Since Raspberry Pi Imager was released just over a year ago, we’ve made a number of changes and fixes to help make it more reliable and easier to use.
But you may wonder whether it’s changed at all, because it looks almost exactly the same as it did last year. That’s not a coincidence — we’ve deliberately kept it as simple and straightforward as we can.
Raspberry Pi Imager
Our mission in designing and developing Imager was to make it as easy to use as possible, with the smallest possible number of clicks. This reduces complexity for the user and reduces the scope for users to make mistakes. However, at the same time, some of our users were asking for more complex functionality. This presented me with a tricky problem: how could we support advanced functionality, while also making it easy to use and hard to get wrong?
After much wrangling in GitHub issues, I finally folded, and decided to introduce an advanced options menu.
For those you adventurous enough to want to play with the advanced options, you need to press the magic key sequence:
Using the advanced options menu obviously involves a few extra clicks, but it’s actually pretty simple, and it’s worth a look if you find you frequently need to make config changes after you flash a new SD card. It allows you to set some common options (for example, if you set the hostname correctly you don’t need to have a static IP address), and you can either save these for future images or use them for this session only.
If you’d like to turn off telemetry, that’s fine; all it does is send a ping to the Raspberry Pi website that lets us create the statistics pages here. To understand what we send, you can read about it on our GitHub page.
Try Raspberry Pi Imager today
Raspberry Pi Imager is available for Windows, macOS, Ubuntu for x86, and Raspberry Pi OS. Download options are available on our Downloads page, or you can use sudo apt install rpi-imager in a Terminal window to install it on a Raspberry Pi.
Once installed, simply follow the on-screen instructions and you’re good to go. Here’s a handy video to show just how easy it is to prepare your SD card.
Note: We’re not *really* here, we just dropped in to point you in the right direction with your new Raspberry Pi toys, then we’re disappearing again to enjoy the rest of the festive season. See you on 4 January 2021!
So… what did you get? We launched a ton of new products this year, so we’ll walk you through what to do with each of them, as well as how to get started if you received a classic Raspberry Pi.
First things first: welcome! You’re one of us now, so why not take a moment to meet your fellow Raspberry Pi folk and join our social communities?
If you got a Raspberry Pi 400 unit on its own, you’ll need to find a mouse and power supply as well as a monitor. You also won’t have received the official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide that comes with the kit, so you can pick one up from the Raspberry Pi Press online store, or download a PDF for free, courtesy of The MagPi magazine.
Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera
You are going to LOVE playing around with this if you got one in your stocking. The Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera is 12.3 megapixels of fun, and the latest addition to the Raspberry Pi camera family.
Once you’ve got the hang of things, our forum will become your home from home. Gazillions of Raspberry Pi superfans hang out there and can answer pretty much any question you throw at them – try searching first, because many questions have already been asked and answered, and perhaps yours has too.
Robots, games, digital art & more
When you’re feeling comfortable with the basics, why not head over to our projects page and pick something cool to make?
The Raspberry Pi blog is also a great place to find inspiration. We share the best projects from our global community, and things for all abilities pop up every week day. If you want us to do the heavy lifting for you, just sign up to Raspberry Pi Weekly, and we’ll send you the top blogs and Raspberry Pi-related news each week.
And if you got your very own Babbage Bear: love them, cherish them, and keep them safe. They’re of a nervous disposition so talk quietly to them for the first few days, to let them get used to you.
Just in time for the holidays, we’ve updated Raspberry Pi Imager to add some new functionality.
New submenu support: previous versions of Raspberry Pi Imager were limited to a single level of submenu. This limitation has been fixed so we can group images into different categories, such as general purpose operating systems, media players, and gaming and emulation.
New icons from our design team: easy on the eyes!
Version tracking: the menu file that Imager downloads from the Raspberry Pi website now includes an entry defining its latest version number, so in future, we can tell you when an updated Imager application is available.
Download telemetry: we’ve added some simple download telemetry to help us log how popular the various operating systems are.
You can go to our software page to download and install the new version 1.5 release of Raspberry Pi Imager and use it now.
We haven’t done telemetry in Imager before, and since people tend — rightly — to be concerned about applications gathering data, we want to explain exactly what we are doing and why: we’re logging which operating systems and categories people download, so we can make sure the most popular options are easy enough to find in Raspberry Pi Imager’s menu system.
We don’t record any personal data, such as your IP address; the information we collect allows us to see the number of downloads of each operating system over time, and nothing else. You’ll find more detailed information, including how to opt out of telemetry, in the Raspberry Pi Imager GitHub README.md.
You can see which OSes are most often downloaded too, on our stats page.
As you can see, the default recommended Raspberry Pi OS image is indeed the most downloaded option. The recently released Ubuntu Desktop for Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400 is the most popular third-party operating system.
Since lockdown started, I’ve found I often miss video meetings. It’s not intentional, I simply loose track of time. Though my phone is set to remind me of upcoming meetings ten minutes before they begin, I have a habit of trying to fill that time with something productive and before I know it, I have Eben on the phone, fifteen minutes after the meeting’s start, asking where I am.
Fixing the issue using code
Due to this, and because I was interested in playing with the Google API and learning a little more Python, I decided to write a simple application that will get your upcoming events from your Google Calendar and give you notifications as often as you want, visually on screen as well as through sound.
I call it NextEvent
Here’s the video tutorial to show you more:
And here’s the written tutorial too!
Installing NextEvent to your Raspberry Pi
To install NextEvent, open a terminal window (Ctrl-Alt-T) on Raspberry Pi and type:
This will get the files from my GitHub repository. Next you’ll need to install some dependencies, and I’ve created a script to make that easy:
The dependencies are dateutil (a library for manipulating time and dates), the Google API client libraries, and the gi-cairo library (which is for drawing the GUI).
Then fire up NextEvent:
The next thing you’ll see is NextEvent starting up, and then it’ll open Chromium. It is here that you will give Google permission to share your calendar with the application.
You’ll then need to log into your Google account and give NextEvent access to your calendar. Chromium will tell you when everything is fine and you can close the browser.
Now you can see your next five events along with the time left until each one. When the time gets down to five minutes, the application will turn red and ‘ding’ at you. It’ll ‘ding’ twice at one minute to go, and four times when your meeting is about to start!
In case you want to delve into the code, maybe to create a meeting room ‘now and next’ display, the nextevent.py source contains the GUI and event processing part of NextEvent. You should be able to go here and change the number of lines, the colours, and the notification sounds.
How does it work?
If you’re the sort that likes to know HOW the code works, here’s a follow-up to the tutorial video where I explain exactly that!
Raspberry Pi is excited to bring the Khronos OpenVX 1.3 API to our line of single-board computers. Here’s Kiriti Nagesh Gowda, AMD‘s MTS Software Development Engineer, to tell you more.
OpenVX for computer vision
OpenVX™ is an open, royalty-free API standard for cross-platform acceleration of computer vision applications developed by The Khronos Group. The Khronos Group is an open industry consortium of more than 150 leading hardware and software companies creating advanced, royalty-free acceleration standards for 3D graphics, augmented and virtual reality, vision, and machine learning. Khronos standards include Vulkan®, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, and many others.
Now with added Raspberry Pi
The Khronos Group and Raspberry Pi have come together to work on an open-source implementation of OpenVX™ 1.3, which passes the conformance on Raspberry Pi. The open-source implementation passes the Vision, Enhanced Vision, & Neural Net conformance profiles specified in OpenVX 1.3 on Raspberry Pi.
Application developers may always freely use Khronos standards when they are available on the target system. To enable companies to test their products for conformance, Khronos has established an Adopters Program for each standard. This helps to ensure that Khronos standards are consistently implemented by multiple vendors to create a reliable platform for developers. Conformant products also enjoy protection from the Khronos IP Framework, ensuring that Khronos members will not assert their IP essential to the specification against the implementation.
OpenVX enables a performance and power-optimized computer vision processing, especially important in embedded and real-time use cases such as face, body, and gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics, and more. The developers can take advantage of using this robust API in their application and know that the application is portable across all the conformant hardware.
Below, we will go over how to build and install the open-source OpenVX 1.3 library on Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. We will run the conformance for the Vision, Enhanced Vision, & Neural Net conformance profiles and create a simple computer vision application to get started with OpenVX on Raspberry Pi.
IBM’s World Community Grid is working with scientists at Scripps Research on computational experiments to help find potential COVID-19 treatments. Anyone with a Raspberry Pi and an internet connection can help.
Why is finding potential treatments for COVID-19 so important?
Scientists all over the globe are working hard to create a vaccine that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, this process is likely to take many months — or possibly even years.
In the meantime, scientists are also searching for potential treatments for the symptoms of COVID-19. A project called OpenPandemics – COVID-19 is one such effort. The project is led by researchers in the Forli Lab at Scripps Research, who are enlisting the help of World Community Grid volunteers.
What is World Community Grid and how does it work?
World Community Grid is an IBM social responsibility initiative that supports humanitarian scientific research.
As a World Community Grid volunteer, you download a secure software program to your Raspberry Pi, macOS or Windows computer, or Android device. This software program (called BOINC) is used to run World Community Grid projects, and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi OS and most other operating systems. Then, when your device is not using its full power, it automatically runs a simulated experiment in the background that will help predict the effectiveness of a particular chemical compound as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Finally, your device automatically returns the results of the completed simulation and requests the next simulation.
Over the course of the project, volunteers’ devices will run millions of simulations of small molecules interacting with portions of the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a process known as molecular docking, which is the study of how two or more molecules fit together. When a simulated chemical compound fits, or ‘docks’, with a simulation of part of the virus that causes COVID-19, that interaction may point to a potential treatment for the disease.
World Community Grid combines the results from your device along with millions of results from other volunteers all over the world and sends them to the Scripps Research team for analysis. While this process doesn’t happen overnight, it accelerates dramatically what would otherwise take many years, or might even be impossible.
OpenPandemics – COVID-19 is the first World Community Grid project to harness the power of Raspberry Pi devices, but the World Community Grid technical team is already working to make other projects available for Raspberry Pi very soon.
Getting ready for future pandemics
Scientists have learned from past outbreaks that pandemics caused by newly emerging pathogens may become more and more common. That’s why OpenPandemics – COVID-19 was designed to be rapidly deployed to fight future diseases, ideally before they reach a critical stage.
To help address future pandemics, researchers need access to swift and effective tools that can be deployed very early, as soon as a threatening disease is identified. So, the researchers behind OpenPandemics – COVID-19 are creating a software infrastructure to streamline the process of finding potential treatments for other diseases. And in keeping with World Community Grid’s open data policy, they will make their findings and these tools freely available to the scientific community.
Join a global community of science supporters
World Community Grid is thrilled to make OpenPandemics – COVID-19 available to everyone who wants to donate computing power from their Raspberry Pi. Every device can play a part in helping the search for COVID-19 treatments. Please join us!