Raspberry Pi OS Update Introduces Many UI Improvements

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  • This release supports the Labwc Wayland window-stacking compositor by default as an alternative to Wayfire. 
  • It features expanded desktop customisation, enhanced configuration utilities, and support for new touchscreens and hardware controls.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new update to their Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS for Raspberry Pi single-board computers, focusing on user interface enhancements and new settings. The updated version, 2024-07-04, introduces several significant changes. The panel and PCManFM file manager now support customizing more than two desktops. Additionally, the Labwc Wayland window-stacking compositor is now installed by default as an alternative to Wayfire. Labwc can be enabled via the raspi-config utility and features theme settings in the Pixflat theme and configuration support in raspberrypi-ui-mods.

The raspi-config utility has been enhanced with keyboard configuration options and PCIe speed options. The piwiz first-run startup wizard has been updated to allow users to enable or disable Raspberry Pi Connect, which is now also available in the Recommended Software installer, raspi-config, and rc-gui utilities for easier installation and management of remote desktop support. The release includes updates to raspberrypi-ui-mods, adding support for new touchscreens and systemd-inhibit support to override the hardware power key on the Raspberry Pi 5. The raspberrypi-sys-mods package now includes a new udev rule for backlight control and a larger swapfile size.

This release also updates the Wayfire Wayland compositor, addressing a crash when opening multiple Xwayland windows and fixing a touchscreen bug. The gui-pkinst installer now features whitelist support for restricting installations to specified packages. The pishutdown helper uses the pkill command to close the desktop, and the WayVNC VNC server has improved handling of virtual displays and encryption.

The wf-panel-pi panel for the Wayfire desktop now supports smaller screens, better keyboard handling, icon highlighting for taskbar buttons, and proper dialog icons. The release also fixes a potential buffer overflow vulnerability in the PiClone utility, adds brightness control for DSI displays, and enhances virtual display detection in the ARandR utility. The rc-gui tool now supports configuring alternate keyboard layouts. Additionally, the PCManFM file manager has been patched to prevent crashes during certain drag-and-drop operations. The update is powered by Linux kernel 6.6.31 LTS and includes Chromium 125.0.6422.133 and Mozilla Firefox 126.0 web browsers.

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