Since 2012, Raspberry Pi OS, formerly Raspbian, has been the go-to 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 larger selection of pre-installed apps and a choice of themes, some of which provide a Windows/macOS experience for the humble Pi.
In this tutorial, we will install Twister OS on a Raspberry Pi 4, then change the theme to suit Windows 10 and macOS. We’ll also take a look at the additional features of this excellent operating system, such as streaming media (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+) and games.
You can also use this OS with the Raspberry Pi 3B+. But for best performance, we recommend using a Raspberry Pi 4.
How to install Twister OS on the raspberry pi?
- Download the latest version of Twister OS from this link which at the time of writing this article is v2.1.2.
- Download balenaEtcher from here and install it.
- Insert a micro SD card into your computer to install the OS on it.
- Open balenaEtcher, select the Twister OS image, select the microSD card then click Flash to write the image.
- Now, you can boot your Raspberry Pi from the microSD card.
On the first boot, you will see the Twister OS in all its glory. Stunning wallpaper and aesthetics that use the XFCE window manager to great effect. Twister OS is based on the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) and features all the applications found in a typical Raspberry Pi OS installation. Additional applications and themes provided by Twister OS are maintained and fixed by the Twister OS team.
Updating Twister OS
- Check your internet connectivity.
- From the main menu, select System >> Twister OS Patcher.
- Follow the instructions to update and restart your Raspberry Pi.
Add a Windows or MacOS theme to your Twister OS
Twister OS is a chameleon, it can change its appearance in just a few clicks. If you want your OS to look like a Windows or Apple device, you can. The themes offered are of superb quality and really give the impression that we are using this OS.
To change the theme of your Twister OS just follow these steps:
- On your desktop, Double-click on ThemeTwister.
- Click Next to enter the theme selection screen.
- Click the button below each theme to select it. A terminal window will appear and ask you to press Enter to restart.
Play with your Twister OS
Twister OS comes with a lot of gaming options. One can play classic PC games using DOSBOX x86Box, installable through PiKiss. Steam support is built into Twister OS, but don’t expect to rip demons in Doom Eternal, prefer simple 2D indie games.
Retro game players can play their game collections using RetroPie.
- Install all the ROMs you have in /home/pi/RetroPie/roms selecting the correct system for each of the ROMs.
- Connect a USB/Bluetooth gamepad
- Double-click the RetroPie desktop icon and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your controller.
- Choose the system for which you installed ROMs, and press the B button on your gamepad to select it.
- Browse the game list and press B to play.
You can install the listed games in the Games Menu using PiKISS. Try AM2R: Return of Samus, an original game based on the Metroid series.
Play media files
There are several options for playing the videos and audio files. VLC and Parole media players allow playback through the desktop.
Kodi comes pre-installed on Twister OS and works exactly as you expect. Now enjoy loading up your media and streaming services on the big screen.
If you use streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, you can use the Chromium (Media Edition) version in the Internet menu to watch your favorite shows.
Control your Android device
The scrcpy app provides a way to interact with your Android device via USB debugging and it works remarkably well. It gives you the ability to control the device using a mouse and keyboard.
To set this up, follow these steps:
- On your Android device, go to Settings >> About Phone and tap on Build Number until you enable the Developer Mode.
- In Settings, find USB Debugging and select the first option.
- Use the slider to enable USB debugging.
- In Twister OS, click on the My Android icon. This will trigger a query on your Android device. Allow the request and your Android device will appear on the screen.
Using the keyboard and mouse, you can interact with the device now.
for other uses of the Raspberry Pi, check this link.
4 thoughts on “Twister: the brilliant OS for Raspberry Pi”
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i did install Tsister OS and updated it several times. I also copied the whole system to SSD.
Now i have many errors: Profile error, Archiver did not work
correct! Some more errors!
I changed to Manjaro on RPI 400. On SSD. Perhaps it works better.
I found Twister maybe 1 or 2 years ago and installed it on a RPI4. It’s connected to our big screen TV and works flawlessly. One minor issue – when your big screen is set at a high resolution it can be hard to read the text in Twister so I dialed back to 1080P.
What a great OS mostly because it has so many addons like kodi, steam, my android and retropie already built in and working. Twister works great via SSH or file explorer to interact with the other devices on my home’s network. Copying/Moving files, playing media from a device in another room, etc.
Unrelated to Twister – Copy your SD card to an external SSD using instructions on how to boot your raspberry directly from an SSD. No more SD card and the raspberry runs much faster.