Created: 14.01.2017 18:22 Last Modified: 14.01.2017 18:22
Keywords: ASUS, EeePC, Intel, Linux, netbook, PIXEL, x86, Raspberry Pi
Booting Raspberry Pi PIXEL on an Old Netbook with Intel CPU
Raspberry Pi PIXEL
In September 2016 Raspberry Pi foundation announced the release of the PIXEL desktop environment. It is shipped by default with the Raspbian images for Raspberry Pi.
As we all know the CPUs of all versions and models of Raspberry Pi have ARM architecture while the majority of personal computers are still with x86 32 and 64-bit Intel compatible processors. In December Raspberry Pi foundation made us a pleasant surprise and provided an image with Pixel for x86. Now I will show you how to bring a fresh look with PIXEL on an old netbook. I will show you how to boot it on my Asus EeePC.
Booting PIXEL on x86/x86-64
The first step is to download the image for x86. Check the link in the description of the video. After that flash it to a USB stick. You can do this through the command line or via a handy application. There are at least of dozen for them for Windows. But as an Ubuntu user I am going to use a tool compatible with GNU/Linux distributions. This is an open source application from resio.io called Etcher. It is still in beta and needs some improvements but it very nice. Plug the USB stick in your personal computer. After that just select the downloaded image and the media corresponding to the USB stick. Etcher will create a bootable USB stick with PIXEL for you a few moments.
Now plug the USB stick in the old netbook and boot it. On my Asus EeePC I have to double press ESC and to select the USB media. It is recommended to use a high quality USB stick to ensure that the OS will boot fast.
The PIXEL desktop environment looks exactly the same as what you get on your Raspberry Pi. Just like on Raspberry Pi 3, my old netbook has Bluetooth and WiFi. I will connect it to my home network. The image includes a web browser with flash. The sounds works fine.
The image also includes LibreOfffce. There are development tools and of course a few nice games. The terminal is a must have application. This is the Linux kernel version. As you know Raspbian is based on Debian.
I bought my Asus EeePC 1005PE 7 years ago so nowadays the hardware capabilities are very very modest. Right now my smartphone is several times more powerful than this old netbook. The CPU is Intel Atom N450. This is one of the first Intel Atom processors and there is just 1GB of RAM. Despite this the PIXEL desktop is working pretty well. It will become faster if I copy it to the hard drive instead of booting it from the USB stick.