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Now any old PC or Mac can run like a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a version of its Pixel OS, which can be downloaded and used on older Mac and PC machines.

The popular Linux-based desktop environment has been a hit since it rolled out for Raspberry Pi in September.

The rollout for Mac and PC means programming enthusiasts won’t have to buy Raspberry Pi hardware in order to experience the Pixel OS.

Related: Raspberry Pi 3 review

Back in the summer, we asked ourselves one simple question: if we like Pixel so much, why ask people to buy Raspberry Pi hardware in order to run it,” Upton says in a blog post.

“There is a massive installed base of PC and Mac hardware out there, which can run x86 Debian just fine. Could we do something for the owners of those machines?

The ‘experimental version’ of Debian+Pixel for x86 can now be downloaded on machines with at least 512MB of RAM.

Upton says the foundation has made the move for a couple of reasons. To enable students to enjoy the same programming tools at home and in school and, he says, “to keep us honest.”

The foundation believes that running Pixel alongside macOS and Windows enables it to see where improvements can be made.

If you’re going to give it a try, Upton points out this is still a prototype version and advises a data back up before proceeding.

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