You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

Raspberry Pi OS has a big new release out switching to PulseAudio

By - | Views: 21,116

Time to warm up your little board as the Raspberry Pi OS has a big new releasing up for those of you sticking with the official Debian Linux based system. Sounds like it's a pretty huge update with a lot of work that went into it, which is great as the Raspberry Pi is a wonderful device for all sorts of uses (and yes gaming too!).

For starters, this finally brings with it a major update to Chromium with version 84. They mentioned it took longer than they wanted but getting video hardware acceleration integrated takes a lot of work. Thanks to that you should see smooth video playback in browser and they've also paid special attention to the likes of Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom due to the pandemic. This is the last release they support Flash with too.

One big background change is their move to the PulseAudio sound server. Since Linux audio can be a little…complicated, PulseAudio deals with most of the interfaces available and puts it under one roof. Most normal distributions use it by default and so with this change Bluetooth audio on the Raspberry Pi OS should now be easier too. They're also automating some of the Bluetooth stuff to make it simpler for users.

They're also now including Printing support out of the box, along with CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) and the system-config-printer UI to make it a smoother experience.

On top of all that they've improved accessibility support with the Orca screen reader, there's new system options to deal with units that have an LED like the Raspberry Pi Zero or the new Raspberry Pi 400 as well. If you missed it, they also recently announced a cheap and cheerful Raspberry Pi 4 Case Fan for $5 and the system settings have been updated in this new OS release so you can configure it.

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link

Really nice to see the RPi team expand all areas of the system, as it's become a much more general-purpose unit for computing considering the amount of power it has now for the still very low cost.

Let us know in the comments what distribution you're using if you have a Raspberry Pi and what you've been doing with it. I am tempted to hop on over to Ubuntu, now it's officially supported.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
20 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
22 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

nadrolinux 4 Dec, 2020
They switched to PulseAudio, meanwhile Fedora planning switch from PulseAudio to PipeWire in the next release, so good timing. IMO they could wait, switch directly to PipeWire too and totally abandon PulseAudio.
Nick_Avem 4 Dec, 2020
Still no true 64-bit support which is somewhat of a pain
legluondunet 4 Dec, 2020
Quoting: nadrolinuxThey switched to PulseAudio, meanwhile Fedora planning switch from PulseAudio to PipeWire in the next release, so good timing. IMO they could wait, switch directly to PipeWire too and totally abandon PulseAudio.

For the moment gamers should use Pulseaudio as long as pipewire is not fully supported by all game related app.
Some games and wine does not support fully Pipewire, you can find a lot of issues reported by gamers on different forum.


Last edited by legluondunet on 4 December 2020 at 3:04 pm UTC
legluondunet 4 Dec, 2020
Quoting: Nick_AvemStill no true 64-bit support which is somewhat of a pain

You can still install Ubuntu or Arch which provide 64 bits OS for pi4.
MessedUpHare 4 Dec, 2020
I've switched to pipewire on my system, using the pipewire-pulse lib to make sure stuff that only supports pulse still works..
It does, however feel a little bit like running wayland and all the apps being under xwayland...
Solarwing 4 Dec, 2020
Well I bought Raspberry pi 4 with 8 G ram when I heard about Ubuntu 20.10 desktop support on Raspberry 4. And experiences? Really confusing.You can do basic things like use firefox to view the net and write text documents on ubuntu 20.10 ofc. But still it seems that proper support for Raspberry 4 is still lacking.Or I don't know how to configure it. When I tried to install updates for example it told me that there was no internet connection on Raspberry 4.Even if I had one. And Ubuntu 20.10 desktop was a bit slow but what else can you expect?Nevertheless Raspberry 4 has potential and if I were you, it would be better to wait couple of months and when the support is better and some problems are fixed then if you have Raspberry 4 try to use ubuntu desktop on it.
agentcasey 4 Dec, 2020
I have one raspberry pi using the new raspberry pi OS and while I've tried and liked Ubuntu server, I was always partial to Debian so I couldn't wait until I could try a real Debian image for the pi 4. I'm now running Debian Buster from this link: https://raspi.debian.net/. It works really well. First I tried using Sid but Sid wasn't totally reliable sometimes, especially when it came to Pulseaudio, so I went with stable after a few months and it's working just fine. Everything works as well as Raspberry OS and even better in some cases. For example, as of yesterday it wasn't possible to install Kodi on raspberry pi OS, I just rechecked and it's still not possible but on my Raspberry pi 4B 8G, running Debian Buster, it is possible. Sound works, wifi works and microphones do too, when they are added. Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves. Bye.
14 4 Dec, 2020
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
This reminds me that I was going to order a HardKernel device today.
Cool updates to the Pi OS though. I have a Pi myself.
14 4 Dec, 2020
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: SolarwingWell I bought Raspberry pi 4 with 8 G ram when I heard about Ubuntu 20.10 desktop support on Raspberry 4. And experiences? Really confusing.You can do basic things like use firefox to view the net and write text documents on ubuntu 20.10 ofc. But still it seems that proper support for Raspberry 4 is still lacking.Or I don't know how to configure it. When I tried to install updates for example it told me that there was no internet connection on Raspberry 4.Even if I had one. And Ubuntu 20.10 desktop was a bit slow but what else can you expect?Nevertheless Raspberry 4 has potential and if I were you, it would be better to wait couple of months and when the support is better and some problems are fixed then if you have Raspberry 4 try to use ubuntu desktop on it.
My guess is the slow feeling is your memory card. The CPU and RAM should run Ubuntu pretty great I think.
CFWhitman 4 Dec, 2020
Quoting: legluondunet
Quoting: Nick_AvemStill no true 64-bit support which is somewhat of a pain

You can still install Ubuntu or Arch which provide 64 bits OS for pi4.

There is also a 64 bit version of Debian for the Pi, but I haven't tried it.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.