Linux in The News 9-12-22

Last Updated on September 12, 2022 by KC7NYR

New Raspberry Pi OS Update Brings Desktop Enhancements, Network Manager Support

Raspberry Pi OS Update

Today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new update of their Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS for the tiny Raspberry Pi computers, bringing various enhancements to the desktop, new apps, and bug fixes.

Still powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series, which has been updated to Linux kernel 5.15.61, the new Raspberry Pi OS update is here to further enhance the LXDE-based PIXEL desktop environment with a new main menu plugin for the panel that features text search capabilities.

In addition, the panel gets a new network plugin that’s compatible with NetworkManager, which is now installed by default but disabled, a new separate audio input plugin that features microphone volume and input select, new keyboard shortcuts to open Wi-Fi and Bluetooth plugins, and updated notifications that are displayed with a short delay after startup and between each one.

Also updated in this new Raspberry Pi OS release is the Piwiz first-run startup wizard to let you select NetworkManager as the default software for managing network connections, as well as to disable “root” as a user name when creating an account. Moreover, the raspi-config command-line configuration tool now also lets you switch between dhcpcd and NetworkManager.

Other desktop enhancements include the ability to resize menus after being drawn. Among other changes, Picamera2 is now pre-installed as a libcamera-based replacement for Picamera that offers a Python interface to Raspberry Pi’s legacy camera stack, OpenJDK 17 is now installed by default on the full images, and the rc_gui CLI tool has been updated to only allow you to set valid hostnames.

Of course, there are also the usual bug fixes that address a 100% CPU usage issue in the file manager after unmounting a desktop item, make system tray redrawing more robust, fix the Updater plugin to no longer fail on 32-bit (x86) images, fix an issue preventing you to switch between international keyboard layouts, and to improve switching between Wayland and X11 sessions.

The new Raspberry Pi OS also makes switching of ALSA devices in the raspi-config CLI utility compatible with third-party devices and forces “power on” for Bluetooth hardware when they are unblocked with rfkill.

On top of that, all the Raspberry Pi OS images now ship with root partition formatted with the metadata_csum option, as well as with 4 sectors per cluster for a small performance boost. Also, the flush mount option has been removed from the /boot partition.

You can download the new Raspberry Pi OS update from the official website for 32-bit or 64-bit Raspberry Pi boards, including the Raspberry Pi 1, Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3B, Raspberry Pi 3B+, Raspberry Pi 3A+, Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, Raspberry Pi CM3, Raspberry Pi CM3+, Raspberry Pi CM4, and Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.