The new version of the single-board computer OS lands with desktop and networking enhancements, but good luck actually buying one.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the latest release of the main desktop Linux version for the single-board computer, Raspberry Pi OS.
“A Few Small Tweaks”
Raspberry Pi UX engineer Simon Long announced the new release in a Raspberry Pi blog post. Long said that there wasn’t much new in this version.
“This time around, it is mostly a wrapping-up of all the bug fixes and new versions of software which have been released since the previous image in April; but there are a few small tweaks to the user experience,” Long said.
Interested users may upgrade directly or download it using a special installer from the download page.
The OS, a customized version of Debian running the version 5.15 kernel, does sport some new features that should please Raspberry Pi owners. The modified Xfce desktop now features a searchable main menu, so users can start applications by searching for them. This brings the desktop in line with others that allow this, including modern macOS and Windows versions.
Raspberry Pi Networking Improvements
There’s another major change under the hood. The dhcpcd networking client has been replaced by NetworkManager. Both programs manage network connections, but the latter is better at connecting to “hidden” Wi-Fi networks that don’t broadcast an SSID. This is important as many Raspberry Pi users are likely connecting over Wi-Fi.
Long noted that many other Linux distributions have already changed over from dhcpcd to NetworkManager, so it seems to have become a de facto standard.
Good Luck Actually Buying a Raspberry Pi
While the latest update will likely appeal to existing Raspberry Pi users, new units seem to be hard to come by. The Raspberry Pi website links to vendors across the world, but they all seem to be sold out of the boards.
Supply chain issues have plagued the computer industry in the wake of the pandemic, and the Raspberry Pi appears to be yet another victim, according to ZDNET. A lot of people must have longed for a project to keep them occupied while stuck at home, and the factory in Wales that produces the boards has struggled to keep up with demand.
A Springboard for DIY Projects
If you can manage to get your hands on a Raspberry Pi, it’s good for more than just a Linux desktop. Like the Arduino, it’s popular for all sorts of DIY projects, to the point where the two may be hard to tell apart for casual observers. There are important differences between the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
Read the full article here