Since Raspberry Pi OS, formerly Raspbian, has been the operating system for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. Raspberry Pi OS is not the only operating system, and a recent addition is Twister OS, which is based on Raspberry Pi OS, but it offers a wider range of pre-installed applications and a range of themes, some of which offer a Windows / macOS experience for the humble Pi.
In this tutorial we will take a look at installing Twister OS on a Raspberry Pi 4 and then change the theme to match Windows 10 and macOS. We also take a whistlestop tour of the extra features found in the great operating system such as streaming media (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney +) and playback.
This tutorial can also be used with the Raspberry Pi 3B +, but for best performance a Raspberry Pi 4 is recommended.
How to install Twister OS
Installing the Twister OS is exactly the same as the Raspberry Pi OS.
2. Download balenaEtcher from https://www.balena.io/etcher/ and install.
3. Insert a micro SD card, preferably one of the best Raspberry Pi microSD cards, into your computer.
4. Open balenaEtcher and select the Twister OS image, select the microSD card and click Flash to write the image.
5. Start Raspberry Pi from the microSD card.
At the first start – up, we see the Twister OS in all its glory. A fantastic wallpaper and aesthetic that uses XFCE window treatment with great effect. Twister OS is based on the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) and has all the applications present in a typical Raspberry Pi OS installation. The additional applications and themes provided by Twister OS are maintained and updated by the Twister OS team.
Updating the Twister OS is as easy as:
1. Check that you are connected to the Internet.
2. In the main menu, select System >> Twister OS Patcher
3. Follow the instructions to update and restart Raspberry Pi.
Add a Windows or macOS theme to Twister OS
Twister OS is a chameleon, it can change the look in just a few clicks. If you want your operating system to look like a Windows or Apple device, then so be it. The themes offered are of excellent quality and really give the impression that we use that operating system.
To change the theme of Twister OS.
1. Double-click ThemeTwister, found on the desktop.
2. Click Next to go to the theme selection screen.
3. Click the button below each theme to select that theme. A terminal window appears and you are prompted to press Enter to restart.
After a reboot, the Raspberry Pi will have a new theme!
Adjust your Twister OS installation
Overclocking a Raspberry Pi is relatively straightforward, editing config.txt to add a few extra lines. But Twister OS comes with Commander Pi, a system information and overclocking GUI tool. Before taking these steps, make sure you have adequate cooling for your Raspberry Pi 4.
1. Double-click Commander Pi icon, found on the desktop.
2. Click Overclocka warning is displayed. Click OK to continue.
The overclocking menu is divided into two areas. At the top is where we can enter values for CPU, GPU speeds and voltages. At the bottom there are two datasets. One for recommended overclocking values, the other for maximum.
3. Change each of the values to the recommended value. Click on the gray box, enter the value and click Set.
4. Click Apply and restart to restart the Twister OS with the overclocked settings.
Manage your system with PIKISS
PiKISS (Pi Keeping It Simple, Stupid!) Found in the Accessories menu is a fantastic tool. It can be used to customize your system, install games via Box86 (an emulator for x86 software that can run on CPUs) or installation servers for cloud computing, 3D printer monitoring and many more.
Entertainment with Twister OS
Twister OS comes with a plethora of game options. We can play classic PC games using DOSBOX x86Box, which can be installed via PiKiss. Steam support is built into the Twister OS, but don’t expect to tear and tear demons in Doom Eternal, pretty simple 2D indie games are more your price.
Retro players can play their game collections using RetroPie.
1. Install any ROMs which you own in / home / pi / RetroPie / roms and choose the right system for each of the ROMs.
2. Connect a USB / Bluetooth gamepad
3. Double-click the RetroPie desktop icon and follow the on-screen instructions to set up the pad.
4. Select the system for which you have installed ROMs, and press the B button on the game controller to select.
5. Review the list of games and press B to play.
Games can also be installed using PiKISS, and they are listed in the game menu. Try AM2R: Return of Samus, an original game based on the Metroid series.
There are several options for playing videos and audio files. VLC and Parole media players provide desktop playback.
Kodi comes pre-installed on Twister OS, and it works exactly as you expect. Upload your media and streaming services to enjoy it on the big screen.
If you use streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, there is a version of Chromium (Media Edition) found in the Internet menu that can be used to watch your favorite shows.
Check your Android device
The application, scrcpy provides a means to interact with your Android device via USB debugging, and it works incredibly well. We can control the device using the mouse and keyboard. To set this up.
1. Go to Settings >> About phone on your Android device and press Build number until developer mode is activated.
2. In Settings search for USB troubleshooting and select the first option.
3. Use the slider to enable USB debugging.
4. In Twister OS click on the My Android icon. This will trigger a request on your Android device. Authorize the request and your Android device appears on the screen.
You can now interact with the device using the keyboard and mouse.