Raspberry Pi OS Bookworm release — Thu 12 October 2023

Yesterday Raspberry Pi released a new OS version 'Bookworm', a major update in that the new Wayland display system and Wayfire compositor is the default for Pi 4 and Pi 5. (Coming for earlier models in due course.) Given that X11 is now relegated to the back of the cupboard there may be some gotchas, but Raspberry Pi (RPi) have put a lot of work into this first release. See their note.

RPi are on a bit of a release roll at the moment together with the Pi 5 announcement. There's a fascinating video describing the multi-year effort in design; closer cooperation with Broadcom over the core silicon and their own internal design experience to build the RP1 'southbridge' chip (encapsulates a lot of peripheral logic) have enabled a staggering, ok I'll say it, synergy allowing chip pinout and board layout to be tweaked to mutual advantage. This allows a major design goal (low cost to the end-user) to be maximised while giving a 2-3x performance boost, better video and camera enhancements.

With Pi 4 and Pi 5, these machines are a perfectly good desktop replacement (this post is being created and built on a Pi 4). Eben Upton reminded us that during lockdown Pi systems were despatched to school children in need of a computer system for home working; so there's a track record of intention here.

I've seen some threads which go like 'Oh, I could get a 2nd-hand PC for far less and it would be as fast'; there's good reasons why this might be great choice (eg needing x86 support, repurposing old kit). But ignoring the Pi facility in physical computing capability, with its GPIO and a vast array of compatible external hardware, what Pi comes along with includes:

On the last point, not many manufacturers provide OS upgrades on machines a decade old!

Anyway, applause for continued engineering progress from RPi. Finally, what computer has such cute 3rd party heatsink/cases. (Pimoroni – scary robot guard not included.)

Pi 4 in Pimoroni case