Turn your Raspberry Pi into a desktop PC

How to turn a credit card sized, $35 computer into a fully functional Desktop PC with surprising good performance.

Step 1: Installation

1. download NOOBS LITE from www.raspberrypi.org/downloads.

2. copy contents of zip folder onto root of SD card.

3. Connect Pi to monitor, keyboard, mouse, power and internet via ethernet.

4. select Arch Linux ARM then install.Turn your Raspberry Pi into a desktop PC

Step 2: Updates and software

5. when installed, login with user ‘root' and password ‘root'

6. type the command

pacman -Syu

without quotations. Note that the ‘S' is capital and the ‘y' and ‘u' are lowercase. This will update the system.

7. select all default options if/when asked.

8. when installs complete, type command

pacman -S lxde xorg xorg-xinit abiword gnumeric netsurf udisks udiskie p7zip unzip unrar xarchiver apvlv

This will install all necesary programs.

lxde – Desktop Manager

xorg – program for displaying images on screen

xorg-xinit – program for displaying images on screen

abiword – lightweight docx compatible word processor

gnumeric – lightweight spreadsheet program

netsurf – lightweight web browser

udisks – Disk utility

udiskie – Allows auto-mounting of USBs

p7zip – .7z file support

unzip – .zip file support

unrar – .rar file support

apvlv – lightweight PDF viewer

xarchiver – program for unzipping compressed folder/files

9. select all default options if/when asked.Turn your Raspberry Pi into a desktop PC schematic

Step 3: Settings

10. when install has completed, type command

echo "exec startlxde" >> ~/.xinitrc

this will allow you to start the desktop with startx

11. type command

nano /etc/profile

and type at the bottom of the document ‘startx' press CTRL+X, Y then enter to save and exit. This will make the desktop start after logging in. (you may also type ‘wifi-menu' above ‘startx' if you a device which allows you to connect to wifi. This will make you choose a wifi network to connect to after logging in and before starting the desktop).

12. type the command


to reboot the Pi.

13. login with username ‘root' and password ‘root' as before.

14. the desktop should now start up.

TIP: Apvlv (the PDF viewer) is not automatically associated with PDF files (if you click on one, apvlv will not start up). To change this, right click on any PDF file – open with – custom command and type:

apvlv %f

into the space provided and chech the box saying ‘Set selected application as default action for this file type' This will make sure that all PDF files will open automatically with apvlv.

ANOTHER TIP: scrolling in apvlv is controlled with the arrow keys rather than the scroll wheel on the mouse.

Step 4: Finished!

15. customise the desktop to your liking (Not covered in this tutorial).

16. Done! You now have a fully functional and relatively fast desktop computer running on a Raspberry Pi with essential programs installed!

17. Have fun

Source: Turn your Raspberry Pi into a desktop PC

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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