You Can Now Set up a Legacy Model of the Raspberry Pi OS

The newest iteration of the official Raspberry Pi OS, primarily based on Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’, provides a whole lot of new options and enhancements. Nonetheless, some Raspberry Pi customers have requested for an choice to roll again sure elements of the working system to revive some performance required for sure initiatives.

Subsequently the Raspberry Pi Basis has made a ‘Legacy’ model of the OS accessible. Let’s check out it and why you may want it.

What’s Modified in Bullseye?

As a serious replace, the Bullseye version of Raspberry Pi OS options fairly a number of adjustments. Most notably, all the desktop parts and purposes now use model 3 of the GTK+ person interface toolkit as an alternative of model 2.

On Raspberry Pi fashions with 2GB or extra RAM, a brand new Mutter window supervisor is used as an alternative of the earlier Openbox, leading to a extra fashionable and interesting desktop person interface. There’s additionally a swap to the KMS video driver for controlling the connection to a show.

For customers of Raspberry Pi Digital camera Modules, Bullseye has dropped help for the outdated raspistill and raspivid instruments for capturing stills and video in favor of libcamera.

A Bullseye bonus is that it may possibly even make your Raspberry Pi 4 run faster.

What’s the Drawback?

As famous by Raspberry Pi Chief Product Officer Gordon Hollingworth within the official blog post, shifting to a brand new upstream department of the OS may cause vital issues for some customers.


“With the brand new branches come new variations of libraries and new interfaces. Previous software program and interfaces turn into unsupported, and the best way to do particular issues adjustments,” says Hollingworth.

This will trigger issues for some customers, together with these in schooling and operating industrial purposes utilizing Raspberry Pi, who worth an unchanging OS or have developed software program to make use of explicit library variations.

What Is Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy)?

Raspberry Pi OS Legacy version

The choice Legacy model of Raspberry Pi OS rolls again sure adjustments to revive performance that some customers have been counting on.

Primarily based on the earlier launch, Raspberry Pi OS Buster, Legacy replaces Bullseye’s hardware-accelerated model of Chromium with the upstream software program browser.

The Linux kernel is branched at 5.10.y and solely takes safety patches from the Linux kernel. Raspberry Pi firmware is branched and solely takes safety and {hardware} help patches for present merchandise.

Digital camera Management

The brand new libcamera driver for Digital camera Modules featured in Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye not works with the Picamera Python bindings. Whereas a brand new model of the latter, Picamera2, is being developed, there may be presently no solution to function the digital camera simply from Python packages.

Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy) options the sooner raspistill and raspivid instructions for capturing stills and video, which can work with the Picamera library in Python.

Bullseye customers may nonetheless restore entry to raspistill and raspivid. First, ensure the OS is updated, then open a Terminal window and sort sudo raspi-config. Go to Interface Choices, then choose Legacy Digital camera and reboot.

How Do I Get Legacy?

Raspberry Pi Imager install Legacy OS

Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy) is downloadable from the official Raspberry Pi software page, in Desktop and Lite variations. It is usually accessible within the Raspberry Pi OS (different) menu of the Raspberry Pi Imager tool for flashing a microSD card. Legacy will run on any Raspberry Pi mannequin, together with the brand new Zero 2 W.

For Debian Buster, help will probably be accessible till June 2024. For the Linux 5.10 kernel, will probably be till December 2026. Observe that if Debian Bookworm turns into secure inside this era, nevertheless, Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy) will swap to Bullseye.

Roll Again to Legacy

Whereas the most recent Bullseye model of Raspberry Pi OS provides a bunch of recent options, further performance, larger open-source and Linux standardization, and improved user-friendliness, it will not be appropriate for all customers.

Subsequently, the ‘new’ Legacy model allows provides a solution to stick to an alternate Buster-based department of Raspberry Pi OS going ahead and, in response to the Raspberry Pi weblog submit, it is going to “stay supported whereas the assorted parts proceed to obtain updates.”

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