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Raspbian Switches to Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS, Gets Bluetooth UI and SD Card Copier

Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Simon Long today announced that a major update is available for the main Linux kernel-based operating system for Raspberry Pi single-board computers.

As many of you might know already, Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled their newest and most advanced SBC, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, on February 29, 2016, finally implementing a 64-bit processor, along with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

While Raspberry Pi 3’s new technologies where supported by the Debian-based Raspbian operating system, such as Bluetooth connectivity, there wasn’t a graphical user interface to make the life of Raspberry Pi users easier when working with Bluetooth devices.

And now, the latest update to Raspbian, version 2016-05-13, adds just that, a Bluetooth UI in the form of an indicator/plugin for the LXPanel of the LXDE desktop environment, which also supports Bluetooth Audio. So, after updating your Raspbian OS, you’ll now see a new Bluetooth icon on the panel, next to the Network icon.

"Bluetooth support is limited at this stage; you can pair with pretty much anything, but you can only usefully connect to devices which support either the Human Interface Device or Audio Sink services – in other words, mice, keyboards and other UI devices, and speakers and headsets," said Simon Long in today’s announcement .

Now powered by Linux kernel 4.4 LTS

But the Bluetooth Indicator is not the only thing to get excited for in the new Raspbian 2016-05-03 release, which also adds a new graphical utility called SD Card Copier, allowing users to migrate their Raspbian installations to new cards or just keep a backup, the Geany IDE (Integrated Development Environment), and the pigpio library.

For those not in the known, pigpio removes the need to use sudo in software that just want to access the GPIOs. Lastly, Raspbian has been rebased on the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and includes the latest versions of the Scratch, PyPy, Sonic Pi, BlueJ, and Node-RED applications. Download Raspbian 2016-05-03 right now via our website.

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