Ubuntu MATE generic armhf rootfs

The Ubuntu MATE team have made a generic Ubuntu MATE 15.04 root file system for aarch32 (ARMv7) based devices. This root file system is intended for ARMv7 enthusiasts and board manufacturers who’d like to make an Ubuntu MATE image for their device(s). In order to adapt the root file system for your device you’ll need to:

  • Add a boot loader
  • Add a kernel
  • Add X.org 1.17 drivers
  • Add any other hardware specific configuration

We’d love Ubuntu MATE images for more aarch32 (ARMv7) devices and we will gladly host the images and catalogue what the community creates.

The root file system is based on the regular Ubuntu armhf base, and not the new Snappy Core, which means that the installation procedure for applications is the same as that for the regular desktop version, ie using apt-get.

NOTE! There are no predefined user accounts. The first time you boot the Ubuntu MATE image it will run through a setup wizard where you can create your own user account and configure your regional settings. The first boot is quite slow, but once the first boot configuration is complete subsequent boots are much quicker.

Release announcement

Find out what changed in Ubuntu MATE 15.04

Release announcement

Making an Ubuntu MATE image for aarch32 (ARMv7) based devices

These instructions are brief but hopefully sufficient for ARM device hackers to get started.


The generic Ubuntu MATE aarch32 (ARmv7) root filesystem tarball is available via BitTorrent and direct download. If you can spare the bytes, please download via BitTorrent and leave the client open after your download is finished, so you can seed it back to others. A web-seed capable client is recommended for fastest download speeds.

Many thanks to First Colo for contributing the hosting and bandwidth for the Ubuntu MATE downloads.

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 aarch32 (ARMv7) Torrent

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 via BitTorrent

aarch32 (ARMv7)

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 aarch32 (ARMv7) Download

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 from mirror 1

aarch32 (ARMv7)

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 aarch32 (ARMv7) Download

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 from mirror 2

aarch32 (ARMv7)

If you direct download the image please make sure the MD5 hash matches:

  • dcbc6539d2260ddcc7bb13a963f35583

Download tip

PayPal Logo If everyone who downloaded Ubuntu MATE donated $2.50 it would fund the full-time development of Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop. Please give us a tip and help both projects flourish! If you’d like to donate more or become an Ubuntu MATE patron please visit the donate page.

Extract the root file system

The root filesystem tarball will require a minimum of 4GB to extract. Extract the rootfs archive to the location the example build script uses.

sudo mkdir -p /var/local/build/vivid/ubuntu-mate/mate
cd /var/local/build/vivid/ubuntu-mate/mate
tar xvf ~/Download/ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-rootfs.tar.gz .

Get the example build script

NOTE! Currently this script will only run on an armhf device.

The Ubuntu MATE team have created a very simple script that builds an Ubuntu MATE armhf image. This is largely based on the image we made for the Raspberry Pi 2 and will require some modification for other devices.

cd ~
git clone [email protected]:ubuntu-mate/ubuntu-mate-armhf.git

Build an image

NOTE! Currently this script will only run on an armhf device.

In order to add support for a new aarch32 (ARMv7) device you will need to:

  • Create a configure_device() function. The configure_raspi2() can be used as a reference.
  • Modify the armhf_image() function so ${DEVICE_NAME} can call your configure_device() function.
  • You may need to modify the make_image() function to correctly setup the /boot and / partitions for your device.
  • At the bottom of the script add a call to armhf_image that references your device.

Once the above changes have been made, execute the script from a shell.

sudo ./build-image.sh

This will take a long time, so I suggest you start this running before you go to bed.

Tip! Mount /var/local/build/ on a NAS via NFS.

If you add support for a new device please submit a pull request.

Write an image to flash

Once you’ve created an image it can be written to flash storage using ddrescue.

sudo ddrescue -D --force ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-device.img /dev/sdX

The flash storage may be mounted on any /dev/sdX so use the command lsblk to check.

Feedback and Improvements

If you start working on, or create, an Ubuntu MATE image for an aarch32 (ARMv7) device then please let us know in the Ubuntu MATE Development Discussion forum.

If you have any improvements, or add support for a new device, then please submit a pull request to our BitBucket.


The Ubuntu MATE team have created an image for the Raspberry Pi 2. It may be a useful reference.



  • Initial Release.