How To

How to Install Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3: Step By Step Guide

With the excellent capability even to a limited hardware, Ubuntu MATE is one of the most favorites and recommended Operating System for PCs. It is also perfect for the Raspberry Pi devices, especially Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi 3. In today’s guide, I will show you how to install Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 device.

Though I generally use the Windows 10 IoT Core on my Pi 3 board, one of my friends suggested me to try some other portable core and see how it works on Pi. So I thought and installed the Ubuntu supported .NET base on my Raspberry Pi 3 and got good results. Maybe because it is portable across Linux and Windows platforms. This lead me to write this how-to guide for my reader for helping them to install Linux on Raspberry Pi 3.

At the end of this process, you will be an owner of a circuit board which can perform snaps testing or production ready.

Things you will need to complete this project:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 board
  2. Micro SD card (8GB recommended)
  3. HDMI cable
  4. Monitor to HDMI interface
  5. Ubuntu Core image from official source
  6. Raspberry Pi Power supply
  7. USB keyboard and mouse
  8. USB WiFi adapter (if you use Raspberry Pi 2 board)

How to Install Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3

Connect all the necessary components to your Raspberry Pi 3 board including the Pi display, keyboard, mouse, power adapter, Micro SD card, etc.

You need to create an Ubuntu SSO account for creating the first user after the Ubuntu Core image installation. So, create the account and import the SSH key of Raspberry Pi 3 in that. Then, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Download the Ubuntu MATE Image

  • On your device, open the Raspberry Pi web browser.
  • Go the site ‘’ and click on the Raspberry Pi image in the center.
  • A new Raspberry Pi specific page for downloading Ubuntu image will open. Click on the ‘Download Ubuntu MATE’ button.
  • Choose your architecture (here Raspberry Pi) and click on the version 16.04.2 (Xenial).
  • Then select your downlink to begin the image download.

If you have done this process on your PC, then copy the downloaded file on the Micro SD card and then insert it into your Pi board.

Ubuntu MATE

Step-2: Write the Ubuntu Image

You can directly write the image to the Micro SD card like you for the Raspberry Pi image. You can take help of some commands if you are using Linux environment or can use Win32 Disk Imager or 7-Zip application if you work in Windows OS.Win32 Disk Imager

Step-3: Boot up the board & Install Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3

Now, it is the time to boot your circuit board. Reboot the Raspberry Pi, if it is already up and running. Connect the HDMI monitor to your Pi for watching what happens when you boot it up.

You can also do this without the monitor. You just need to remember the IP address of your board. Check my blog on how to find Raspberry Pi IP address in case if you don’t know.

After booting up your Pi, the Ubuntu MATE will also boot up automatically. When you see the screen showing window of ‘System Configuration,’ then follow the process below:

  1. Click on the ‘Continue’ button after you pick your language.
  2. Again click ‘Continue’ after choosing the nearest location to you on the map screen.
  3. Create the username and password to begin the process.
  4. When you see a message of the keyboard settings auto-detected, then select ‘Continue.’
  5. The system will reboot automatically after the installation process completed. Enter the username and password to access Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi.

Ubuntu MATE Image


If you don’t know about the coding in Linux environment, then don’t worry. There are tons of online resources available which will guide you from starting up your PC to run the complex of codes to finish such process.

The Ubuntu MATE works great on the Raspberry Pi 3, and so I decided to use it for some time more. Though the official Raspbian is the most famous and widely used Operating System for Raspberry Pi, with the help of such guide and YouTube videos, you should try not-so-common distros on your board. Because every platform delivers unique and superior performances than the others at some particular stage.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Also if you know any other quick & easy process to install Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3, then share your experience here.

Jessica Ward

Hey! I am Jessica Ward. I love to write about technology and learn or thinking about latest techno. And my forever ever love technology project is Raspberry Pi. I do and know more or more for Raspberry Pi.

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