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on 28 May 2024

Canonical enables Ubuntu on Milk-V Mars, a credit-card-sized RISC-V SBC

May 28th, 2024 – Canonical announced that the optimised Ubuntu 24.04 image is available for Milk-V Mars, the first credit-card-sized high-performance RISC-V Single Board Computer (SBC) delivered by Shenzhen MilkV Technology Co., Ltd.

RISC-V, a new paradigm in silicon development 

Open standards and collaboration are vital to hardware and software in industries, and have been instrumental in reshaping our world. RISC-V is the most prolific and open Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) in history, which has led the hardware community to embrace open standards and collaboration at this level.

This open ISA is enabling a new era of processor innovation through open-standard collaboration and rapid industry-wide adoption. The RISC-V ISA is an open standard that enables silicon vendors to design their solutions using an open and standard instruction set as a baseline , making it a fast fit with open source development and a strong contender for the industry standard ISAs across the compute spectrum . The architecture can be applied to a broad range of processors, from low-end microcontrollers to high-end server-grade processors.

The world’s first credit-card-size high-performance RISC-V Single Board Computer introduced by Milk-V

As a RISC-V pioneer, Milk-V is committed to providing high quality RISC-V products to developers, enterprises and consumers, and to promoting the development of the RISC-V hardware and software ecosystem. 

Milk-V Mars is a credit-card-sized high-performance RISC-V single board computer (SBC) powered by StarFive JH7110. This quad-core device supports plug-and-play eMMC modules and up to 8GB of LPDDR4 memory. Mars features three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI 2.0 port supporting 4K resolution, an RJ45 Ethernet port supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE), and an M.2 E-Key slot for WIFI/BT modules. It also includes a 4-channel MIPI CSI and a 2-channel MIPI CSI, along with a 40-pin GPIO, making it an ideal hardware platform for RISC-V developers and enthusiasts.

Fig. Milk-V Mars

Open source initiatives are backed by Canonical

While RISC-V enables stable reference architectures and hardware, running stable software on new boards can still be challenging. The cornerstone of the necessary software is the underlying Operating System (OS), which provides reliability and stability. This demand makes development on Linux even more attractive, since Linux is the most popular OS for developers and hobbyists, across kernel, drivers and distributions.

At Canonical, we believe that open source is the best way to accelerate innovation, which motivates us to enable a wide range of open source communities under the Ubuntu umbrella. Open source software is prized by developers and innovators, but it comes with its own set of challenges. By ensuring the stability of underlying frameworks, Canonical aims to help developers focus on taking their products to market faster.

RISC-V has a lot of potential and is becoming a competitive ISA in multiple markets. With this premise in mind, porting Ubuntu to RISC-V to become the reference OS for early adopters was a natural choice. 

Ubuntu & Milk-V: crafting Ubuntu as the best operating system for RISC-V

Milk-V and Canonical have reached a strategic cooperation agreement with the intention of bringing Ubuntu to novel RISC-V devices. Milk-V will provide hardware sponsorship to Canonical, including for future products, and offer an Ubuntu operating system as its main supported and maintained system to users across form factors and use cases, with a specific emphasis on accelerated computing and AI. With the support of Milk-V’s hardware and engineering teams, Canonical will leverage the latest and greatest RISC-V designs to continuously improve Ubuntu and the broader open source ecosystem for the RISC-V ISA. Once new Milk-V products will be available, Canonical will collaborate with Milk-V to launch developer preview Ubuntu images and support version updates. This collaboration is aimed at providing users of the RISC-V architecture platform with a rich operating system designed to enhance development and user experiences. 

“Ubuntu is one of the most classic and popular operating systems, and Milk-V Mars is an excellent SBC product for developers, integrating high-performance GPU and rich interfaces. We are delighted to collaborate with Canonical to deliver optimised Ubuntu on Milk-V Mars, which accelerates innovation and time to market for developers,” said Ke Yiran, Vice President, Shenzhen MilkV Technology Co., Ltd.

The optimised Ubuntu 24.04 image for Milk-V Mars SBC is now available to download. For guidance and discussion on mirrors and the best way to install them, please review the installation instructions and leave your comments to benefit more developers.

“Canonical has always been committed to supporting the development community by providing the latest and greatest of open source across various ISAs. We are thrilled to collaborate with Milk-V in enabling Ubuntu on the Milk-V Mars SBC,” stated Gordan Markuš, Director of Silicon Alliances at Canonical. “It’s truly exciting to see the Milk-V Mars board on the market with its affordable pricing and robust features, making it an accessible and developer-friendly solution. This partnership underscores our dedication to democratise innovation together with our partners through open source and open standards.”

About Canonical

Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, provides open source security, support and services. Our portfolio covers critical systems, from the smallest devices to the largest clouds, from the kernel to containers, from databases to AI. With customers that include top tech brands, emerging startups, governments and home users, Canonical delivers trusted open source for everyone. Learn more at

About Milk-V

Milk-V is committed to providing high quality RISC-V products to developers, enterprises and consumers, and to promoting the development of the RISC-V hardware and software ecosystem. Milk-V will firmly support open source, and hopes that through its own efforts and those of the community, future RISC-V products will be as numerous and bright as the stars in the Milky Way. Learn more at

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