The biggest visual change is the upgrade to version 3 of the GTK+ user interface toolkit. This application is used to draw things like menus and buttons. You’ll notice a new look to menus with tabbed interfaces.
In addition to the new look, a different file manager has been implemented to organize and sort through file structures. The new file manager is known as Mutter and it’s replacing an older tool known as Openbox. Items will now have only two display options for files: icons or a list.
One of the most exciting features that we’ve come across is the new Updater Plugin. It’s icon sits in the system tray and provides tools for users to update their Raspberry Pi without having to open a terminal window. There’s also a new notification manager that makes the notification system design more unified.
There’s a new KMS video driver as well as a camera driver change that may throw off existing projects that rely on the old driver. The new driver is called libcamera.
There are a few additional updates, including the inclusion of Chromium version 92 which features accelerated video playback—something you can definitely notice when playing YouTube videos on the Pi.
The latest version is already available for download. Just download the image from the Raspberry Pi website or use the Raspberry Pi Imager to flash the OS to a new SD card. We always recommend backing up your current configuration before upgrading to a new OS.
To get a closer look at the new Raspberry Pi OS edition, check out the official post released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.