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Raspian versus Ubuntu Mate for ROS on Raspberry Pi

asked 2018-01-27 12:19:36 -0500

updated 2018-01-27 13:49:32 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image


I have a script that compiles ROS Kinetic and any other packages I want to add onto the latest Raspbian Stretch Lite on my Raspberry Pi.

But I am often told to just use Ubuntu Mate or the ROS images built on top of Ubuntu Mate for the RPi.

I’ve been dismissing these suggestions since I run ROS on my RPi headless without the need for a GUI system, which comes with Ubuntu Mate. The Raspbian Lite image seems much more lightweight.

But to be honest, I don’t have any direct experience w Ubuntu Mate on a RPi so I’m wondering if I’m being myopic.


My questions:

Other than ease of installing the ROS packages via apt-get on Ubuntu, are there any other benefits to using Ubuntu Mate for the RPi? Drawbacks to using Mate for the RPi?

Are all the RPi GPIO, system (ie camera, etc) supports on Raspbian also first class citizens, supported on Ubuntu Mate?

Thoughts welcomed!

Thanks Jack

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answered 2018-01-27 13:24:41 -0500

Actually, I may have been able to answer my own question with a quick Google search "Raspbian versus Ubuntu Mate"

For headless GUI-less operations, Raspbian Lite is preferred over Ubuntu Mate as there is less bloatware and overhead.

There's more community support with Raspbian but the gap is narrowing. All the common GPIO, hardware capabilities are in Mate so it's a draw there.

Since I'm running headless and want as little overhead from the OS as possible (want to save the CPU cycles for ROS), probably best I stick with Raspbian Stetch Lite for my ROS robots.

Still open to hearing other people's thoughts...

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I had the same question a while back and could not find any objective comparison between the two. I think if the difference in overhead was significant, it would be discussed more on the forums. Anyway, I chose Ubuntu as it's recommended by ROS wiki. (I have not tried Raspbian Lite)

mohsen gravatar image mohsen  ( 2018-01-27 15:01:44 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-01-27 12:19:36 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 27 '18