Running Ubuntu MATE inside MultiPass virtual machine

Canonical developed interesting application named MultiPass. It is lightweight front-end on top of QEMU-KVM.

The below guide allows one to run Ubuntu MATE by Multipass. The GUI will be accessible by using remote desktop protocol (RDP) via FreeRDP client.

First install FreeRDP client and MultiPass on host system by using commands below:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install freerdp2-x11

sudo snap install multipass

Then create fresh virtual machine by

multipass launch -m 4G -d 16G -n ubuntu-mate impish


  • -m 4G means 4 gigabytes of RAM;
  • -d 16G - 16 gigabytes of disk space;
  • impish specifies 21.10 (impish) Ubuntu version. You can amend impish if you need latest LTS version (focal, 20.04 LTS).

Then login to newly created virtual machine:

multipass shell ubuntu-mate

and execute following commands

# change password of default user
sudo passwd ubuntu

# edit IP address and uncomment if you have Squid Deb Proxy server in your network
#echo 'Acquire::http::Proxy "";' | sudo tee /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99proxy

# get updates and install Ubuntu MATE with XRDP server
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade -y
sudo apt install -y ubuntu-mate-desktop^ xrdp

# exit from VM shell

Get IPv4-address of just created virtual machine

$ multipass list
Name                    State             IPv4             Image
ubuntu-mate             Running      Ubuntu 21.10

and finally connect to it using FreeRDP client with enabled clipboard:

xfreerdp /u:ubuntu /v: /w:1366 /h:660 +clipboard

or fully programmatically:

xfreerdp /u:ubuntu /v:$(multipass list | grep ubuntu-mate | awk '{print $3}') /w:1366 /h:660 +clipboard

As the result you will get fully functional system as shown on below screenshot:

Some additional commands:

  • virtual machine may be stopped by multipass stop ubuntu-mate
  • virtual machine may be deleted by multipass delete ubuntu-mate --purge

MultiPass documentation is available at Multipass Documentation | Multipass documentation .