I have worked on a variety of projects where a Raspberry Pi was the perfect hardware platform to host various services. They are very cheap, easy to configure, and there is a vast array of add on hardware available. My operating system of choice is Ubuntu MATE, the LTS version which is currently at version 16.04.2 can be installed on Raspberry Pi hardware versions 2 and 3.
This post will cover a basic installation of Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS onto a Raspberry Pi 3. The intended use will be as a server so it will be configured to use a wired ethernet connection with a static IP address, an SSH server will be enabled for remote access and we will be booting into the CLI rather than the GUI.
Installing an OS onto a Raspberry Pi requires you to use another computer to write the image file onto a micro SD card. You must have a way to mount a micro SD card onto the computer using either an inbuilt or external USB reader. For this post I am going to be using a Windows 10 PC however it is possible to use other OS’s as well.
Go to the Ubuntu site and download the image for Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS for Raspberry Pi from here.
It comes packaged as an XZ archive so I use 7 Zip to extract the IMG file.
Now grab a copy of Win32 Disk Imager from SourceForge and install it.
Insert your micro SD card and launch Win32 Disk Imager.
Select your extracted Ubuntu Mate IMG file and change the Device to the drive letter of your micro SD Card.
Click Write to begin the process.
It will take about 10 minutes to write the image.
Eject the device safely in Windows, insert it into the Raspberry Pi 3 and power it on.
Select English as the Language and click Continue.
Select “I don’t want to connect to a wi-fi network right now” and click Continue.
Select an appropriate location on the map to set the timezone and system locale and click Continue.
Select an appropriate keyboard layout and click Continue.
Enter an appropriate Name, Username and Computer name and then a password.
Select “Log in automatically” and click Continue
The installer will now proceed to configure the system.
When configuration is complete you will see the splash screen above.
Click Close to continue.
Go to the System Menu in the top left corner and select Preferences – Internet and Network – Network Connections.
Select “Wired connection 1” under Ethernet and click the Edit button.
Click on the “IPv4 Settings” tab at the top.
Click on the Method drop down list and select Manual.
Enter an appropriate IP Address, a Netmask in CIDR notation and the Gateway address.
Enter your networks DNS server address.
Click Close to finish.
Now we will disable automatic updates as this is a server and we wish to exercise some control over when and how it will be updated.
Go to the System Menu in the top left corner and select Administration – Software & Updates.
Select the Updates Tab at the top.
Open the drop down list for Automatically check for updates and select Never.
Enter your admin password and click Authenticate.
Click close to finish.
We will now use the Raspberry Pi Software Configuration Tool to enable the SSH Server and set the system to boot into the CLI.
Right click on a free space on the Desktop and select “Open in Terminal” from the menu that appears.
A terminal window will open, enter the following command to launch Raspberry Pi configuration:
Enter your password when prompted.
Use the Arrow keys to select option 2 and press Enter.
Use the Arrow keys to select option 1 “Desktop/CLI”.
Use the Arrow Keys to select option B1 “Console Text console” and press Enter.
Use the Arrow Keys to select option 5 “Advanced Options” and press Enter.
Use the Arrow Keys to select option 3 “Interfacing Options” and Press Enter
Use the Arrow Keys to select option 2 SSH and press Enter.
Use the Arrow keys to select Yes and press Enter.
Press Enter to continue.
Select Finish and Press Enter.
Select Yes to reboot.
Now reach for your favourite SSH client and login remotely.
The last thing we need to do is download and install any updates.
Enter the following command to instruct apt, the Ubuntu MATE software package manager to to go out to the internet and refresh the list of available updates.
sudo apt-get update
The next step is to download and install the available updates.
Issue the command:
sudo apt-get upgrade
apt will return a list of software that will be upgraded and give you the size of the download and the disk space that will be consumed by the upgrade process.
Press Y and Enter to proceed.
apt will download and install the listed packages, depending on your internet connection speed this may take a while.
When it has finished, it is a good idea to reboot the server by issuing the following command:
Depending on what your use case is, you may wish to disable Bluetooth and WiFi. Instructions can be found in this post.