What do we do with questions about the RPi OS for PC/Mac? On one hand, it's not designed to run on the RPi, so the natural reaction is to close questions about it as off-topic and point users to Unix.SE if appropriate (RPi OS is essentially Debian). On the other hand, that OS shares a lot of settings/features with Raspbian, and I can imagine it will be mostly used by RPi users who want to have a common environment on RPi and PC/Mac, or as a software testing platform, so we might want to support it.


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    By RPi OS you are referring to this raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-desktop ?
    – Ghanima Mod
    Nov 30, 2018 at 12:14
  • Perhaps I am missing the point of your question, but when you refer to "questions about the RPi OS for PC/Mac", are you talking about a Raspbian VM?
    – Seamus
    Jan 10, 2019 at 21:42
  • @Seamus No, I'm talking about Raspberry Pi Desktop. Check out the link Ghanima has posted. Jan 11, 2019 at 8:03
  • OK, thanks... I've been confused about whether this label ("Raspberry Pi Desktop") referred to running Raspbian on Intel chips, or simply using a RPi as a desktop PC. Now I see that it's the former, but without trying it, I have to say I'm not feeling hugely enthusiastic about it. And I gather this remains an open question, eh?
    – Seamus
    Jan 11, 2019 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


What do we do with questions about the RPi OS for PC/Mac?

If they are explicitly that then I think they should be off-topic here, and most likely belong on U&L. Of course, for many such questions, it is probably pretty easy to ask without saying explicitly it has to do with a PC install.

An exception I would recommend would be for questions of the sort where someone is asking in relation to a Pi install, meaning stuff like, "This does that on the Pi, but it does something else on my PC". In that case we probably have a community with as good a perspective as anywhere and it makes sense for us to deal with them.

I'd include in that development type questions where someone wants to know how to mock something up in the desktop version, etc., although much of that might be better on SO or U&L too.

Most questions that don't fall into that category probably aren't really particular to Raspbian anyway, they are more general Debian or GNU/Linux problems. The only thing which springs to mind software wise is PIXEL (or, "the DE formerly known as PIXEL", since officially it doesn't seem to have a name now). I'm inclined to disallow those if, again, they are explicitly about PC installs. I believe in the original blog about this, a Foundation employee referred to it as, "Linux the way we'd like it to be". But the we in this isn't really people who own a Raspberry Pi. Although they may overlap with such in a Venn diagram, logically it makes more sense to understand them as "OSX and Windows users". Who makes the friendliest distro in this regard is I am sure contentious. In any case, logically, if you are going to use linux on the desktop, then you should ask your questions where other desktop linux users do, on U&L, unless there is a concrete reason otherwise. The Foundation's own forum likely has an appropriate place too.

  • The problem I see with directing RPi Desktop users to U&L is that RPi Desktop is of little interest outside of RPi community. As a result, users will get clarification requests along the lines of "what network manager / DHCP client / etc. do you have?" and if they are unable to provide such information, their questions will risk getting closed as unclear. Jan 11, 2019 at 7:59

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