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

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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.

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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.
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22 comments
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mirv 4 Dec, 2020
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Thank you pulse for now deciding to output audio on a completely different path and not actually save settings when I change them.

(I'm one of those people who has neverending problems with pulseaudio....just lucky I guess.)
CFWhitman 4 Dec, 2020
Quoting: mirvThank you pulse for now deciding to output audio on a completely different path and not actually save settings when I change them.

(I'm one of those people who has neverending problems with pulseaudio....just lucky I guess.)

Pulseaudio not easily saving settings changes is probably my biggest current peeve with the program.
UnixOutlaw 4 Dec, 2020
I've got 3 x Pi4 (1 x 4Gb, 2 x 8Gb)

Bought the 4 GB model last year when they were first announced but was disappointed in the lack of 64 bit choices so I barely used it...
Then they released a 64 bit buster - and I tried it on a "headless" RPi3 (running PiHole and OpenVPN) for a couple months... then I dd'd that image onto a Samsung T5 SSD and booted it from the Pi4 (4GB) - so my headless Pi4 4GB model is now running PiHole and OpenVPN.

I'm still running 32 bit Buster on the 2 x 8 GB models - why? Well there's no 64 bit ARM steamlink app, and also I use Citrix and there's no 64 bit ARM Citrix client - and this is purely anecdotal, but performance on 32 bit seems slightly snappier, e.g. things like Chromium...

Tried Ubuntu and even elementary (arm74) - but prefer Debian buster (and the Ubuntu images for aarch64 / arm64 are also still running older 4.x kernels).

Performance booting from USB3 is so much better than SD card, I don't boot off SD-card anymore...
Solarwing 5 Dec, 2020
Quoting: 14
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.

Ok I keep that in mind .But also what came into my mind this morning is lack of working programs in the latest Ubuntu when using Rpi 4. I don't know whenether the reason for that is ARM environment or Snap system. Personally I'll wait for a while and study some things concerning linux. And when I'm done I will look into Raspberry again
Pit 5 Dec, 2020
QuoteLet 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 have one (Pi 3) that I use for astronomy, to control my astro-photography equipment (INDI ).

It is - like my other computers - running openSUSE Tumbleweed (64bit).
legluondunet 5 Dec, 2020
QuoteLet 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 mainly use a PI4 with Recalbox OS for retrogaming. A PI4 is so small in size, I can easily take it on vacation to play Mario Kart and other retro games with my little niece.
Boldos 5 Dec, 2020
Quoting: UnixOutlawI've got 3 x Pi4 (1 x 4Gb, 2 x 8Gb)

Bought the 4 GB model last year when they were first announced but was disappointed in the lack of 64 bit choices so I barely used it...
Then they released a 64 bit buster - and I tried it on a "headless" RPi3 (running PiHole and OpenVPN) for a couple months... then I dd'd that image onto a Samsung T5 SSD and booted it from the Pi4 (4GB) - so my headless Pi4 4GB model is now running PiHole and OpenVPN.

I'm still running 32 bit Buster on the 2 x 8 GB models - why? Well there's no 64 bit ARM steamlink app, and also I use Citrix and there's no 64 bit ARM Citrix client - and this is purely anecdotal, but performance on 32 bit seems slightly snappier, e.g. things like Chromium...

Tried Ubuntu and even elementary (arm74) - but prefer Debian buster (and the Ubuntu images for aarch64 / arm64 are also still running older 4.x kernels).

Performance booting from USB3 is so much better than SD card, I don't boot off SD-card anymore...
That USB booting -> what are the requirements for that?
I have a Rpi4B (4GB) and would like to try some other booting device...
14 5 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: Boldos
Quoting: UnixOutlawI've got 3 x Pi4 (1 x 4Gb, 2 x 8Gb)

Bought the 4 GB model last year when they were first announced but was disappointed in the lack of 64 bit choices so I barely used it...
Then they released a 64 bit buster - and I tried it on a "headless" RPi3 (running PiHole and OpenVPN) for a couple months... then I dd'd that image onto a Samsung T5 SSD and booted it from the Pi4 (4GB) - so my headless Pi4 4GB model is now running PiHole and OpenVPN.

I'm still running 32 bit Buster on the 2 x 8 GB models - why? Well there's no 64 bit ARM steamlink app, and also I use Citrix and there's no 64 bit ARM Citrix client - and this is purely anecdotal, but performance on 32 bit seems slightly snappier, e.g. things like Chromium...

Tried Ubuntu and even elementary (arm74) - but prefer Debian buster (and the Ubuntu images for aarch64 / arm64 are also still running older 4.x kernels).

Performance booting from USB3 is so much better than SD card, I don't boot off SD-card anymore...
That USB booting -> what are the requirements for that?
I have a Rpi4B (4GB) and would like to try some other booting device...
You probably want to check if the Pi4 has a dedicated USB 3 port because I know the Pi3 shared bandwidth with the NIC, which was terrible for transferring files over the LAN. Other boards (Pine64, Hardkernel, Libre Computer) were better at running the OS from external storage or just using external storage in general. Here is the official doc for running your OS from an external drive.

FWIW, the Pi boot process is not open source where you can find other single-board computer (SBC) manufacturers that are. Is that a big deal? Maybe not to everyone. But if you can choose an open-source alternative, why not?
CyberRat 7 Dec, 2020
Quoting: nadrolinuxPipeWire

PipeWire?

Past: 5 audio engines "Yea lets unify the audio engines"
Current: 6 audio engines
mirv 7 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: CyberRat
Quoting: nadrolinuxPipeWire

PipeWire?

Past: 5 audio engines "Yea lets unify the audio engines"
Current: 6 audio engines

Alsa is the backend really. Everything feeds into that. Pipewire is more than just audio; if I remember rightly it began as video redirect.

Pulseaudio has far too many issues regardless and something needs doing about it.
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