In a sad reflection of the way the world is nowadays, most of the differences are security changes designed to make Buster harder to hack.
You can see this in both desktop OSes like Windows, and in mobile OSes like i OS – so we decided it was time to do something similar.
The overall appearance of most of the interface elements has been simplified; we’ve reduced things like the curvature of corners and the shading gradients which were used to give a pseudo-3D effect to things like buttons.
In this release, it’s now our default Python editor, and to that end, we are no longer including IDLE by default.
IDLE has always felt dated and not very pleasant to use, and Thonny is so much nicer that we’d strongly recommend moving to it, if you haven’t already!
Also, if using a Raspberry Pi 4 headless, we recommend switching back to the non-GL driver – choose ‘Legacy’ under the ‘GL Driver’ setting in ‘Advanced Options’ in raspi-config.) If the GL driver is in use, there’s a new ‘Screen Configuration’ tool – this enables you to set up the arrangement of multiple monitors on a Raspberry Pi 4.
It can also be used to set custom monitor resolutions, which can be used to simulate the effect of pixel doubling.
It would have been a lot of work to port everything required for it back on to Raspbian Stretch, so we decided that we would launch on Raspbian Buster – the only question was whether Buster would be ready before the hardware was! The official launch date for Buster is July 7, so we are a couple of weeks ahead.
That said, Buster has been in a “frozen” state for a couple of months now, with only minor changes being made to it, so the version we are releasing is pretty much identical to that which will be officially released by Debian on July 7.
This “flatter” design looks cleaner and more modern, but it’s a bit of a juggling act; it’s very easy to go too far and to make things look totally flat and boring, so we’ve tried to avoid that.