Pixel Desktop is the default GUI of Raspbian operating system made for Raspberry Pi. Recently Pixel Desktop was released for x86 platform. This means you can run the same desktop on your PC as on Raspberry Pi.
At the moment only Live image of Pixel Desktop is available for x86. You can boot up PC from USB stick but not install Pixel Desktop on your hard disk - officially. However, there is a work-around; Refracta Tools makes it possible for anyone to install Pixel Desktop on hard disk.
The installation on hard disk - take the following steps
- First of all, think twice before you do anything. Do understand it's all happening at your own risk! Ok, go on and download a derived version of Pixel Desktop with Refracta Tools pre-installed here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/debian-pixel/ . It's made by Exton Linux and you can read more at Exton Linux web site: Run Raspberry Pi PIXEL Desktop on a PC or Mac – an Exton modified Build 161223 with Refracta Tools .
- Next, burn the image on a USB stick (2 GB stick is big enough). Use your favourite app to do that. There are many apps to choose from; Win32DiskImager for Windows, command dd for Linux etc.
- Finally, boot up your PC from Live USB stick. Once the graphical user interface is up and running look for System Tools -> Refracta Installer (see the picture below). You need to create and choose at least one partition for Pixel Desktop on hard disk. A wizard helps you and launches an app for partitioning. In the end of install you'll be asked to type in passwords for Pixel Desktop.
After setup you can run (in Terminal-app) sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade to get the latest updates and to see if your PC is connected to the Internet.
For all you non-English-keyboard-users: different keyboard layouts are there for you to pick up. Browse Preferences -> Mouse and keyboard settings -> Keyboard tab -> Keyboard Layout button.
What if Refracta Tools doesn't show up? This happened to me. An old Acer ZG5 mini laptop just could not make it. I guess Intel Atom 1,6 GHz with 1 GB of RAM was not enough? No Refracta Tools anywhere eventhough I was able to boot up Acer from USB stick. Well, Asus EeePC 1025C made my day and was willing to receive Pixel Desktop and is now my number one laptop!
What if wifi doesn't work etc.? This, too, can happen. Bear in mind Pixel Desktop is there only helping you with your everyday tasks. It's Debian Linux under the surface that takes care of for example drivers. Off you go and look for help on the internet if your hardware fails. There are many Debian-concentrated discussion forums available.
An official installer of Pixel Desktop is arriving later this year (2017). Before that Refracta Tools and a derived version from Exton Linux help you to perform hard disk setup of Pixel Desktop.
Refracta Installer helps you to setup
Pixel Desktop on your hard disk
Asus EeePC 1025C running Pixel Desktop
from hard disk - no USB stick needed