Your dream of being able to run Ubuntu desktop on the Raspberry Pi 4 may be closer to reality than you think.
October’s Ubuntu 20.10 release may introduce official support for Ubuntu desktop on the Raspberry Pi, if a recent tease by Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress on the Ubuntu Podcast bears fruit.
The recently announced 8GB Raspberry Pi certainly positions itself as a competent low-cost ARM-powered desktop PC, and one more than capable of running “full” desktop versions of Linux distros like Ubuntu.
While Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Raspberry Pi is already a ‘thing’ it is a GUI-free server edition and not the fully-featured desktop that many would prefer to use. The question of when an official Ubuntu desktop image for the Pi might happen — if at all — is a regularly Googled one.
But now we have a sort of answer.
In a recent Ubuntu Podcast episode, as noted by Joe Ressington, Martin says: “Maybe, maybe …Ssh, it’s just right us right, don’t tell anyone, [but] one of the things [omg! ubuntu’s article on Ubuntu 20.10] didn’t have on it is …maybe we’re working on Ubuntu desktop for the Raspberry Pi”.
Pretty huge if true.
Now, admittedly it’s not a major effort to install a full desktop environment on top of Ubuntu server right now — made easier by open source tool Desktopify — but having a bonafide desktop build available would offer quality, integration and testing benefits that are otherwise unavailable.
Though Martin’s tease is short of a full guarantee that Ubuntu desktop for Raspberry Pi is indeed happening, it’s a pretty solid indication that the team is aware of the demand and working towards catering to it in some capacity.
Want to see just how well Ubuntu desktop works on the latest Raspberry Pi? Here’s a one hour live of Martin Wimpress installing it on top of the official Ubuntu 20.04 LTS image…