A lot of exciting changes are happening, and at least one major disappointment. There’s a new Raspbian image out(https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian), and it brings a new desktop along with it (https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/introducing-pixel). The Pixel desktop is a Pi-optimized LXDE variant, and it looks pretty much like what you’re used to if you’ve built a Pi since the beginning of the year. There are some notable changes, though.
Chromium Browser: This is the open-source version of Chrome, and while we’ve always had the ability to install it ourselves, it’s there by default now. Not only that, but it’s got some plug-ins preconfigured to make the web more Pi-friendly. In particular, it’ll force YouTube to send videos in a format that the Pi can decode more easily using hardware acceleration. That doesn’t really mean much to a server, but it’s a welcome upgrade.
Built-in VNC: That whole chapter I wrote about x11vnc? Yeah, you can forget that now. You now have a working remote desktop included in Raspbian out of the box. Just download the RealVNC Viewer and connect. It might be possible to use other viewers like UltraVNC, but it’ll take some configuration. The RealVNC viewer is small, portable (no need to install it), and works immediately. I’ve made the switch.
And now for the bad news. The folks at Code42 have been pushing updates to CrashPlan at an increasing rate, and every time CrashPlan updates itself, it breaks all of the patching and tweaking we had to do to get it running. At first, this was merely annoying. Now it’s become unmaintainable. I can’t trust my backup machine if it can be brought down at any time by a silent, compulsory update. I’m working on a new blog post about alternative approaches to using CrashPlan at home, and I’m hoping that the Pi can still be a part of that setup.
In the meantime, if you want to continue holding the Pi’s hand, and diving into the guts of CrashPlan roughly once a week, be my guest, but I won’t be putting any more time into maintaining the CrashPlan instructions unless I hear that Code42 has either started supporting ARM-based devices directly, or at least given us an alternative to stop the constant updates from undoing everything.