The Raspberry Pi Report
During all the Pi Zero hype and showcasing, most of us probably didn’t realize that the Raspbian OS got a much needed update. While this update isn’t a major release, it still contained some amazing features. If you are running Raspbian Jessie, then take a moment to read over this article so you won’t be left out in the cold. I’ll go over the best parts of the update and also provide install instructions on how to get all this on your current Raspbian install. If you are eager to pull down the update, then feel free to jump to the end of the article and follow the instructions provided.
Node-RED: One of the biggest features of this release is support for Node-RED. Though the name is new to probably a lot of people, the concepts and design of what Node-RED does are not. Using Node-RED, you are now able to put together an IoT project through a drag-and-drop interface. The pure graphical aspect of Node-RED will appeal to many users since designing an IoT project isn’t the easiest thing to do. Also check out the latest episode of The Pi Podcast, where we interview Dr. Lucy Rogers, who assisted in putting together an IoT project for a dinosaur amusement project using Node-RED as the base.
Pi package manager: A new graphical package manager is now available, which is a feature I could not be more happy about. This Pi package manager closely resembles the application manager that comes by default with Linux Mint and performs just as well. Search for what applications you desire by either a specific name or browse according to a topic, select the application and then install, job well done. One of the biggest issues with Raspbian has been trying to replace the default web browser with something more substantial, such as FireFox. Now using the Pi package manager, within a couple of minutes I was able to install IceWeasel, which is a Firefox clone, from the Free Software Foundation’s GNUzilla project , and went about my work.
GPIO Zero: In my last article, I talked about how amazing GPIO Zero was for anyone who is looking to interface with the GPIO pins and how GPIO Zero had its first big feature release. With this latest update, the support for GPIO Zero is now available for use with Raspbian. If you are working with the GPIO pins and are still using the RPi.GPIO library, I highly recommend that you install the GPIO Zero update.
…and there’s more – Scratch and Epiphany both received some updates that will help out with overall performance. Scratch now has updated Japanese files, while Epiphany has improved video playback. Pi Zero support also comes bundled into the update as well.
1. Open up the terminal in Raspbian.
2. Enter the cmd:
sudo apt update
3. Enter the cmd:
sudo apt upgrade(this will take several minutes to upgrade everything)
4. To install Node-Red:
sudo apt install nodered
5. To install the Pi package manager:
sudo apt install pi-package
6. To install GPIO Zero:
sudo apt install python-gpiozero python3-gpiozero(this will install support for both Python2 and Python3 in GPIO Zero)
Leave me a comment if you encounter any problems with the install.
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