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Install Ubuntu Core
on the Intel® NUC

There are two install options for the Intel NUC: Ubuntu Core or Ubuntu Desktop. This page is for Ubuntu Core.

We will walk you through the steps of flashing Ubuntu Core on an Intel NUC. At the end of this process, you will have a board ready for production or testing snaps.

Minimum requirements

  • An Ubuntu SSO account with an SSH key
  • An Intel®with BIOS updated to the latest version (update instructions)
  • 2 USB 2.0 or 3.0 flash drives (2GB minimum)
  • A monitor with an HDMI interface
  • A Mini HDMI to HDMI cable
  • A USB keyboard and a mouse
  • A monitor with VGA or HDMI interface
  • A VGA or HDMI cable
  • A network connection with Internet access
  • An Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 LTS image
  • An Ubuntu Core image

  1. Set up an Ubuntu SSO account

    An Ubuntu SSO account is required to create the first user on an Ubuntu Core installation.

    1. Start by creating an Ubuntu SSO account.
    2. Import an SSH Key into your Ubuntu SSO account. (instructions)

  2. Download Ubuntu Core

  3. Flash the USB drives

    1. Download and copy the Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 LTS image on the first USB flash drive by following the live USB Ubuntu Desktop tutorial for Ubuntu, Windows, or macOS
    2. Copy the Ubuntu Core image for Intel NUC on the second USB flash drive

  4. Install Ubuntu Core

    1. Connect your USB hub, keyboard, mouse, monitor to the NUC.
    2. Insert the first USB flash drive, containing Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 LTS.
    3. Connect the USB hub, keyboard, mouse and the monitor to the NUC.
    4. Insert the Live USB Ubuntu Desktop flash drive in the NUC.

  5. Boot from the Live USB flash drive

    1. Start the NUC and push F10 to enter the boot menu.
    2. Select the USB flash drive as a boot option.
    3. Select "Try Ubuntu without installing".

  6. Flash Ubuntu Core

    1. Once the Ubuntu session has started, insert the second USB flash drive containing the Ubuntu Core image file.
    2. Open a terminal and use the following command to find out the target disk device to install the Ubuntu Core image to:

      sudo fdisk -l

    3. Run the following command, where <disk label> is the label of the second USB flash drive:

      xzcat /media/ubuntu/<disk label>/dawson-uc18-m7-20190122-10.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/<target disk device> bs=32M status=progress; sync
    4. Reboot the system and remove the flash drives when prompted. It will then boot from the internal memory where Ubuntu Core has been flashed.

  7. First boot setup

    1. The system will boot then become ready to configure.
    2. The device will display the prompt "Press enter to configure".
    3. Press enter then select "Start" to begin configuring your network and an administrator account. Follow the instructions on the screen, you will be asked to configure your network and enter your Ubuntu SSO credentials.
    4. At the end of the process, you will see your credentials to access your Ubuntu Core machine:
      This device is registered to <Ubuntu SSO email address>.
      Remote access was enabled via authentication with the SSO user <Ubuntu SSO user name>
      Public SSH keys were added to the device for remote access.

  8. Connect to the device

    Once setup is done, you can login with SSH into Ubuntu Core, from a machine on the same network, using the following command:

    ssh <Ubuntu SSO user name>@<device IP address>

    Your user name is your Ubuntu SSO user name, and the command should be displayed on the RPi.

Next steps

First boot tips

  1. During setup, console-conf will download the SSH key registered with your Store account and configure it so you can log into the device via ssh <Ubuntu SSO account name>@<device IP address> without a password.
  2. There is no default ubuntu user on these images, but you can run sudo passwd <account name> to set a password if you need a local console login.

Get started with snaps

Your board is now ready to have snaps installed, it's time to use the snap command to install your first snap.

The Snap Store is where you can find the best Linux apps packaged as snaps to install on your Ubuntu device and get started with your secure IoT journey.

Before you start, get your IoT security story straight

A recent Canonical survey of 2,000 consumers suggests that a shockingly high percentage of connected devices may be vulnerable to botnets, hackers and cyber attacks:

  • Only 31% of consumers update the firmware on their connected devices as soon as updates become available.
  • 40% of consumers have never performed firmware updates on their connected devices
  • 40% of consumers believe that performing firmware updates on their connected devices is the responsibility of either software developers or the device manufacturer
Contact information
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