The Raspberry Pi 4 is now available for purchase for $35 and up and along with a faster processor, support for dual dual displays and options for 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM, the new single-board computer is getting a new GNU/Linux distribution.

While the Raspberry Pi can run a variety of operating systems, the Debian-based Raspbian operating system is the version officially supported by the folks at the Raspberry Pi foundation. And the latest version includes support for a new open source OpenGL video driver, security updates, and a simpler user interface.

Here are a few of the things that are new:

  • Raspbian is now based on Debian 10 Buster (which is due to launch as a stable release on July 7th).
  • The UI includes a flatter design and fewer curves, plus a new default desktop.
  • The eject icon only shows up in the taskbar if there’s a device that you can eject. And the Bluetooth icon is only displayed if you’re using Raspberry Pi that has Bluetooth hardware.
  • Thonny is the default Python development environment.
  • OpenGL driver is used by default on the Raspberry Pi 4.

While the new version of Raspbian is the first to support Raspberry Pi 4 hardware, you can also use the latest release with other Raspberry Pi models. You’ll just end up using the non-GL display drivers by default.

Or you could try your luck with a different operating systems. Users have ported Ubuntu, LibreElec, Windows IoT Core, and many other operating systems to run on Raspberry Pi’s inexpensive computers — you can find some third-party options at the Raspberry Pi download page, although it’s not clear if they all support the Raspberry Pi 4 yet.

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4 replies on “New Raspberry Pi, new Raspbian operating system”

  1. What cutting edge features!!! “If you don’t have bluetooth, the icon doesn’t show up”. I’m stunned, STUNNED at the innovation in desktop usability.

  2. There goes my purchase of the new asus tinker board(or whatever new name they’ve given it). The raspberry pi has really delivered here spec wise and just in time for debian buster 10…I’m definitely in for one.

  3. Kodi is running really slow on this new build. I am running it on a 3b+ and the menus and playback are unusable. anyone else try it?

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