Ubuntu MATE 15.04 for Raspberry Pi 2

you’re best off installing Kodi and streaming via plugins. bbc streams officially if you’re in the UK only.

Excellent distro - it certainly made my Pi 2 much more usable to have proper Ubuntu, thanks!

This page has a tough time loading on Firefox on the Pi 2 - its somehow too heavy - fancy Javascript?
Besides that, is there news on GPU-accelerated rendering? There is clearly development being done on getting the VideoCore 4 working with OpenGL (http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/VC4/) - any plans to make that work in MATE?

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Is there a way to boot into text mode/not start x? I want to use the mate image but I just don’t always want mate running. I could run sudo service lightdm stop at startup but I rather not start it at all. echo 'manual' | sudo dd of=/etc/init/lightdm.override doesn’t work.

How can I install this OS to the USB stick on RPi, like it can be done with raspbian?
I can’t find the boot partition on USB after writing image
Please, help me
Also, I am working through Windows, would it be a problem?

Are you getting this err during upgrades? I get something similar and have not been able to fix. It doesn’t appear to be a major problem, although it is ugly.

Another alternative along with your writing to SD card, would be to go ahead and boot the Pi with the SD card, install a legitimate user, and then use the card to write a new squashfs. Not ideal, but I believe it would work just fine.


Testing this installation and finding it a bit unstable. There is some kind of issue with the Menu system. Hangs for a while then gradually comes back. Or just goes unresponsive.

Also people have posted that they have got Kodi installed and working but when asked how they are not surprisingly silent. I would greatly appreciate a step by step for anyone that has gotten Kodi to work on the Rpi2 Ubuntu Mate distro.

My main use for this is to use it onboard a boat. I can get opencpn and zygrib to work, Kodi would be the final piece of the puzzle. It also runs a little better from a USB stick. Just install as normal to a sd card. Then use either dd or the disk tool on linux to create an image of the installation. Then blank a USB stick and write the image to the USB stick. This will put both the PIBOOT and PIROOT partitions on the usb stick. Then use gparted to expand the PIROOT partition to fill the usb sitck. Edit the cmdline.txt file on the SDCARD and point to root at /dev/sda2 (the second PIROOT partition). Mount and edit /etc/fstab/ on the USB Stick PIROOT partition and point / to /dev/sda2. Put the SDCARD and USB in the Rpi2 power on. The Rpi2 will boot from the SDCARD and then use the USB PIROOT partition as the filesystem. If you wanted you could use a small SDCARD and image the PIBOOT partition only on the SDCARD and the PIROOT partition only on the USB Stick, In that case change /dev/sda2 to /dev/sda1.

Also can’t get any videos to play with omxplayer -o hmdi myvideo.mp4 I have both codec licences installed in config.txt.


VNC Remote Desktop Sharing

For anyone struggling with remote desktop sharing. Follow these instructions to share the desktop.

I found x11vnc was better for me as I wanted to access the same session as being displayed via HDMI (console 0). Plus, it supports UVNC and TightVNC file transfer.

install and set password

  • sudo apt-get install x11vnc
  • x11vnc -storepasswd

create autostart entry

  • cd .config
  • mkdir autostart
  • cd autostart
  • nano x11vnc.desktop
  • paste following text:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=x11vnc -forever -usepw -display :0 -ultrafilexfer

  • save and exit (Ctrl-X, Y, )

Reboot and enjoy.


@BenoitSvB The build script can be found here. Currently, it will only work on an armhf device.

@sparticle Thanks for sharing the instructions. It will definitely be useful for others :smiley:

It’s strange that you should face playback issues with omxplayer.

There is a typo in your command. It should be omxplayer -o hdmi myvideo.mp4 instead.

@rohithmadhavan It looks as if that will produce the current desktop, not Mate 1.10. Right?

Its a typo in my post rather than the command. I figured out it needed sudo to work.

Abandoned this distro as it was Unstable on my Rpi2 random crashes and hangs. So now have raspbian Jessie with mate desktop solid as a rock!


@BenoitSvB Yes. The repositories for Ubuntu Vivid, i.e. 15.04, contain MATE 1.8.
You can change vivid to wily in the build script to get Ubuntu 15.10 with MATE 1.10, although you may experience a lot of bugs/issues as it is still in Alpha…

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i could successfully ping into the address of my Pi, but failed to SSH into it using command ‘ssh [email protected]
the output i get is “connection refused”
constraints here are i connot connect my pi to a display, all i hv is a card reader to edit!
please suggest me a solution.
and what is the default username and password for ubuntu mate.

@rohithmadhavan Am just inquisitive to know as to why this appears during boot - “failed to start load kernel modules” - It’s been there since the very first install. Is there anything I can do to remove this?!

PS: Great port btw. My Pi is finally breathing 24/7! :smile:

I had switched to AlienDeb (Debian Jessie) for a while but the connection to the WWW just broke after an update. I had made the switch mostly because of the random pauses in Ubuntu Mate. Now since this is agian :stuck_out_tongue: my go-to OS on the Pi I have added the following to the config.txt. It's taken directly from the AlienDeb config file.
Output - the whole OS is a shade more responsive.

Type this to edit: sudo pluma /boot/firmware/config.txt
Copy Paste the following lines:

hdmi_group=1 CEA

PS: I have no clue as to what the last 7-8 lines mean but it does work like a charm.

I have had major issues with Firefox. The browser crashes if it goes into sleep/idle mode and I need the browser open at all times since my connection to the web is through a login portal. So if you face similar problems, here is the solution.
Download this add-on and add a refresh timer to any given page -

Question to the developers:
If you right click on the panel or task bar and select "Add to Panel" there is something known as "CPU frequency scaling monitor" . My question is "Do the profiles such as "Conservative" "On demand" "Performance" "Powersave" matter? Do they work since the system is anyway tweaked?"

The CPU governors will have an effect. You can learn about them here:

Am experiencing major issues with the Mate OS. Browsers randomply crash when left idle.
Firefox hates being left alone. If it isn’t used it crashes
Luakit seems to have a mind of its own. It will work when it wants to. Random hangs
Chrome - The fat PIG of the lot! It leaves you with only 100MB to spare. So it got the boot.

I get the following exception - AppPort has crashed

At first I thought it was due to overclocking but it isn’t. I reverted back to the default and the browsers still FCs.
Please help. I use the Pi for automated downloads and without an open browser I cannot connect to the internet.

With respect to the config.txt there needs to be an edit in line which states h624_freq. Should read as h264_freq and not h624_freq
Have also made a few more adjustments to the config file
Anything above 530 and the system will :scream:


Everything else remains the same
More info on this can be found here - https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt.md

Can Someone please help me? I just bought 2 RPi2’s. One I plan on running Ubuntu mate just a little toy around PC to teach myself some programming in Linux. The other I planned on using as a small travel around media center bc the case I bought for it has a built in screen. It’s a Tontec 3.5" screen. It comes with instructions I plan to upload a picture of. My main problem it seems I’ve been having is that the instructions are made for raspbian and I’m running ubuntu. I can get through step 3 no problem, but when I got to step 4 the config file that comes up is blank. I looked around online to find where Ubuntu has the packet at and I’ve seen how the file is supposed to look, full of text if your jw, but I’m out of ideas and am in diar need of help. Thanks.

sudo pluma /boot/firmware/config.txt should bring up the config file