Install Ubuntu 20 on a Pi 4 8GB

Before we start I want to point out that this procedure is intended for Ubuntu 20.04 on a Pi 4.  I had some issues with the Pi 4 or the OS not recognizing the monitor/TV I was using.  By this I mean the Pi4 would boot but the screen was black.  Nothing on it.  There seems to be an issue with HDMI monitors/TVs being recognized.  This is all covered here so you should read this entire post before beginning.  This way as you encounter problems you will know that they will be addressed later in this procedure.  If you search the internet for solutions to the hdmi issue it will tell you to modify different attributes in the /boot/config.txt file.  However on Ubuntu 20.04 in the header of this file it tell you not to make user changes in this file but to make them in the /boot/firmware/usercfg.txt file.  For ubuntu use the usercfg.txt file.  For other OS you will no other choice.

I prefer Ubuntu over other operating systems because I know it.  Better “the devil you know then the one you don’t”.

OK now lets get started with why you came here:  the installation of Ubuntu 20.04 on a Pi 4.  This will take about 1+ hours.

  1.  download Ubuntu 20.04 AND balena etcher
  2. on your laptop use etcher to burn the iso image to the sim card
  3. with the sim card in your laptop edit the
    /boot/firmware/usercfg.txt file on sim card by adding following
    line:
    hdmi_safe=1 <–if you don’t then when the Pi boots there will
    be nothing on your monitor/tv screen. At this point your screen resolution will be about 400×900.  You will have to modify this file later in the process to set a better screen resolution.  For now this screen resolution should be fine.
  4. NOW PAY ATTENTION: IF YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE usercfg.txt FILE
    I.E., IT APPEARS TO HAVE THE WRONG PERMISSIONS IT IS PROBABLY DUE
    TO THE TOGGLE ON THE SIM CARD HOLDER BEING PUT IN THE READ ONLY
    POSITION. POP IT OUT AND SLIDE IT TO THE OTHER POSITION, REINSERT
    AND TRY AGAIN.
  5. insert ethernet cable into pi 4
  6. insert sim card into pi 4
  7. plug in pi/boot – you should see white text on a black bacground scrolling by.
  8. if scrolling stops without a prompt hit enter – its waiting on you.
  9. login: ubuntu/ubuntu
    It will prompt for a new password and confirm.
  10. sudo ip link set dev eth0 down
  11. sudo dhclient eth0
  12. this is a test and it must work: –> sudo apt install net-tools
    if this fails you most likely don’t have access to the internet and the
    rest of this procedure will fail.
  13. sudo apt update
  14. sudo apt upgrade
  15. sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop <–about 1 hour
  16. choose GDM if that option appears
  17. edit the file /boot/firmware/usercfg.txt.  Make it look like the following:

Note:  The following will change your desktop screen resolution to:  1920×1080.

#hdmi_safe=1  <–note:  commented out

[HDMI:0]
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=82
hdmi_drive=2

[HDMI:1]
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=82
hdmi_drive=2

reboot your pi to pick up the desktop with the new desktop resolution

if you continue to have a “?” mark over your network icon go to
settings–>privacy and set connectivity settings to off.

May not be necessary, but to install gnome software center: sudo apt install gnome-software

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