We get the new raspberry board, we take it out of the box, we put it in another one, better the official one with a fan, we put Raspberry Pi OS on a USB or SSD disk, better than on a microSD and... Where to start? A Raspberry Pi 5 It is like all the others, but much more powerful. This means that we will be able to do the same as before or more and better. But how are these things done?
We have recently updated the article about the latest version of Raspberry PiOS to show you how to install it on the Raspberry Pi 5. Nothing new; We have taken advantage of the moment, since the installation is practically the same, if not the same as always. What we are going to tell you today are things that we can do after installing the operating system, and one of them will be to activate support for the next generation packages that are most liked in the Linux community.
Raspberry Pi 5, its system and its possibilities
Although it is far from being like a good computer or offering the performance of a Steam Deck, with the RPi5 there has been a huge leap in terms of performance. Raspberry Pi OS is the official system of the project, it is based on Debian and… it is very much Debian. It is Debian with LXQt and what they consider gives them their personal touch. If I explain that it is Debian, it is because it does not make some things as easy as, for example, KDE neon or Manjaro, that activating support for flatpak packages or installing most software is done with a couple of clicks. But let's start with the things we can do with the RPi5 after installing Bookworm
Update system and pending packages
The first thing to do is apply all available updates. The best way is to look at the top right. There is a blue icon with a downward arrow that already gives us clues as to what it is for. If we right click on it we can see what is about to be updated or directly install the updates by selecting "Install Updates". Note that it may take your time, especially if this is being done by someone with a plate older than the fifth.
Tweak Raspberry Pi Settings
From Raspberry Pi configuration, later “Raspberry Pi Configuration” which will be in Preferences, we can make important changes. For example, put it in Spanish, choose our keyboard layout, change the resolution or activate the configuration in case we have something with a fan. The official box has one connected to the GPIO pins, and when it detects that it is at a certain temperature it can speed it up or slow it down. All this can be configured from this section.
In the System tab we can, if we want, change the password, the name of the host or make it ask for a password when starting, something important if we are going to share the board and have sensitive data.
Try the new included Firefox
The latest version of Raspberry Pi OS has included the browser by default Firefox. But this does not mean that it is the default browser, since Chromium continues. We don't know if the company has plans to change in the future, but now Chromium coexists with Firefox. It is noteworthy that in the Mozilla browser it is also possible to activate DRM support, and to those who think this is normal, well, they simply did not have a Raspberry Pi 3-4 years ago, when I had to install a package on purpose or download something from Chrome OS so you can watch or listen to protected content.
Install Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 5
Kodi It is one of the mandatory programs, something you have to have, a must have. On the Raspberry Pi 5 it already works like a desktop computer, there are no noticeable jerks or anything like that. It is installed from "Add / Remove software", a package manager type application that I have never seen in Spanish... What you have to do is search for "kodi" from the search box at the top left, check the Kodi box Media Center, click “Apply” and then enter the password.
It will install two versions, one normal and the other "Full Screen". The second is not that it looks more complete than the first, it is that it is a version that leaves the operating system, so to speak, and focuses all its resources on making Kodi work at full capacity.
Take a look at the list of recommended software
In the “Preferences” menu we find “Recommended Software”. It is a list with software that the raspberry people consider interesting. There we find, for example, LibreOffice and Visual Studio Code.
Enable support for flatpak packages
Even though Canonical doesn't like it, developers much prefer flatpaks to snaps. It has reached a point where a lot of software is either in a tarball (.tar.gz) with binaries or directly in Flathub. The good thing is that many programs support the Raspberry Pi architecture. The bad thing is that it is only for 64-bit. If this is what you have installed on your Raspberry Pi 5, from Flathub you can install the latest version of Telegram or Vivaldi.
Activating support is as simple as opening a terminal and typing these commands:
apt install flatpak flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://dl.flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
The bad thing is that it is not like other distributions, they are not installed the same and they are not launched the same. To install flatpaks you have to go to Flathub, search for a program, click on the arrow next to "Install", copy the command to install a program, paste it into a terminal and hit enter.
It also does not create a shortcut in the applications menu, which we will have to do on our own. Either that or run the command to start the program every time we want to launch it (tip: better from "Run"). Yes, it does, although it may take a while to refresh the application launcher.
Install emulators on the Raspberry Pi 5
There are several ways to execute emulators on the Raspberry Pi 5. If one wants to do it from a dedicated drive, that is, a USB or microSD card just for that, from Imager you can install Recalbox, Lakka or RetroPie. All three will work, but we will have to change cards/USB to do everything we want to do.
If we only want to use one operating system, there are several options to consider:
- Install RetroPie on an existing system. In this link You have the official documentation. It is important to keep in mind that RetroPie has not been updated since March 2022, and I believe that there are better options, although less easy to obtain.
- Install EmulationStation-DE. This is without a doubt, or I have no doubts, the best option. It's like RetroPie, but updated and with more frequent updates. In this article We explain how it works and what it can do. The bad? That there is nothing prepared for the Raspberry Pi and everything has to be compiled manually. The instructions are is located here.
- Install RetroArch + Pegasus. Both RetroPie and EmulationStation (DE or normal) use RetroArch under the hood. What they really are are interfaces to organize it better, like libraries. RetroPie is a little more than that, because it also installs the "cores" or "systems", but basically it is RetroArch. So, another thing that can be done is, since we have support for flatpak packages enabled:
- install RetroArch from Flathub. Then we enter and in the online update section we download the "cores" that we need.
- to install Pegasus and use it as a library or interface.
Help! I hear nothing! I am deaf?
No, you're not deaf. The Raspberry Pi 5, like the rest, by default tries to output the sound through the jack port. To hear it, you just have to right-click on the speaker in the system tray and choose HDMI, as long as it is connected to a monitor using this type of connection.
I hope this article has helped you take your first steps with your new great acquisition.