If you regret having opted for the Lite version of Raspbian, here is a quick tutorial that explains how to manually install the Pixel desktop. No need to burn a new SD card for your Raspberry Pi.. Some commands in the Terminal are enough to install the Pixel graphical desktop on Raspbian Stretch Lite. We will also see how to install the main software needed to get started with the Raspberry Pi 3. Synaptic Package Manager, VNC, VLC Player, Deluge BitTorrent client, LibreOffice, Mathematica, Wolfram Alfa, Thonny Python, Node-RED, Scratch 2, Arduino IDE.
Manually install the Pixel desktop on Raspbian Lite
There are many conversations on the official forum of the foundation like this one. To make the article about the Waveshare 7 ” touch screen test, I used the Jeedom SD card which is based on Jessie Lite. Obviously, when it was necessary to test the tactile part of the screen, I did not have a graphical desktop: -?
Only one command is required to install the Pixel desktop. Log in to your Raspberry Pi. Start by updating the distribution
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
Then, run this command that will install X11 (the Linux GUI) and the PIXEL Desktop.
sudo apt install raspberrypi-ui-mods
At the end of the installation, reboot the system with the sudo reboot command. Raspbian launches directly on Pixel and asks you to connect.
10 programs to install on your Raspberry Pi in priority
Manually installing the Pixel Graphics Desktop does not mean that all pre-installed software on the Desktop Image will be installed as well. In fact, there is really only the Pixel desk that is installed. If you need other software, you will have to install them one by one manually. Here is a list of 10 essential software to install on your Raspberry Pi.
Chromium internet browser
Before you start, the first thing to do is to update the distribution to the most recent version. Run the following commands and restart. The up-to-date distribution will allow (in addition to improvements under the hood such as better management of Bluetooth) to install the Open Source Chromium web browser (be careful not to be confused with the Google Chrome browser). Htop system tool and links to the MagPi and other resources for the Raspberry Pi.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get dist-upgrade sudo reboot
Then, here are some commands found on the internet to install the various pre-installed software on the Stretch Desktop image.
Synaptic Package Manager Package Manager
If you are not used to the Terminal, I advise you to install the Synaptic package manager. This is the equivalent of Windows and macOS Stores. Most of the software available for the Raspberry Pi can be installed from this manager. The latter is accessible from the shortcut added in the Preferences menu.
To install it, run the sudo apt-get install synaptic command from the Terminal.
Configure VNC on Raspbian
VNC allows access to Raspbian’s graphical desktop from another computer and tablet. Open the Terminal and run raspi-config with the sudo raspi-config command. Select Option 5 (Interfacing Option)
Then P3 VNC
The first time you activate VNC on the Raspbian distribution, you have to install all the necessary packages.
Lecture des listes de paquets... Fait Construction de l'arbre des dépendances Lecture des informations d'état... Fait Les paquets supplémentaires suivants seront installés : bc cups cups-browsed cups-client cups-common cups-core-drivers cups-daemon cups-filters cups-filters-core-drivers cups-ppdc cups-server-common ghostscript gsfonts libcupscgi1 libcupsfilters1 libcupsimage2 libcupsmime1 libcupsppdc1 libfontembed1 libgs9 libgs9-common libgutenprint2 libijs-0.35 libjbig2dec0 libpoppler46 libqpdf13 poppler-data poppler-utils printer-driver-gutenprint qpdf Paquets suggérés : cups-bsd foomatic-db-compressed-ppds foomatic-db printer-driver-hpcups hplip cups-pdf xpp ghostscript-x gutenprint-locales fonts-japanese-mincho fonts-ipafont-mincho fonts-japanese-gothic fonts-ipafont-gothic fonts-arphic-ukai fonts-arphic-uming fonts-nanum gutenprint-doc Les NOUVEAUX paquets suivants seront installés : bc cups cups-browsed cups-client cups-common cups-core-drivers cups-daemon cups-filters cups-filters-core-drivers cups-ppdc cups-server-common ghostscript gsfonts libcupscgi1 libcupsfilters1 libcupsimage2 libcupsmime1 libcupsppdc1 libfontembed1 libgs9 libgs9-common libgutenprint2 libijs-0.35 libjbig2dec0 libpoppler46 libqpdf13 poppler-data poppler-utils printer-driver-gutenprint qpdf realvnc-vnc-server 0 mis à jour, 31 nouvellement installés, 0 à enlever et 0 non mis à jour. Il est nécessaire de prendre 20,9 Mo dans les archives. Après cette opération, 86,9 Mo d'espace disque supplémentaires seront utilisés. Souhaitez-vous continuer ? [O/n] O
Accept the installation (O key) of the new packages. Raspbian takes care of everything, including installing the VNC server’s autostart script when the system boots.
Now, go to the RealVNC site to retrieve the VNC viewer that matches your system.
Install and launch VNC Viewer on your computer.
In the address bar, enter the IP address of the Raspberry Pi (ifconfig command to find it) and confirm by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. It is not necessary to specify port (5900) unless it has been manually changed.
In the window that appears, enter your username and password.
RealVNC informs you that the connection is not secure (it does not matter if you connect to the Raspberry Pi from a local network). Accept
Here you are on your Raspberry Pi: D. There is nothing more to configure. VNC starts automatically when the system starts! Here, my Raspberry Pi 3 test that also runs a Jeedom home automation server.
The famous media player has obviously been adapted to Raspberry Pi. VLC is available from Synaptic or from the command line (sudo apt install vlc ). Version 2.2.7 does not launch on Raspbian Strech.
The BitTorrent client Deluge
The Raspberry Pi is a mini PC that consumes very little. If you have files (legal) to download, the Raspberry Pi 3 is a good alternative. This will save you from running your PC for many hours or investing in expensive NAS. Deluge can be installed from Synaptic or from the command line (sudo apt install deluge ). Deluge comes to stay in the Internet menu
The Thonny Python Code Editor (for Python 3)
Thonny Python is a simple and effective code editor for programming in Python. It is now integrated by default into the Raspbian Stretch distribution. Python 3 is also installed at the same time from the Thonny Python code editor. Thonny Python comes in the programming menu.
Mathematica and the Wolfram Alfa language
sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine
From the terminal, the wolfram and mathematica commands are used to launch the software.
Node-RED installs very easily with a single command in the Terminal. To learn more, read this tutorial.
bash <(curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/node-red/raspbian-deb-package/master/resources/update-nodejs-and-nodered)
To go further, here are the latest tutorials on Node-RED
- Xiaomi Mijia Honeywell Smoke Detector Test with Domoticz, Emergency Notification with PushOver
- #Test Zigbee2MQTT gateway. Part 2, include Xiaomi Aqara or Mijia accessories to Domoticz with Node-RED [update]
- #Test Zigbee2MQTT project, hack of the Xiaomo Aqara Smart Home Gateway. Part 1: assembly, demo with Node-RED, 3D printed case [update]
- Install Node-RED on Raspbian Jessie Lite on a Raspberry Pi Zero W
- Node-RED + MQTT + ESP8266: how to drive an articulated PTZ system in WiFi
- Orange Pi: test of the OPI.GPIO package for Node-Red (node-red-contrib-opi-gpio)
- Orange Pi (Armbian): replace the GPIO by an Arduino/Firmata, Node-RED and Johnny-Five
- Use Node-RED to create a gateway between MySensors and Blynk (local server)
- Getting start with MQTT Mosquitto Broker on Raspberry Pi, Windows, macOS and Linux [update]
- ESP Easy + MQTT + Node-RED: bi-directional communication, dashboard
- Dashboard for IoT with Node-RED. Part 2: Gauges, Graphs, Notifications, HTML
- Secure Node-RED with Nginx and OpenSSL on Ubuntu 16.04
- Node-RED: installation and configuration on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
- Node-RED (Tutorial): saving MySensors measurements on InfluxDB
- Create a dashboard for IoT with Node-RED. Part 1: button, list, switch, slider, form, input field
Run this command from the Terminal to install Scratch 2 on Raspbian. A shortcut to easily launch Scratch 2 is automatically added to the Programming menu.
sudo apt-get install scratch2
The Raspberry Pi 3 is powerful enough to serve as an office extension. Free Office (new name for Open Office) is very easy to install from Synaptic. Start Synaptic from the shortcut in the Preferences menu. Do a search on the keyword “libreoffice” or “libre office”.
In the list that appears, click on the freeoffice package and choose the Select option for installation. Accept all packages and dependencies that must be installed at the same time.
Launch the installation by clicking Apply
You can install LibreOffice on the command line by running this command from the terminal sudo apt-get install libreoffice .
Just like Libre Office, you can install the Arduino IDE using Synaptic. A shortcut is added in the programming menu. However, I advise you to follow this tutorial that explains how to install the official version of the code editor. You will be sure to have the latest version of it. Indeed, the version number (here 2: 1.0.5) does not correspond to the official numbering. I have not found an explanation for the difference (if anyone can enlighten us?). Maybe the foundation does not publish updates on Linux repositories.
With the Arduino IDE, you will be able to program a large number of development boards. All the official maps developed by the foundation, but also the ESP8266 WiF modules or the new ESP32s that also include Bluetooth LE communication. To learn more, you can start by reading some articles:
- Program the ESP8266 with the Arduino IDE: Libraries, GPIO, Web Server, Web Client
- Program ESP32 cards with Arduino IDE
Here are also some projects that may interest you
- ESP8266, Deep Sleep mode test, wake up with a PIR motion detector
- #Guide: which ESP8266 module to choose, power supply, how to program it in C++ with Arduino IDE, MicroPython, ESP Easy
- #Guide: Which ESP32 development board to choose to develop DIY connected objects
- WebSocket communication with an ESP8266 or Arduino in Python. Test with the ws4py library on Raspberry Pi
- Publish the CO2 concentration of an MH-Z19 sensor to Domoticz, Arduino code compatible ESP32 / ESP8266
- Unpacking the Wemos D1 R2, ESPDuino clone, ESP8266 development board in Arduino Uno format
- ESP32 MicroPython project with several DS18B20 probes, publish the measurements to Domoticz using the HTTP JSON API
- Unpacking the Geekcreit PCA9685 I2C Shield 16 Servos + 2 DC motors for Arduino or ESPDuino (ESP8266)
- OLED display SSD1306 in MicroPython, example with a I2C digital barometer BME280 (or BMP180)
- ESP8266 + DHT22 + MQTT: make a connected object IoT and include it in Home Assistant
- Pi Imager and the configuration wizard simplify the installation of Raspberry Pi OS (old Raspbian)
- New Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ 2018 @1.4GHz, Gigabit Ethernet, Ethernet POE Daughter Card, Flash Sale at $49.99 on Gearbest
- Retrogaming Retropie Mini Console on Raspberry Pi 3 with 3.5 ” HDMI LCD Touch Screen
- #Test LCD 3.5” HDMI touch screen (via GPIO) with acrylic case for Raspberry Pi 3 under Raspbian (480×320 to 1920×1080 pixels)
- Install the Pixel Desktop on Raspbian Stretch Lite. 10 essential software for the Raspberry Pi 3
- Configure VNC on Raspbian to remotely access the Pixel desktop of the Raspberry Pi