PiMix 21.04 Download
Download PiMix 21.04 for the Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer.
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This distribution is for the Raspberry Pi 4. It will NOT work on other computers.
BTRFS with ZStd Compression
The root filesystem uses BTRFS with zstd compression.BTRFS enables the creation of filesystem snapshots which can be used to restore the system to an earlier state. This is useful for recovering from bad system upgrades and software issues. BTRFS also supports transparent compression at the filesystem level. This saves disk space, boosts storage performance, and makes the desktop more responsive when installed on an SD card.
Due to compression, less data needs to be read and written to disk. This gives a boost to read/write performance and extends the lifespan of flash-based media (SD cards and SSDs). The compressed filesystem takes around 60% less space compared to the uncompressed filesystem. PiMix can be installed on an 8 GB SD card with 4 GB of room to spare.
Snapshots can be created and restored using the PiMix Config tool.
Snapshots are useful for recovering from bad system upgrades and software issues. Create a snapshot before doing system upgrades and restore the snapshot in case of any problems. The system can be restored to a good state using snapshots even if it no longer boots. Boot from another PiMix SD card and restore a previous snapshot on the non-bootable SD card.
This is also useful for experimenting with software. You can experiment with installing new desktops, kernels, drivers, and other software. Reset the system after you finish experimenting, or keep it as a snapshot in case you wish to continue experimenting in the future.
A snapshot is created automatically when the system is first booted. You can restore this snapshot to reset the system to factory settings.
Restoring snapshots is a non-destructive operation. Your current system state (prior to restoring the snapshot) will be preserved in a new snapshot. You can restore this new snapshot later to “undo” the restore.
The snapshot functionality provided by PiMix is meant to be simple to use and requires zero configuration. Since the Raspberry Pi 4 lacks a real-time clock, the system time is not reliable. There are no scheduled snapshots. Snapshots must be created and deleted manually when required.
Various optimizations have been done to the desktop configuration to improve responsiveness. The Xfce desktop uses a bottom panel layout with modern themes and icons. You can create or change layouts using the PiMix Config tool.
The DEB version of Chromium from Debian’s Buster repository is included, instead of the Snap version from Ubuntu repositories. The Snap version of Chromium takes a long time to start on low-power systems such as the Raspberry Pi. This makes the DEB version more suitable. Firefox is also included as an alternative.
UBlock Origin is pre-installed for blocking Ads. This enables web pages to load faster since less content needs to be downloaded and displayed.
PiMix Config tool has a section for removing pre-installed software. The “Slim Desktop” option will remove most pre-installed applications except Chromium, accessories, and system tools. The “Barebones Desktop” option will remove everything and keep only the minimum packages required for a working desktop.
A snapshot is created before packages are removed. You can restore the snapshot and reboot to the previous state if needed.
The first-boot setup is done with Calamares. It will create a primary user, and configure the timezone, keyboard, and locale.
- This image is meant for use on the Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer. It does not work on other computers.
- Only a 64-bit image is available (arm64 architecture).
- These images are provided “as-is” without support or warranty.
- The download fee pays for the servers where downloads are hosted. Downloads are hosted on fast servers with direct download links and no Ads.
- This does not include support. Since this distribution is based on Ubuntu, you can find solutions to issues online by doing a quick search on Google.