Canonical's Nathan Hart Wants to Get You Started with Matter on a Raspberry Pi Running Ubuntu

With a Raspberry Pi "device" and a PC as a controller, you can get up and running with Matter on Ubuntu in minutes.

Canonical's Nathan Hart has published a guide to getting started with the new Matter smart home standard with a Raspberry Pi and Ubuntu Linux — following the company's entry into the Connectivity Standards Alliance last year.

"The Matter standard is a particular focus for us. Its secure design and open ecosystem align well with Ubuntu's own values of security and openness," Hart claims. "Ubuntu Core and Matter make for a powerful pair. Ubuntu Core’s containerization makes it a highly secure OS that pairs well with the highly secure protocol. Its update and device management capabilities provide the missing pieces that the Matter standard leaves up to device makers to implement."

Previously known as Project Connected Home over IP, Matter is designed to allow for cross-vendor compatibility in the smart home space — meaning that no matter who made it, you should be able to control everything from smart thermostats to internet-connected dishwashers from a single application. The founding members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance — Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and what was known at the time as the ZigBee Alliance — have been rolling out their own Matter support, and Canonical's hoping to position Ubuntu Linux as a central part of joining in with the fun.

To that end, Hart has penned a guide on creating a Matter fabric with a central server and a Raspberry Pi-based node — both running on Ubuntu 22.04. Designed as an introduction to how Matter works under Ubuntu, the project is as simple as it can be — offering Matter-based control over an LED, somewhat unadvisedly connected to the Raspberry Pi's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header without a protective current-limiting resistor.

Key to the company's promise of a secure base on which to build Matter-based Internet of Things (IoT) projects is the use of Snaps — packages which are isolated from the underlying operating system, can be made immutable to prevent end-user changes breaking anything, and which can be easily updated without touching the host operating system. This, Canonical promises, means a more secure and maintainable infrastructure — though critics point to the higher memory requirements and slow start-up times of Snap packages as a very real downside.

Hart's full guide is now available on the Ubuntu blog, with supporting source code on GitHub under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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