Since I discovered that Ubuntu MATE was available for the Raspberry Pi2 I have been thinking of writing up some instructions for anyone who might be thinking of downloading the image and copying it to a micro SD card using Debian.
Although it is derived from the older GNOME2 desktop it is still quite a big ask for a Raspberry Pi run MATE (if you want a light weight desktop environment you should consider LXDE instead) but with the additional processing power available in the Raspberry Pi2 it becomes a lot more usable.
I’m still amazed that a credit card sized computer costing about £35 can run a full blown desktop distribution like Ubuntu.
Note – You will need a 4GB micro SD card to hold the expanded MATE image.
The first thing we need to do is download an image of the micro SD card from source forge – unless you have a very fast internet connection this will take a while (so you could spend some time reading my other Raspberry Pi posts). If you don’t want to use the command below you can find also find the link on the Ubuntu MATE download page.
$ wget -c http://master.dl.sourceforge.net/project/ubuntu-mate/15.04/armhf/\
Length: 947220777 (903M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: ‘ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img.bz2’
ubuntu-mate-15.04- 100%[===============>] 903.34M 518KB/s in 29m 58s
Assuming that the script reports that the micro SD card is ‘sde’ then we can use ‘mount’ to check if we need to unmount any existing partitions, these will be overwritten when we write the new image to the card. In this case there are two mounted partitions ‘/dev/sde1’ and ‘/dev/sde2’ so I have to unmount both partitions.
$ mount |grep sde
/dev/sde1 on /media/system/PI_BOOT type vfat
/dev/sde2 on /media/system/PI_ROOT type ext4
$ umount /dev/sde1
$ umount /dev/sde2
Note – To write the image we need to be running as the superuser (root) so also need to use ‘su’.
$ bzip2 -d ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img.bz2
# dd if=ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img \
> of=/dev/sde bs=32768
120000+0 records in
120000+0 records out
3932160000 bytes (3.9 GB) copied, 378.261 s, 10.4 MB/s
Than all you need to do is insert the micro SD card in your Raspbery Pi2, boot, and wait while it loads.
Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation