12 months ago

Debian + PIXEL: Raspberry Pi OS for Mac and PC

How to use the Raspberry Pi operating system with the PIXEL desktop interface on your Mac and PC

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a new operating system for Mac and PC computers. It’s called Debian + PIXEL.

The new software enables you to install a Raspberry Pi-like OS on your computer. It boots from a DVD, USB Thumb drive or inside a virtual environment.

Readers of The MagPi in print will get a free DVD with Debian + PIXEL attached. Look out for The MagPi 54 on sale Thursday 22 December.

Click here to download a copy of Debian + PIXEL

The MagPi 54 also contains an in-depth feature looking at Debian + PIXEL. This feature has the following information:

  • How to run Debian + PIXEL on a Mac or PC.
  • Create a persistence drive to save your files.
  • Create a Debian + PIXEL thumb drive to boot on any computer.
  • Plus! Exclusive interview with Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton.

Debian + PIXEL on a PC or Mac

Debian + PIXEL for PC and Mac

With Debian + PIXEL you carry on using your regular operating system. But can boot into the coding environment when you want to experiment with coding, Linux or software development.

The OS has most of the software that comes with Raspbian. Like the Raspberry Pi, it’s ideal for makers and coders.

Only n0w, you don’t even need to buy Raspberry Pi hardware to discover the learning environment. It’s also going to make life easier for code clubs and teachers.

It’s a safe learning environment for experimentation. Learners can install software, create programs and play around. But the main operating system remains safe and sound.

“I guess the real questions is ‘why didn’t we do it earlier?’,” Eben told us. “People used to say to us things like: ‘why aren’t you doing software?’ and ‘everyone’s got a PC’.”

One thing that’s superb is “the curation,” explained Eben. Software like Flash, Chromium, Java, and LibreOffice requires a lot of effort to get on board. “It’s getting close to being the perfect environment for productivity and learning to code. “We’ve now got a piece of software that’s pretty interesting. The question became: ‘why are we forcing people to buy a Raspberry Pi to run it?’ “So we’ve come full circle,” Eben concludes. “We’re giving it a go to see if people like it.”

  • Chris Rowland

    What happened to Issue 53???

  • Evert Jan Henken

    So, what, just bring back Raspbian to the mainstream debian, add pixel and have a live DVD?
    And what with the GPIO on a iMac? or on a notebook?

  • Matt

    Awesome! Love it on my RPi3. Next, can I run it on my Odroid XU4?

  • Stewart Watkiss

    I think that’s a typo. The front cover of the magazine says 53.

  • utahsaint

    Ok, so I booted up my mac with Pixel, but it doesnt recognize my bluetooth keyboard or mouse – any thoughts on how I get it to see them? thx in advance.

  • Julien Mervyn Dedier

    I want to install it direct on a fix pc or mac but not possible

  • skris88

    I got it running on my MacBook Air, cool! But how do I access/read/write the files on my Apple SSD device?

  • Benjamin W. Song

    I don’t know much, but I think there might b a compatibility issue with Apple products in general; Apple like being in control of their H/W. I failed to connect my Apple Magic Keyboard & Trackpad. Keyboard went far as to get paired but with wrong key assignments.

    I tried pairing with Pixel, RetroPie & LibreELEC. It’s nice in a way that it gave me a chance to pull out my old HHKB Pro, but it would be nice to get rid of the lines… =)

  • Benjamin W. Song

    I have an old notebook which is close to retiring; even my wife is complaining about how slow it’s getting. If I can share HW resources with a bootable Debian + PIXEL USB thumb drive… I’m game. =) Once I confirm how far my PIXEL + notebook solution can push, I might have to convince my wife to switch her old notebook. LOL

  • Benjamin W. Song

    Tried using it with old 8GB Memorex USB thumb drive & Macbook. Hope they could address Mac partition & CJK input issue. I have been using iBus with RPi 3, but seems like it is not working with the thumb drive version. If those could b addressed, I would have no problem having this as my emergency “Go To” computer. =) If there is anyone who could lend me a hand with CJK input issue, it would be really helpful. Cheers!

  • bostonkid

    If you haven’t already done this try looking into upgrading the memory to it’s max capacity given the old age of your machine it shouldn’t cost too much. Me for example I have a ThinkPad R52 with only 512 MB ram and I was able to bring it up to 2 GB ram for only $9. That in conjunction with Pixel might help give your computer a new lease on life.

  • cwo3ret

    i successfully paired my Apple bluetooth keyboard with Pixel – make Pixel ‘discoverable,’ then turn on your Apple keyboard – you can then see and pair the keyboard after selecting ‘add new device’ – for a mouse i used a 2.4GHz usb mouse, but an Apple trackpad will aiso pair – the big problem with the new release is installation… there’s no ‘install’ option – but Pixel is fun for testing!

  • Benjamin W. Song

    I will try one more time with ur procedure. I was able to go as far as connecting with un-usable keymappings… finger crossed.

  • Ian Hollis

    I’ve installed Pixel on my old Samsung NP305v5 laptop (AMD powered) and it’s working quite nicely. Sound isn’t working yet, but the internal WiFi works fine.

    There are a few instructions on how to do this on the web. Have a look at YouTube for assistance. Remember, Pixel for the PC is a Beta product. That it works so well is astounding.

  • KnC

    Try setting the keyboard to your language. It defaults to U.K.

  • KnC

    Read the information on the download page… the Pixel OS comes with networked GPIO. Or you can buy a USB dongle if you want it local to the machine I guess.

  • KnC

    Read the hack that is in the comments of the download page, about dd /dev/sr0 to a hard drive.

  • steve morgan

    Just installed the Pixel onto my emachine but ran into trouble after connected to my wifi no webpages would load???

  • Jussapitka Jussapitka

    Is it possible to install it on hard drive?

  • Erick Ugarte

    Hi it will be possible to run hyperspin on this debian pixel? Thanks

  • 1. Boot to OSX – switch of Journaling in the disk utility

    2. Make sure you shutdown properly.

    3. In Linux

    unmount with `sudo umount /media/myMountPoint`

    delete the mount point with `sudo rmdir`

    recreate the mount point with `sudo mkdir` and

    remount with `sudo mount -t hfsplus -o force,rw /dev/xxxx /media/myMountPoint`