Your submission was sent successfully! Close

Jump to main content
  1. Blog
  2. Article

Rhys Davies
on 13 March 2020

How to install Ubuntu with the new Raspberry Pi Imager

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released their new “Raspberry Pi Imager” and we love it.  It’s a new tool that makes getting going with the Raspberry Pi easier than ever. All it takes is a simple install and three clicks before you have an SDcard ready for Pi. In this article, I’m going to talk about what the tool actually does, Ubuntu’s place within the tool, and how to use it to start a new project.

The Raspberry Pi Imager 

The beauty of this tool is in its simplicity. It solves a common problem and lowers the bar for new users with an easy-to-install, quickly-executable app that takes care of everything. There are some features and additions already being requested, but ultimately, they likely won’t be included. There is something to be said for a tool that quite elegantly does the job without worrying about other things or becoming over complicated.  

How it works

First, the imager downloads a .JSON file from with a list of all of the most up-to-date options to download. When you click the “CHOOSE OS” button a list of operating system options will appear, as well as the options for EEPROM recovery, SDcard formatting and custom image selection.

Once you have selected the OS you want, the tool reads the file directly from their website and writes it to the SDcard. This is a subtle, but large improvement from before. Instead of having to download a file to your hard drive and then write it to an SDcard, the imager does this for you in one step. It also caches the download (saves it locally on your computer) so you can write the same image to other SDcards without having to re-download the file. 

How to get the Raspberry Pi Imager

The “how” is the easiest part. Download the imager for any OS by going to the Raspberry Pi download page, and downloading it. 

Choosing Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi Imager

As you can see, Ubuntu is in the first list of options when you click “CHOOSE OS”. If you select this option, you will be able to choose from the latest LTS (Long Term Support) Ubuntu server images, or the latest Ubuntu Core images for either armhf or arm64 architectures. Canonical updates these images with every new LTS.

You also have the option of downloading a non-LTS Ubuntu release. These images contain all of the latest developments and features that Canonical’s engineers contribute to the latest releases.  These releases are not recommended by default because they are only supported for six months. After the six-month standard maintenance window, if you don’t update your Pi it stops receiving security updates. 

Raspberry Pi Imager tutorials

Thomas Bille, from the Ubuntu web development team, recently posted a blog about a change we have made to how and where tutorials can be found and created. In this new place, you will find a growing number of tutorials that use a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu. You will also find that each of these tutorials has been updated to use the Raspberry Pi imager.

The idea is to make starting with a Raspberry Pi on Ubuntu as frictionless as possible. We have a tutorial to walk you through the simple steps to create the flashable SD card, and a tutorial to get you fully set up with Ubuntu server for your Raspberry Pi project.

Tutorial: how to install Ubuntu on your Raspberry Pi

As time goes on more of these tutorials will start cropping up. Please leave any comments or questions you have on in the new tutorial section of discourse, where they are written. We appreciate any constructive feedback you have.

Get started

All of this though means nothing though if you’re not using it. Download the imager, search around for some Raspberry Pi tutorials and get building. However, if you already know what you’re doing, and already have Pis scattered around your life, why not get started making tutorials. Create your own Raspberry Pi tutorial on the Ubuntu discourse for the whole community to see. There’s even a tutorial on how to do it. Once it’s there and hasn’t been commented on for a while, we’ll publish it on the website for the whole world to see. Comment around and let us know what you think.


This blog was written as a follow up of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s own blog, which describes the Raspberry Pi Imager as fully open-source and a modification of the PiBakery too, which was later modified and finished by Floris Bos. You can check out Floris’ other software here.  

Related posts

Felicia Jia
19 September 2023

Canonical partners with AMD to enable Ubuntu on AMD Kria™ K24 SOMs

IoT Article

Canonical has partnered with AMD (since from when it was still Xilinx) for many years and we jointly deliver optimised/certified Ubuntu on multiple AMD device families, e.g. AMD Zynq™ UltraScale+™ evaluation boards and AMD Kria™ K26 SOMs (system-on-module). Canonical is pleased to announce Ubuntu is now enabled on AMD’s new Kria™ KD240 an ...

12 September 2023

이제 인텔 SoC에서 일반적으로 사용 가능한 최적화된 실시간 우분투

IoT Article

Canonical이 TSN 및 인텔 TCC를 지원하는 인텔 코어 프로세서에서 실시간 우분투를 제공 2023년 7월 26일, 런던: Canonical은 오늘 인텔 코어 프로세서에 최적화된 실시간 우분투를 이용할 수 있음을 발표했습니다. 이 솔루션을 통해 기업은 통신회사 워크로드에서 생명을 구하는 의료 장비 및 공장용 자동화 시스템에 이르기까지 광범위한 사용 사례에 인텔 실리콘에 최적화된 리눅스의 성능을 이용할 수 있습니다. Canonical의 ...

26 July 2023

Optimised Real-time Ubuntu is now generally available on Intel SoCs

IoT Article

Canonical delivers Real-time Ubuntu on Intel Core processors with TSN and Intel TCC support London, 26 July 2023: Canonical today announced the availability of Real-time Ubuntu optimised on Intel Core processors.  The solution enables enterprises to harness the power of optimised Linux on Intel silicon for a wide range of use cases, from ...