The latest update to Raspberry Pi OS

We have just released the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS.

This time, it’s mainly a summary of all the bug fixes and new software versions that have been released since the previous image in April; but there are some small tweaks to the user experience that we should probably mention…

New

main search menu

For people who prefer to type instead of moving the mouse, we’ve modified the main menu add-on on the taskbar to allow text search. Just press the Raspberry key on your keyboard (which is usually the Windows key on a keyboard other than Raspberry Pi) to open the main menu and start typing the name of the app you want to launch. When you start typing, a search box appears, along with a list of all the apps whose names contain the text you’ve typed.

menu

You can move the cursor with the up and down arrow keys, and then simply press enter to launch the one you want, or double-click with your mouse

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If you don’t start typing anything, the main menu will continue to work exactly as it did before; This is just an additional functionality, not a replacement for the existing menu. Note that the search box only appears once you start typing text; You don’t see it if you just open the menu and use it normally.

New

audio input control

In previous versions, the volume icon on the taskbar could be used to select output and input audio devices. For this version, it has been divided into two separate icons, one for output and one for input. If you connect an audio device that is capable of input, either via USB or Bluetooth, a microphone icon will appear in the taskbar next to the existing speaker icon.

mic

To select the audio input device, right-clicking the microphone

displays a list of available input devices, and

then you can click the one you want to use.

Also, when you left-click on the microphone icon, a volume control appears that can be used to adjust the input level or mute the microphone completely.

Picamera2

This version includes the new Picamera2 Python camera interface. This is a higher-level interface to the existing libcamera and is easier to use, and guarantees your own blog post with a complete description. Keep an eye out for this in the coming days!

New

keyboard shortcuts

One thing that some people have pointed out is that it is not possible to access the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi menus on the taskbar from the keyboard; you need a mouse to use them.

In this release, we’ve added keyboard shortcuts to access this functionality: pressing Ctrl-Alt-B opens the Bluetooth menu, and Ctrl-Alt-W opens the Wi-Fi menu. Once the menu is open, the up and down keys of the cursor can be used to navigate. Enter selects the highlighted item and Escape closes the menu.

NetworkManager Support

In previous releases, we have used software called dhcpcd to manage much of the network functionality. In particular, it manages the connection to Wi-Fi networks: when you click on the network icon in the taskbar and choose a Wi-Fi network from the menu, all this is controlled by dhcpcd.

Many other Linux distributions are now using a piece of software called NetworkManager to do the same job, which seems to be becoming the de facto standard, so we’ve added the option to use NetworkManager on Raspberry Pi OS. At present, dhcpcd is still the default, you must change to NetworkManager if you want to use it, but in some future release, NetworkManager will become the default.

Why change? Mainly because NetworkManager adds a lot of additional features that you may find useful. It allows you to easily connect to wireless networks with hidden SSIDs. It makes managing VPN connections easier. And it allows you to easily set up a Raspberry Pi as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

NetworkManager support should be considered a beta feature for now: there may be a strange situation where something doesn’t work as expected. If you rely on a Pi to have a fault-free network, the safest thing to do is to stay on dhcpcd for now; but if you want the new features and are happy to live with the possibility that it will be a little less reliable, feel free to try NetworkManager: you can always go back to dhcpcd if you run into problems.

To switch to NetworkManager, simply open a terminal window and type:

sudo raspi-config

This starts the configuration tool. Go to option 6, Advanced options, and then option AA, Network Settings: choose option 2, NetworkManager, and then restart when prompted.

Once restarted, NetworkManager should be running: to verify, open the Wi-Fi menu on the taskbar. It should now include an additional submenu at the bottom, Advanced Options – this is where you can connect to a hidden network, create an access point, or set up VPN connections. There are also a couple of useful information dialogs that allow you to view and change the parameters for any network connection already configured.

nm

Once you have switched to NetworkManager, you will need to reconnect to any Wi-Fi network you were connected to under dhcpcd – connections are not automatically transferred between the two systems. Similarly, if you have made any customizations to a wired connection, such as setting a static IP address, you will need to redo those customizations in NetworkManager. (Most of these settings can be accessed through the connection editor, accessed from the “Edit Connections” option in the Advanced Options submenu.)

To use a VPN, you need to install the corresponding VPN plugin. The OpenVPN plugin is useful for many networks. To add it, open a terminal window and type:

sudo apt install network-manager-openvpn-gnome

When this has been installed, choosing the “Add VPN connection” option in the Advanced Options menu will open a dialog box offering OpenVPN as the connection type.

If you find that NetworkManager is causing problems, you can use raspi-config to go back to dhcpcd – simply enter the Network Settings option as described above, and choose option 1, DHCPCD.

How do I get it?

The new image is available for download from the usual place: our Downloads page. You can also flash directly to an SD card using Raspberry Pi Imager.

To update an existing image, use the usual terminal command:

sudo apt update sudo apt full-upgrade Then, to

load the new taskbar add-ons, launch Appearance Settings from the Preferences section of the main menu, and on the Defaults tab, press the button corresponding to your preferred size. Then restart – this will reload the taskbar and load the new plugins.

To install NetworkManager on an existing image, open a terminal and type:

sudo apt install network-manager

As always, all comments are welcome, so please leave your comments below!

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