Today the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the launch of a new operating system for the Raspberry Pi operating system.
Aptly named PIXEL, the new Raspbian-powered operating system will come with a range of features that will enhance the Raspberry Pi and allow you to use it to do more with just that tiny PC.
According to the Raspberry Pi foundation, PIXEL stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight”, which isn’t really a sentence, but is supposed to mean that you get a windowed environment that is lightweight, whilst providing you with the functions you need.
The Foundation explained more about it with the following:
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”.
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.
You can find out more about the operating system, and download an image for it at the source link below.