Ubuntu MATE for Raspberry Pi
Ubuntu MATE 20.04 is available for Raspberry Pi with separate images for
armhf (ARMv7 32-bit) and
arm64 (ARMv8 64-bit). We have done what we can to
optimise the builds for the Raspberry Pi without sacrificing the full desktop
environment Ubuntu MATE provides on PC.
Ubuntu MATE for the Raspberry Pi provides a complete, familiar, desktop environment that can be used for basic desktop computing. It is also of interest to makers and device hackers who want to target Ubuntu for their projects. You can prototype homebrew ARMv7 or ARMv8 based IoT devices in a comfortable desktop environment, including building and testing your apps as snaps. The full Ubuntu archive is available to you.
For hobbyist projects, you can stick with Ubuntu MATE for “deployment”. But, if you have something more professional in mind then the applications and snaps you’ve prototyped with Ubuntu MATE can be used with Ubuntu Server or Ubuntu Core. You might want to check out the Ubuntu Appliance Portfolio too.
High-level features of these images are:
- Ubuntu kernel.
- Performance optimised by the Ubuntu Kernel team.
- Regularly security patches by the Ubuntu Security team.
- VC4/V3D (fkms) driver is enabled by default.
fbturbodriver is available if you want it, but limited to 2D accelerated window moving/scrolling on Raspberry Pi (using the BCM2835 DMA Controller).
- Automatic online filesystem expansion.
- Ethernet & WiFi (where available)
- Bluetooth (where available)
- Audio out via 3.5mm analog audio jack or HDMI
- Video out via Composite or HDMI
- GPIO access via GPIO Zero and WiringPi.
- Support for USB Booting is available for Ubuntu MATE 20.10 or newer.
- Automatic first-boot file system resizing.
- First-boot setup wizard guides you through creating a user account and configuring WiFi.
Ubuntu MATE running on the Raspberry Pi 4
Supported Raspberry Pi
- These images work on:
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (recommended)
- Compute Module 4 in a Compute Module 4 IO Board (recommended)
- A Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 with 2GB RAM or more offers the best experience.
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (not recommended)
- With just 1GB of RAM, everything works but desktop use is hampered by memory pressure.
Unsupported Raspberry Pi
- These images kind of work on:
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (not recommended)
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (not recommended)
- Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (not recommended)
- Fails to complete the first boot setup due to insufficient memory.
- If you have completed the setup on another Pi that card can be inserted in a Pi 3 Model A+ and it will work.
- Due to only having 512MB RAM the
arm64is not recommended; even the
armhfversion can be very tight on resources.
- These images will not work on any Raspberry Pi model using an ARMv6 instruction set:
Memory pressure is reasonable using the
armhf images (~350MB at idle)
but quite tight on the
arm64 images (~490MB at idle). As always,
microSDHC I/O throughput is a bottleneck on the Raspberry PPi so don’t
gimp your Raspberry Pi by cheaping out on poor performing microSDHC
cards. We used the Samsung EVO Plus 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I U1
and Kingston 64 GB microSDXC Canvas Go Plus
during the testing of these images and they significantly better
performance than most other microSDHC cards we’ve tried.
But don’t take our word for it.
You’ll need a microSD card which is 8GB or greater to fit the image. The file system will automatically resize to occupy the unallocated space of the microSD card. Here is our recommended kit lists on Amazon:
Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM
|Raspberry Pi 4 8GB RAM||Argon One Case||SanDisk Extreme 128 GB microSDXC|
Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM
|Raspberry Pi 4 4GB RAM||Argon NEO Case||Kingston 64 GB microSDXC Canvas Go Plus|
Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM
|Raspberry Pi 4 2GB RAM||Flirc Case||Samsung EVO Plus 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I U1|
Run Ubuntu MATE on your Raspberry Pi today.Download
Ubuntu MATE 20.10 and newer support USB booting, but Ubuntu MATE 20.04 does not.
Compute Module 4
If you have a Compute Module 4
you can enable the USB2 outputs on the Compute Module 4 IO Board,
assuming your Compute Module is plugged into such a board, by un-commenting the following line in
Enable USB boot for Raspberry Pi 4
To enable USB mass storage boot on a Raspberry Pi 4 follow these steps:
Enable USB boot for Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 3+
The Raspberry Pi 3, 3+ and Pi 2 v1.2 with the same BCM2837 SoC as the Pi 3, are capable of booting from a USB drive. For the Pi 2 and 3 you’ll first need to program USB boot mode, this is unnecessary on the Pi 3+ as USB booting is enabled by default.
The GPU firmware partition is mounted at
/boot/firmware. The files
the system configuration and kernel command line options respectively.
The OpenSSH server is not installed by default. Simply install it to to enable SSH.
sudo apt install openssh-server
If you install SSH then you might also want to install
which is highly optimised and well suited for use on the Raspberry Pi
to protect from brute force attacks against SSH.
sudo apt install sshguard
Redirecting audio output
If you have issues with audio, you may try un-commenting the following line in
This forces the HDMI output into HDMI mode instead of DVI; which doesn’t support audio output. You can also configure the system to output to a particular audio device.
sudo amixer cset numid=3 2
For 3.5mm audio jack
sudo amixer cset numid=3 1
Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 & 20.10 - October 30th 2020
- Ubuntu MATE 20.10 is capable of USB boot.
- Compute Module 4 support.
spigroups are pre-created.
- The user created using the first-boot wizard is automatically added to the groups above.
cloud-initis completely removed; file system expansion is handled by
- Snaps are initialized while the first-boot setup wizard runs.
- Plymouth splash screen is displayed correctly during first-boot.
- Serial console is disabled by default.
gpu_memconfigured for 128MB by default.
hdmi_drivenow defaults to DVI mode.
Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 Beta 2 - 13 August 2020
- Re-based on Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1.
- Fixed WiFi on first boot during the initial setup wizard.
config.txtas the defaults should be sensible.
Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Beta 1 - 12 July 2020
- Re-based on Ubuntu MATE 20.04.
- Added support for Raspberry Pi 4.
- Enabled the VC4/V3D (fkms) driver by default.
- Firefox uses Basic rendering by default.
- Based on community feedback and our testing the OMTC (OpenGL) compositing video playback is choppy by comparison.
- Minecraft: Pi Edition is still be packaged.
- USB Booting is work in progress.
raspi-config; we have something else in the works…
Feedback and Improvements
These images are not official Ubuntu products and are community supported by the Ubuntu MATE team. Please post feedback and issues on the dedicated community forum.