I have installed Ubuntu Snappy Core 15.04 into my Raspberry Pi. I would like to install a desktop, but if I try to install Xorg or any "ubuntu-desktop" using the snappy install command, it always gives an error that the package does not exist. How do i install an desktop?

1 Answer 1


Snappy Ubuntu core is definitely an option of your want to load Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 2. However, Snappy Ubuntu uses a different package management system and is different from mainstream Ubuntu in several other ways. Ubuntu is definitely an option. But the MATE is a development of the Gnome 2 desktop and is my preference over Unity, at least on low power devices. Enter Ubuntu MATE, now you can not only have MATE desktop but also get the latest Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet on Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi Ubuntu MATE image is based on Ubuntu armhf and not the new Snappy Ubuntu Core. This means that it functions the same way as the regular desktop version and uses the same package management system. So you will be able to use apt-get commands to manage your packages.

Setup Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 2 with Ubuntu MATE

The current Ubuntu MATE 15.04 image for Raspberry Pi 2 made by Rohith Madhavan and can be downloaded from here.

First download Raspberry Pi Ubuntu image from Ubuntu MATE. The file will be downloaded as ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img.bz2. Pop in the micro SD card into your computer slot to setup Ubuntu on RPi 2.0 Model B.

Ubuntu for RPi 2 Setup from Linux

First, find out the device id of the SD card as /dev/sdX, where X is the device id. Then, use the bunzip2 command to extract the downloaded .bz2 file. Finally, write the extract .img file using the ddrescue command. The sequence of steps is shown below (of course replace the sdX with the current device id):

$ lsblk
$ bunzip2 ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img.bz2 
$ sudo ddrescue -d -D --force ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img /dev/s

Running Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi

Throughput on a SD is no where near an HDD therefore having a good Class 10 micro SDHC card is key. The first time you boot Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 2, you will have to through the setup wizard to create user account as you would on regular Ubuntu installation.

Upon writing the image to the SD card, not all space on the SD card will be used. You will have to manually resize the filesystem. Boot Raspberry Pi to Ubuntu MATE and run fdisk command to re-work partitions:

sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk0

Delete the second partition (d, 2), then re-create it using the defaults (n, p, 2, enter, enter), then write and exit (w). Reboot the system, then issue:

sudo resize2fs /dev/mmcblk0p2

The above command will run for a few minutes. You can then verify the filesystem size with df -h command. Once your Raspberry Pi Ubuntu system is ready, the possibilities are endless.


This is a VERY SIMPLE rundown on installing MATE. I suggest you read the documentation found here.

  • 2
    This is SNAPPY UBUNTU CORE, not normal Ubuntu. Snappy Ubuntu does not use apt-get.
    – Star OS
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:09
  • @StarOS, then try using yum install where ever I mentioned apt-get.
    – Max Kulik
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:11
  • It does not use yum either, it uses the "snappy install" command.
    – Star OS
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:12
  • @StarOS, OR if that's still not the case. Then you will have to install the required packages individually and install them manually. Why are you using "Snappy". What is your goal?
    – Max Kulik
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:13
  • Installing a desktop, and snappy is the only thing i can use to install and do some stuff.
    – Star OS
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:14

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