I was wondering if it is possible to use the sense hat on ubuntu. I recently bought a pi 8gb and found out that raspian is only 32 bit thus would not allow me to use all 8gb of ram so I switched to a ubuntu build for the pi that is 64 bit but have found that the sense hat package isn't there. I've tried searching around and haven't found much. Any ideas?

  • Interested to see what you are running that needs 8Gb - this is not Windows :-). ZFS is the only thing that springs to mind that eats more the 4Gb around here...
    – user115418
    Dec 2, 2020 at 19:57
  • Running a nexus server off it Dec 2, 2020 at 21:31
  • Too many software stacks come up under a search for Nexus :-) So I'll trust you!!! To me a server sits on its own rather than sensors but I'm often accused of being data centre orientated (i.e. one box one job).
    – user115418
    Dec 2, 2020 at 22:35
  • Well I wanna run nexus but once it's going it doesn't take much memory so I figured I'd run some other stuff too Dec 2, 2020 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


Note as addition to the below, you can now download the packages from the emulators author documented here

sudo add-apt-repository ppa://waveform/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu sense-emu-tools

Please take care using any repository if you do not know the author!

Sorry this is a series of links but I do not know a simple answer for this device.

The sense hat is just a series of displays, switches and sensors nicely packaged on one board:

  • 8 × 8 RGB LED matrix
  • a five – button joystick
  • Gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Temperature
  • Barometric pressure
  • Humidity

with a Python library to wrap all the data behind an easy to use interface. The ports used by this hat can be seen here in my old answer.

The first thing I would try is the Ubuntu equivalent of sudo apt install sense-hat to see if that gets you the Python library.

If that library is not available then details on installing it can be found on GitHub issue #79 here

It is important to follow that thread carefully ESPECIALLY the blacklist details on this thread.

I would actually recommend the 64-Bit version of Raspberry Pi OS or stick with the hybrid 64-bit kernel / 32-user space a little longer as these are better supported by the RPT/RPF software than other operating systems.

  • 1
    Did not realize there was a 64 bit one I used the imager and it only has 32 bit Dec 2, 2020 at 21:43
  • It's gone off the new 'simple' (read dumbed down) website but the main place to track it is raspberrypi.org/forums/…. Given Ubuntu has come in as a runner it does not surprise me it gets buried with six months beta :-)
    – user115418
    Dec 2, 2020 at 22:33

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