In a rather curious turn, the Raspberry Pi foundation has released an x86 PC port of its PIXEL+Debian Linux desktop environment.
PIXEL (which is a clunky backronym for Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight) is an extensively modified version of the LXDE X11 desktop environment. It was originally released in September for use with Raspberry Pi single-board computers, but now it has also been packaged up for x86 PCs. You can boot your Windows or Mac PC into the PIXEL desktop environment right now, if you so wish.
In the words of Eben Upton, founder of the foundation, PIXEL is “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment […] Put simply, it’s the GNU/Linux we would want to use.” To that end, PIXEL is both clean and modern-looking, but more importantly it is useful, with a wide range of productivity software and programming tools pre-installed. PIXEL doesn’t eschew proprietary software, either; it even comes with the Adobe Flash browser plug-in.
While it’s unlikely that Debian+PIXEL would nuke your Windows or Mac installation, it’s probably worth backing up any important files before you proceed. Another option if you just want to check PIXEL out is to grab the ISO and load it up in VirtualBox or your preferred virtualisation tool.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht