My Raspberry Pi Operating System Upgrade
Tagged with cinnamon, computers, linux, raspberry pi on January 16, 2024
Yesterday morning was the first time I powered up my Raspberry Pi 400 since sometime soon after I returned to the Philippines in October. Without thinking about it, I allowed the operating system to go through its upgrade process. I realized it was a mistake when I rebooted it and the original Raspberry OS desktop environment appeared instead of the Cinnamon desktop environment.
After reading a lot of forums about the changes, I came to the conclusion I would have to start from scratch, using the latest release of the operating system. Not one story revealed a successful upgrade.
Reinstallation and Changes
I have a powered, four-port USB 3 hub plugged into one of the two USB 3 ports on the Raspberry Pi 400. Two solid-drive enclosures and one external Wi-Fi adapter are plugged into it. I installed the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS on both of the solid-state drives, and then set up overclocking and trim, as I wrote about in my first article about the machine. I left the first drive as is, but I made desktop environment changes on the second drive.
Although I used tasksel to install the Cinnamon desktop environment and then used the update-alternatives command to tell the system to boot into the Cinnamon desktop environment, it booted into the default desktop environment when I rebooted the machine.
I spent hours reading, trying to figure out what step I was missing and it turned out that I had to make changes in the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file. Every place that read “LXDE-pi-wayfire” had to be replaced with “cinnamon”. The /home/user/.dmrc file had to be changed to read “Session=cinnamon” under “[Desktop]”.
The Raspberry Pi OS Login Screen
While it was more for aesthetics than functionality, I had to change the login screen. The default login screen for Raspberry Pi OS is ugly.
I had to go back into /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and change “greeter-session=pi-greeter-wayfire” to “greeter-session=lightdm-gtk-greeter”. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to change the Debian wallpaper to something else.
Perhaps I’ll simply set the system to autologin. That way, I won’t have to see the Debian wallpaper at all.
I’m Satisfied With What I Have
The first solid-state drive is pretty much Raspberry Pi OS without any changes, other than what I mentioned. When I use RealVNC viewer from my laptop computer, it connects to “wayvnc”. The one thing I noticed right off is that I can’t transfer files back and forth with it.
The second solid-state drive boots into the Cinnamon desktop environment. When I use RealVNC viewer from my laptop computer, it connects to the RealVNC server. That one allows file transfers.
The Raspberry Pi 400 is merely a backup computer. After going to all this trouble, I’ll most likely let it sit on the desk until the next update comes along. Then, once again, I’ll probably go through the reinstallation ordeal.
I have Windows 11 in a virtual machine and I rarely look at it. When it comes to things I don’t use every day, I tend to do things like this a lot.
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