Linux in The News 1-31-22

Last Updated on January 31, 2022 by KC7NYR

Latest Raspberry Pi OS Release Adds New Options to Its Configuration Tool, Many Bug Fixes from

The Raspberry Pi Foundation released today a new version of their official Raspberry Pi OS Debian-based distribution for the tiny Raspberry Pi single-board computers, a release that comes with various improvements and bug fixes.

The new Raspberry Pi OS release (dated 2022-01-28) is here about three months after the previous update, which rebased the distribution on the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series to add various improvements to the raspi-config application that lets you configure Raspberry Pi system settings.

Both the raspi-config command-line tool and its rc_gui GTK graphical user interface received enhancements. For example, rc_gui no longer ships with the camera interface switch and features a combo box to allow users to set the resolution for VNC (Virtual Network Computing) connections. In addition, Mutter is now automatically disabled when the VNC server is running and the system falls back to Openbox.

On the other hand, raspi-config received several options that allow users to switch composite video, switch to the legacy camera mode (this new release brings back legacy camera applications and libraries), as well as to set the resolution for headless connections.

Raspberry Pi OS’s LXDE-based PIXEL desktop environment received some improvements as well in the new release. For example, the LXPanel component no longer provides appearance settings in the Preferences dialog, instead a new menu option was added to allow users to open the Appearance Settings app.

Furthermore, LXPanel now features ellipses on menu items that open dialogs, reads current mouse acceleration directly from xinput, uses device IDs instead of names to cope with device changes when the system is powered down, and comes with an improved Openbox configuration file for better window management.

In fact, LXPanel received several bug fixes to address various issues related to plugins not loading, lxsession configuration file not being written on first attempt, slider slowing down, writing of values to gsettings, xsettings, and xinput, as well as failure to parse and write non-English numeric formats.

Also improved in this release is the ARandR graphical interface for the xrandr command-line utility for changing the screen resolution, which is now compatible with the new touchscreen driver added in Raspberry Pi OS. Moreover, ARandR now correctly applies settings to DSI and composite displays, offers settings for left and right orientation of the screen, and calculates refresh rates to 3 decimal places for monitors that need them.

Among other noteworthy changes, the new Raspberry Pi OS release backports new features to the xrdp utility from the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 12 “Bookworm” operating system series to restore window frames with Mutter over xrdp connections, adds several new tools to the Lite image (MKVToolNix, udisks2, 7z and zip), and adds the GNOME Keyring to the Desktop image.

Last but not least, the PiPanel application used for configuring the LX Desktop user interface now features a command-line option to open on arbitrary tab. Under the hood, the new Raspberry Pi OS release is powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.10.92 kernel.