"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Test drive: (Raspberry PI) Pixel on the EEEPC 900


I own a Raspberry PI since two years but I used it as headless server from the very beginning. I have, almost, never seen its window manager apart from some remote desktop experiment. I so learned only recently how latest Raspbian released are shipped with a new lightweight desktop environment: Pixel. More recently I also learned that Pixel has been released for X86 “common” computers I decided to test how it runs on my EEEPC 900 netbook.

First impressions

I downloaded Pixel ISO disk image from here and prepared a bootable USB disk. Raspberry page suggested using Etcher to prepare the boot disk but UNetbootin did the job as well as usual.
The boot process went smooth and quite fast, and Pixel here is my very first screen-shot of Pixel.



Needless to say Pixel user interface is a traditional “no-frills” one, with panels and a big application menu. Pixel unique icons and fonts are combined into a default theme of good readability even on the small EEEPC display.
Software packages provided with Pixel reveal this distribution vocation for education: together with the most classic Libre Office suite …


is shipped a good selection of lightweight programming IDEs …


to be noted also the choice of Chromium as default browser.


Conclusions

Pixel is a great lightweight desktop environment, it's snappy-fast both while booting than while working with it. From a very subjective point of view it looks to me faster than other lightweight desktops, like XFCE or LXDE, I tested before. I wish I had an even older PC to test Pixel on it. On the other hand Pixel, at least its X86 release, is still very unfinished I couldn't manage, for example, to configure mouse-pad click-with-a-tap even if other features, like double-fingered-scroll, worked from the beginning without need of configuration. Pixel might not be ready to replace my XFCE installation but they are only at the beginning after all!