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Preview The Upcoming Maynard Desktop For RPI

Maynard is the next generation desktop for Raspberry PI (RPI) devices, that it will replace the current LXDE, at least in Raspbian (Debian based) distributions. Maynard is mostly supported from Raspberry Pi Foundation and Collabora.

Maynard runs on Wayland and it is a custom backend for the Weston reference compositor, which uses RPI’s flexible hardware video scaler to assemble the display. It promises a significantly boost to the visual performance, which is totally true.

Maynard itself uses GTK and a simple Shell that extends Weston with an actual toolkit. The work is far from completed, and it isn’t ready for daily use.

Maynard can run in any computer and it isn’t limited to RPIs. As you can see on the YouTube, it runs quite fast (obviously) in a PC, but how good does in RPI?

Maynard in RPI

I installed Maynard in RPI, but I didn’t record a video (Weston has a build-in video recorder AFAIK) because it wouldn’t be quite impressive.. yet! (Yeap, I forgot it..).

[caption id="attachment_26738" align="aligncenter" width="640"]maynard1 Raspberry PI Official Website[/caption]

Maynard uses GNOME Web as the default Web-browser, and this is Web and GTK+ 3.4. So there isn’t any native Wayland support there. However RPI is now actually capable to surf on web, because with the LXDE/X11 environment you could barely even to launch Midori.

So yes, there is a huge difference in performance but still, RPI seems to need a little bit better processor in order to process graphics (like HTML) and other functions in an acceptable speed.

Notice that RPI isn’t the only solution in all-in-one boards. There are boards with better specs that aren’t much more expensive.


GNOME users will feel like home in Maynard, since the logic of RPI’s desktop is very similar to Shell, while <Super> launches the Window Overview mode like Shell.

Apart anything else, Maynard in RPI is a very good show off for what Wayland is capable to do. Which is something will get this September on GNOME 3.14!

Quick Install

I was running an Arch but I replaced it with with Raspbian since the official instructions are for Debian, and I wasn’t so much to check how to set it up for Arch. So you basically get the Raspbian from NOOBS, and you run this script from Collabora.

The script will add some repos, install the needed packages and adjust some configurations. After is done, you restart RPI and you boot in Maynard by:

$ maynard

The installation is totally automatic, so if you’re running Debian, you should be able to try it in seconds!

You will find all the info needed at Eben Upton‘s post

The Code

Everything’s, source code & building instructions, on Github

Buy a RPI

By the way this is where I bought my RPI. It’s not an Ad, I am posting it because they have a nice site, with cool cases and stuffs!

RPI New Installations

There is an extended guide for installing RPI distros, in case you don’t know how to setup a new installation.

You can format the SD card with GNOME Disks and create a FAT partition for installing NOOBS.

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