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Raspberry Pi Just Made Two Huge Changes for Security and Convenience

The Raspberry Pi 4.
Raspberry Pi Foundation

A new update to Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) offers several improvements over previous releases, though one of these “improvements” may be a bit controversial. On the one hand, setup is more convenient and the Pi is more secure. But it’s time to say goodbye to the default user.

From here on out, Raspberry Pi OS won’t come with a default user called “pi.” Additionally, the operating system won’t give you the default “raspberry” password. That means the Raspberry Pi setup wizard is now unskippable, as you must enter custom login credentials. (That said, the default user won’t disappear if you update your Pi, and the new setup wizard won’t stop you from using the “pi” username or “raspberry” password.)

This change is probably overdue. Default usernames and passwords present a security risk for remote access devices, and of course, the Pi is a popular home server solution. (You can run the sudo rename-user command to change the default credentials on an older Pi.)

The new Raspberry Pi "create user" setup screen, which is now unskippable.
Raspberry Pi Foundation

With this latest release, the default “pi” user is being removed, and instead you will create a user the first time you boot a newly-flashed Raspberry Pi OS image. This is in line with the way most operating systems work nowadays, and, while it may cause a few issues where software (and documentation) assumes the existence of the “pi” user, it feels like a sensible change to make at this point.

Okay, so you can’t skip the Pi OS setup wizard anymore. But there’s a neat concession here—you can now use Bluetooth keyboards and mice while setting up your Pi. Previously, you had to search for a wired keyboard to even connect a Bluetooth device with the Pi.

Pairing Bluetooth devices during Pi setup should be fairly easy. You simply set the keyboard or mouse in pairing mode and wait for your Pi to finish the job. The Pi Foundation notes that this works with older Pi models, so long as you have a Bluetooth adapter.

And oddly enough, the new Pi OS update lets you test the unfinished Wayland window system. Wayland is a faster and more secure replacement for X Windows System, which has been the crux of Unix desktop environments for decades. While I suggest that you avoid testing Wayland (it’s very buggy), you can do so by running udo raspi-config, going to Advanced Options, enabling Wayland, and rebooting. (To check if you’re already running Wayland, run echo $XDG_SESSION_TYPE in the terminal.)

The Raspberry Pi OS update is available on the Pi website. To update an existing image, open the terminal, enter sudo apt update , and run sudo apt full-upgrade . If you want to install Wayland support, you should also run sudo apt install rpi-wayland—again, I suggest avoiding Wayland for now.

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »