David Briddock meanders through Raspberry Pi technology from A-to-Z THIS WEEK: we look at what gives the Pi its X-factor
This time around, we find ourselves at the letter X
Xubuntu is ideal for lowerpowered computers and older computing hardware
Every board in the Raspberry Pi family has enough power to deliver high-quality XMBC video experience. So it’s no surprise there are quite a few XBMC-focussed Pi distribution images. Here are three popular options.
Raspbmc is a mini-footprint, Pi-optimised XBMC distribution image. A free, open source product, it handles 1080p playback and supports both wired or wi-fi connectivity. Advanced Raspbmc services include content sharing, automatic software updates, AirPlay or AirTunes support, embedded Samba and TVHeadend. Incidentally, Raspbmc’s developer is Sam Nazarko, who previously worked on XBMC and 1080p decoding for the first generation Apple TV. Nazarko is also the author of a Raspbmc book ( goo.gl/FQLik).
Fans of the Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Centre (OpenELEC) have a new 3.0 release. It’s a small, fast-booting Linux distro that supports the XBMC standard. The OpenELEC team spent considerable time ensuring it delivers a high-quality user experience on the Raspberry Pi platform. Find out more on the OpenELEC website ( goo.gl/8hj4Q6).
Plex is a platform independent home entertainment system. RasPlex is a relatively recent port of Plex for the Raspberry Pi. This is a work-in-progress development, but there are plans to support all Plex channels. Find out more about RasPlex on the website rasplex.com.
Xubuntu ( xubuntu.org) is a community-developed open-source operating system based on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Free download options include the latest development release and a long term support (LTS) version.
Put together with a fast, lightweight Xfce desktop environment, Xubuntu is ideal for lower-powered computers and older computing hardware. This means it’s a naturally attractive distro for Raspberry Pi Model A/A+ and B/B+ owners. It’s not necessarily ideal for beginners, though, as the installation process is rather more involved than it is with NOOBS.
Do you own a powerful quad-core Pi 2 or Pi 3? Then why not install the full classic Ubuntu 14.04 LTS distribution image. Discover more, including step-by-step installation instructions, at wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/RaspberryPi.
Xojo is a professional-level development tool that can create desktop apps, web apps and console apps. It’s a cross-platform product that can be downloaded and installed on a wide range of computing platforms, including the Pi 2 or Pi 3 (xojo.com).
Interestingly Xojo uses a proprietary, object-oriented version of the classic BASIC programming language, which is also called Xojo. Developers prototype applications using visual components and drag-and-drop operations to design the web page layout or app user interface. Then the Xojo language is used to implement the desired functionality.
Anyone can download and try Xojo for free as a trial. However, once that trial period ends they’ll have to pay an annual fee of $49 ( xojo.com/store/index.php).
The XDA Developer Forum is a highly active community that offers free advice regarding all kinds of PCs, mobile devices, and bare-bones boards. As this forum also has a dedicated Raspberry Pi area ( forum.xda-developers.com/raspberry-pi) it’s a useful source of information for Pi owners.
Apart from general help topics, there are sections covering Q&As, troubleshooting, and information about popular Raspberry Pi accessories along with a wide range of development threads covering coding languages, hardware projects and distribution images.