Twister OS is a Linux distribution based on the Raspberry Pi OS operating system. It is mainly designed for Raspberry Pi 4, but works on Raspberry Pi 3.
I recently discovered this distribution (although not new, it was known as iRaspbian / Raspbian XP), and I really like it.
So it is in this bed that I will share my first impressions with you.
What is the Twister OS?
Twister OS is a distribution based on Raspberry Pi OS.
The aim is to improve the official operating system, add themes and include the most useful applications (desktop, game, streaming, etc.).
It also contains wine, so some Windows binaries can run on it.
So this is the ideal operating system for you if you have a powerful Raspberry Pi model (Raspberry Pi 4 ideally opens in a new tab) and don’t want to install all the applications for hours and configure the desktop of the Raspberry Pi operating system.
Read on, if you’re interested, I’ll tell you more about the system, explain how to install it (it’s not difficult), and also give you some tips to get started after installation.
If you don’t like reading, you can also watch the video that accompanies the article, here is a scrolling link to the article
About Twister OS
Improved raspberry Pi OS
As you probably know, Raspberry Pi OS is the official Raspberry Pi operating system. That’s good, because it’s made by the Raspberry Pi Foundation especially for the Raspberry Pi device.
However, there are a few things that are not perfect that Twister OS is trying to improve.
Firstly, since Twister is based on the Raspberry Pi OS, you get all the benefits of this system (works well on Raspberry Pi, Debian based, specific configuration tools, GPIO compatibility, etc.).
But they also try to fix some things, like the desktop environment, because Twister runs on XFCE and not on Pixel Desktop. They’ve also added great things to provide an excellent user experience.
Well, let’s see.
Interface and themes
One of the things I don’t like about Raspberry Pi OS is the old school desktop interface. It feels like sitting on a
-10 system Yes, you can use a different desktop environment or add themes later (read this tutorial if you want to know how to open), but they are not the best by default.
Twister OS solves this by using XFCE as the standard desktop environment and has a number of nice themes available immediately after installation.Data: Image/svg+xml
As you can see, we now work with a modern operating system, with a docking station for accessing your favorite applications, dark windows and menus, etc.
This is the default style, you can customize everything and even change the theme with a single click at the end of the installation.Data: Image/svg+xml
Most are designed to look like your favorite operating system (Windows XP/7/10, MacOS, etc.), so you won’t get lost if you are new to Linux. Photos, icons and similar colors, everything to make a good experience, even for a beginner.
Another good thing about Twister OS is the number of applications you get right after installation.
So, yes, the system view is huge, but you don’t have to worry about how to install your favourite applications, they’re probably already there.Data: Image/svg+xml
For example, Twister contains OS :
- Retropy: a popular application to run retro games on your Raspberry Pi (I have here a whole guide)
- Kodi: another well-known application to turn your Raspberry Pi into a media center (video, music, video streaming, etc.). I also have a tutorial on Kodi here.
- The wine: It’s good to know that the wine is pre-installed on the Twister operating system, so you can run some Windows applications on it (directly with .exe).
- Steam: I’ve already written a tutorial for installing steam on Raspbian, but on Twister it is immediately available (by the way, it is a platform for the newest games).
- Disagreement : also an application often used by players to communicate with each other, Disagreement is ready to be used on Twister OS.
And of course there are many more things, such as applications for developers, LibreOffice, image editing programs (including PhotoGIMP, which is pretty cool), etc.
But with so many applications and features, isn’t the system too much for Raspberry Pi?
Twister OS works pretty well on the purple pi 4. Even if many applications are installed, they don’t run at the same time, so there is no performance problem.Source: TwisterOS.com
However, as mentioned on the official website of the developer, it is highly recommended to use Raspberry Pi 4, and the system is not 64-bit (such as Raspberry Pi OS currently).
So maybe the Pi 3B+ raspberry will be a bit slow for this system.
By the way, in the recently released video I compared Raspberry Pi OS and Twister OS (and two other distributions), and one of the tests was a reboot sprint (you can see the results here: tab on YouTube).
How do I install Twister OS on Raspberry Pi?
Download the image of the Twister operating system from the official website, transfer it to an SD card with a tool like Balena Etcher and download Raspberry Pi.
Since Twister OS is based on Raspberry Pi OS, the installation process is the same.
So the first step is to download the latest image from the Twister-OS website:
- Click on this link to go directly to the download page.
- You can use a direct download or a torrent file.
Since the image is quite large and the download speed is not very good, I recommend the torrent method, which is faster.
You need a torrent client, I use µTorrent, but flood is a good tool that works on any platform.
After downloading, there is nothing to do, there is no need to decompress the files, we just empty them directly.
You will need to copy the files from the system to an SD card.
Once installed, the system will use more than 10 GB, so I recommend using at least 32 GB, otherwise you’ll quickly be limited to new files (especially if you add movies or games).Data: Image/svg+xml.
If you need an SD card for this, here is the model I recommend In my last benchmark it was the best result.
- I always use Etcher Ballroom to make my SD cards.
If you don’t have it yet, you can download it hereis available on Windows, Linux and MacOS.
- Start request
- Select the image of the Twister operating system on the left, then insert the SD card and click on Flash!
- Because it is a large image, the process will take longer than normal, but that is normal.
That’s it, the SD card is ready, you can put it in the purple Pi and start.
At the end of the first startup you will receive a welcome wizard, similar to the one we have on Raspberry Pi OS, to adjust the basic settings of your new system.
- They will have a data peak of
There is nothing to do here, just some links, but you don’t need them because I am here to guide you.
- In the second step you can open the Raspberry Pi configuration tool:
This is the same as in Raspberry Pi, where you can configure the password, language, keyboard layout, etc…
- You can then update the system: Data
Even though I uploaded my picture a few minutes earlier, already had a patch to update the system version, so the website isn’t always updated, and it’s probably a good idea to use this tool.
A reboot is required to complete the installation if an update is available.
- Finally, you can choose your topic from 8 directly available topics. I showed you the list earlier:
If you choose another theme, the system will restart to apply the changes.
When the basic settings are done, you can start using Twister OS and I’ll give you some tips to get you started right away.
First steps with Twister OS
With so many applications in the main menu, the Twister control system can become slightly overloaded at the start of operation.
Don’t worry, I’ll help you take the first steps you need.
After installation, you must first use the usual configuration tools. There are many applications to configure, but here are four you really need to know.
Crimson Pi configuration
If you are familiar with Raspberry Pi OS, you are probably already familiar with this program. It’s the same thing.
You can start it with the welcome wizard (remember?), but you can also find it in the main menu > Settings.
If you already know, this is probably the quickest way to change one of the options you know are available. For example, activate SSH, VNC or change the location settings.
It’s the same with Raspy-Config. There are slightly more options than the Raspberry Pi configuration tool, so it’s a quick way to find them if you already know what they have.
To start it, open the terminal and enter the type:
Now let’s take a look at the new methods Twister OS has added.
The parameter manager is probably the most interesting. You can find it in the main menu > Settings.
Each time I give you the path to the main menu, but you can also use the LightPad to find the request data (first shortcut in the dock at the bottom of the screen).
The settings manager is similar to the application that you can get from the Windows Control Panel, but usually applies to Ubuntu settings.
Basically, all links to the configuration applications are available in this window:
For example, to change the time zone, you can go to Settings > Time and Date or open the Settings Manager and click the Time and Date button.
The same window opens.
It is very nice to have such an interface closer to a standard computer (independent of the operating system).
PiKiss is a tool I didn’t know for testing Twister OS, but it should work on Raspberry Pi OS and possibly other systems as well.
A new tab opens on GitHub, the developer presents this application as a set of scripts with menus to make your life easier ^.
You can find it in the main menu, System > PiKISS, and the main menu is as follows:.
So it’s very close to setting a pixel for the interface, as the developer says, it just executes commands for you in the terminal when you select an item from the menu.
We will come back to this in the next article, because it is mainly useful to manage the software, but you can also find some configuration options (such as the configuration and the server).
Installation of new applications
Twister OS comes with most of the applications you would use on Raspberry Pi, so you probably won’t have much to do in this section. But you can also uninstall unnecessary applications or install some missing ones.
Addition/deletion of software or apt
I won’t stay long on these instruments, because they’re the same as those in Raspberry Pi OS.
However, you can use the software tool in Main Menu > Settings to install or uninstall programs on your Pi Raspberry.
If you have never used it before, you can read this manual for Raspberry Pi OS.
Since we also run on a Debian-based operating system, teams like apt and apt-get are available in the terminal if you know them.
So you can manage your packages with her. We remind you that you can use different options here:
- sudo apt update source list
sudo apt packages updated
- Find a new package to install
sudo apt search
sudo apt search myadmin
- Set it to
sudo apt search phpmyadmin
- remove the
sudo apt phpmyadmin
You can enable SSH in the Raspberry Pi configuration tool if you want to use it from your computer.
You can also find the Raspberry Pi OS software recommendation tool in the Settings submenu.
It’s incredible, with so many applications, but not everything is controlled.
So you can use this shortcut to install the most common applications that may not exist for you:.
As you can see, Scratch and Sonic Pi, for example, are not pre-installed, but you can easily add them by checking the box here.
I’ve already written about it, so I’ll be right there.
But as you saw in the last article, PiKISS contains a lot of scripts for installing new applications.
And some are really useful for beginners, because you don’t have to know the commands to install them or even do the basic installation.
For example, you can install Nagios, the latest version of VSCode, or a web server with a single click instead of following my long tutorials when you’re on Raspberry Pi OS.
And the last tool I found on Twister OS was Pi-Apps.
You can find it in the main menu > Accessories, and it will show you a window like this
The checkboxes bother me a bit, but basically you select the application by choosing a line and clicking on Install or Uninstall.
For example, I tried to install Minecraft Java, and after 30 years I was able to run the full game on my Raspberry Pi :.
I also want to write a few lines about wine in this article.
Wine is a tool for running Windows applications on Linux. No application will work, but some will have to.
The list of applications on their website, with notes ranging from platinum to waste, depending on how well the application works.
I was very happy, because my last attempts with Raspberry Pi OS and Wine failed
. So yeah, it seems to be working, but I don’t think it’s working well enough to demonstrate it here.
I managed to install most of the platinum applications I tried, but they never worked :/
Also, the wine desktop has broken down too often to be used properly.
So I don’t know if it’s my configuration or if it just doesn’t work, but I wouldn’t switch to Twister OS if Wine is your main interest.
It would take too long to go into any application here, but you need to know that whatever your main use of Raspberry Pi is, you need to find everything you need under Twister OS.
- For players: RetroPie and Steam are already installed. There is also a Discord and Qjoypad application to configure the controller as in Windows.
- For the media center: Kodi and VLC are readily available and a Chromium Media edition has been installed to access streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, etc.
- For office work: With LibreOffice you can edit documents, calendars, notes and more. Everything is ready to use. Connecting to a printer should also be easier than on most systems with the printer installation tool already available.
The developers probably have the least tools available in this distribution. Even with Raspberry Pi OS, you have more choices. But since each developer will use different applications, maybe it’s not so bad.
Here is the video I promised you to give you a quick overview of the installation of Twister OS on Raspberry Pi :
If you want to receive my weekly videos in your YouTube feeds, you can subscribe tohere.
Wow, there’s so much to say about Twister OS!
But I hope you understand the power of this division and why I’m happy with it.
If you are interested, you can try to give your opinion in the following comments.
You can also just take a look at the applications you have added and try to install them in your current distribution.
Please also let me know if you need more detailed instructions or information. I can’t cover all aspects of this system in a blog article, but I can certainly add more.
Personally, I think I will probably add this distribution in a very good position to my list of raspberry pipe systems.
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