Raspbian update: first-boot setup wizard and more

After a few months of hiding in a dark corner of the office muttering to myself (just ask anyone who sits near me how much of that I do…), it’s time to release another update to the Raspberry Pi desktop with a few new bits and a bunch of bug fixes (hopefully more fixes than new bugs, anyway). So, what’s changed this time around?

Setup wizard

One of the things about Raspbian that has always been a bit unhelpful is that when a new user first boots up a new Pi, they see a nice desktop picture, but they might not have much of an idea what they ought to do next. With the new update, whenever a new Raspbian image is booted for the first time, a simple setup wizard runs automatically to walk you through the basic setup operations.


The localisation settings you can access via the main Raspberry Pi Configuration application are fairly complex and involve making separate settings for location, keyboard, time zone, and WiFi country. The first page of the wizard should make this a little more straightforward — once you choose your country, the wizard will show you the languages and time zones used in that country. When you’ve selected yours, the wizard should take care of all the necessary international settings. This includes the WiFi country, which you need to set before you can use the wireless connectivity on a Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Raspbian update June 2018

There will be some special cases — e.g. expatriates using a Pi and wanting to set it to a language not spoken in their country of residence — where this wizard will not give sufficient flexibility. But we hope that for perhaps 90% of users, this one page will do everything necessary in terms of international settings. (The more detailed settings in Raspberry Pi Configuration will, of course, remain available.)

Other settings

The next pages in the wizard will walk you through changing your password, connecting to the internet, and performing an initial software update to make sure you get any patches and fixes that may have been released since your Raspbian image was created.

Raspbian update June 2018

On the last page, you will be prompted to reboot if necessary. Once you get to the end of the wizard, it will not reappear when your Pi is booted. (If you do want to use it again for some reason, just run it manually by typing

sudo piwiz

into a terminal window and pressing Enter.)

Recommended software

Over the last few years, several third-party companies have generously offered to provide software for Pi users, in some cases giving free licenses for software that normally requires a license fee. We’ve always included these applications in our standard image, as people might never find out about them otherwise, but the applications perhaps aren’t all of interest to every user.

So to try and keep the size of the image down, and to avoid cluttering the menus with applications that not everyone wants, we’ve introduced a Recommended Software program which you can find in the Preferences menu.

Raspbian update June 2018

Think of this as our version of the Apple App Store, but with everything in it available for free! Installing a program is easy: just put a tick in the box to the right, and click “OK”. You can also uninstall some of the preinstalled programs: just untick the respective box and click “OK”. You can even reinstall them once you’ve realised you didn’t mean to uninstall them: just tick the box again and click — oh, you get the idea…

As we find new software that we recommend, or as more manufacturers offer us programs, we’ll add them to Recommended Software, so it’ll be kept up to date.

New PDF viewer

Ever since the first version, Raspbian has included the venerable PDF viewer Xpdf. While this program does work, it’s fairly old and clunky, and we’ve been trying to find something better.

In this release, we are replacing Xpdf with a program called qpdfView, which is a much-improved PDF viewer. It has a more modern user interface, it renders pages faster, and it preloads and caches future pages while you’re reading, which should mean fewer pauses spent waiting for the next page to load.

Raspbian update June 2018

If you want something to read in it, we are now including the latest issue of The MagPi as a PDF file — look in the ‘MagPi’ directory in your home directory ‘pi’.

Other updates

The Chromium browser is now at version 65. We’ve also updated the links to our website in the Help menu, and added a new Getting Started option. This links to some really helpful new pages that walk you through getting your Pi up and running and using some of its key features.

If you have volume up/down buttons on your keyboard, these will now control whatever audio output device is selected, rather than only controlling the internal audio hardware. The resolution has also been increased: each button push increases or decreases the volume by 5% rather than 10%.

If you are using the network icon to reconnect to a wireless network, the passcode for the network will be shown in the connection dialog, so you won’t have to type it in again.

In Raspberry Pi Configuration, you can now enable and disable the serial port console independently of the serial port hardware.

The keyboard layout setting dialogue now makes settings that should be correct both in the desktop and also when the Pi is booted to console.

There are various other small bug fixes and tweaks to appearance and behaviour, but they’re mostly only the sort of things you’d spot if you’re a slightly obsessive user interface developer…

How do I get it?

The new image is available for download from the usual place: our Downloads page. We’ve also updated the x86 image with most of the changes, and that’s up on the page as well.

To update an existing image, use the usual terminal command:

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

Here’s a quick video run-through of the process:

To install the new PDF viewer (and remove the old one):

sudo apt-get install qpdfview
sudo apt-get purge xpdf

To install the new Recommended Software program:

sudo apt-get install rp-prefapps

Finally, to install the setup wizard (which really isn’t necessary on an existing image, but just in case you are curious…):

sudo apt-get install piwiz

We hope you like the changes — as ever, all feedback is welcome, so please leave a comment below!


Vascom avatar

Please correct typo:
sudi apt-get dist-upgrade

Simon Long avatar

Sorry – now fixed!

Gleb avatar

Guys, why apt-get? It’s a 2018 now!

alecthegeek avatar

apt-get is still the command to use if you are scripting your installs.

apt is more convenient if you are doing the work interactively.

So as most people will copy and paste this material anyway, apt-get it the correct choice here IMHO

Richard Sierakowski avatar

Amazing progress the RasPi environment getting better and stronger.

Many thanks to all involved in this comprehensive improvemet.


Chris Burton avatar

Beware 3B+ users booting off USB devices – reboots don’t work properly with the kernel in this Raspbian release (or an updated Raspbian) https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/968#issuecomment-399599008

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Dom is checking in a fix for this now, should be available later today.

Nick avatar

This is great news, thank you! :) Shaving 200MB off the download image is very nice, and some of the pre-installed software is actually useless to me, so less installed software means less updates to perform later, and less SD card wear as a result. :D

There’s a typo here:
sudi apt-get dist-upgrade
^^^^ Application Launch Bar: there are two “PDF Viewer” entries now. And an orphan “Pi Store” entry still clings in the Internet section, along with the other shortcuts for all of the removed software (BlueJ, Mathematica, Greenfoot Java IDE, etc).

Finally, after upgrading my existing setup, APT told me I had some packages that are no longer required and that I could “autoremove” them. However, among them were gsfonts, lxkeymap, python-cairo and python-gobject, which don’t strike me as useless. So is their removal harmless or not?

Thanks for the update. :)

Simon Long avatar

It sounds as if you have a very old and much-patched image – things like Pi Store haven’t been included for years. It might be wise to start again with a clean image…

There will be two PDF Viewer entries if you install qpdfview without uninstalling xpdf.

lxkeymap is certainly no longer required – it has been replaced by a dedicated dialog box in Raspberry Pi Configuration, so I would suspect that the other packages listed are also not required.

Nick avatar

My installation was only 10 months old – 2017-07-05-raspbian-jessie, updated as soon as new images have become available.

The Pi Store and other left-overs (although they’ve been uninstalled, even xpdf) don’t show up in the menu, but in Add/Remove Panel Items – Panel Applets – Application Launch Bar – Preferences – Installed Applications.

I will write a fresh image, but it was important for you to be aware of these issues because more people will run into them and not everyone replaces their existing installations with fresh images every time there’s a new one. That’s the point of updates and upgrades.

Simon Long avatar

Ah – thank you. I hadn’t realised you meant that they were visible in that rather obscure location! I’ll find out why they are still there and remove them…

Nick avatar

This is great news, thank you! :) Shaving 200MB off the download image is very nice, and some of the pre-installed software is actually useless to me, so less installed software means less updates to perform later, and less SD card wear as a result. :D

I really hoped the wifi password would not be displayed in clear text in the GUI in a later release of Raspbian, so here I am again, requesting to make it hidden by default and add a “show password” checkbox for those who need it. After all, raspi-config hides the password when you config the wifi, so even if prying eyes are of no concern at the RPF, at least some consistency would be welcome. And by this I implied that the GUI should hide the password, not for raspi-config to reveal it. :P

Now about piwiz, the “Set Country” page is annoying. Regardless the residence country, some people actually prefer English on their PCs, for various reasons (consistency in localization, a chance to practice English, etc). So it would be quite useful if either piwiz would be flexible about setting the country, language and timezone, or at least introduce a Skip button, so you can complete the wizard without the existing restrictions.

About rp-prefapps: I used it to remove a few programs on an existing Raspbian setup and it left two broken icons on the panel: Mathematica and Wolfram. I removed them manually. And in the future, you might consider adding Remmina to the recommended software, because it can handle more protocols: VNC, RDP, SFTP, SSH, etc.

A side-effect of uninstalling xpdf is the fact that its shortcut is still present in Add/Remove Panel Items – Application Launch Bar: there are two “PDF Viewer” entries now. And an orphan “Pi Store” entry still clings in the Internet section, along with the other shortcuts for all of the removed software (BlueJ, Mathematica, Greenfoot Java IDE, etc).

Finally, after upgrading my existing setup, APT told me I had some packages that are no longer required and that I could “autoremove” them. However, among them were gsfonts, lxkeymap, python-cairo and python-gobject, which don’t strike me as useless. So is their removal harmless or not?

Thanks for the update. :)

P.S. I reposted this comment because I had some characters that made entire paragraphs disappear.

Simon Long avatar

The issue you mention with setting the country is one of which we are aware – which is why I mentioned that exact case in the blog post. Unfortunately, Linux only allows certain combinations of country and language – all those combinations are offered by the wizard, but if you want to use English as the language with a country for which it is not supported within Linux, it won’t be offered. The only way to fix that is to use the existing locale setting dialog in Raspberry Pi Configuration, but there is little point in adding all that flexibility to a wizard whose main purpose is to remove said flexibility (and hence complexity)…

The panel icons for Mathematica and Wolfram should be removed on the next reboot if you uninstall the applications.

Nick avatar

With almost all the distros I used during the last 15 years I could easily set up the country I was in, the English language for the UI, and multiple locale with the default to English, plus a layout switcher. So it is possible, which is why it’s rather important that you allow people to skip that step in the wizard, so we can later use the GUI or text Raspberry Pi Configuration tool.

What about hiding the password by default and add a “Show password” checkbox for those who need it?

Any thoughts about Remmina as an “all-inclusive” remote control tool? It’s free software and it’s great.

Michael Horne avatar

Hi Simon. Thanks for your continued work on this. I don’t have time to download the image right now, so could I just ask a couple of questions about the software that’s been removed? Is Wolfram/Mathematica still on there, and is Thonny still on there? The reason I ask is that we’re halfway through updating our EduKit docs to use Thonny, so if it’s not installed by default that would be… unfortunate ;-)

Thanks again :-)

Simon Long avatar

Both Wolfram and Thonny are still installed by default – Thonny is our preferred Python IDE going forward, so I don’t anticipate it being removed!

Tom avatar

I must confess I remove wolfram at the first available opportunity – I have a slow internet connection and its just a pain updating 600Mb of something I never use on about a dozen pi’s.

Simon Long avatar

I completely understand – hopefully it is at least now easier to remove it if you don’t use it!

Michael Horne avatar

Thanks Simon!

Dougie Lawson avatar

The only thing missing now is being able to set up the default username. Not everyone wants to login as “pi”. Other distros ask for a default username.

The other missing piece is ditching NOOBS and replacing it with PINN.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Unfortunately, there are a lot of resources that others have written that would be broken if we didn’t leave the default username.

As for using PINN, we do not have the resources to support the testing of that many advanced features for every release of the image. The main feature of NOOBS is to make it as simple and as reliable as possible, so we try to avoid feature creep where possible.

Dougie Lawson avatar

I don’t want you to eliminate the “pi” userid unless I choose to do so (as I understand the consequences of things breaking). The default should be “pi” but give the advanced users a chance to change the name for UID=1000, GID=1000.

Thorsten Billib avatar
Ben Simmo avatar

Could you check the Recommend Software (and the others too I guess, I’ve not tried yet) in each of the ‘default’ screen setting.

On a 1080p Large Screen Default setting.
Recommended Software may give you a twitch, especially ‘Installed header’

Simon Long avatar

Good catch – that column has a hard-set width rather than something font-dependant. I’ll tweak it for the next release – many thanks.

Supra avatar

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Doesn’t do anything for wizard and doesn’t upgraded to 2018-06-27.
Almost same .

Simon Long avatar

As per the instructions above, the wizard is not installed by a dist-upgrade; you need to explicitly “sudo apt-get install piwiz” – ditto for the new PDF viewer and the Recommended Software application.

Supra avatar

Thank, you Simon.
Does is upgraded to 2018-06-27?

Simon Long avatar

If you do a dist-upgrade, you should get the latest version – check the splash screen at boot and see if it says “2.4 June 2018” in the bottom-right corner. If so, you have all the latest fixes.

Andrew Maffia avatar

After 1st steps & reboot, can no longer log in to desktop :( Seeing a black screen for maybe 3 s & then back to login screen
Am however using CTRL+ALT+F1 already logged in. Splash screen shows 13 May 2017. Repeat of sudo apt-get update & sudo apt-get dist-upgrade in console show all actual. Any ideas?

Simon Long avatar

1.3 from May 2017 is a jessie image; it’s the previous version of Debian, which cannot be trivially upgraded to a stretch version (the current version). If you have a look through the archives for the blog post where we announced the stretch version of Debian, it should include instructions for how to update from jessie to stretch (although that process isn’t that reliable, and you would really be better off just using the latest image from scratch).

Andrew Maffia avatar

Thanks, Simon!

Andrew avatar

Xpdf really is ancient – it seems it is still using motif widgets!

Simon Long avatar

It is indeed – it’s annoyed me ever since I first started up a Pi and looked at it. It’s like Windows 95 never happened… ;)

qpdfview isn’t perfect, but it does bring the user experience about 20 years more up to date than under Xpdf.

Andrew avatar


Gene Mosher avatar

I’m happy with evince on the RPi.

Frank Gould avatar

Good to see new releases and features! Does this release also fix this forum entry below? If not, are there any plans to address it in the future?


Simon Long avatar

From what I can see, those issues pertain to the new OpenGL driver which is still officially regarded as being experimental. (Which is why it is not the default graphics driver on the Pi.) Work is ongoing on this, but there is no timescale that I am aware of for when it becomes ready to be the default. So yes, your issue is probably being addressed, but it is rather unlikely to have been fixed in this image given that you only raised it three days ago, and the image software has now been frozen for a week while we completed final testing…

This driver is a work in progress – improvements are continually being made to it. Unfortunately I can’t give you an estimate for when said improvements will address the issue you raise.

Frank Gould avatar

Is what I’ve posted on the forum a sufficient enough bug report and the correct people notified? The problem is it crashes the OS and I’m guessing that’s not good for Raspberry Pi sales. We would also like to offer our time and equipment for testing this feature for a future release. Thanks for all you do!

Simon Long avatar

As mentioned previously, we are in the process of developing a replacement for our existing 3D driver. I cannot tell from your bug reports whether the problem you are experiencing is with the old driver or with the (still experimental) new driver.

If it is a problem with the old driver, it is unlikely to be fixed, as the plan is to move to the new driver and that is where all development work is concentrated.

If it is a problem with the new driver, you already seem to have reported it to Eric Anholt, who is responsible for the development work on said driver, so the ball is in his court for fixing it.

I do not currently have a timescale for the release of the experimental driver, but it can be enabled in existing releases under Advanced settings in raspi-config if you would like to try it to see if it fixes your problem (but you may already have done so).

Marek avatar

Will it work on Rpi model A ?

Liz Upton avatar

No reason why not.

Victor Tagayun avatar

I was wondering if there would be a script internally to automatically connect to a wifi by editing a text file in the fat32 part of the image similar to adding a SSh file to enable SSH?

Simon Long avatar

It’s something we’ve considered, so yes, this may happen at some point in the future.

Serge Schneider avatar

Hi Victor,
You can already do that by dropping in a fully configured wpa_supplicant.conf along with the ‘ssh’ file.

See the documentation for more details:

Steve Gale avatar

This is how I always set up my PI’s, got an octocam from pimoroni at PI fields yesterday , downloaded rhe latest raspbian to a new card and it has not worked.

The PI did connect to my local network, but I have to ping the ip address not raspberrypi.local

ssh connection was refused on raspberrypi.local and the IP address

I have rebooted the PI and still did not work.

If I sort it I will post an update


Steve Gale avatar

ok, so blame it on the heat. The IP address I was pinging was not my PI!

But, when I connected monitor keyboard etc to my PI0W it would not connect to the wifi.
It did tell me that ssh was enabled but the default password had not been changed.

When I started again by re-flashing the card and booting up it worked. So I agree with the other comments, this is a great improvement for the newbie.

I would like to understand why copying a wpa_supplicant.conf file did not work.

I will try again sometime.

Victor Tagayun avatar

I am writing Window$ machine and the ext partition is not accessible.

Octopi was able to to this, I was wondering why the orig Raspbian cannot. You just edit a text file in the fat32 partition after burning, and it will automatically connect to your wifi.

Serge Schneider avatar

Hi Victor,

I didn’t say anything about the ext partition. The documentation refers to the fat32 partition.

Dexter N Muir avatar

Great effort! Update/upgrade complete, no hitches.
Piwiz installed (a check: was my old installation sane?) but freezes with segfault at Country selection. New Zealand was the only change there. It didn’t come up by default highlighted in the list from previous config so if a change was needed it could be overridden by selection, so the wiz seems to be a fresh start rather than an upgrade. There is an EN_NZ language (GB-based) just like there’s an EN_US with its Manglish, and keyboards commonly sold/used here are US – our currency is the (Shift-F4) Dollar – was there a conflict there?
Hopefully helpfully…

Simon Long avatar

I’ll look into that next week – there shouldn’t be segfaults in the wizard, but I may have missed something…

Dexter N Muir avatar

Further, Simon: I’m sure i had rebboted before trying the wiz, but next day, having definitely done so, it went through cleanly. Still wondering about reading the previous config and bringing that up highlighted in menu/s?
Still hopefully helpful …

Simon Long avatar

The intention is that the wizard is only ever run on a brand-new image, so there should be no need for it to read existing config.

I have tried to make it fairly robust so that it shouldn’t actually break anything when run on a previously-configured system, but by default it assumes a clean environment. (Purely because to do so makes it an awful lot easier to write, as you are starting from a known state.)

John Smith avatar

Will this update have any effect for people like me who run the machine headless from the get-go? I am building a cluster where I never have needed to connect a display to any machine I am configuring.

Simon Long avatar

Assuming you are running headless and booting to the command line, it should make no difference. If you are booting to desktop, you will see the wizard on first boot, but you can just ignore it.

Sepp Schembera avatar


is there a way to implement auto start after a power failure?

my Desktop just stays off.

Kind regards


Simon Long avatar

Not to my knowledge – that would probably require some additional hardware.

Matthew Cripps avatar

“sudo apt-get install rp-prefapps” results in “E: Unable to locate package rp-prefapps” for me.

Can anyone suggest a solution? Thanks.

Simon Long avatar

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

Kevin Jarrett avatar

Hi, thanks for this! Ran the upgrade fine but when I tried to get the new recommended software program:

sudo apt-get install rp-prefapps

I get:

E: Unable to locate package rp-prefapps

The new PDF viewer came in just fine.




Simon Long avatar

Did you “sudo apt-get update” first?

John Hobson avatar

I am also getting this error even after running update:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt-get update
Hit http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie InRelease
Hit http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie InRelease
Hit http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main armhf Packages
Hit http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib armhf Packages
Hit http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main armhf Packages
Hit http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free armhf Packages
Hit http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui armhf Packages
Hit http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi armhf Packages
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main Translation-en_GB
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main Translation-en
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui Translation-en_GB
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi Translation-en
Reading package lists… Done
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt-get install rp-prefapps
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package rp-prefapps

Any ideas?

Simon Long avatar

You are still running a jessie image, rather than a stretch one. Look back in the archive for the blog post where we launched stretch, and use the instructions therein to update.

sss avatar

I am just beginning using RPI. The download link for Raspbian OS released on 27th has some problem. I am trying to download the ZIP file, but it takes to long and after 200 MB , it says Network Error or it just keeps going on really slowly and eventually I stop it. The NOOBS ZIP file is alright.


Simon Long avatar

Possibly a problem with our servers – just try again later. The image is up and does download fine; I checked yesterday.

Markus Seeberger avatar

Great work!

I always liked Raspian but disliked the strange (for Mac-users) Linuxish setup and removel of unused software. Now this is fixed. Great news indeed.


Floris avatar


Perhaps also add an easy option to disable overscan?
The black bars by default are my #1 annoyance.

Simon Long avatar

Errr – we’ve had that for years; just look at the bottom of the first page of Raspberry Pi Configuration!

Floris avatar

I don’t consider that an option EASY enough to find for a novice user, that might not know the term.

Was more thinking about something like “Do you see black bars?” in your wizard.
(or the opposite. default to no overscan, draw something in the area normally covered by overscan, and ask the user if he sees that, like done in Berryboot)

And ideally, changing overscan should not require reboot.

Simon Long avatar

“And ideally, changing overscan should not require reboot.”

If you can work out how to change overscan without needing to reboot, please let me know how you did it… Given the overscan setting changes a config file which is only read by the low-level boot loader, I am not aware of any way to make it take effect without a reboot.

AndrewS avatar

I’ve not tried it (or written any code) but could you do that via https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/wiki/Mailbox-property-interface#set-overscan ?

Simon Long avatar

I’ll give it a try…

Richard avatar

I am new to this world, it has been fun, i recently broughta 13 yr old laptop back to life with this and bought a pi3b+. One question, is there a program i can run to get into my outlook work email on the desktop?

Richard Franklin avatar


Please, please, plesae don’t fix it if it isn’t broke.

You are starting to make the beautifully simple Raspian into a more microsoft-like “product”.

Give power users the option to bypass your “wizard” and attendant time delaying stuff during setup at the beginning with an option (i.e. advanced setup, manual setup, whatever you want to call it). This is often done in many programs.

All too often we have to put a new Raspian version on due to constant updates about every 3 months or so. As a matter of principle, I put a clean and new system on every time, never upgrade an existing one, too many problems arise.

I usually copy over a huge amount of files (at least 40GB currently) on to the new installation from a backup of the previous installation and file structure, so I have everything ready to go with the new version in the least amount of time.

Being forced to go with the new “wizard” is just another time consuming irritant.

Please consider that we need not have a “Raspian for Dummies” operating system. I understand you want to appeal to a broad user base, and this is the exact problem with commercial software (i.e. microsoft, etc.), catering to the lowest common denominator of users. It has become more and more difficult (i.e. more and more menus and check boxes) to do the simplest things over time, without adding much in the way of new functionality.


Eric Olson avatar

While adding complexity to automate common things may allow students to accomplish the specific goals set by the curriculum easier, this only steepens the learning curve later on when a person wants to do something original. I believe it is important to learn transferable skills from the beginning, otherwise, more advanced tasks become very difficult. Thus, special purpose configuration wizards detract from the usefulness of the Raspberry Pi as a device for learning.

For example, it is not uncommon to encounter someone who has been using Microsoft Windows for 10 years and still doesn’t know how to edit a text file. If that person wants to configure Samba, NFS or any other service with a text file, the learning curve is much steeper than for someone who already knows how to edit text files. Moreover, it is easy for such users get frustrated and impatient when they realize how big the gap is in their skill set and how much they need to learn in order to do something that shouldn’t be that difficult.

There is a forum topic “Pi is Too Complicated” which has been discussing this at


Simon Long avatar

I disagree wholeheartedly.

Some people seem to use the argument that the Pi is a computer to teach people computing to infer that a Pi user must be forced to learn the arcane complexities of Linux desktop configuration. To be blunt – no, they shouldn’t, or at least not at first. The Pi Desktop is designed to provide a familiar, easy to use environment in which users can learn *programming*, a general, transferrable skill.

If users want to learn about Linux desktop configuration (a specific, non-transferrable skill) on the Pi, they can – all the config files are still there under the hood, and in fact a very good way of learning what they are and what they do is to look at the code for things like the startup wizard and the appearance settings application. But the idea that users who want to learn to program should only be allowed to do so after they’ve waded through the utter mess that is Linux desktop configuration is pure sadism, nothing else. Most would give up before they managed to change the desktop picture – and we’ve then lost a potential future programmer.

Being nice to users – helping them do things – is a *good* thing to do. A small subset of users seem to think that just because they had to suffer in the past, it is wrong for users nowadays not to have to suffer the same way – I don’t agree with that at all.

Pi is to teach programming, not how to configure a desktop environment. Users can learn that later, if they are interested.

Eric Olson avatar

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I believe there is a natural progression for learning the use of general purpose tools and that special purpose setup wizards can disrupt that natural progression in a way that makes the learning curve steeper. Flattening the first part of a mountain road may only make the second part harder to climb. If the goal is to achieve the kind of computer literacy that makes an economic impact, it might be better to gradually learn transferable skills using general purpose tools rather than relying on special purpose tools until the very end. At the same time I agree there should be no need for a beginner to configure the desktop before beginning.

I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I am very happy with how complete and natural the Raspbian desktop is to use. I appreciate your continued work on this very much.

Simon Long avatar

Power users *can* bypass the wizard – just press the Cancel button on the first page, and it will disappear never to be seen again. I don’t see that a single button push is a huge time delay for anyone.

As for the rest of your argument – I’m afraid I wholeheartedly disagree. The lack of an easy and obvious way to make initial settings has been something that numerous people have mentioned time and again. We do indeed need to appeal to a broad user base; a setup wizard is a vital part of doing this, and the fact that the most popular OSes (Windows and MacOS) both have one is a very good reason to have one ourselves; it’s certainly not a reason not to do so.

If you are a power user and are somehow offended by things designed to make life easier for non-power-users, it might be worth remembering that you were a beginner yourself at some point in the past…

JB avatar

I am new to the Raspberry Pi, and must say it is truly amazing what this SBC can do. Raspbian is a great desktop OS, very intuitive and a great learning tool; for both experienced and inexperienced, professionals and hobbyist, young and old. Thank you for your efforts. Looking forward to future releases.

Ralph avatar

It might be the case that the wizard might not come back if you press “Cancel” on the first page – yet it does come back if you close the dialog via the button right corner ‘X’. This is quite annoying… despite the general concept is a great one!
BR, Ralph

Simon Long avatar

That’s deliberate. If you make a decision to cancel the wizard, or you get to the end and hit “done”, it is never shown again. If you close it by closing the window by any other means, or by the Pi crashing, the wizard remains in the startup sequence.

MA Irving avatar

Hello, thankyou. Why is the Chrome-Browser at 65 not 67? Annoyed that websites report that my browser is not supported!

Simon Long avatar

Because we have to modify the browser to enable hardware video acceleration for Pi, and this is not an instantaneous process. We do track Chromium updates, but it is not a trivial process to merge in the hardware acceleration every time the browser changes, so you’ll have to be patient…

Herbaldew avatar

I am having a problem with the new Chromium version supplied in this release.

It seems to be the same as this problem that arose in Chrome:


It was fixed with version 67 of Chrome.

Simon Long avatar

If there are bugs in Chrome/Chromium, they will appear in our version as well – not much we can do about that, I’m afraid! We don’t have the manpower to perform maintenance on Chrome – we just take the upstream source and build it with Pi-specific optimisations.

Walt avatar

The changes look terrific. Thanks!

tmeyer avatar

Getting an unmet dependencies error when I try to install qpdfview. Any suggestions?

Simon Long avatar

Make sure you have done “sudo apt-get update” first.

Which dependency is it complaining about?

Wolfgang avatar

Over all a great feature set and improvement to get the dark corners a bit cleaner or refurbished.

Easier deinstallation that way is a great improvement also the guided wizard at #1 start. Updating that pdf viewer and new chromium are an important step forward.

Worked great on all of our 5 pi’s , 3x zero + zero w and 3B and 3B+ which had been on different OS Versions …
Migration worked great this time for all 4 raspbian versions we had been using from dec 2016 to may 2018.

Much better upgrade experience than before (since 2014) – no bugs or errors.

Great job, well done or better: extraordinary executed – compared to previous upgrade hazzels

Simon – time to enjoy summer and world cup – like the german team can enjoy it after being back home a lot easier having more holidays. No Schadenfreude, our german got what they had deserved – to come back a lot better + younger.

Have fun !

Bill Dornbush avatar

When I try to install qpdfview, I get errors: unmet dependencies.
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
qpdfview : Depends: libpoppler-qt5-1 (>= 0.34.0) but it is not installable
Depends: libqt5sql5 (>= 5.0.2) but it is not installable
Depends: libqt5sql5-sqlite but it is not installable
Recommends: qpdfview-djvu-plugin (= 0.4.14-1+rpt1) but it is not going to be installed
Recommends: qpdfview-ps-plugin (= 0.4.14-1+rpt1) but it is not going to be installed
Recommends: qpdfview-translations (= 0.4.14-1+rpt1) but it is not going to be installed
Recommends: qt5ct but it is not going to be installed
Recommends: qt5-style-plugins but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Suggestions what to do?

Simon Long avatar

Are you actually running the stretch version of Raspbian, or are you still on jessie?

Do the lines in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list contain the word “stretch” or the word “jessie”?

qpdfview will only install on stretch images.

Gregory Koss avatar

Thanks for the upgrade.

When will support for 5 GHz WiFi be enabled?

Simon Long avatar

5GHz support for the 3B+ has been enabled ever since we launched the hardware – if you are in range of a 5G network, it will be flagged as such in the wifi AP list that is shown when you click the network icon on the taskbar, and the Pi will attempt to connect to 5G if it is available.

Gregory Koss avatar

Thanks for the comment. However, I run 5 GHz on lots of devices on my network. My RPi has never seen it. Further, theres lots of complaints on the boards so my experience is not unique.

FYI – I’m using a CanaKit board.

Thanks again for considering the question.

Simon Long avatar

Is your CanaKit-sourced RPi a 3B+, or just a 3B? It is only the 3B+ (released earlier this year) which supports 5G – you will not see it on any earlier Pi models.

5G definitely works in this release with the 3B+, as we use a 5G test network in our office, and I connected to it several times last week in pre-release testing.

crofter avatar

very good sound please do not change

thanks for all the work


Esbeeb avatar

Simon, you’re awesome, please keep up the great work. You provide a shining example to all the other Linux distros out there as to what sensibility should look like. While they take excruciating pains to allow bells and whistles like transparent terminal windows, you are actually addressing meaningful and extremely common usability issues that have been under everyone’s noses for a long time. I think Raspbian is underrated as a distro to be appreciated, and all the other SBC wannabes out there have nothing close to the tight act which is Raspbian.

I hope like 90% of India is using Raspbian within a few years. The 3B+ is sort of like those extremely-common Bajaj motorcyces which have an engine about the size of a Thermos, but everyone has one, and damned if they don’t work really well.

shift avatar

Hello. I installed this as a brand new image then ran through the setup wizard. If I then click Scratch 2 from the menu, I get the hourglass for a few seconds but nothing else happens. The original Scratch seems to open fine but I can’t get Scratch 2 to launch.

Thanks for any guidance.

Simon Long avatar

Scratch 2 will only run on a Pi 2 or a Pi 3, as it requires the Adobe Flash player, which only runs on ARMv7 architectures – are you by any chance trying to run it on a Pi 0 or Pi 1?

AndrewS avatar

I wonder if it’d be possible to put a wrapper script around it, that popped up an error dialog if being run on a Pi1, to prevent exactly this kind of confusion?
(and maybe that same wrapper script could also be used with any other software that is ARMv7 only?)

Simon Long avatar

Yes, I’ve considered doing that – I’ll put it on the to-do list. The only other software we ship as standard which is ARMv7 only (well, actually it’s the same software…) is the Flash player under Chromium.

shif avatar

I am. Thank you for explaining.

beta-tester avatar

i just realized, that also the
“Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop”
got an update…

thank you!

Bensimmo avatar

The new Help links to
-Get Started

Could you make them have the correct direct links, rather than the rpi.io redirectors.
I, like many, work in a school and shirtened redirectors are generally blocked here for security reasons. (That and sites are often opened as needed).
I would assume many other school have a similar problem as the nanny/protection software is often similar.
(It’s also a problem following MagPi etc tutorials that use them, the irony here is that URL is full length via the RaspberryPi.org site in the menu so works fine)

Also I see no point as we are not typing anything in from a menu shortcut. They’re not exactly long URLs anyway.

Simon Long avatar

Unfortunately, for internal admin reasons, it makes life far easier for us to use short URLs for these – sorry!

Given the ubiquity of short URLs in this day and age, I’d suggest that any security software that blocks them ought to be updated to not do so…

bensimmo avatar

Unfortunalty in many schools that’s not something they can do. Money is of course a large factor and many do not have large IT departments to administer these things.
Kepping the network safe and usable is priority for children and teachers, so having links you cannot see where they go being restricted is just a safety device.
To many problems to overcome with Safeguarding and Privacy too.

I gusee they’ll just have to put up with not using them.

Gerbertus avatar

Please PLEASE make it a priority with future releases to get an optimized BLAS. Mathematica, Numpy, Octave, and any other numerics software are completely hamstrung by the terribly slow BLAS, and it’s actually getting worse for newer Pi revisions (matrix multiply is slower on the 3+ than the 3 and slower on the 3 than on the 2) because of how badly tuned it is.

This really could be a >10x performance difference for vital use cases. This can be the difference between scientific and numerical computing on the Pi being merely a toy and it being fast enough for real student use. It would also make it easier to pitch the Pi as a STEM tool. And since I know there’s well optimized NEON BLAS code out there already, if the right people were involved this could be very simple to fix compared to other Pi performance problems that won’t be fixed without hardware revision.

Elmer avatar

Link(s) please?
Sounds interesting.

Simon Long avatar

“matrix multiply is slower on the 3+ than the 3 and slower on the 3 than on the 2”

Not according to the Mathematica matrix multiply benchmark, which I have just run. The times taken for the MM test are 180s on 3+, 200s on 3, 440s on 2 and 1330s on 1.

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that BLAS performance is getting worse on newer Pis? Because what I see there is the exact opposite of what you claim.

Gerbertus avatar


https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=211248 (matrix mult is test 9)
comments to video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf_XVOCQCvw

But much more important than the small performance regressions is the huge yawning gap between present performance and what any modern ARM is capable of. Again, these are all stuck using an unoptimized reference BLAS. Using a tuned NEON BLAS should improve performance by 10x.

Simon Long avatar

Thank you.

However, very little of that shows any evidence to support your assertion that performance has regressed with new variants of Pi hardware – what it shows is that there was a performance regression between Mathematica 10.0 and 10.3. There are small differences in some individual tests in some runs, but they are almost certainly down to CPU throttling as the CPU heats up. I ran the full suite of Mathematica benchmarks on examples of all our boards yesterday, using the same versions of Mathematica and Raspbian – Pi 3 performance was 1.5 to 2 x faster than Pi 2 on every single test, and Pi 3+ performance was 5-10% faster than Pi 3 performance, again on every single test. If you test like-for-like, Pi 3+ is faster than Pi 3; Pi 3 is significantly faster than Pi 2, and Pi 2 is 3-4 times faster than Pi 1. There has been no performance regression between devices that I can see.

Your point about a NEON optimized BLAS, however, is interesting. I have tried three different BLAS implementations from Debian – libblas (the standard), OpenBLAS, and Atlas – performance figures on all three are within a few percent of each other. Are you aware of a NEON optimized BLAS that already exists that I can try? Because if one doesn’t already exist, creating one will be a lot of work – however if someone has already done that work, I’m happy to try including it.

AndrewS avatar

I know nothing about NEON or BLAS, but a quick search found https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openblas-users/sOJ9v-V7mpE which claims “It is tuned to use vfpv3 instructions, not NEON instructions, because
neon instructions are not IEEE754 compliant.”

Tene avatar

I’ve selected Argentina as a country and it only appears Spanish as language (that’s ok). But after selecting it, when I write on the keyboard (for the new password or to configure the wifi) strange ‘arab’ characters appear (and they shouldn’t).

I’ve fixed this by selecting United States (with English as a language) and then reconfigure by using:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Simon Long avatar

Hmmm – that’s a bug! There is no dedicated Argentinian keyboard layout, but the “ar” country code is matching the “ara” keyboard code, so you are getting an Arabic keyboard. My fault – I’ll fix that for the next release. Many thanks for reporting it.

Joseph Chan avatar

Why Python2 (IDLE) in Programming tag missing after I performed the above update?

bensimmo avatar

I believe it;’s to make Python3 the way forward (as it should be) and reduces the number of editor displayed to users (reduce confusion).

You can still add it to your Raspberry Menu or use type IDLE from the terminal

Simon Long avatar

The two versions have co-existed on Pi for several years, and we are now trying to push new users towards Python 3; the Foundation are using Python 3 exclusively in their resources. By removing the menu entry for Python 2, new users should have less of a dilemma over which to use.

Python 2 is still installed for backwards compatibility with programs which need it, but the menu entry for its version of IDLE has been removed.

Michael avatar

Especially the “recommended software”-tool sounds great, many thanks.

And now an update to “Buster” please

Simon Long avatar

Buster will not become the stable release of Debian until the middle of next year – we won’t be moving to Buster until that happens. (But we will endeavour to have Rasbian on Buster as soon as possible when it does.)

Volkan avatar

Cant setup wifi with wpa_supplicant.conf on pi0w headless. help?

TheTechKid avatar

Is your wifi network hidden? You need to add a string so it detects it. That string is scan_ssid=1

Mark P avatar

Any reason why apt-get dist-upgrade is preferred over apt full-upgrade for Raspbian? On my other Debian uses, apt (not apt-get) full-upgrade seems to be preferred and appears more comprehensive.
Thanks for all your work.

Paolo avatar

I’m having performance issues (page switching, image loading and animations) using the new Chromium 65 provided. With previous version 60 using same pages everything was smooth. Do you have any advices?

Sean avatar

Unable to locate rp-prefapps & piwiz?

russ avatar

same here. I am able to install qpdfview however. Odd.

Simon Long avatar

Make sure you are on a stretch image, not a jessie one, and make sure you have done “sudo apt-get update”

Sean avatar

I am trying to make a lite Raspbian OS. I do not need games, Minecraft, Mathematica, etc. How am I able to create a stable Raspbian OS without these additional packages?

Do I just ‘purge’. By doing this will it cause problems with files that maybe required for a stable Raspbian OS?


Simon Long avatar

Err – you did read the bit about the “Recommended Applications” installer, didn’t you? Particularly the bit about how it can be used to uninstall as well as install…

biplob avatar

what is the name of package VMware horizon client?

TheTechKid avatar

I have not found the VMware Horizon client anywhere on the Raspbian repository. Maybe check the internet?

Andy Waller avatar

Hi I’ve followed the steps and updated successfully. However the last two commands:

sudo apt-get install rp-prefapps
sudo apt-get install piwiz

Both return an error message such as “E: unable to locate package piwiz”
I’ve doblue checked spelling and rebooted already. Any other suggestions?

Simon Long avatar

Are you on a stretch or jessie version of Raspbian? You need to be running stretch to get the new packages.

Ankur Joshi avatar

I appreciate the initial configuration setup. This was ESSENTIAL for users outside UK. Many great OS’s like “puppy Linux” has this initial configuration setup running on the first boot. Thanks!. Going forward please try to keep CONSISTANCY like rolling release update so that we don’t have to write the new image everytime.

Max Tweak avatar

Hi Simón!

Thank you very much for your efforts with Raspbian. That OS is excellent even with raspi hardware-limited specs. I’m also going to give a chance to x86/x64 version in a more powerful desktop PC.

I want yo ask you if you planned further and deeper performance tweaks under-the-hood (CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O storage ops…) or when could be rolled out.


Simon Long avatar

We are continually looking at performance tweaks under-the-hood – we already ship numerous libraries which are optimised for better performance on Pi, such as improved memory access speeds. If we find areas where we can make improvements across the board, we do whatever we can to make the best use of them.

Max Tweak avatar

Hi again, Simon !

Thank you for your detailed reply!

I’m happy to read that your workgroup do all posible things to tweak up to the max our Raspbian OS, and enhance performance un our tiny computers.

As a suggestion, I would be grateful if I see in a main menú one section where user can easily modify caché sizes (increase ,or even decrease if necesary, this quantity, in Megabytes) at least in most common programs like browser, in-built media players (or 3rd party players), PDF Readers or LibreOffice suite, for example.

Another interesting point: Create a in-built default folder RAMDisk where all temporary files and caché are storaged by default, in order to save I/O writes and enhance overall performance.

For last but no less important, provide an official native GUI for OMXPlayer in-built media player HW Accelerated (we also known alternatives as tboplayer, etc). Nothing sophisticated, even simple ir plain, in order to provide a smooth, fast and efficient experience for begginers.

Me avatar

Does x86 raspbian do anything to address meltdown and spectre? Thinking of installing it on a pc as a tv dvr and nas server.

Simon Long avatar

It’s built on top of standard Debian stretch, so if those exploits are fixed in stretch, they will be fixed in our version. Current status of fixes for various platforms is at https://wiki.debian.org/DebianSecurity/SpectreMeltdown

SG avatar

After I updated this, my OpenCV library code has an error. When it comes to “imshow” which can show the image every frame on the screen freezes all of a sudden, but the other thing works totally fine. Only “imshow” function doesn’t work.
Hopefully, I want to get a previous version of update (before 2018-06-27 version), where can I get this version?

Simon Long avatar

Previous images are archived at http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian/images/

Pearl.852 avatar

Trying to add Chinese input using the “Keyboard Layout Handler” of the LXPanel 0.9.3, but there seem to be a bug
1) The “Close” button on the GUI does not work;
2) After adding new Keyboard Layout of “tw”, toggling between US/TW has not effects. Using “sudo raspi-config”, I have already setup both the “en.HK.UTF-8” and “zh_TW.UTF-8”, with “en_HK.UTF-8” as the default locale.
Appreciate any help to setup Chinese input properly.

Pearl.852 avatar

Also, under the “Default locale for the system environment:” there are 4 selections,
– None
– C.UTF-8
– en_HK.UTF-8
– zh_TW.UTF-8

What is the “C.UTF-8”? I cannot relate it from the list of “Locales to be generated:” at the previous screen.

Simon Long avatar

The keyboard layout plugin is not something I have worked on; it’s as provided by LXDE and is likely to be buggy as a result, as many of their plugins suffer from a lack of maintenance. I’d suggest raising this issue on the LXDE bug tracker or GitHub repo.

Pearl.852 avatar

Okay, thanks for your reply.

Jacques avatar

Hi. I am having a problem getting the pi to boot to the pixel desktop screen. It only boots via text and command lines. I have tried everything. Losing it as i can never find any usefull info. Tried all these threads and sudo piwiz gives me a warning – cannot open display. Really frustrating – have read so much i feel like a programmer already. I currently have kodi 18 nightly build to try and run netflix. BUT that is another nightmare. Not getting the netflix addon to install as it refers to a text.module.pycryptodome dependancy. This i have also searched for and downloaded but to no avail. I only have the pi and am trying to do all via command prompt.

vgp avatar

I am late to know this latest raspbian update :)


Isaac Boots avatar

I just installed the new raspbian on my SD card yesterday, but when I boot it and it goes to the setup wizard it will not let me click the next button, I’ve tried every key on my keyboard and nothing happened I also tried using my mouse and nothing happened. If anyone has had this problem and fixed it please help.

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