back to article Raspberry Pi OS 5.2 is here, with pleasant tweaks to Wayland-based desktop

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has updated its Debian 12-based OS for the pocket-sized powerhouse, with the newest LTS kernel. Although there's no version number in the release notes, the new installment of the official Raspberry Pi OS calls itself version 5.2 on the startup splash screen. Like version 5, which we checked out …

  1. druck Silver badge

    No way-land

    I'll have to see what the upgrade does for my non Wayland Pi 5, as when I tried a fresh install of Bookworm it was awful, so different to what I've been used to. I couldn't even get Wayland to change resolution from FullHD on a 1440p monitor and rsyslog wasn't installed by default - there is no excuse for that. I tried to install my usual Mate desktop and it completely ignored it, booting back in Pixel, even after configuring X.org. Hopeless.

    From my very first Raspberry Pi Model B with 256MB, I've always upgraded the OS in place and moved the card to each new model of Pi I've bought. This worked through every OS version and Pi all the way up to Bullseye on a Pi 4B. I'd had the 64 bit kernel installed for sometime to play with 64 bit containers, but I was still using a 32 userland, then about a year ago I moved from 32 bit to 64 bit by taking a clean install on another partition, getting the same same packages on it as the 32 bit, then copying over the contents of /home and /etc, so not quite an in-place cross-grade but effectively ended acting like one.

    After seeing how different a clean install of bookworm was on the Pi 5B, I decided, despite the dire warnings, to do an in place upgrade from the 64 bit bullseye to bookworm on the Pi 4 and I was pleased to find after following the instructions at PiMyLifeUp it worked perfectly. A few more steps than a normal in place upgrade, but I kept a working Mate desktop, rsyslog and all the rest of my setup tuned over the past 12 years, but with no Wayland or the other changes like getting rid of dhcpcd. It was then a simple step take that card out of the Pi 4 and put it in to the new Pi 5, to enjoy the 3x performance increase.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: No way-land

      > rsyslog wasn't installed by default - there is no excuse for that.

      Except it being a systemd based system. So it doesn't need rsyslog.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: No way-land

        I think we're gonna need a "Devuan" style makeover on RPi OS

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: No way-land

          There are unofficial Devuan images. That's what I'm running. I switched to that when I couldn't get USB webcams working with RPi OS.

          Edit: there was a review here a while back that said it was a good non-systemd distro for RPis, but damned if I can't find it.

      2. druck Silver badge

        Re: No way-land

        Except it being a systemd based system. So it doesn't need rsyslog.

        Yeah lets throw out looking at simple text logs in /var/log as that's far too easy. Instead how about a bloody convoluted journalctl program will a million options to try to extract something from the 2.5GB of binary effluent journald has left on my drive.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: No way-land

      "I tried to install my usual Mate desktop and it completely ignored it, booting back in Pixel, even after configuring X.org. Hopeless."

      It sounds like they did TOO much integration of that desktop. I am guessing that deliberately UNINSTALLING the userland and starting from scratch might fix it. Boot to console for a while until it is re-done.

      Might be a little difficult to do that though.

      Also for EMBEDDED use, Wayland is a SHOW STOPPER. You ABSOLUTELY need to work on programs REMOTELY from a desktop, and that means using DISPLAY and XOrg.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: No way-land

        Also terminating all user processes just because you log out is kind of heavy handed. I hate it when systems believe they are smarter than me, and decide things. If there's a process I put in the background there's a reason for that.

        And I lovemaking hate the "logs" of systemd, and the whole thing as it is implemented now. I understand the idea of the init part, it is welcome. I hate that it now is needed for everything (why should the display manager or the desktop environment depend on it?). But I digress.

        Oh, and speaking of the systemd logs, why on earth does the install not limit the size of the logs by default to a sensible value? Why does it not rotate them? Instead it just fills up the root partition with rather cryptic files...

        I'm too old for this.

    3. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      Re: No way-land

      Learn ansible and figure out how to turn your ten years of hacking into a script

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No way-land

      You know you're old when you can't learn new technologies any more. Didn't dhcpd go obsolete 15 years ago?

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: No way-land

        No, it did not. dhcpd had its EOL update in late 2022. There are, of course, other DHCP daemons.

        The advent of IPV6 didn't magically make the requirement for DHCP obsolete; it is not going anywhere as long as IPV4 still rules the roost.

  2. captain veg Silver badge

    800MB

    > We only had a couple of gigs free before we started, and afterwards, we're down to under 800MB of free space.

    I get this from time to time. My system currently has 2TB of storage, but at the time I set it up the delivered SSD boasted a whole 256GB. Out of which I gave 30GB to the root partition, and loads more to home. Seemed like the right thing at the time.

    Haven't yet run out of space on /root, but the periodic warnings are worrying.

    Commentards are hereby invited to suggest how much of my 2TB I should dedicate to /root.

    Is this the right forum to reminisce about my first 20MB hard drive?

    -A.

    1. Erik Pedersen
      Thumb Up

      Re: 800MB

      >> Is this the right forum to reminisce about my first 20MB hard drive?

      Or about devices like my 1980s-era 64K CP/M machine, which provided only 62K for running WordStar, my text editor, since the OS had gobbled up a massive 2K.

      — Erik

      1. The Dark Side Of The Mind (TDSOTM)

        Re: 800MB

        Or the 48k available 'cause 16k were ROM... Because CP/M wasn't available until Spectrum 3+ for pedestrians like me... and by the time it was available in my corner of the world, the world moved to 16 bits...

      2. Lon24

        Re: 800MB

        20MB? The first generation of HDD PCs was 5MB - absolutely massive and fast alongside the 5.25 floppy. It seemed to be sometime before 10MB and 20MB disks cut in. Later when I started my own company - my first big deal was selling 200 x 150MB disks to a computer company. I've got my price list from that era filed away somewhere ... eye watering these days.

        1. simonlb Silver badge

          Re: 800MB

          5MB? Luxury! All we had was an abacus with three beads on it. Bloody kids these days, don't know they're born.

      3. Rickrcomm

        Re: 800MB

        And if you used my MicroShell Unix-like command shell, you lost a few more kB.

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: 800MB

      1. tell systemd to rotate its lovemaking logs and limit the total size or retention time.

      2. If you run docker, theres lots of data in /var/libs/docker (all the file system data of your containers in fact). Whoever decided to put this into /var/lib.... dunno. Tell docker in its main setting json (too lazy to look it up now, sorry) to store that somewhere else. Copy all files there, restart docker...

      Those two are the main problems on my smaller systems.

    3. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

      Re: 800MB

      "Commentards are hereby invited to suggest how much of my 2TB I should dedicate to /root."

      Next to nothing as it usually only contains your . configuration files. You would mean / the root directory containing the entire system not /root the root user home directory.

      zeus@9600k:~$ df -h

      Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on

      tmpfs 3.2G 4.9M 3.2G 1% /run

      /dev/nvme1n1p2 40G 13G 27G 32% /

      tmpfs 16G 112M 16G 1% /dev/shm

      tmpfs 5.0M 24K 5.0M 1% /run/lock

      efivarfs 256K 65K 187K 26% /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

      /dev/nvme1n1p3 79G 22G 57G 28% /home

      My install the other partitions on the 2TB nvme boot drive contain the vast majority of the larger files

      on my system so the 40GB / and ~80Gb /home are sufficient for their needs. Only once had a warning when the systemd garbage filled the / with runaway log file(s) due to a failing video card and its warnings. This was after a fresh reboot this very morning on a system upgrade so the / is smallish compared to a running for days system with all the temp files junk that accumulates until you do a reboot and it gets wiped. It is a full install of the Kubuntu 24.04 KDE 5 development version.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: 800MB

        Yes, sorry, of course I meant / (root).

        Looks like moving /var to its own partition might be wise, but /usr is the biggest hog (16G)..

        -A.

    4. bartsmit
      Boffin

      Re: 800MB

      I have moved Pi 4 with PoE hats to PXE boot. It is faster and gets rid of the nagging worry about SD card lifespan.

      Besides, it's just plain elegant to have a single wire take care of everything.

  3. werdsmith Silver badge

    "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has updated its Debian 12-based OS for the pocket-sized powerhouse"

    Are you sure?

    1. James Hughes 1

      This is so annoying. It's been Raspberry Pi Ltd for some years, and yet people STILL use Foundation. The Foundation is the educational charity, Ltd is the company that does all the technical stuff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's been Raspberry Pi Ltd since late 2021, Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd before that. But it's been very convenient for sales to conflate a commercial business with a charitable venture. Raspberry Pi Ltd doesn't even give gift aid to the charity any more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You are ascribing intention where there is none. Raspberry Pi Ltd is wholly owned by the Foundation but operated as an independent entity (and I can tell you don't like being mistaken for the Foundation)

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Foundation people will also be fed up with having the finger pointed at them for the unofficial price gouging that happened during the penuries.

          That wasn't even the fault of Raspberry Pi Limited, so whining about the Foundation is just idiotic.

  4. ldo

    Flash Storage Contortions

    The irony of flash storage (SD cards, USB sticks, SSDs) is that they have these elaborate controllers to handle all the wear-levelling and make them look like disks as much as possible, so they can use conventional disk-oriented filesystems like Microsoft’s FAT.

    But Linux offers filesystems specifically designed for use on Flash storage, that build the wear levelling directly into their block allocation algorithms. Running these would make so much more sense, leaving out the complicated intermediate controller layers. But you can’t get the flash storage in that raw form—not off the shelf, anyway.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Flash Storage Contortions

      Since most of the devices we're talking about are using standard hardware like SD cards instead of a custom flash storage integrated directly with the board, that makes a lot of sense. I wouldn't want to have to deal with SD cards, some of which will work with all devices because they have wear leveling in firmware, and some of which can only be used with a filesystem and operating system built to do it for them. I have enough trouble with identical-looking cards with vastly different speed classes, although this is made easier by none of the devices that I see supporting the faster ones anyway. It's a recipe for people buying a card and not understanding why it fails to work in many devices, including Linux machines because they didn't apply such a filesystem when they formatted it. If there's a basic compatibility layer that exposes it anyway, then they'll just fail fast for anyone who didn't format them that way. I question whether the wear leveling software is that much better at extending life compared with the firmware on the cards to begin with.

  5. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Vertically integrated?

    "But Linux offers filesystems specifically designed for use on Flash storage, that build the wear levelling directly into their block allocation algorithms. Running these would make so much more sense, leaving out the complicated intermediate controller layers."

    Years ago when cheap conventional disks became a bit more clever I had a similar idea that for file/storage systems that manage from blocks to file system (like ZFS) could benefit from seeing right down to the physical media level (cyl.,track,sect.) and any errors from the media read/write system. I suspected in large disk arrays this information could be used to more quickly and reliably predict failure and through the proactive reassignment of disk resources avoid performance degradation.

    NAS grade disks seem to some of this by not (endlessly?) retrying failed operations.

    I guess you could experiment with commodity disks replacing the logic boards with a microcontrollers and some analog chips to read & write media and position the heads.

  6. 5ft24

    When they updated to the 6.6.20 kernel, they also killed the current methods of GPIO control. RPI.GPIO no longer works, nor do the Python libraries. All deprecated. Yet the pi foundation did t mention it, nor provide a workaround

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Killing the point of the system, surely? Or am I missing something.

    2. msage

      This totally breaks some hats including the excellent witty pi hats, there is a fix on their forums, however, if you update before doing the fix you can find your pi not bootable :(

    3. timrowledge

      GPIO was changed to the upstream standard.

  7. Binraider Silver badge

    I'll no doubt experiment with this shortly.

    My main grumble with Raspbian remains the awful package manager(s). If the system is supposed to be about accessibility, throwing a badly formatted list package names at the user with little guidance isn't good.

    It's fine once you already know what you what - but try viewing the experience through the eyes of an 8 year old that's only ever touched playstation.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Raspberry PI OS (I can't remember how many years ago it was called Raspbian, but it's a long time) has an Add/Remove software application in the GUI now.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        It does indeed; but it's poor unless you know already know the package name you want. If you know that, then you probably just sudo apt the thing.

        All it needs is a few groups of interesting applications to guide the guide the user towards them.

        I am not a Ubuntu fan, but on this point, their user interface is leagues ahead. And so was Fedora. Can't speak for recent releases of the latter, I haven't touched it since IBM got it's grubby mitts on it.

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    Pi OS

    Installs quickly

    fast boots

    Negative

    Low compatibility (Wayland?)

    Near zero theming and desktop customisation. Very like Windows 10 and the only advantage of Win 10 is running x86-64 Window programs.

    Slow GUI

    Slow Applications

    So I installed the Ubuntu Mate ARM64 on a second SD card.

    Not a fan of Ubuntu, though used it for years. Much longer to install and slower to boot. I was able to install debi and symantic package manager from the Software Boutique and then install ARM versions of Linux Mint + Mate applications I use and also ditch some of the Ubuntu specivfic stuff.

    Fully customisable desktop

    GUI faster

    Applications faster

    More compatible

    Uses X rather than Wayland.

    All on 2G RAM Raspberry Pi 4B I'd just bought and a Lexar 32 G micro SD card. Configuration of updates, kernels, installing packages etc all a bit iffy compared to Mint on Ubuntu PI, but better than Win10!

    Wayland isn't ready and why try to imitate one MS worst GUIs (in terms of flexibility and usability) since Windows 2.x? Vista and XP could easily be made like Win2K / Win98. Win 7 isn't to bad.

    1. timrowledge

      Re: Pi OS

      Changing to use X instead of Wayland takes a few seconds and a reboot. I expect you could manage that without too much pain.

  9. Altrux

    Updates schmupdates

    Amazing how long installing these updates takes, even on a Pi5. I ran this one the other night and it was a good 20 mins to install the updated kernel and all the rest, having last updated around 5-6 weeks ago. I guess it's the really slow SD storage causing this, as the CPU didn't seem to be sweating much (and the fan didn't run).

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