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Ubuntu Appliances for Raspberry Pi include AdGuard, MQTT, Nextcloud, openHAB, and PLEX

Jun 19, 2020 — by Eric Brown 9,024 views

Canonical has launched an Ubuntu Appliance project for container-like apps based on Ubuntu Core snap packages. The first five free appliances provide AdGuard, mosquitto MQTT server, Nextcloud, openHAB, and the PLEX media server on the Raspberry Pi.

Canonical’s Ubuntu project has launched an Ubuntu Appliance sub-project that develops ready-to-use container applications based on Ubuntu Core snap packages. The appliances are initially available for the Raspberry Pi, with the RPi 3 and RPi 4 recommended. They can also run in a virtual machine on an Ubuntu, Windows, or MacOS desktop for testing purposes. The first five packages provide secure, isolated versions of AdGuard, MQTT, Nextcloud, openHAB, and PLEX software.

Ubuntu Appliances are billed as specialized appliance images “that do one thing beautifully” and “transform a Raspberry Pi or PC into a secure, self-updating solution.” Based on the lightweight, container-like Ubuntu Core and its snap package mechanism, the appliances offer all of the platform’s advantages in terms of security, app stores, enterprise dashboard controls, and transactional updates and rollbacks.

Ubuntu Appliance versions of openHAB (left) and AdGuard
(click images to enlarge)

The open source software components on Ubuntu Appliances are offered within “a set of streams” that offer all the current builds, and in some cases, early access versions. Canonical is inviting software publishers to build their own Ubuntu Appliance versions of their packages. Appliances are marked as certified by Canonical or “maintained” by the software publishers or designated as experimental appliances. The pre-built images can be flashed to microSD cards using Etcher or the Raspberry Pi Imager.


According to the Tom’s Hardware story that alerted us to the news, Ubuntu Appliance is based on the Ubuntu Core version of Ubuntu 18, but will soon be updated to the latest Ubuntu 20 based Ubuntu Core. The report also noted that the first five appliances do not support the Raspberry Pi camera or GPIO, but these could be enabled in future appliances.

The first five Ubuntu Appliance offerings are:

  • AdGuard Home — popular ad blocking for blocking intrusive ads, stopping online tracking, and protecting against malware
  • mosquitto MQTT server — Eclipse’ lightweight MQTT message broker and communication hub for IoT
  • Nextcloud — private cloud application with an integrated on-prem platform for online content collaboration and data storage
  • openHAB — privacy focused home automation platform and one of the earliest snap packages, integrating more than 200 different technologies
  • PLEX media server — designed for organizing personal media, from music to movies to DVR recorded TV shows

Further information

The first five Ubuntu Appliances are available for free download. More information may be found in the Ubuntu project’s announcement and product page.


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