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How to Install Ubuntu on a Raspberry Pi

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How to Install Ubuntu on a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is the most popular single board computer of all time. This can be used for various purposes such as desktop PCs, home media centers, smart Wi-Fi routers, automation systems, and game servers. The case is endless.

If your Raspberry Pi comes without an SD card pre-loaded with NOOBS, you need to and manually install the operating system on your SD card. You can run various operating systems on Raspberry Pi, including Windows 10 IoT, FreeBSD, and various Linux distributions such as Arch Linux and Raspbian.

This tutorial explains how to install Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution that can run on all types of hardware, from high-end computers to small devices like Raspberry Pi.

Installing Ubuntu is as easy as writing an OS image file to the SD card. We will show you how to flash an Ubuntu image, boot the Raspberry Pi, and connect it to the Internet.

Writing Pictures to SD Card

There are a number of different applications available for free use so you can use ISO flash images to an SD card. In this tutorial, we will use the Raspberry Pi Imager.

Raspberry Pi Imager is an open-source utility to flash the operating system that runs on Raspberry Pi to the SD card. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu.

Open the Raspberry Pi download page, download the latest version of Imager for your operating system, and install the application.

Note that flashing an image to an SD card is a destructive process, and it will erase all existing data. If you have data on an SD card, first make a backup.

1. Insert an SD card into your SD card drive and launch the Raspberry Pi Imager application:

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2. Click the “SELECT OS” button to open a menu to select the Operating System. Scroll down and click “Ubuntu”:

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3. You will be presented with a list of Ubuntu images to choose from. Choose an image according to your Pi version. In this guide, we use Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM, and we will choose Ubuntu 20.04 64 bit:

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4. Click the “SELECT SD CARD” button, and in the new menu select the SD card that you have entered. If more than one SD card is attached to your system, make sure you have selected the correct drive before flashing the image:

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5. Click the “WRITE” button and the Raspberry Pi Imager will download the selected image and begin the flashing process:

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The process may take several minutes, depending on the file size and card speed.

6. If successful, the application will display the following message:

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That is all! You have Ubuntu bootable to your SD card.

Network Configuration

You can connect your PI to the Internet, either with Ethernet or Wi-Fi. If you are going to use a cable connection, connect Pi to your home router with a cable and skip the next step in this section.

To connect your Pi to the network wirelessly at boot, you must edit the network configuration file and enter your Wi-Fi information :

  1. If you removed the SD card from your computer’s card reader, reinsert it. The SD card will be installed automatically.
  2. Navigate to the system boot partition on the SD card with your OS file manager.
  3. Open the network configuration file and update with Wi-Fi credentials. For example, if your wifi network name is “my router” and your wifi password “S3kr1t” you will edit the file as below:
network-config
version: 2
ethernets:
eth0:
  dhcp4: true
  optional: true
wifis:
  wlan0:
  dhcp4: true
  optional: true
  access-points:
    my-router:
      password: "S3kr1t"

4. Save the file and remove the card from your computer. During boot, your Pi will automatically connect to the specified network.

Raspberry Pi Boot #

You can use your Raspberry Pi as a headless machine and connect it via SSH or plug it into an HDMI screen.

Insert the SD card into your Pi and turn it on. If you use a monitor and keyboard, connect before turning on your Raspberry Pi board.

The default username is ubuntu, and the password is ubuntu.

It takes a few minutes for Pi to boot. Once online, you can find the Raspberry Pi IP address in the DHCP lease table of your router and enter your Ubuntu via ssh:

ssh ubuntu@192.168.1.149

The first time you log in, you will be asked to change your ubuntu user password.

Conclusion

Installing Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi is a very easy process. All you need to do is write the image to the SD card and boot the Raspberry Pi.

If you experience problems or get feedback, leave a comment below.

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