Raspberry Pi can breathe life into old Macs
The Raspberry Pi Pixel desktop experience is now available as an early version for x86-based Mac, reveals Ian Paul
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed a present for all the good little Linux lovers and Raspberry Pi fans in the world, as the organization announced they’ve ported an early prototype of the Raspberry Pi’s Pixel desktop experience to Mac. That means you can now run the gorgeous Pixel desktop experience natively on your regular laptop by booting from a USB drive.
Pixel (Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight) is a Linux desktop experience based on Debian Linux. The Raspberry Pi Foundation
first rolled it out to Pi devices in September. Pixel is designed to be a low-resource desktop environment that’s more full featured than your typical Raspberry Pi desktop distribution.
For now, Pixel for Mac is just an experiment, and an early one at that. Upton warns that some hardware configurations may not work properly due to the wide variety of hardware out there. If this version of the Pixel desktop turns into a more official project the Raspberry Pi folks will work to fix any issues that arise. The great thing about the Pixel desktop is that it can run on almost anything – especially older hardware. To run Pixel you’ll need at least 512MB of RAM, a requirement that any computer built in the past decade will easily clear.
You can download Pixel directly from the Foundation’s website and burn it to a DVD or USB drive. To use it you’ll need to set your PC’s BIOS to boot from your chosen media before looking to the internal storage drive.
Macs need to press down ‘C’ at boot; however, Upton warns that some newer Macs may not be able to get Pixel to boot properly; It’s a bug that the Foundation engineers are working to fix.
Pixel for Mac can be set to run in a ‘persistent mode’ meaning any work you do on the operating system will be saved between sessions. You’ll need a larger USB drive to allow for a partition to save data and files, but if you do that you’ll have a mini-computer you can run separate from your machine’s primary operating system.