Jetson/TX2 Ubuntu Base

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Ubuntu Base

Ubuntu Base is a minimal rootfs for use in the creation of custom images for specific needs. This file system can be substituted for the Tegra sample file system provided by nVidia.

Installing Ubuntu Base requires a good knowledge of linux as it does not come with any user accounts. These need to be added to the filesystem to allow you to login.

Ubuntu Base can be obtained from the ubuntu website here


This can also be used to create your file system from scratch. For more information checkout this github page.

Installation considerations

  • Add the user accounts
  • Add users to sudo group to allow admin access
  • Install additional packages (best done using QEMU prior to flashing)
    • Recommend installing the following with QEMU ARM emulator apt-get install sudo nano vim net-tools ping isc-dhcp-client ethtool .
    • If installing PCIe hardware on your platform then you might want to add apt-get install udev hwinfo pciutils

Install QEMU

QEMU will let you make modifications to the rootfs prior to flashing your image. This will be useful for editing files and setting up your user accounts.

To install and run the QEMU for ARM for your rootfs:

sudo apt-get -qqy install qemu-user-static
cp /usr/bin/qemu-aarch64-static <rootfs>/usr/bin/.
chroot <rootfs> /bin/bash


There are a large number of windows managers available for Linux. For a light weight desktop manager for an embedded application you might want to consider Xfce Desktop Environment or Lxde Desktop Environment.

Before you start please edit /etc/apt/sources.list and uncomment line:

# deb http://ports/ xenial universe

After installing Xorg you will need to correct the link to to run OpenGL applications:

sudo rm /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/tegra/ 


The XFCE4 desktop (with no nVidia Jetpack installed) is 970Mb when installed under Ubuntu Base.

To install Xfce you will need to run apt-get install --no-install-recommends xorg xfce4 this will give you a minimal desktop experience.

Xfce4 Desktop running CUDA


LXDE desktop on Jetson TX2.

To install Lxde you will need to run apt-get install --no-install-recommends xorg lxde lxde-common this will give you a minimal desktop experience.

LxdeDesktop running CUDA

You may need to export:

export DISPLAY=:0.0
sudo startlxde