Device Ports

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.

Features

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.
    • fbturbo driver 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 Ubuntu MATE running on the Raspberry Pi 4

Supported Raspberry Pi

Unsupported Raspberry Pi

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 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 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
Raspberry Pi 4 2GB RAM Flirc Case Samsung EVO Plus 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I U1

Download

Run Ubuntu MATE on your Raspberry Pi today.

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Additional features

USB Booting

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 /boot/firmware/config.txt.

#dtoverlay=dwc2,dr_mode=host

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.

Firmware

The GPU firmware partition is mounted at /boot/firmware. The files /boot/firmware/config.txt and /boot/firmware/cmdline.txt contain the system configuration and kernel command line options respectively.

SSH

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 sshguard 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 /boot/firmware/config.txt:

#hdmi_drive=2

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.

For HDMI

sudo amixer cset numid=3 2

For 3.5mm audio jack

sudo amixer cset numid=3 1

Recent Changes

Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 & 20.10 - October 30th 2020

  • Ubuntu MATE 20.10 is capable of USB boot.
  • Compute Module 4 support.
  • The gpio, i2c, input and spi groups are pre-created.
    • The user created using the first-boot wizard is automatically added to the groups above.
  • cloud-init is completely removed; file system expansion is handled by cloud-initramfs-growroot and the x-systemd.growfs mount option.
  • 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_mem configured for 128MB by default.
  • hdmi_drive now 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.
  • Dropped gpu_mem from config.txt as 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.
  • Added rpi-eeprom.
  • Minecraft: Pi Edition is still be packaged.
  • USB Booting is work in progress.
  • Dropped raspi-config; we have something else in the works…

Previous Changes

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.