software does tend to keep up with Moore’s Law…

Nathan Eaves avatar

If we already installed chrome will it all still work properly?

Torben avatar

I want to use my own external WLAN stick. How can I completely disable the WLAN that is build-in, so that it also consumes no energy, but still be able to use my own external WLAN stick?

D2KX avatar

So you added Infinality patches after FreeType just dropped them because their new upstream improvements are better than Infinality and way more performance efficient?

Ed avatar

Yes, this seems like a weird decision.

MOB avatar

In Chromium on the page chrome://settings/ I try to log in to Chromium to sync, but I get an error message: “Service unavailable; try again later”. I can log in to other Chromiums on other computers, and I can log in to GMail and YouTube in this Chromium (it’s the same username and password).

boooosh avatar

Same here, can’t log into Sync.

MalMan35 avatar

I have been having the same problem. It has already been mentioned on the forum so I would suggest keeping an eye out there.

MOB avatar

I think YouTube works with less lag in Epiphany than in YouTube for HD-videos in full screen on a Raspberry Pi 2 at 1000MHz.

The Epiphany full screen has an irritating white border.

MOB avatar

I think YouTube works with less lag in Chromium than in YouTube for HD-videos in full screen on a Raspberry Pi 2 at 1000MHz.

MOB avatar

I think YouTube works with less lag in Epiphany than in Chromium for HD-videos in full screen on a Raspberry Pi 2 at 1000MHz.

Carl Jacobsen avatar

Congratulations on a great looking new desktop environment! But… you named it after my cat, Pixel*, without even asking her! ;)

I might suggest reformatting the version date on the splash screen to ISO 8601 standards (“2016-09”) so it’s equally unambiguous in all regions (besides, there’s another Y4K event coming along in 84 years).

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool CLI person, but I kept getting tempted to install Chromium just to see it on a Pi – now you’ve taken care of that for me… Thanks!

*: (She’s a tabby with one white spot on her nose, her name was quite obvious.)

Oneil974 avatar

Hi really great work,

I would like to create new icons pack, is there any way to find sources or folder containing them?


Simon Long avatar

Icons all live in /usr/share/icons – our new icon theme is called PiX, and is in the /usr/share/icons/PiX directory.

Humberto Júnior avatar

Awesome!! Congratulations on the new updates.

Johan Buts avatar


I just upgraded as well but i am not seeing the new window design (with the rounded corners) and the new shiny icons. Also on the login screen there is no wallpaper (i have set one on my desktop).

The only reason why i think it could be like this is because i am not logged in as the default pi account (i disabled that) and somehow that is preventing the ui changes?

Would like to have some inside to get the new icon stuff because its great :)

Simon Long avatar

Yes, it will be down to not using the default “pi” user. I’ve not tried this myself, but I would suggest logging in as the pi user, doing the update, and then copying the contents of the /home/pi/.config/ directory to the /home/yourusername/.config/ directory. That should bring the new changes across to your account.

Johan Buts avatar

Any idea where i can find these default configs? (github repo, …)

Cause i removed the pi user with his home dir entirely cause i don’t want anyone to try and bruteforce the password if i would ever expose the machine to the internet.

Simon Long avatar

You can try getting them from the Raspberry Pi Github repo – there is a project called LXDE-configuration which contains all the default config files.

(But I’m not sure how changing the default pi account to another one prevents brute-forcing of the password – surely they can just brute-force the password of your new account?)

Johan Buts avatar

Yeah i agree but then they at least need to know the correct username :) Security is all about making it harder for the one that tries to get in, if they really want to get in eventually they will.

Lee McKenna avatar

Glad to see video acceleration for the web browser – but why Chromium? Why not Firefox? Yes, please – bring video acceleration to Firefox!

Simon Long avatar

It was much easier to add hardware acceleration to Chromium, as Chromium uses ffmpeg internally and we already had a hardware-accelerated version of ffmpeg for Pi.

Retro Resolution avatar


I’m just installing the latest Raspbian image on a test Raspberry Pi 3.

I have a heavily customised installation of Raspbian Jessie, with locally built versions of Chromium and a hand-built FFmpeg installation which I use with RetroPie to allow recording from within emulators.

Your comment regarding FFmpeg has me wondering if there’s likely to be any conflict when I build and install FFmpeg under the latest Raspbian. Is FFmpeg as utilisied by Chromium in this new release using self-contained libraries?

Simon Long avatar

I believe that Chromium uses its own copy of ffmpeg rather than the system libraries, so I think you should be ok changing the system libraries. I’d back them up just to be on the safe side, though, in case I’m wrong!

Roger avatar

Would anybody care to document the EXACT steps required to update a Pi3B booting from a hard drive using the MSD boot code. Has this been integrated into the new release, or is it due soon (in which case I’ll wait)

Lee McKenna avatar

Roger, I think you will find that documentation here:

AFAIK, its not released in the mainstream branch yet, as it used the “next” branch as in: sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update

Roger avatar

I am aware of those instructions (that’s how I got MSD Boot working in the first place), I’d just like to be able to update my current working installation without having to redo from scratch. Judging by the problems some people are reporting I think I’m going to wait a bit, just hoping MSB Boot comes out of beta status real soon.

Bob Oliver avatar

Only one thing today and that is the obvious: IT IS GREAT. What an excellent job, Simon. The word awesome gets overused but not in this case AWESOME

Timothy avatar

Thank you for your hard work Simon! The wifi/bt on off is such a great feature I’ve been dreaming of, and the extended grab handles have already relieved my usual frustration with the orig ones. SO many new features and I can say I enjoy them all! Glad you did all this!

JKY avatar

I like the work you have done looks great. Makes everything look a bit more Mac and a bit less Micro.

As outlined by a lot of other users I also really like the lines of code on the boot screen and miss them already. Please include some splash screen options. On the same line, how come we still cant edit the screen resolution from the config in the menu rather than editing the config file.

Julien avatar

So it seems 2016 is the year of the Linux desktop after all!

Darian brown avatar

Will there be a way to switch back to showing a terminal on boot instead of the splash screen? It has always impressed kids that I am teaching and taught a pretty good lesson on how much goes on that they had never seen before. If it’s not currently an option could you consider making it one in the future?

mdaniels avatar


Dennis avatar

It has been answered a couple of times, see Simon’s reply on 28th Sep 2016 at 3:21 pm above,

Bruce Johnson avatar

I’m using a B+ model Pi, and for some reason when I tried to install this upgrade, it didn’t quite work all the way… Only some of the icons are different, like the exit, full screen, and minimize buttons… The menu hasn’t changed, and I don’t have that file “usr/share/pixel-desktop” or something like that… What went wrong, and how can I fix it?

Serondrych avatar

Awesome update! I can’t wait to arrive home and update my Pi!! Kudos!!!

Ed avatar

Definitely not “Xwindows”! See e.g.

Michael avatar

Is there some way to start VNC headless? Up to now I have been installing and starting VNC when connected over ssh and then I can get to the desktop over VNC. With this new arrangement I am in a catch 22 where I need to get to the desktop to start VNC but I can’t get to it until I’ve started VNC. This is on a Pi Zero and I use the feature of putting wpa_supplicant.conf with my wifi details in the boot partition so that I get immediate access to the Pi on first boot without having to plug in a monitor and a USB hub with keyboard and mouse.

Andy Clark avatar

You might find these instructions helpful to start a VNC Server at boot:

This will start a VNC Server that remotes the main Pi screen. It’s possible to start a virtual-mode VNC Server on startup by scripting the launch of `vncserver`, but we don’t have any docs for that at the moment

Tom Archer avatar

I always use my Pi3 headless so after flashing a new micro-sd card, I dropped in wpa_supplicant and SSH’d into the Pi.

From there I just ran ‘raspi-config’ and enabled VNC. That then let me connect from the viewer.

I had some issues with it not being enabled after reboot, but that may have just been me. When I enabled it from the GUI (via the viewer) it all seemed fine.

FM avatar

Upgrading to PIXEL does not work here. When I enter:

sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods

I get the following error:

E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods

It looks as if a repository is missing. Any idea?

Simon Long avatar

Did you remember to do “sudo apt-get update” first?

F.M. avatar

Hi Simon

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I did “sudo apt-get update” followed by “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” – both commands completed without errors – and I’m running jessie:

$ lsb_release -drc
Description: Raspbian GNU/Linux 8.0 (jessie)
Release: 8.0
Codename: jessie

$ uname -srv
Linux 4.4.21-v7+ #911 SMP Thu Sep 15 14:22:38 BST 2016

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb jessie main contrib non-free
deb-src jessie main contrib non-free

I think the preconditions for the PIXEL upgrade should be ok. But when I enter “sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods” it ends with the aforementioned error:

$ sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods

Any idea?

Simon Long avatar

Ah – I see the problem. Your sources.list is wrong. Change “deb jessie main contrib non-free” to “deb jessie main contrib non-free rpi”

You should also check the contents of /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list – the end of each line in there should be “jessie main ui” – I suspect the “ui”may be missing.

Check both of those, and then do another sudo apt-get update – that ought to work then.

F.M. avatar

Bingo! Appendig “ui” to the line found in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list did the trick :-)
Let my summarize the working settings:

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb jessie main contrib non-free rpi
deb-src jessie main contrib non-free rpi

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list
deb jessie main ui

Thank you Simon!

Simon Long avatar

Excellent – glad that’s fixed it. Apologies for the misleading info in my original post which I realised was wrong and then edited as you must have been in the process of trying it! (I’m sure the ui setting used to be in the sources.list file – it must have moved into the subdirectory at some point without my noticing…)

Steven avatar

Finally, a browser that doesn’t feel like you are running Netscape on 56k modem circa 1995. Epiphany was truly awful and loathsome and I cursed Rpi every time I launched it. Now, Chromium loads fast and plays videos smoothly, unlike Epiphany which played videos like a slide show.

FM avatar

sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods

What’s going wrong here??

Severin avatar

Wondering about plans regarding touchscreen-only accessibility: is Pixel usable with the Raspi touchscreen alone, ie no keyboard/no mouse? So far, only gnome-shell has a decent accessibility with touchscreens, but I’d love a lighter DE!

LesterH avatar

Nothing like shiny new eye-candy to get the blog revved up and ooohhs and aahhhs from people. I’d like to add my own:
Ooooooohhhhh! Aaaahhhhhhhhh! ;)
Nice work!

Jim Manley avatar

As Commandant Lassard from “Police Academy” would say, “This is a very, very, very, very good update!” Chromium and VNC are big pluses – we’ve been installing those ourselves forever, so that’s another time-saver.

Of course, guess who spent about six hours showing newbs how to download, install, and use v1.9.2 of NOOBS at our Makerspace until half-past midnight Tuesday night? Yeahhhhhh … and now we have to do it allllll over again for all of my students – GAHHHHH!!! Oh, well, “Practice makes Purrrrfect”, as Catwoman would say, right? :D

Got v1.9.3 downloaded in all forms here near Jellystone, I mean Yellowstone National Park, and Yogi and Boo-Boo both give it two very furry thumbs up! I’m currently seeding back to the community at over 400 Kbps, so come on over and get your fill while it lasts!

The photography is really stunning – great work on that “small” effort, too! Thanks everyone!

Jim Manley avatar

BTW Simon, since you’re a fellow cruciverbalist …


7. A small part of the big picture (five letters)


F.M. avatar

sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods

What’s going wrong here?

Ed avatar

Showing the user desktop background on the login screen is a major (potential) privacy issue.

vince avatar

Couple questions:

– Where is the raspbian version info kept in the filesystem ? Many of us run ‘lite’ and don’t install any gui

– Did you implement the ‘copy wpa_supplicant.conf from /boot’ in the lite raspbian ? It’s a great feature that should be in both variants.

Simon Long avatar

1) Only in the splash screen image.
2) I think so – try it and check it works.

vince avatar

The version string only in the spash screen image is useless to the ‘many’ of us who run console only installations. Also, shouldn’t you be updating /etc/rpi-issue if we run a “apt-get dist-upgrade” ?

Nate avatar

I was just about to update mine to this when I realized, all I really want from it is the updated underpower/overtemp icons. In my application the desktop and other things don’t really get used, but I am getting the Rainbow square at the top of the screen and really want to narrow down if it’s over temp or under powered.

Can I get just that portion of the update?

LucidEye avatar

OK… installed and running this new distro… and Chromuim is not letting me sign in with any of my Google accounts so I can sync and transfer all of my bookmarks and such. I try to sign in and I get “Uh-oh!Service unavailable; try again later.”
I’ve tried all the google recommendations to fix this and nothing has worked. This is only happening with this new install… all my other machines are not having this issue. Anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this? I really need the sync to work. Thanks.

Jonathan Morris avatar

Just burned a fresh image to a pi 3 , but it appears that wifi and Bluetooth aren’t working.

Nicolas avatar

Same for me, bluetooth are “on” but no wifi network discovered, and no bluetooth devices viewable… (i did the update with the commands from a Jessie installed raspbian). I’ll try with a new install from sdcard…

Ferdie avatar

Second unit upgraded for the day to the new release, first was stock .. second a recently patched Pi3 with the official 7″ touch screen. It runs openbox, conky and is mainly used as a domoticz server. For the first time I saw the under voltage image as explained here

Had no issues with it being displayed continuously, but decided to change the 5 volt supply and all is good, no more indicator.

Will give playing youtube on it a spin see how it performs.

Thanks for a good release.

Later Ferdie

George Morrison avatar

Awesome job guys….It looks and real amazing. Many thanks….

mfmaricle avatar

After installing as directed, I can start Chromium by clicking Menu | Internet | Chromium Web Browser. But, I haven’t figured out how to make Chromium appear in the Task Bar. I right click the bar, click Panel Settings | Panel Applets | Application Launch Bar, then cannot find Chromium. I’m new to Raspbian/LXDE. Is there a way to add Chromium to the Task Bar?

Simon Long avatar

It’s already on the task bar; it’s the blue globe symbol next to the Pi icon top left.

Kingshuk Roy avatar

I am not able to run the following commands:
sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu
sudo apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer

Getting the following error:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package python-sense-emu-doc
E: Unable to locate package realvnc-vnc-viewer

I am running :
Linux raspberrypi 4.1.19-v7+ #858 SMP Tue Mar 15 15:56:00 GMT 2016 armv7l

Can someone please help me with what I am doing incorrectly.


Simon Long avatar

Did you remember to run “sudo apt-get update” first?

sunny avatar

yes. does’t work. I have been trying it from yesterday.

pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods
pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get update
Hit wheezy Release.gpg
Hit wheezy Release.gpg
Get:1 wheezy Release.gpg [473 B]
Hit wheezy Release
Hit wheezy Release
Get:2 wheezy Release [14.4 kB]
Hit wheezy/rpi armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/main armhf Packages
Get:3 wheezy/main armhf Packages [6,934 kB]
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en
Get:4 wheezy/contrib armhf Packages [23.6 kB]
Get:5 wheezy/non-free armhf Packages [49.3 kB]
Get:6 wheezy/rpi armhf Packages [592 B]
Ign wheezy/contrib Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/contrib Translation-en
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en
Ign wheezy/non-free Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/non-free Translation-en
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en
Fetched 7,022 kB in 27s (257 kB/s)
Reading package lists… Done
pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Calculating upgrade… Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods
pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get update
Hit wheezy Release.gpg
Hit wheezy Release.gpg
Hit wheezy Release.gpg
Hit wheezy Release
Hit wheezy Release
Hit wheezy Release
Hit wheezy/main armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/main armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/rpi armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/contrib armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/non-free armhf Packages
Hit wheezy/rpi armhf Packages
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en
Ign wheezy/contrib Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/contrib Translation-en
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/main Translation-en
Ign wheezy/non-free Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/non-free Translation-en
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en_US
Ign wheezy/rpi Translation-en
Reading package lists… Done
pi@b:~$ sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-chromium-mods
pi@b:~$ uname -a
Linux duetap 4.1.19-v7+ #858 SMP Tue Mar 15 15:56:00 GMT 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux
pi@b:~$ date
Thu Sep 29 22:42:20 EDT 2016

Simon Long avatar

Check the contents of the following files – make sure they match the versions below:

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb jessie main contrib non-free rpi
deb-src jessie main contrib non-free rpi

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list
deb jessie main ui

Then do another sudo apt-get update.

Name avatar

This is seriously awesome! Great work! Also, adding chromium and youtube playback is huge! Thank you guys!

Dimitris avatar

Nice Upgrade But Big problem with Keyboard Layout loosing setting after each reboot (in GUI).

Andrew avatar

Hate the Pixel at the moment…. I have a folder called “other” in my Apps menus… When I click to view apps in there(theres about 12) it simple closes then reloads the desktop!!! this will happen EVERY TIME I try to access it and after a while it the stops reloading the desktop which means I have NO taskbar etc and the ONLY way to solve it is to reboot my Pi3!!!!

Simon Long avatar

There’s a forum thread where I am trying to gather information to debug this, as it doesn’t happen for me – perhaps you could contribute there?

Peter avatar

PIXEL is not unique enough. googling problems will be that much more difficult

Donald Foltz avatar

Kudos Simon! Looks great, can’t wait to take it for a spin!

Andrew avatar

odd how NONE of my comments which could show a possible major bug has not been posted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liz Upton avatar

Comments from new users are moderated by hand and then approved. It sometimes takes a couple of hours.

MOB avatar

When I hover over Other in the applications menu the whole top menu bar disappears, and then appears again.

I have upgraded an existing Jessie card.

Andrew avatar

Same issue and reported it

Simon Long avatar

There is nothing fundamentally broken with the Other menu – I have just tested it by adding an application which falls into that category on a clean image, and the menu displays correctly on my system.

Something about one of the applications in your Other category is incompatible with something in the new system, but without knowing what you have installed, it isn’t possible for me to debug it. I’d suggest uninstalling apps which are in the Other category until you find the one which is causing the problem – if you let me know which app it is, I can investigate.

Simon Long avatar

There’s a forum thread where I am trying to gather information to debug this, as it doesn’t happen for me – perhaps you could contribute there?

bensimmo avatar

First impression is, as much as I like the pictures for the background in themselves, I don’t think they really work.

My reasoning is this
– The desktop looses that instant ‘Raspberry’ impact. It was simple and effective branding, the kids loved it and the school children all knew what they where using.

They also then enjoyed setting about trying to alter it, different layout of it. Children like the’Raspberry’ They’re not bothered about pretty pictures, they see them all the time now.

You also loose the ‘branding impact’ of screen shots, it clutters the view for Education, almost overpowering everything else.

Please consider going to a Raspberry backdrop by default and leave the pretty pictures as options for people who want to select something else. If you need to, update the Raspberry. But don’t loose such a good branding tool.

Yes I know it can be changed, but let people who want pictures as backdrops (the children will eventually change it too) select in to them.

That, imho :)

I do like the icons on the menu and splash screen, especially as I can customise it a bit. All that text is pointless for a GUI.

JPW avatar

My 4-year old niece loves that Raspberry in the middle of the desktop – she always say “Mmmh, I want to eat up that Raspberry!” when the Pi boots up ! So perhaps that old backdrop should be included along with the nice photos in a future release ! (I note the ‘start’ menu has at least kept a little Raspberry icon !)

Simon Long avatar

The old raspberry is still in there – it’s just not the default. Use the Appearance Settings application to select it – it’s in /usr/share/raspberrypi-artwork/raspberry-pi-logo-small.png

JPW avatar

Great ! Best of all worlds then !

JPW avatar

Looks great and I will upgrade ASAP ! I also agree with Electra’s comments (and others) about the Boot messages – perhaps a future version could include a ‘hold shift down’ type instruction to quickly switch into the ‘old fashioned’ boot (rather than having to reconfigure and then reboot).

JPW avatar

Upgraded – all worked very well – and the new desktop looks good to me ! Also: the controversial Splash Screen does actually show services starting – so you still get an idea that booting is actually *doing* something – I had presumed that this was just a ‘dumb’ image to look at during boot time.

I’m actually writing this on Chromium on my Raspberry Pi – all working just fine – well done !

Gimbal avatar

Has anyone managed to get the RealVNC server running under Pixel?
I’ve enabled it in the preferences and rebooted but I cant get the vnc server icon to appear in the taskbar or in the menu.
I can see the viewer, but not the server.

Any ideas?

Simon Long avatar

The server doesn’t appear in the menu – it’s a system service. If you have enabled it in Raspberry Pi Configuration, you should see the VNC icon at the top right of the taskbar. If this hasn’t appeared, it suggests the server didn’t install properly – try “sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server” followed by “sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server”. Might be worth a “sudo apt-get update” first as well.

tjohnson avatar

Thanks! I had the same problem and this fixed it.

Neil avatar

Hovering over “Other” on the main menu causes the menu to crash and restart. Infinitely repeatable. I’m accessing the desktop via XTightVNC server (Pi3) and viewer (Ubuntu on an AMD64).

Neil avatar

And eventually it doesn’t restart and I have to reboot the Pi. God I wish I could avoid the temptation to try new stuff.

Simon Long avatar

There’s a forum thread where I am trying to gather information to debug this, as it doesn’t happen for me – perhaps you could contribute there?

Martin Bergman avatar

Will the new nice-looking icon set be available on e.g. Github, so that it can be used i other installations?
I am impressed with with most aspects of the new desktop version, but expecially the clean icon styling.

Simon Long avatar

It’s already available on the Raspberry Pi GitHub – the project is called pix-icons.

Omer Akram avatar

I think Raspberry Pi needs to support Ubuntu Snappy Core. Upgrading and installing packages on current raspbian is painfully slow as the medium is sd-cards. The snappy core on the other hands moves away from this whole ‘download and extract’ paradigm.

At the same time, Ubuntu Core does ensure for a very stable system on which we can do things like factory reset etc. Aligning nicely with other modern OSes like Android/iOS.

Jim Manley avatar

Omer – Ubuntiu Snappy Core is for the Internet of Things (IoT), not desktop Ubuntu. Snappy is already supported on the Pi 2 and 3 and is accessible via a link on the Downloads page to:


wallyware avatar

This outstanding!
Thanks for all of your effort!

Simon Long avatar

This is nothing to do with the current set of updates – I suggest you raise it on the forums rather than on here.

Paul avatar

After upgrading, the Panel crashes when the mouse hovers over the “Other” menu folder. Not sure why it crashes because of this. Went to the Menu Editor to remove the “Other” menu option to prevent crashes.

Simon Long avatar

See the comment at the bottom of the post above, under “Updates”, which has a workaround for this. We’ll push a fix out via apt in the next few weeks.

MOB avatar

Unfortunately that fix didn’t work for me. BTW the command should probably be: grep –include ‘*.desktop’ -IRiL “Icon”

Eric avatar

The cool android-esque materia design is GREAT!!! this is the OS i’ve been hunting for years….

THANK U RPI!!!!! THANK U EBEN!!! Especially the chromium browser and the sense hat simulator. Now less typing sudo apt-get!!!

Daniel avatar

Is it possible for you to add on first boot some sort of menu asking us to choose which program or category (programming, office, etc) we want to have installed? I know you want to make Raspbian the all in one all purpose distro but there are people like me who are not interested in programming, gaming or using office applications in Rpi and would like to have a more slim less bloated OS. I know you’ll probably say that I should use Jessee Lite but installing everything from the ground up is not very user friendly plus is very time consuming. Please consider this, give us the tools to customize the distro with minimum effort.


Simon Long avatar

It’s a problem we are very aware of. At some point down the line, we might move to shipping a minimal desktop image with recommended optional installs for office, programming etc in some form of startup wizard – it’s on the to-do list, but don’t hold me to a date for it!

Lee Wilkin avatar

Simon, I think you’ve done a fantastic job on Raspbian (Eben made a smart move hiring you). You know what needs to be changed (and refined) to enhance Raspbian UX. Great idea to include a screen-shot (and background history) of where you started your journey.

The desktop photographs are stunning – Greg Annandale’s one talented photographer! They make wonderful desktop backgrounds. (I’ve set background colour to dark grey (less distracting for my working eye). I loved the Raspberry Pi logo as the default desktop background; but it was beginning to get a little stale.

Congrats to Gustav Hansen and team for the Chromium web browser (big improvement). Well done to Sam Alder and Alex Carter for their “iconic” work; its combination with the refined fonts make for a cleaner, more professional UX.

I can understand why geeks are complaining about the removal of boot-up text; but I personally prefer the new splash screen. The addition of a OS version number is a great idea! I agree with others about using ISO standard date format (to reduce international confusion).

The grab handles are much improved and appreciated – fiddly window resizing BEGONE! :-)

You should celebrate this PIXEL milestone for Raspbian and Raspberry Pi. Many don’t realise how difficult it is to balance brand aesthetic with UX transparency. Keep up the good work!

Clemens avatar

Great work – I like it a lot. One of the most important improvements for me is “Chromium”. I found out that it is possible also to open pdf-Files in it. This is much more comftable than using the old PDF-Viewer.

Thanks for all your efforts!

David Carter avatar

Sigh.. Killed my ability to boot from USB Hdd…

tim Rowledge avatar

Unfortunately, “me too”.

I had a usb/hdd setup that was willing to sometimes boot – maybe 20% of attempts – so I didn’t mind taking a chance and like you, I lost. After the updates it was running ok so far as I could tell and I was very encouraged. Then I rebooted and … nothing. I tried with another hdd that had the Raspbian disk image on; nothing. I built a usb memory stick; likewise nothing. It was bit worrying when the first attempt at going back to SD wouldn’t boot either but a second attempt was ok.

So no, not yet on the usb booting.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

The next release should have the usb / ethernet boot functionality integrated fully, for now it is still BRANCH=next

David Carter avatar

Thanks for the info Gordon. I’ll try doing the setup again, only had a couple documents on the drive so no problem that I have to reformat it.

Sami Tahir avatar

Chromium is the best part just please find a way on how to sign into chrome so i can use google hangouts!

MW avatar

Tosh, MATE Desktop is only OK on RPi 2B or 3B. It is not light enough for the BCM2835 ARMv6 RPi’s.

If you want MATE start with Lite Image and install from repository.

Actually you will find answer by posting in the Forums, far better than a pathetic rant….

Curt avatar

I ran into issues after upgrading, the $HOME/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart was empty which caused a blank screen. Right click and open a terminal window and type “cp /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart $HOME/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart” which will fix the issue.

Just thought I would share in case anyone else has this issue.

Curt avatar

Further to this… a better solution is to:
“cp $HOME/oldconffiles/.config/* $HOME/.config -R”

This fixes all empty configuration files. Not sure why the install created this folder but it seems to work.

Curt avatar

Please don’t do any of my instructions because it does not fix the issue properly. Maybe someone with more experience can post how to recreate the configuration files that were empty which caused my initial problem.

(If the moderator can delete this post that would be great).

Ric Watson avatar

Hi Curt, thanks for the pointer. I also had the black screen. I just uncommented the lines in /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart, then saved it and rebooted.

Ian Bardsley avatar

Ohhh…very nice work boys and girls. The Pi3 is now a very good desktop computer alternative for general use. Keep up the good work.

Dennis avatar

After installing Raspbian pixel my Pi3 has extremely slowed down.Help please, anyone.

Chris Schram avatar

As others have already mentioned, the early version of Chromium in this update is unable to log in to one’s Google account. Let’s hope this gets fixed real soon. All in all, great work though.

rozling avatar

Great update, really glad for the ability to disable wifi!

A few weeks ago I installed xfce On one of my Pis to try it out.

Would changing back to the new desktop be as simple as an `apt-get install lxde`, or do I need to remove some packages?


Simon Long avatar

I can’t say for sure, as I haven’t tried it, but I suspect replacing xfce with PIXEL is going to be more complicated than just apt-getting lxde. By all means try it and report back, but I suspect you might need to start again with a clean PIXEL download.

rozling avatar

Thanks for the reply Simon! I installed LXDE, and uninstalled XFCE. I can launch LXDE and can e.g. see Chromium, but the PIX theme isn’t there (also not getting splash screen on startup).

Is it possible to download only PIXEL without the rest of the Raspbian image? Or even just the PIX theme? I’d love to do it without reflashing if possible!

Simon Long avatar

You could try just doing a sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods – that might work.

rozling avatar

Ah! It worked! More specifically I tried this:

apt-cache search pixel
apt-cache search lxde

and going by the last results from those tried:

apt-get install pix-icons pix-plym-splash pixel-wallpaper pi-greeter raspberrypi-ui-mods raspberrypi-artwork raspberrypi-bootloader

Then had to manually go in and change the desktop preferences to the background, icons etc but it works! Thanks for your help :)

Steve avatar

Can we post this on the main post somewhere as been trying to find the packages to install for over an hour now….

fabkai avatar

You have written: “Then had to manually go in and change the desktop preferences to the background, icons etc but it works!”

Could you just describe what steps you have done?

rwger avatar

is possible to move Photon from QNX to raspbery pi?
more developers, more users this is atut for moving photon to open source.

Ric Watson avatar

Hi Simon, please could you tell me how to make the scrollbars wider? I have done a lot of googling and tried numerous ideas, with no success so far. Thanks :)

Simon Long avatar

I’m not sure you can, easily – they are generated in code by the theme engine. You can try going into ~/.themes/PiX/gtk-2.0/gtkrc, and changing the values of GtkScrollBar::trough-border and GtkScrolledWindow::scrollbar-spacing, but I’m not sure either will do what you need. The other thing that might work is going into ~/.themes/PiX/gtk-2.0/Scrollbars and changing some of the graphics in there for wider ones.

Ric Watson avatar

Thanks Simon. Your first suggestion works on standard Debian, but seems not to on Raspbian. I’ll try editing the graphics and let you know if that does the trick.

Ric Watson avatar

I was wrong. For standard Debian one can edit the file in /usr/share. For example /usr/share/themes/Clearlooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc. For the RPi one should edit /home/pi/.themes/PiX/gtk-2.0/gtkrc and add the line GtkScrollbar::slider-width = 30 (or whatever width you want). Cheers.

dalearn avatar

Can you please make a tutorial about how to customize the desktop environment? It will save us a lot of potential trouble learning everything you know!

Simon Long avatar

I wrote one for the Magpi last year, which was printed in its entirety in the Raspberry Pi projects book – free download at

Zaptoid avatar

Absolutely amazing! Great work guys, I’ve been playing with it the whole afternoon.

Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Good on ya, mates!

martin avatar

pixel is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
i love it. simple and functional. lightweight, fast, nice.
appealing gui without unnecessary whistles/bells.
great job, Simon.
thank You very much, sir!

Ric Watson avatar

Looks nice. Some of the improvements are quite subtle, but the overall effect is very pleasing.

On my Pi 3 the boot time is now around 17.2 seconds to desktop (previously 13.7 seconds). The shutdown time is now very variable, ranging from around 6 to 92 seconds (previously it was a a consistent 10 seconds). When slow, most of the time it is showing “ service”.

Frank Johns avatar

Hi – I have just upgraded to PIXEL but am having trouble. When I hover over both ‘Office’ and ‘Internet’ the desktop loses top bar and am left with just Wastebasket. Then when I move away from these the full desktop returns. However after trying this a couple of times the desktop sticks on just Wastebasket, and effectively the system doesn’t then respond.
I find that the only way out is to ‘pull the plug’, which I don’t like doing.
Also there is no sign of Chromium in the system, even after I seemed to install it separately after the PIXEL upgrade.
Can someone help?

Simon Long avatar

Try the fix at the bottom of the post above, in the section labelled “Updates”. This should fix the problem, which is caused by installing additional applications not in the standard image which do not have icons defined in their menu entries.

Gabriel avatar

Oh dear, my mouse stopped working and my raid device (/dev/md0) is gone.

Gabriel avatar

I installed from scratch and got my RAID back. The new GUI is very nice. Good job.

Supra avatar

I had same issues as ur.

Frank Johns avatar

Hi Simon
I still had difficulty with it, so as I didn’t have a lot configured on Raspbian, I decided to format the sd card and reinstall Raspbian. All is now OK, thanks.
My problem is I know enough to get into trouble but not enough to get myself out of it ;-))

Retro Resolution avatar


Congratulations on the excellent updates to the Raspbian desktop with this new update.

I have installed Raspbian Jessie with Pixel from the image on a test Pi 3, and all appears perfect.

I have just performed the update process on my main Pi 3, which has been running Raspbian Jessie (May 27th Image). The only issue I appear to have is related to ‘applications whose menu entries do not have an icon associated with them’.

The problem is that occasion the menu bar at the top of the screen disappears then reloads – this isn’t just when accessing sub-menus from the Main Menu itself. I’ve seen this occur when programs are launched, for example clicking a text file in the File Manager; the default text editor loads with the requested file, but whilst it does so this reload of the main menu occurs.

For reference, this Pi 3 contains a wide variety of packages, a custom self-build of ffmpeg, monodevelop, and various updated system configuration files. There was self-compiled version of Chromium present (v 48), however I removed this before upgrading the system.

Following the instructions which were added to the end of the main post on this page, I ran the grep command in each of the suggested directories; each attempt returned no results, although it was clear from the icons in the PcManFM file manager which programs didn’t have an icon associated.

Although I updated all the .desktop files affected, I still had issues when the ‘other’ menu was displayed (however the problems I’d been having when the ‘internet’ menu was displayed were resolved).

I opted to simply remove the ‘other’ folder from the menu entirely using the ‘main menu editor’ tool. This resolved issues when accessing the ‘other’ sub-menu, but not the random reloading of the main menu bar.

I ensured that the package locations where as per the instructions the comments thread, and the all of the update instructions were carried out as specified.

Simon Long avatar

I’ve been trying to repeat this problem locally this afternoon. One thing that may help is deleting the ~/.config/menus folder (if it exists) – some installers seem to create this, and it has the effect of adding every program on the system to the Other menu category. Try restoring the Other menu and then deleting this directory to see if that helps.

I think the random crashes are being caused by a segfault in some new icon handling code I added to the menu, but hopefully removing the spurious menu entries will reduce its occurrences until I can push a fix to apt.

Bernard Morgan avatar

Hi, what do u mean by “To update an existing Jessie image” ? I have the last Raspbian image installed, should i juts type these commands in a terminal in my Pi3 to get the new Pixtel version ?

Ben Nuttall avatar

Yes. If it’s recent (in the last year), it’s probably Raspbian Jessie, in which case you can upgrade with those commands.

If it’s an older image (Raspbian Wheezy) then you’ll need to upgrade to Jessie or just start again.

Lorenzo avatar

I have an old laptop with lubuntu 16.04 .. and i want also this theme!!
How can i do?!? ;)

Brian avatar

I have just install it on my very old but still loved RPi Model B V1 256Mg and it works very well.

Well done everyone that has worked on this project.

Raul avatar

Hi. Just installed (fresh from PiBakery) on a Pi3 and it keeps rebooting after splash screen.

David Ferguson avatar

That’s likely to be PiBakery causing that issue – what blocks did you use?

Maitreya Vyas avatar

Seems impressive. Iconography is on point!

SCThirouin avatar

This is an awesome update. Looks very nice. Thank you!

Brian J. avatar

I used Noob Lite to install Rasbian and Pixel on my Pi 3. Noob Lite’s Toolbar WiFi networks button let me log in to the school enterprise network with my username and password to download and install Rasbian with Pixel. How hard would it be to incorporate this feature into Pixel?

This would let individual students log into the Pi 3, then log into the enterprise network using their own account.

Bill Stephenson avatar

Wow Simon!

I installed it last night and got some time to play around today and it’s looking impressive.

Took me just a few minutes to tweak the GUI to my liking and I didn’t need to install anything. You’ve got it all in there and more and looking beautiful too.

Huge Thanks!!!

Frank Ihringer avatar


thanks for this great work!


is there a way to change the desktop for other users too? I copied the .config changes form /home/pi to my normal account but I still have the old one :( . By the way, my Pi is headless and I use xrdp for login (and I don’t want to change to ultravnc). The pi account itself works fine.

Fe avatar

pixel looks amazing!!

though i seem to have a problem… I can’t seem to communicate with the picamera after the upgrade – any ideas on how to solve this?

(it’s really hard to search for OS/camera problems with on OS named ‘pixel’)

Nick avatar


Emmanuel Semutenga avatar

Awesome Stuff Simon, just tested it and everything is very good so far

John avatar

Will FFmpeg be able to use hardware accelerated video with this update?

Simon Long avatar

Not standalone – I’m not sure we ship ffmpeg separately from Chromium in the image anyway. If you download the latest version of ffmpeg (you may need to build it from scratch rather than take the Jessie package), it does have hardware acceleration for some codecs on the Pi.

Werner Hartnagel avatar

Hi Simon,

just upgrade my to latest Raspbian and would like to give my (sadly negative) feedback.

Tradition Linux Boot Screen is awesome! I did always hate the modern Linux Distributions try to hide important information with a stupid splash screen. A user with less experience will just ignore it. In case something went wrong or start delayed, its easier to find out whats going on. So my next step is to find out how to disable it.

So lets review Pixel Desktop. Ehhh? Pixel what??
Why this new name? I can’t see any serious big changes that justify the name change. All you did is create a more polished LXDE.

Yes. Nice background images. Who cares? Most peoples like to use her own. I prefer none..

The new Icons are indeed a improvement. I can’t see any other noticeable changes so please call it LXDE in respect for the developers who did the hard work. Another reason why Pixel is a bad name is because it’s not good for google searches.

Now my next question. Why did you not switch to LXQT? LXDE is a dead project, LXQT is superior and they just release a new version. There won’t be any future updates for LXDE.

There are other nice cool stuff, Youtube works finally really well (fullscreen not yet). Wow! But I can’t see this is a part of Desktop Environment.

Things I would love to see didn’t happen. For example I’ve choose german keyboard layout in noobs, but Pixel don’t know about it. That’s not user friendly since it’s not so obviously how to change the keyboard layout with LXDE.

Hope you may read my feedback and consider it for next release.

Kind regards

Simon Long avatar

To take your points in order.

The traditional Linux Boot Screen is not “awesome” – to 95% of Pi users it is a meaningless jumble of gibberish which scrolls past too fast for them to read anyway, and even if they could read it, very little of it would make any sense. If anyone really does genuinely find it useful, then they should also have the technical knowledge to be able to restore it – it is a trivial change to a config file. I struggle to believe that anyone who can’t work out how to disable a Plymouth splash screen is going to find the text boot information useful.

Background images – most modern desktop OSes provide eye-candy wallpaper. If you don’t want it, it is trivial to turn it off. They are provided as a nice option for users who do want them, nothing more.

I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact that this is a heavily-modified LXDE – I say as much in the blog post. But given that changes over the default LXDE include a new GTK theme, a new GTK theme engine, substantial modifications to the window manager, various new plugins for the taskbar (Bluetooth, USB eject, WiFi) and heavy modifications to others (volume, task launcher), new greeter, new splash screen, new icon theme, new fonts and rendering improvements, not to mention a large amount of bug fixing throughout, there are’t many of the core LXDE applications that I haven’t changed or tweaked. (I’ve not done much to the file manager yet, but watch this space…) It is a significant improvement on the user experience of standard vanilla LXDE, and I make no apologies for giving our version of LXDE a new name. I’m not taking anything away from the developers of LXDE, but I like to think I have applied a lot of good UI design and consistency, not to mention testing and bug fixing, to it that was perhaps lacking beforehand.

The name PIXEL being bad for Google searches – perhaps. But “pixel raspbian” will work perfectly well to find it. Just searching for “raspbian” will still locate information about PIXEL.

And as for LXQT – I don’t get this notion of LXDE being a “dead product”. Yes, it is no longer under active development by the LXDE team (although, as I pointed out above, it is very much under active development by me). But that doesn’t mean it is “dead” – it hasn’t mysteriously stopped working overnight, and works perfectly well for the task we require. In fact, there is also a newer version of it over and above that we are shipping – Stretch includes an update to version 7 over the version 6 in Jessie, which we will move to at some point. We will continue to look at alternatives for the desktop as we go on, but we are not moving to brand new code just because it is newer and shinier. Code which is not under active development is by definition more stable than that which is under development; stability is an important part of the user experience.

As for changing the keyboard layout, it’s trivial in PIXEL – just launch the Mouse and Keyboard Settings application or the Raspberry Pi Configuration application; both contain a button which launches lxkeymap, a handy GUI tool which allows international keyboards to be selected.

Werner Hartnagel avatar

At the time I’ve wrote the comment, I’ve just played maybe 20min with PIXEL. I’ve realized there are some wrong conclusion.

I made the switch to LXQt already with the first prerelase. That time it wasn’t feature complete and I had to set keyboard layout with setxkbmap. It works fine since years and I never take a look at the appearance tools. My mistake.

Regarding Linux Boot Screen, I realize it’s indeed less useful if you boot straight to X. I always boot to console and use startx, even on my Laptop. In this case your arguments about scrolling too fast is wrong. You can always scroll with SHIFT+PageUp/PageDown. The majority of Raspperry Pi users may not require a Desktop Environment at all. Even a user can’t read or understand the messages he may notice the error message (and Google it) and the progress of boot. You reduce those messages to one line, it disappear even faster and won’t be noticed. So I still think it’s awesome because it really works in all cases and doesn’t introduce a new dependency.

At the time I’ve wrote the comment I haven’t tried to remove it. After that comment I just made a quick attempt removing plymouth with “apt-get remove plymouth”. I run into dependencies nightmare because there’s a dependency to raspberrypi-net-mods, raspberrypi-ui-mods. Splash Screen gone but I’ve lost all your modifications too. Is this dependency really required? How about split the packages to keep it more modular?

Background images…. It’s not worth to talk about it. :)

Of course I can search “pixel raspbian” with Google. But I won’t get the lxde related results outside the PIXEL world. I can append “lxde” too, but maybe it’s not so obviously for the newbie?

LXDE IS DEAD PROJECT, there’s no maybe/perhaps. There was a long discussion about moving to GTK3 already 3 years ago and it seems you missed it?

I’m sure you will maintain PIXEL well, but how about gtk2 and it’s large dependencies? How about wayland support, I’m not sure it will be backported to gtk2? Yep, it will still be around a few years more. Anyway, i think new features and development should happen for LXQt. It’s your own choice, I’ll just tell I would love to see you join LXQt team and doing your efforts there because more peoples outside Rpi world will have the benefits.

Oh, regarding no code changes, more stable software. I can’t agree. My experience with Debian was always horrified because of this policy (using only linux since ’99). I guess its fine for a pure server environment, otherwise I prefer rolling releases with frequently updates. But going into this topic is too much.

My biggest mistake was obviously I’ve forgot “Thank you”. Overall your additions was a improvement without any doubts!

Simon Long avatar

At the time I’ve wrote the comment I haven’t tried to remove it. After that comment I just made a quick attempt removing plymouth with “apt-get remove plymouth”. I run into dependencies nightmare because there’s a dependency to raspberrypi-net-mods, raspberrypi-ui-mods. Splash Screen gone but I’ve lost all your modifications too. Is this dependency really required? How about split the packages to keep it more modular?

You can’t remove Plymouth – it is a standard part of the Raspbian boot system and has been for a while. Just change the Plymouth boot options – modify /boot/cmdline.txt to remove the words “quiet” and “splash”.

Werner Hartnagel avatar

Okay. It still worked fine after I’ve removed it. So I dont think its q requirement?
But I was indeed missing your mods :)

john avatar

Just out of curiosity:

What made you choose to invest your coding time into LXDE instead of LXQt? :)

Stephen Crocker avatar

We use the term dead as all maintainers have abandoned the project for a new framework LXQT. With no one actively supporting something eventually things will slowly become incompatible with modern platforms.

Rather than use your time and resources to become the maintainer of the dead project you’ve decided to fork it and give it your own name ‘Pixel’. Nicely for you tech sites are referencing Pixel and forgetting to point out the LXDE roots.

As a developer you claim you’ve made a number of changes to the LXDE packages (so it’s more than just a theme) and rather than push those changes upstream as payback to others who developed the platform you’ve held on to them.

You elected not to use LXQT because you don’t like QT. We have Mate (GTK2) and Cinnamon (GTK3) which would have kept GTK but rather than invest on making those DE’s leaner you’ve chosen the one platform with no maintainers on it.

The big problem with your decision here is Wayland. The X developers have left X11 and moved on to Wayland. KDE/Gnome have implemented Wayland compositors, this will get passed on to LXQT (via KWin) and Cinnamon (via Mutter). Which means at some point in the next few years the Raspberry Pi Foundation will have to maintain X11 support in a lot of applications, implement a Wayland compositor in LXDE or ditch this work and go with a DE which supports Wayland.

I gave up on Ubuntu and the Raspberry Pi for the same reason. You seem to suffer with not invented here syndrome.

Which is why this comment section is not filled with the loving applause you obviously expected on the announcement.

Simon Long avatar

Oh dear – where to start with a bitter, misguided rant like that…?

We have never pretended that PIXEL is anything other than a modified version of LXDE. I have been very explicit about that pretty much every time I have mentioned it. If other sites are failing to mention that, it is neither intentional nor our fault. In fact, I have personally contacted journalists who have misrepresented what we are offering here to correct them – if they still get it wrong, it’s absolutely not due to our attempting to mislead anyone.

The idea that something as high-level as a desktop environment is in imminent danger of failing to support new hardware is laughable – it sits on top of X (which hasn’t changed significantly in decades) – short of X failing to support new hardware, both LXDE and PIXEL will remain fully functional for years to come.

We have pushed changes upstream to LXDE when they are fixes for obvious bugs. When they are subtle changes to usability which would be a matter of opinion as to whether they were “improvements” or not, I have made the deliberate decision to not upstream them, on the grounds that I do not have the time for the arguments about whether the changes should be accepted or not.

We make all our modified source available in apt and GitHub – anyone who wants it can freely take it. All the new plugins I have personally created or ported (Bluetooth, USB eject, volume with Bluetooth support, wi-fi) will work perfectly with standard LXDE – but as you say, it is “dead”, which is presumably why they haven’t been taken up.

I have never said I don’t like QT. I *have* said that I don’t see the point in the upheaval required to move all the PIXEL environment from one DE under which it works perfectly and for which I have personally invested a great deal of time in tweaking and debugging to another completely different one in which I would need to repeat all of that work. I would end up losing stability and investing huge amounts of time in exchange for little or no benefit to users. That’s just a waste of time that I could spend more productively on hundreds of other things.

As for Wayland, I’m not commenting further on that – every time we release new software, a couple of people ask about Wayland, and we give the same answer every time. When we see it presenting sufficient advantages to the end-user to justify the effort required to implement it, we may introduce it. It is by no means the only path forward, whatever you may think.

As for “this comment section not filled with the loving applause we expected”, I’m really not sure where that comes from. For a start, we didn’t “expect” any such applause – we release things we think people might want, we listen to the feedback, we decide what to do next. Frankly, the degree of enthusiasm we have seen on here, on our forums and on the Internet in general following this release has been staggeringly positive – far more so than we had expected. If you genuinely think that “this comment section is not filled with…applause”, I suggest you go and read it again. There is barely a negative comment on here, and an awful lot of people seem to like what we’ve done.

Finally if, as you say, you have given up on the Raspberry Pi, what exactly are you doing commenting on here anyway?

Carl Jacobsen avatar

Werner Hartnagel says: “Tradition Linux Boot Screen is awesome! I did always hate the modern Linux Distributions try to hide important information with a stupid splash screen.”

The splash screen is in no way “stupid”, it’s simply a different take on the situation. It isn’t “hiding” the information, it simply isn’t displaying information that wouldn’t be useful to most users – your car knows dozens of measurements (including torque, coolant temp, intake air temp, CO2 emission rate, compression, manifold absolute pressure, mass airflow) that it isn’t constantly displaying – do you hate that too? Your car is “hiding” information from you. Most people don’t want to see all that extra information – it would hinder, rather than help, the actual task at hand, which is driving the car.

I completely agree when Simon says, “I struggle to believe that anyone who can’t work out how to disable a Plymouth splash screen is going to find the text boot information useful.” I was curious about how to disable it, and it took me all of two minutes skimming THIS PAGE to find the answer. I had toyed with setting up Plymouth at some point, and now I don’t have to work out the details, because that’s already been dealt with now. And it’s trivial to turn it off if I want.

Names are attached to things so we don’t have to unambiguously describe them every time we want to talk about them. Instead of saying, “remember when they added a new theme engine, new taskbar plugins, new splash screen, new fonts and other stuff to Raspbian”, every time we want to refer to this set of new features in the future, we can just say “Pixel”.

They’re working to make the desktop included with Raspbian easier to use, more capable, less ambiguous, more familiar to users coming from Mac/Windows platforms, and prettier. None of these are bad things. You’re _complaining_ about them adding new wallpaper? Really? How exactly does this cause you pain?

As far as switching to LXQT – did they fail to include all the patches you submitted to enable the switch to LXQT? Perhaps you could submit your work again.

If you don’t like the changes, I suggest you demand a full refund of the money that you paid for this newest version of Raspbian that incorporates Pixel. You end with your message with “Hope you may read my feedback and consider it for next release”, and “Kind regards”. As if what you offered in your previous paragraphs was constructive criticism, rather than ungrateful whining.

I’m quite happy with, and grateful for, the work that has been done to bring us this newest version of Raspbian, with Pixel. The changes that comprise Pixel don’t have substantial direct bearing on me (my Pi’s tend to run headless and stay up for months at a time, and I use the traditional CLI environment rather than the desktop), but the primary goal of the Pi is education, and I can see that this will likely make for a better introduction to computers for those in classrooms, so they can get more directly to learning how to code and such.

Simon Long avatar

Thank you very much, Carl – you put all that better than I did!

Liz Upton avatar


Richard Sierakowski avatar

Hi Carl,

Very well put. I am fortunately old enough to remember having to build computers at college using discrete logic gates and then actually bootstaping them. We eventually progressed to the luxury of paper tape and punch card readers. That I could read the punch cards almost as fast as the computer does not mean that I want to go back to those primitive times. Even with my years of card reading I still cannot read the boot messages at the speed they scroll up the screen.

If people need to investigate the boot process the the dmesg command will fulfil their wildest dreams:) So those with Luddite tendencies should stick with collecting 1960’s computers and allow the rest of the users to make progress.


Werner Hartnagel avatar

I think it was constructive criticism. Regarding the name change… Every Linux Distribution does heavy modifications of Gnome, KDE. What may happen if they invent all her own name? Too much fragmentation cause stalled development. There are situations where a fork is suitable and best way to go. But I think its always better and preferable to try first to contribute back to the project.

Your bitter notes to explain me the nature of open source wasn’t necessary. Yes, maybe you will find lxqt packages from me in the future.

Saamir avatar

@Simon – Hat tip to you and others that have contributed to this. It is benefiting many people, myself included.

@Carl – Your point about car instrumentation is noted and accepted. When there’s a problem with my car, I take it to the shop where they have the equipment and expertise to diagnose the problem. Your analogy with a Raspberry Pi, however, is a stretch.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to bring up a Linux system, only to have it hang before reaching a command prompt. And because of the decision of a developer and/or package maintainer, all I see is an unresponsive splash screen. I have to jump through hoops to block-mount the media in another computer, just to disable the splash screen, so I can actually see the messages that help me diagnose the problem.

I always try to question my beliefs, and not assume I’m “right”, and others are just “whining”. It would be nice if this caught on.

wulph avatar

Now imagine you purchased a car that was specifically marketed for teaching you about cars. Taking the car to the dealer is not desirable, as this costly option teaches you nothing about cars and leaves you without a car while the experts use their proprietary tools and hidden knowledge to repair it. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of the inner workings — to be able to draw upon the knowledge of other hobbyists for troubleshooting and quick resolution?

You may even already have a Microsoft car or an Apple car that you rely on for daily transportation. When you get frustrated with a Raspberry car that won’t start and tells you nothing of where the problem may be, are you more or less likely to stick it in a shoe box under your bed and go back to browsing dank memes in your iCar?

Alex Kwan avatar

Change your resolution to 1280×1024 and fullscreen youtube playback @720 will be perfectly fine.


I can not find the the menu for install printers in pixel os raspberry. Does someone have a solution?

Simon Long avatar

Your best option is to use CUPS – various instructions online; try

Peter Gloor avatar

Congrats! I’m not a lover of GUIs in general and avoid it whenever possible, but anything I read about PIXEL sounds great in every aspect. A lightweight GUI made with the Pi in mind, I’m sure I’ll love it.

Gavin Wraith avatar

When I click the Web Browser icon on the taskbar NetSurf starts up. How do I get it to start up Chrome instead?

Simon Long avatar

I’m not in front of a Pi at the moment, so can’t check this, but try “sudo update-alternatives –config x-www-browser” – it should list the browsers installed on your system and allow you to choose Chromium.

John Ulric avatar

Excellent! After upgrading an existing Jessie installation, when I log in via rdp as the “pi” user, I get the new look. When I log in as a different (non-root) user, I get the old look. What’s to do to upgrade existing user accounts to the new look? Thanks!

Simon Long avatar

It should just be a matter of copying the contents of /home/pi/.config and /home/pi/.themes to the same places in the new user’s home directory.

Vladimir avatar

Thanks a lot for Chromium! Great work!

stormbringer avatar

I run headless, use xrdp. I updated (did not install realvnc-vnc-server) and did not get the new interface with my non-pi user. I did this to solve:

cp -rp /etc/xdg/lxpanel/profile/* ~/.config/lxpanel/
cp -r /etc/xdg/lxsession/* ~/.config/lxsession/

After a few other tweaks to fix things I still do not have the rounded windows feature. How do I fix this for a non-pi user?

Simon Long avatar

The rounded windows are an openbox configuration setting – just do as you did above, but for the openbox subdirectory of .config as well as for lxpanel and lxsession.

Andrew avatar

Hi, I have had exactly the same issue, in that non-admin accounts were not updated. With the three copy commands above it is most of the way there, but the scroll bars have not updated and the Sound tends to mostly noise, rather like a barely audible FM broadcast.
Please can someone direct me to a complete list of changes that are require for an account to be fully updated.

Atrion avatar

I had switched to booting from a USB Drive, after Trying to update 3 times I’m at a loss. After update all looks fine until I try to reboot, at which point it doesn’t boot. is there a solution?

Simon Long avatar

USB boot is still in beta and still requires the experimental version of the kernel – you’ll need to do an sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update again as you did when you originally enabled USB boot. (The update to PIXEL restores the default stable kernel.)

faisal avatar

first of all, thanks for great work, but i have problem with access samba via pcmanfm, I still have to enter the password again next time I open PCmanFM or reboot. before this, it work perfectly with raspian jessie image.

i use Image .img with PIXEL desktop based on Debian Jessie, it boot perfectly & logon to desktop, but keep asking password when trying to enter samba network, the is no change with host pc & my others pi pc with old jessie image still work without asking password.


Simon Long avatar

We didn’t (as far as I know) change anything to do with SAMBA networking in this image. The only thing I can think of is that something in the RealVNC packages is causing a problem – try uninstalling the RealVNC support with sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer and see if that helps.

Tom avatar

Why did you choose a propitiate version of VNC that has a non-free licence, and is incompatible with other free VNC viewers ?

Simon Long avatar

RealVNC wanted to port their product to Raspberry Pi and generously offered it to us, along with free licenses for use on Pi – we gratefully accepted. It works very well if used with their own (free) viewer. If you don’t want to use it, you are free to uninstall it and use your preferred alternative. avatar

Actually RealVNC does not work well, It ONLY works with the closed source RealVNC. Not common open source VNC clients. It will not even work 32bit RealVNC. It is not available for Intel Debian. Even if you remove RealVNC with apt-get, it blocks you using XRDP and Remmina. XRDP works with everything. In windows you do not even need a client, as it talks remote desktop as well as VNC. The client and server RDP are built into windows. In a lot of situations eg school/office, you are not allowed to install for yourself on your desktop machine, so needing to ask to get RealVNC installed is a pain.

Nathan Green avatar

Hi, the “Sign in to Chromium” option in Chromium does not work. It lets me sign in and then I get the message “Uh-oh! Service unavailable; try again later.”

Simon Long avatar

Yes, we have found a problem with the Google API keys in this version of Chromium – we’ve got a fix in the works which should be available for download in a few days time.

Nathan Green avatar

Thanks Simon!

tudza avatar

Sigh, seems to have killed access by VNC and ssh.

Gotta dig out a keyboard and mouse and unplug my HDMI monitor from my desktop machine to troubleshoot.

Should have known better.

tudza avatar

Seems to have totally nuked my Berryboot setup. Didn’t think about that.

tudza avatar

Well, Berryboot picks up the new environment so it was easy enough to get working again, but there are problems.

RealVNC isn’t working. Turned it on in settings and tried using the RealVNC Windows client. Connection always refused.

Switched to tightvncserver which has always worked first try. Still does.

However, the menu bar has begun to disappear every time I click on the berry. After a while it goes away and doesn’t return. No idea what that means.

Don M avatar

Like the option in the GUI to turn off Bluetooth – is there a way for that option to stick on next reboot, or is it meant to just be for current session?

Simon Long avatar

It ought to persist across reboots but I’ve just checked, and you’re quite right that it doesn’t! The wi-fi setting does work properly, so it looks as if we have an incompatibility somewhere between our Bluetooth driver and rfkill, which does the switching – we’ll investigate. Many thanks for pointing it out – I’d not noticed that it wasn’t working correctly.

Don M avatar

Appreciate the quick reply and followup. I’ll look forward to any future updates. By the way – this is a great update!

fanoush avatar

Great update, love chromium, new backrounds and those easy handles when resizing windows, thank you very much!

For some reason I prefer font smoothing/antialiasing to be turned off and looks like the infinality patches broke it. After some investigation why my ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf have no effect I found that user configuration is loaded as /etc/fonts/conf.d/50-user.conf, however the infinality is loaded as 52-infinality.conf which overrides user changes (which kind of defeats the purpose of user config). Renaming 50-user.conf to 53-user.conf fixed it for me.

Dale Humphrey avatar

Automatic pnp RTC battery recognition would be a great addition.

Emile avatar

WOW, this is great work. Thank you for all your hard work on this. The browsing experience is WAY better for sure. I like the new desktop look. Integration with VNC is awesome as well. Got it all upgraded and working to my benefit without much fuss. Thanks again!

Oliver avatar

Is there a chance to turn off (disable) the balloon tips like “click here to open the main application menu”?

Simon Long avatar

Go into ~/.themes/PiX/gtk-2.0/gtkrc, and add the line “gtk-enable-tooltips = 0” at the start of the file. Bear in mind this will disable tooltips everywhere in the interface.

SudoPi avatar

What if I already have Chromium installed? Will it overwrite or what? Non the less, this update is amazing!

SudoPi avatar

What if I already have Chromium installed on my Pi? Will it overwrite my initial install of Chromium or it wouldn’t?

Simon Long avatar

It’ll depend on the relative version numbers. If this version has a higher version number than the one you have installed, it will overwrite it; if it doesn’t, it won’t. You can see the version numbers by typing “apt-cache showpkg chromium-browser” in the terminal.

Lorenzo Iannuzzi avatar

Why Can’t I Install Vim?

Lorenzo Iannuzzi avatar

Update: I Cant Install Ruby on Rails as well!

Lorenzo Iannuzzi avatar

UPDATE: Fixed it

Lazza avatar

I dare to disagree about the fact that this theme is much better than the previous one. Let me explain… First of all, IMHO the icons look more like comics than a professional icon set. But actually one of my main concerns has always been the fact that Raspbian insists on using full hinting for fonts (a thing that should be made illegal… just kidding). :D

Full hinting is extremely tiring for the eyes. I understand that many people are not ready for turning off hinting (I did it recently on a PC, it takes a while to get used to) but here’s why slight hinting is the way to go. See for instance how Ubuntu does things.

The Shiki Colors theme and icons, together with a wallpaper found online (and slight hinting) allow for a (IMHO) better look:

Of course I understand that everyone might have a different taste when it comes to interfaces and in no way I want to bash your work. I would just like to express my disagreement. :)

Marek avatar

Pixel Tested on Rpi model A 256MB ram.
It is faster !
Good Job :D
There`s no direct option to connect to peap-encrypted wifi.
Youtube on realtek 8188CUS wifi is unplayable.(Maybe because is connected without powered hub)
Will try on usb-ethernet adapter – should be better.
New browser is unusable… Use epiphany instead

Simon Long avatar

Yes, as I said in the blog post, Chromium will struggle on older Pis, particularly on the 256MB A – you are better off sticking with Epiphany on that platform.

Denis avatar


Great theme Simon! Thanks for it.

Could you (or anyone else) share the theme, so that it can be used on other distributions? Or if you could indicate which deb file contains all the theme files (content of /usr/share/temes/pix, I believe)
I’ve already managed to recover the icons from my retropie install, but I can’t seem to be able to get the theme without installing a lot of unneeded dependencies.

Thanks in advance.

Simon Long avatar

I believe the theme lives in raspberrypi-ui-mods, but there’s quite a lot of other stuff in there – you’re probably better off just copying the contents of the ~/.themes/PiX directory from an installed version to your desired target machine.

Denis avatar

OK, thanks. That’s what I “feared”.

I’ll probably wait the week-end to do it on a “fresh” install, I don’t want to install it on a rpi that’s doesn’t already have a desktop manager installed.

william avatar

My desktop icons and file manager folder icons are huge how can I make them normal size like in the photos above

Simon Long avatar

Open the file manager and adjust the zoom level – I think the Zoom In and Zoom Out options are in the View menu. The desktop is displayed by the file manager, so the desktop icons will adjust along with those in the file manager windows.

Bill Ballard avatar

Anybody else have the problem that the Office menu doesn’t work? Unless this is an easily fixable bug I guess I will need to rebuild everything from the last version.

Simon Long avatar

When you say it doesn’t work, what do you mean? The items in it don’t launch the LibreOffice apps, or that the menu itself doesn’t display?

Bill Ballard avatar

When I highlight the office icon to view the sub menu the screen goes blank and refreshes to the normal screen with nothing showing from the menu. I tried removing and reinstalling LibreOffice to no avail.

Simon Long avatar

Probably related to the icon bug we fixed over the weekend – from the terminal do “sudo apt-get update” followed by “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” to get the fix, and then reboot.

Bill Ballard avatar

That fixed it! Thanks

Repo avatar

Before the update ::
– everything was running fine, fast and without any problems

After the update ::
– chromium browser is not opening anymore
– embedded browser is not opening
– no log file at all
– wlan is very slow

Some suggestions what and where to check the error messages or how to disable / revert this upgrade?

Co Termors avatar

So far I’ve been unable to connect via Remote Desktop from my Win 10 to my Pi 3 running Pixel. I’ve never had this trouble before.

Simon Long avatar

Did you uninstall RealVNC Server, as described in the instructions in the blog post? It conflicts with the xrdp Remote Desktop client.

Mik avatar

Super lovely update, looks and feels really nice

I am running into to issues, one being that no matter what browers i use, i cant get audio from youtube and the like. The jack is tested and works fine, and i can get audio from different sites, just not youtube…

Second, i have a issue with the resolution when going headless. As always i log ind via TightVNC but now the resolution is crazy low – sorry if this has been up already, i just really have no clue how to fix this :)

Apart from that its such a nice looking desktop


Simon Long avatar

YouTube audio works here on Chromium, so I’m not sure what is going wrong on yours – might be worth reinstalling Chromium? As for setting the resolution when headless, try the ideas on here –

Victor Terrero avatar

I’m probably going to sound like an idiot but I’m on jessie, I ran the commands rebooted and nothing. It looks the same. Am I missing something here.

John Davies avatar

I did make a comment on this matter on the Raspbian section of the Forums but there has been no reply so I shall have to repeat it. Before I downloaded the Pixel Desktop, my Raspberry Pi 3 (but not my Raspberry Pi 2) would pick up the titles set by #EXTINF:-1, in #EXTM3U playlists for video and radio station URLs. This no longer happens and all I see on screen are the URLs which are often shortened so much as to[be meaningless. Is there any way that I[can get this useful way of titling URLs?

Andrew Clark avatar

Certainly boots quicker (I didn’t expect that) and the new background images make it look a lot better too.
Only from a Newby viewpoint I am disappointed that I can’t connect straight away to the internet in Chromium with an out-of-box install (update actually from NOOBS Raspbian) on a Model 3.
Even after editing /etc/network/interfaces to include dhcp and a gateway address it still doesn’t connect, either with wired or wireless interfaces.
That’s about the limit of my Linux knowledge and I am sure there will be others on here that don’t even have that.
There doesn’t seem to be any easy way to configure networking in the GUI – or have I missed something?

Simon Long avatar

Right-click the network icon on the taskbar; choose “Wifi networks (dhcpcd-ui) settings”, set static IP information under interface eth0 in dialog that appears…

Sergio Duràn avatar

Friends why do you not take the whisker menu’s code and port it to LXDE to bring an even better modern UI? you could ALSO add a window decoration with the colors of the panel wich matches and fits it to look like an uniform window?

Andrew Clark avatar

Thanks Simon. I missed the Rt-click option – didn’t think of that!
However I think my build must be corrupted because even after explicitly setting IP, G/W, DNS etc the browser can still only access stuff on the LAN. Nothing on the internet works ERR_NAME_RESOLUTION_FAILED

I’ll try a full download of PIXEL later.

Simon Long avatar

To be fair, it is confusing that the dialog for setting static IP’s for Ethernet is under a menu item called “wi-fi settings” – I really should fix that!

Andrew Clark avatar

Update on last issue…
The full download of PIXEL worked fine with Chromium. My earlier one was obviously corrupted to some extent although strangely when left running for a few hours whilst I was out it also suddenly started working!
Only issue I now have is a can’t get any sound out of it – using any app or youtube videos… Ho, Hum!

Alan Turnbull avatar

I’m getting repeated errors on mysql-server, attempting to upgrade my Jessie installation on a RPi A.

I’ve tried uninstalling mysql and purging everything associated with it. Then when I try to install it again I get the same errors as seen below.

Calculating upgrade… Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
2 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Setting up mysql-server-5.5 (5.5.52-0+deb8u1) …
Job for mysql.service failed. See ‘systemctl status mysql.service’ and ‘journalctl -xn’ for details.
invoke-rc.d: initscript mysql, action “start” failed.
dpkg: error processing package mysql-server-5.5 (–configure):
subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of mysql-server:
mysql-server depends on mysql-server-5.5; however:
Package mysql-server-5.5 is not configured yet.

dpkg: error processing package mysql-server (–configure):
dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
root@raspberrypiA:/home/pi# systemctl status mysql.service
● mysql.service – LSB: Start and stop the mysql database server daemon
Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/mysql)
Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Thu 2016-10-06 02:25:19 BST; 25s ago
Process: 7612 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/mysql start (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Oct 06 02:25:19 raspberrypiA /etc/init.d/mysql[8332]: 0 processes alive and ‘/usr/bin/mysqladmin –defaults-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf ping’ resulted in
Oct 06 02:25:19 raspberrypiA mysql[7612]: Starting MySQL database server: mysqld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . failed!
Oct 06 02:25:19 raspberrypiA systemd[1]: mysql.service: control process exited, code=exited status=1
Oct 06 02:25:19 raspberrypiA systemd[1]: Failed to start LSB: Start and stop the mysql database server daemon.
Oct 06 02:25:19 raspberrypiA systemd[1]: Unit mysql.service entered failed state.

Alan Turnbull avatar

Exactly the same errors when installing mysql-server using the Lamp web server instructions at

on a clean install of the latest Raspbian Jessie image.

Anyone out there interested?

Alan Turnbull avatar

Nope. Thought not.

Texy avatar

Try posting on the forum – this really isn’t the right place to be asking those questions.

Alan Turnbull avatar

So this section is only for fanboi gushing? Not for pointing out glaring problems associated with a new software release?

Liz Upton avatar

Texy is suggesting politely that you will get more response in the forums than you will if you continue to comment on a blog post that’s old enough to have been pushed off the front page.

Please note that we have rules here and on the forums: we expect you to be as civil as you would if you were talking to someone around their kitchen table. “Fanboi gushing” is pushing it (and wildly inaccurate, if you read the other comments here); please reel it in.

brian avatar

Not sure if it’s related to the in-place dist-upgrade, but MQTT no longer automatically starts (via init.d). I can run it into daemon mode manually on the command line but it used to be there running after booting before the upgrade. I’m running it on a Pi2.

Adrian Stone avatar

Such great work on the new desktop and accompanying tweaks! I’ve been tempted back in to the Raspbian fold (from Ubuntu Mate). The design is clean and modern, but still blisteringly fast (especially on a Pi3).

The functionality is so good too, especially the Bluetooth integration. Nice to see Chromium back too.

Great work!

John avatar

Does this dist-upgrade overwrite the kernel?

I use a version of Raspbian Jessie named CompassLinux that has some kernel fixes and a driver for the NW Digital Radio UDRC / UDRC II

If the Pixel update replaces the kernel, this is a problem.

Simon Long avatar

Pretty much all the desktop updates we release will install the latest version of the kernel – this one is no exception.

kicker22004 avatar

I would just like to know how your are pulling up that image? In the past it was with fbi, is this still the way it’s being used. I for one like the splash screen and the ability to customize your system but yet still hide it in times of issues.

Simon Long avatar

No, it’s done with Plymouth now. There is a package called pix-plym-splash which installs a new Plymouth theme containing the image and a script to display it. Look in /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/

Ender avatar

Hey does anybody knows how to get faster videos like said on this page with firefox instead of chromium?

Fadzly avatar


Been playing with the Chromium browser on PIXEL and found that the video playback kinda stutters every 1-2 secs. Anybody else getting the same problem?


Thiruselvam avatar

Hi Simon,

Excellent work with this release. Hats off to you.

H/W accelerated Chromium installed by default was by far the best addition for me.

Just have a small question. I use the RPi to auto launch Chromium on kiosk mode. I get it working by adding a line to the LXDE or LXDE-pi autorun config file.

This doesn’t work with the PIXEL. How can I auto run scripts after the desktop has booted?



Simon Long avatar

Have a look in ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart – just add the program you want to run to the end of that file.

Marcel avatar

Does Chromium allow the use of WebGL?

3D CAD software like TinkerCad and Onshape require this. It would be incredible to be able to use a Pi for CAD!

Ron avatar

Simon, I absolutely LOVE the new grab handles.

You have fixed my single biggest gripe with the old interface.

Thanks! It is like a whole new PC.

John Berosh avatar

I love the new PIXEL desktop backgrounds you’ve provided. Please consider, in a future update, allowing for the following:

1) The RPi chooses a random image from the folder on each reboot


2) The RPi user can change the desktop image based on a calendar setting

UnRipePi avatar

Hi all.
Loving PIXEL so far. I’ve put together a script with all the commands for the update process to be as hassle-free as possible (you’ll still need to press ‘q’ at the plymouth screen). Please let me know about what you think of it.

James avatar

Can anyone provide a link to the source used for the Chromium implementation? Not sure what to apply the patch file to.

Simon Long avatar

The name of the patch file is the relevant Chromium version – instructions for getting the Chromium source are at

I would suggest that you should only consider trying to rebuild Chromium from scratch if you really, *really* need to, and have access to a powerful build server with a cross-compiling environment for armhf targets. From personal experience, creating a Chromium build from source is an absolute nightmare – on a Pi 3, it will, with no exaggeration, take days to complete, and you will be tearing your hair out every time the build falls over. Which it will, regularly. You have been warned…

David Morton avatar

I put PIXEL on my PI2 today, simply because I try and keep it fully up to date. However, I only did the first two steps. Here are my observations:
1) insufficient detail about what I am installing and why for the chromium and python steps.
2) it’s quite a lot slower to start up, albeit a little prettier by having a picture for the desktop.
3) For my use, it’s not necessary; I use my Pi only for one thing: learning Mathematica and using it for numeric computations beyond Visual Studio’s BigIntegers. For my need, function is ALL that matters, not appearance.

I hope no one gets angry about my comments, just remember that my needs are specific. I’ve been doing personal computer design, programming and IT support since the days of the original IBM PC and 128k Apple Mac. If you are happy with PIXEL, or think it’s necessary I have no beef with you. I just hope that it doesn’t slow my work down as used to happen in the early days of many Windows versions. Back in those days, the easiest way to speed up someone’s PC was to remove the desktop picture.

Simon Long avatar

Pixel should put no additional load on the system when it is running compared to the previous release. I’m surprised it is slower to start up than a previous version – that was not the case in my testing, but it’s hard to predict the effect of changes on every possible configuration that people are using. The desktop pictures themselves don’t seem to affect speed to any noticeable extent.

If you are only using Mathematica, it might be worth you disabling the 32-bit framebuffer which is now standard; that is probably the only thing I can think of which might be causing a slowdown for you. In the file /boot/config.txt, add a line “framebuffer_depth=16” and reboot.

As for the install steps – rpi-chromium-mods installs the Chromium browser and some customisations for it; the python-sense- lines install the SenseHAT emulator, and the realvnc-vnc- lines install the RealVNC viewer and server. I do mention all three of those as new packages in the original post, and I’d assumed the package names were pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll bear that in mind for next time.

Adam Neulight avatar

I would still like to see support for a hidden SSID for Wi-Fi.

Justen Watkins avatar

Hoping for some help.

I installed PIXEL using:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The greeter window seems broken.
When I type in the correct password, It tries to login but just flashes the screen and returns back to the login prompt.

I’ve verified my password is being typed in correctly. And it is not returning a “invalid password” message. (to be sure I have purposely attempted an incorrect password and in that case it DOES return an “invalid password” message)

I am able to SSH in, but not sure how to fix this.

Any help?

Justen Watkins avatar

This issue has been reported by others as well, but without resolution.

Justen Watkins avatar

I was able to fix this problem doing to following:

When the “greeter” screen is up and doing its endless login loop as I described:

SSH into the RPI with another local machine, then type:
‘ls -a’
look for a file named .Xauthority
if there, delete .Xauthority using ‘rm .Xauthority’

As an explanation:
I now know the reason now why my .Xauthority file was becoming corrupted.
I have a script which runs at the end of .bashrc
The script runs during startup and gives the user 3 startup options:
1. LXDE desktop
2. emulation station
3. command line only

with default choice of [2] after 5 seconds
I used this script so my wife & kids can easily just plug in my pi and get to emulation station without any actions on their own.

After the new raspbian update to PIXLE, whenever I choose option 3 (command line only), it seems to corrupt the .Xauthority file for some reason. The corrupt .Xauthority file is what causes the login screen loop bug.

Interestingly, with my little startup script, i can still use option 1 to get into the old LXDE desktop environment even while the corrupted .Xauthority file is preventing me from logging into the new PIXLE desktop environment.

I’ve gone ahead and uncommented this script reference line in the .bashrc file and no longer have this problem.

Its easy to configure retropie to startup on boot sequence using the retro-config tools in retropie, so I don’t really need this script in the first place, but it was fun to have.

Oh well. Hope this helps.

Drew Keller avatar

I’m not sure how this happened, but I’ll post in case someone else runs into it.

My taskbar was completely missing after and upgrade/dist-upgrade. I finally found that the ~/lxpanel folder was completely missing for some reason. I copied it over from one of my other pis that updated ok and now my taskbar is fine.

Love the fix for the 32-bit color depth! (although I had screen issues–black screen and screen split into four quadrants– until I updated my screen refresh scripts to use the correct bitdepth)
fbset -depth 8 && fbset -depth 32 && xrefresh -root -d :0.0

me avatar

Doesn’t xrdp allow a smoother desktop experience than RealVNC?
So if you remote access from a windows machine, use xrdp.

Martin avatar


i like the new Pixel did a fresh install on one of my pi zero’s last night but the WIFI (via Dongle) seems to have problems could u give me a hint how to fix that?

with kind regards,

Martin (the Netherlands)

Simon Long avatar

As far as I am aware, the Chromium browser as we ship it is entirely open-source, at least to the extent that all the source is available for inspection. (I couldn’t swear to the licensing state of the entire Chromium codebase – I believe much of it is BSD, but it pulls in various other libraries which may have more restrictive licenses.)

The reason we chose to use Chromium was chiefly because it was, of the modern browsers with good performance and compatibility, the easiest for us to which to add hardware-accelerated video playback. We have no political axe to grind in favour of or against any particular browser (or indeed company).

There is no requirement to register with Google or log in to a Google account to use Chromium – the Google login is only there to enable sync with an existing Google account. The browser works perfectly well without doing that – you just lose Google-specific functionality.

Joe avatar

While pixel is pretty, it seems to have killed bluetooth on my PI 3. Any advice on getting it back?

Kiboser avatar

I have a set of pi 3s for students in midle school. The new OS install looks great and worked well for nearly all except one pi3 which seemed to update but now does not show the top menu bar only the trash and desktop icons, but on right click another desktop or terminal window is visibile.
Not sure what I can do but restart and repeated update and dist-upgrade do not change it. Can this be modified using raspi-config?
Thanks for the help.

Simon Long avatar

raspi-config is unlikely to fix that; it sounds as if something has become corrupt in a desktop preference file somewhere. It might be worth trying using raspi-config to switch it to booting to CLI, reboot and then use raspi-config to switch it back to booting to desktop – that might help.

If that doesn’t work, I’d suggest creating a new card from a clean image and then copying the home directory from this card onto it to keep the user data.

Ric Watson avatar

Just installed Chromium on my Pi3. It loads very quickly and uses less RAM than Firefox. Good one! Does this version share your browsing data with Google like the Windows version does?

darth avatar


This Chromium browser reports many things to Google, but it appears you can disable most (all?) of them under the privacy advanced settings. There should be an option to completely divorce it from Google so it is truly open source.

Brumic avatar

Hard to set up the proper resolution (1920×1080). Can’t do this! Tried several times but failed :(

remo pe avatar

are considering a decent unrar desktop app to add there ?thanks

Joseph Melville avatar

I just installed PIXEL and did the update mentioned above first things. Chromium seemed to be working fine during this. Then I logged my chromium account and installed chrome remote desktop. Now my chromium crashed within 10 seconds every time I open it.

Did I do something wrong, or is there another bug here?

Mike O'Neill avatar

After I installed Pixel upgrade for Jessie on my Raspberry Pi 3, Chromium browser worked for me until I signed in to my Google account and synced. I believe some option or extension in my Google profile is causing Chromium to crash.

I saw this same behavior when I booted my Raspberry Pi 3 directly into the Chromium OS ( SamKinison_v0.5_Pi3_16GB.tar.xz). Browsing in Guest Mode worked fine. Browsing with my wife’s Google account login worked fine.

But my Google account login crashes the Chromium browser in both Jessie and Chromium OS environment. Restarting the Chromium browser pops up the message “Restore pages? Chromium didn’t shut down correctly.” Before I can Powerwash the Chrome browser, it crashes again.

I can’t find a way to clean up the Chromium Browser and make it forget my Google account login until I can identify and isolate this problem.

Any one else have an idea?

Daniel Bull avatar

Pixel was covered in the Linux Unplugged talk show including contributions from Wimpy who is the lead developer on Ubuntu MATE (a very popular alternative distribution for the Raspberry Pi) who plans to try and add the Chromium optimisations to MATE as well…

Spiritus Borealis avatar

Well, i have a problem, but it caused not by update. I was playing with aptitude night before, removing some useless pagages, and after reboot i got a problem with desktop environment. Generally, my system boots into desktop gui, requiring login; and this gui aivails to choose between “default xsession” or “lxde” or “openbox”. I always use a “default xsesion” mode, but today it shows only white screen and mouse coursoir, if right-clicking, it shows openbox menu. It seems like loading to openbox environment. If I loading to lxde, it shows ugly lxde environment as it looks just out of box on fresh debian systems (i.e. desktop-oriented x86 debian, not raspbian). It is strange, because previous “default xsession” was an tuned lxde (i.e panels, menus, widgets, preffered aps, window-manager, file brousers, etc…), and its configs (with all stuff like panels, etc) still exists, but not handling. I was trying to update and instal additional packages to get PIXEL theme, but, despite these was installed sucessfully, “default xsession” still could not hadle it. What should I do to get back my candy windows and panels stuff?

P.S. This post was sent by links2 brouser, runnued in terminal. Maybee, I can survive without x system at all?

P.P.S. Anybody knows a nice CLI offline dictionary? I have a goldendict, but it is x-depends and don’t running at all in terminal. Also, is there a russian-speaking people? I need, also, a free dictionary (i.e. database with words), but in the Raspbian repos i found only one small (about 1000 words) eng-rus dictionary (dependig from goldendict package), and, I need a rus-eng dictionary (backwars translation) too. There I can find and load it?

P.P.P.S. Isn’t it be a prettiest, if the repository have has a meta-package (or virtual package) for PIXEL theme?

Spiritus Borealis avatar

Oh, sorried about misprints and mistakes. Wanna sleep all day.

Ric Watson avatar

Up to 39 secs to boot following this morning’s update to lightdm, pi-greeter etc.

Ric Watson avatar

Seems to be more consistent at around 16/17 secs with Greeter disabled.

UntunkHP avatar

What torrent client do you use on this new OS?

Andre avatar

Fantastic job! Thanks.

neosroger avatar

Looks nice!

Hayden Leung avatar

When I Log out after startx, My raspberry pi won’t accept the password and keeps returning to the login screen.

theBugger Labs avatar

I appreciate the new look but we’re still suffering from the lack of touch UI support!

Mikael avatar

Pixel rocks!

Now I want it for my AMD64 Ubuntu as well. Any chance of you guys porting/cross-compiling it to Ubuntu for AMD64 and x86?

Ubuntu’s default window manager is sad and most other are bloated beyond belief. Pixel is so cute and so light that I love it :-)

Ric Watson avatar

A semi-bug with PIXEL is that the mouse has to be almost halfway into an application’s task bar icon before clicking the icon has any effect. E.g.

Simon Long avatar

I don’t see that here – taskbar icons highlight when the mouse is no more than a pixel or so inside the border for me. I suspect something has got corrupted somewhere in your install – try a clean image and see if you see the problem on there.

Ric Watson avatar

Either todays’ or Fridays apt-get update / upgrade seems to have fixed this issue.

Ric Watson avatar

No, it came back a few minutes after boot. I didn’t notice exactly when, maybe after opening a shell window. I’ll try to work out the exact sequence.

Ric Watson avatar

So, it seems to depend which application is on top. E.g. Chromium on top, the taskbar icon doesn’t activate until the mouse is halfway over the icon; Task Manager on top, the taskbar icon activates as soon as the mouse reaches it.

Marcus Hulme avatar

Lovely work, many thanks….one slight issue that I seem to have hit after upgrading is that the speaker icon is now greyed out with a red cross over it and although .mp3’s play, I don’t seem to get any other audio. I’ve tried playing with the raspi.config audio settings, however it give the error message ‘There was an error running option A9 Audio”. I’ve also tried Audio device settings in preferences and get the message “No Alsa audio devices detected, enable internal device”. I’m out of ideas for the moment! Many thanks again for a lovely piece of work.

Simon Long avatar

Are you using any external audio hardware (USB devices), or are you just using the HDMI or analogue outputs?

Marcus Hulme avatar

Many thanks for your rapid response, and much love to all at Pi towers from a boggy field in Ireland. I’m just using the standard analogue output. I did already have Chromium installed on Jessie, so I am wondering if I need to remove Chromium and reinstall. I’m embarrassed to admit that I cannot figure out how to post a question on the forums for future reference. Mind you it took me a year to figure out how to get Python to allow me to access the GPIO pins back in 2012, so I guess I’m not that bright. Thanks again from a very happy 50 year old that gets to finally do interesting stuff with Robotics etc. Cheers!

Simon Long avatar

Hmmm – strange. I wonder if you have somehow unloaded the audio overlay. Have a look in /boot/config.txt – there should be a line somewhere in there which says “dtparam=audio=on”, without a # sign at the start. If you don’t have that line, add it to the end of the file and reboot.

Marcus Hulme avatar

Ha! Brilliant! Issue resolved, many thanks. Now there’s no need for me to figure out how to post onto the Forum! (until the next time!) Take care, love to all. Cheers!

Steve avatar

I did the dist upgrade and the extra apt-get parts but it looks like I still have the old window manager. How can I tell what I have and why didn’t it upgrade? I had to find Chromium and add it to the menu system manually.

In the Desktop Session Settings it states that the Window Manager is openbox-lxde

Simon Long avatar

dpkg -l | grep openbox will give the version number of the window manager – it should be 3.5.3-8+rpi2. I suspect you don’t have the theme or the changes to the openbox configuration file – check ~/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml – under the “theme” section should be settings for roundCorners and invisibleHandles – have you got those?

Steve avatar

The version is correct. The config file didn’t have those settings so I copied over the one from /etc/xdg/openbox which did have them and rebooted but unfortunately it didn’t make any difference, I still have the original desktop.

ii libobrender29 3.5.2-8+rpi2 armhf rendering library for openbox themes
ii libobt2 3.5.2-8+rpi2 armhf parsing library for openbox
ii openbox 3.5.2-8+rpi2 armhf standards-compliant, fast, light-weight and extensible window manager


The full file is at:


> dpkg -l | grep openbox will give the version number of the window manager – it should be 3.5.3-8+rpi2.
> I suspect you don’t have the theme or the changes to the openbox configuration file – check
> ~/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml – under the “theme” section should be settings for roundCorners and
> invisibleHandles – have you got those?

Pramod avatar

Congratulations! Great work..
Everything is working fine but I can´t use pyserial in pixel.
Also cannot find /etc/inittab

can you please guide me?

Unhappy Updater avatar

My Raspberry Pi actually crashed After attempting this upgrade. Right after the reboot it would just freeze on the desktop screen. Couldn’t use the keyboard or mouse. Visually on the desktop the wireless icon was deactivated along with the sound, couldn’t do a thing.

Claudiu Macovei avatar


just bought first PI 3, I love it :). But just get one problem. I was able to install through wifi the PIXEL, not sure that was a good idea, mean to use WiFi instead of LAN. But after successfully installation, wifi does not working any more, only LAN. Wifi icon missing from PanelApplets. I tried many thinks, updating/upgrading, ifdown & ifup wlan0, wpa_gui not found. Is something that can be made? Thank you for any help

Andrew dAzotus avatar

When using add/remove software in Pixel, it seems to insist on using the Pi user account, which group do I need to add my personal account to for it to appear in the Auth list? I usually disable the Pi Account.

Ric Watson avatar

Any idea what would make the shutdown hang for ages at “[ OK ] Stopped Target network is Online”?

Mario avatar

when Im using dist-upgrade, I have to confirm the “adobe flash player info”. Is it possible to auto confirm it? -y doesnt help in this case.
I need it badly (for my unattended rpi installation/configuration via ansible)

CodeMaster avatar

This is way too high-tech!
Much better than older releases

junliu avatar

pixel first setup page,why not support chinese language?

Humberto Tello Durán avatar

every thing was fine, but when i install PIXEL it ask me for the password, but cause the start was automatic, i forgot it. I found some articles that changing file cmdline in the SD, by adding init=/bin/sh at the end it permit to go to the etc directory where i must edit the file shadow in order to eliminate the root password. but this file is read only. command chmode is unrecognized and nano also. somo one can show me how to solve my problem?
thanks a lot.

Mario avatar

standard password is “raspberry” and user “pi”.
to change the password there are 2 ways:
Mount the SD card, go into the file system, and edit /etc/passwd. Find the line starting with “pi” that begins like this:

Get rid of the x but leave the colons on either side. Now you don’t need a password anymore.
To create a new one just use the “passwd” command (sudo passwd).

you can also change the passwords of other users with:
sudo passwd username

just make sure you have sudo persmissions

Rowland avatar

I have just installed it on a Pi2. The Chromium browse is nice but one site I go to does not render correctly Chromium on Windows renders it fine. The site is This is the company that offer the APL language interpreter for free for the RaspberryPI so it is a bit of a pity that the site does not display correctly on the new browser.

Rene avatar

Nice Themes in Pixel…how to use this on non-Pi’s with LXDE desktop?

Todd avatar

How do I get an iChrome-extension to work with auto-start?

Mundeep avatar

Is it possible to set an animated GIF as the splash screen. I just wondered so i could add an OS X load screen since i modded it to look like a mac.

Andy Roque avatar

easy install and looks fantastic but I’m having problems with my wireless adapter (rtl8191su) it stopped working and gives me “no wireless interfaces found” when I click on the internet connection icon in the upper right hand corner. it does show when I enter lsusb in the terminal. would really appeciate if someone could point me in the right direction to get this fixed. Thank you

Kelvin Conrad avatar

Same here. Same wifi chip. Tried all of the suggested tests and fixes I could find, including manual setup. No luck. Then I installed wicd. Wicd found my router and asked for a password. It connected, and this was shown on the PIXEL internet icon, but then it disconnected almost immediately. I repeated this several times. Both wicd and the PIXEL internet icon indicated a connection and then it disconnected and the PIXEL icon said “No Interfaces Found”. I rebooted WITHOUT the ethernet plugged in (coincidence?) and wicd connected — still is a day later. The PIXEL icon also shows that wifi is working and connected. There’s something about the RTL8191SU that the PIXEL internet tool doesn’t like.

Andy Roque avatar

Thanks Kelvin still not working here. it’s just strange when i first updated to Pixel it booted up showed the dongle as available but i was tired and didn’t feel like setting it up at that time… and next time i powered on it wasn’t available but it has always been visible everywhere else i check. again thanks

Chuxxsss avatar

It’s sad to install this OS and find that if I sudo apt-get update I get these errors! E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with Mergelist /var/lib/dpkg/status (By the way I have cleaned this file didn’t fix it.)
E:The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

As for ALSA I have never had so many problem connecting a USB mic or Bluetooth speaker. Both work great, but not in Pixel. Linux user for 16 years.

olajide olawale avatar

@olajideolawale : i am have issues with the rtc clock, i have changed my cmos battery still i cant set the real time clock on my raspberry pi 2. need help !!!!!!!!

Andrzej avatar

Updated my Pi 2 with the 7″ official touchscreen….no mouse or keyboard attached.

Boots fine, but the screen stays blank! This is a problem, since the machine is my home thermostat! Ugh. Should have known better.

I’ve tried copying some of the lxsession files into my local .confix/lxsession/LXDE-pi folder but nothing I’ve done has brought the touch screen display back online.

Thermostat code seems to be running fine (started from LXDE-pi/autostart)… heat will work.

Any ideas why the update blanked my screen or what to try to get it to display? Could it be the missing mouse/keybd? If so, how do I get around that?

Sure could use some help on this….


Andrzej avatar

SOLVED: Took apart the case, disconnected the backup lithium battery and did a hard power off cycle. That seems to have fixed the display….booted fine and everything working OK from that perspective.

Kelvin Conrad avatar

Is this alpha software?? I had a raspberry pi b1 with a usb wifi adapter set up as an MPD server with headless access and a DNLA player. I downloaded PIXEL and absolutely nothing works. Wifi doesn’t work. VNC doesn’t work. Ethernet connects and then disconnects immediately. Chromium takes half an hour to display because it takes forever to load the ad blocker. All I have is a non-functional pretty screen. Fix everything, please.

Liz Upton avatar

Yes, it’s alpha software (??!!oneoneone!!!?), and what’s causing your problems will be something to do with your setup. Please visit the forums for support.

Kelvin Conrad avatar

Given that my setup worked perfectly with the previous version of raspbian jessie, with ethernet, tightvnc, and any of three plug and play wifi dongles, I don’t think my setup is to blame. I installed the stock PIXEL image and it broke everything. Yet all of my old SD cards still work — jessie and wheezy and OpenELEC, and volumino. In short, it is PIXEL that is broken, not my setup.
BTW is there somewhere to download the last pre-PIXEL Raspbian image?

Paul avatar

After updating tp pixel my taskbar doesn’t load (just an empty white bar) – cant be clicked or right-clicked.
After about 3 mins it suddenly appears.

Garth Bock avatar

OMG ! OMG ! OMG ! I changed my Pi3 from Jessie to Pixel. I had problems getting Jessie to connect outside of my local net. So I did the update. WOW ! and WOW ! The Pi now is less intimidating to the newbie ! There is OpenElec for the media streamer, NOOBS to play around with and get the feel of the many distros out there and now Pixel to give it the feel of a full fledge PC ! The nice thing is that once a user gets comfortable they can change it on the fly much easier than a Windows machine. Great work on giving us this amazing new interface. I now can control BT and Networking without the hassles. The look is sharp and amazing. It just works better !!!!

Timbo avatar

I like running kodi on my pi 3. Know about osmc and openelec but it’s nice to move from kodi to other apps without rebooting or changing microsd cards. kodi does still work, but only after changing memory split to 256 assigned to gpu. So I guess pixel must be using significantly more memory? Am I wrong or are there other fixes? Also previous fixes e.g. Jeroen’s script on ‘aperezm-vlex/’ on GitHub, no longer works in fixing the blank screen issue when leaving kodi. In fact it now leaves a screwed up pixelated mess – excuse the word play… Anybody have a solution for this?

Lukas avatar

what is the best way to install the pixel desktop on a fresh Raspbian Minimal installation? I need a desktop environment but want to avoid all the overhead that comes with the full 4GB image.

Zane avatar

The Main menu isn’t working still even after I input the debug code that was given. Help?

Zane avatar

I am also using a Raspberry Pi 2.

hans bakker avatar

I upgraded my pi to pixel. I have a raspberry pi2 with raspbian jessie as OS.
But my menu bar/ task bar got lost.
I did the update and the dist-upgrade because of possible bug fixes. but I didn’t got my menu/ taskbar back.
What can I do?

AntonyIndia avatar

The biggest improvement inside Pixel is the well working Chromium browser with even Flash available. This point is under advertised. Youtubes run well with sound in sync for resolutions of 720p and below.

(Late)Idea for a Raspberry Pi 3 C:
create a model for primary schools/homes – remove the GPIO and camera pins (+blue tooth maybe even WiFi) to make physical and financial space for some eMMC memory carrying Pixel in 8GB or 4 GB trimmed down. Will be a best seller!

AntonyIndia avatar

Forgot to add: put it on a VESA mount board to fit on the backside of a monitor (plugs layout! cooling!). The present Pi2 or 3 board doesn’t fit straight alas. Might add a cooling fin standard.

Chas avatar

You can install a working up to date Chromium 55 at on Pi 2 and 3. Hope this advice helps :) Chas :D

Simon Long avatar

Those instructions will replace Chromium 53 with hardware video acceleration on Pi with Chromium 55 without hardware video acceleration. We are currently working on the release of Chromium 55 with hardware acceleration – I’d strongly recommend people wait for that rather than installing this non-optimised version.

Chas avatar

OK. Thanks! I am sure you could just install h264ify from chrome store on 55?.

My blog is plz check it out and comment

Simon Long avatar

Installing h264ify will not magically enable hardware decode for video – it will just force videos to be in H.264, whereupon they will be decoded with the built-in Chromium software video decoder.

Hardware acceleration for video decode in 55 on Pi will not be available until we’ve finished it, which won’t be until early in the New Year; we are working on it at the moment. Until that time, 55 will be significantly inferior to 53 on Pi if you want to watch videos on it.

Chas avatar

Hi Simon Long! Well, thanks for trying my advice out, and I will put a note on my blog that Chromium 55 is only for people who can’t wait. And I checked the Raspberry Pi repositories, and I can only see 51. Good luck with your work of a stable Chromium 55. Cheers! Chas ?

Ric Watson avatar

Today’s ui update has made the boot-up faster on my Pi3

erik-jan avatar

The new Pixel desktop UI looks awesome and works like a charm. Thank you developers for all the effort.

One feature I would really like to have is window snapping/tiling. I did some searching around but couldn’t find anything to install it on the pixel environment. I would really appreciate if this feature would be implemented in the near future.

Richard avatar



Christopher Macioch avatar

Chromium keeps crashing. I uninstalled and reinstalled same thing. I have a feeling it is because of some of the chrome extensions installed. Unfortunately it crashes before i can disconnect from my account

Alex avatar

I really like the Pixel theme you created here. Is there a way to install it on Debian Jessie on a PC ? Thanks !

Bruce Davis avatar

Having trouble with chromium sign in, have done apt-get update apt-get upgrade & apt-get dist-upgrade and rebooted. The only real difference is my chromium version is 51.0.2704.106.

Chas avatar

Hey Bruce Davis! :). If you are on a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, check out Chromium ARM, found at It has Chromium 55, which is up to date. Hope my advice helps! Chas :D

Simon Long avatar

Those instructions will replace Chromium 53 with hardware video acceleration on Pi with Chromium 55 without hardware video acceleration. We are currently working on the release of Chromium 55 with hardware acceleration – I’d strongly recommend people wait for that rather than installing this non-optimised version.

Chas avatar

Hey Simon! You are so cool. So you have updated the Chromium to 53. Sounds cool. I don’t know if this works, can someone try it, but you could download h264ify from the Chrome Web Store on Chromium 55. And I do agree, the Chromium 55 was not designed for the Raspberry Pi, whereas the 53 and 51 were designed for the Pi. Please try installing h264ify and let me know the results.

Just to say, I was the person that wrote is my blog ?

Christophe Dupriez avatar

The upgrade from september to november is so big, I would suggest to refresh the Raspbian image distributed…

i avatar

Awesome :D

Dav avatar
Liz Upton avatar

Go to our own forums – that’s where support queries are looked after, and you’ll get an answer there.

Ioannis Petropoulos avatar

I cannot find Pixel at Downloads section.
How could I get it?

Alex Bate avatar

Hi. Just follow the link on downloads for Raspbian. Here’s the URL to help you out

Ioannis Petropoulos avatar

Thank you!

Chas avatar

Or you could use NOOBS to download it.

NOOBS 2.0 installs PIXEL Raspbian.

Zoran Korveziroski avatar

LXDE is in great condition and his further development continues: [Gtk+ components]
GTK 2+ is still maintained – version gtk+ 2.24.31 is from 9 Sep 2016.
There is some progres of LXDE with GTK 3+.
Here is the Arch Linux packages:

One question: where is the ‘PIXEL Desktop Environment’ packages for download.
I like to test this environment on Arch or Ubuntu/OpenSUSE.