Finally, the wait for Raspbian Stretch is over. Raspbian Stretch has been released and is available for download.
Coming back to the previous version Jessie, you won’t find any significant differences between Jessie and Stretch, but there are some major and minor optimizations which you might not notice much in your day-to-day life.
However, let’s see some of the new features announced in this new version of the official Stretch OS for your Raspberry Pi which are worth mentioning.
New version of Applications
The Sonic Pi version has been updated to 3.0.1 which now gives a solid functionality in terms of input/output. For more details, about the official release, you can check the Sonic Pi release notes here.
The Chromium version has been updated to version 60, which can now handle better memory management and efficient code practices. You will notice a slight boost in the browser now. The visual appearance has also been tweaked slightly.
The previous version named Jessie used to come up with PulseAudio support over Bluetooth but combining it with the ALSA architecture was gauche. To solve this issue in Stretch, the bluez-alsa package is being used which can be seamlessly integrated with ALSA. PulseAudio is therefore no longer installed by default.
Considering it from a user point of view, everything will just work fine just the way it previously did. The only change which user will observe is now the PulseAudio will not come pre-installed with the package. If for some reason they need it, they have to install it manually.
Better handling of Usernames
By default, the user account in Raspbian has been called “Pi.” Due to this a lot of desktop applications assume the current user name as “Pi.” For Stretch, there is a change in this configuration; it no longer considers that to be the case. With the update, now all your applications will be logged in with the current username instead of the default “Pi” name which was taken in the previous versions.
There’s a change in sudo password access as well. It’s more secure now. In previous versions, while using a desktop application, no such password security was offered. In Stretch, now a sudo access will prompt for you to enter the password otherwise it will not allow you to enter into the application.
Scratch 2 Sense Hat Extension
In the previous version Jessie, Scratch 2 was already added in the offline version. It’s kept same in the newer version, but the new Sense Hat Extension has been added in Stretch. For adding the extension go under “More Blocks” and choose “Add an Extension” to load the extension.
This extension works both with the physical Sense Hat and the Sense Hat emulator. If your Sense Hat is connected, the extension will control all the preferences by itself.
Fix for BOARDPWN Exploit
A vulnerability was discovered a couple of months back in the firmware of BCM43xx wireless chipset. This allows an attacker to potentially take control over the chip and execute the code. The new version of the Stretch has fixed it.
There’s a minor change in the UI and bugs improvement. You can figure it out on your own while using Stretch.