Alternative OS image for Jetson Nano 2GB?

Please note that I’m only interested in images for the 2GB modal only (as that’s the only one that I have), not the 4GB version.

My question:

I have a Jetson Nano Dev Kit 2GB (not 4GB) and would like an alternative operating system other than the official image from Nvidia.

Preferred features:

  • Lightweight (smaller size) image than the official image
  • Better desktop environment (e.g. KDE which has better looks and lower mem footprint than LDXE)
  • Full GPU support (to allow accelerated AI training with PyTorch for example)
  • Based on Debian/Ubuntu

There are some images that fit this criteria like one custom Ubuntu Core image, but unfortunately does not work on the 2GB version and simply doesn’t boot.

I’ve tried installing XFCE on top of LDXE, and while that allows me to enjoy a better desktop environment, some things are broken like having wrong themes, broken settings and wrong session managers.

Any help would be appreciated. As the Jetson Nano 2GB is relatively new, I think that’s the reason why there are no custom images available on the forums by other helpful people yet.

This would be a problem. I don’t know of any alternate experiments in which GPU support works. The binary drivers require working as a module “plugin” to the X server, and are dependent upon the exact ABI matching. You could work on an alternate o/s where the X server is an exact match, and this would in theory allow full GPU support if the kernel itself also has required features.

KDE is by far my favorite desktop environment, but it is also one of the most CPU and memory intensive environments. LXDE and almost every other environment is more viable on a Jetson than is KDE. I have experimented with KDE on low power systems, and KDE is almost universally the lowest performance on my test hardware. For a desktop PC KDE is the only environment I will use long term, but it is unusable on most embedded hardware.

Qt does have content available to run in a low resource environment, but this is not the stock KDE. To get that environment you’d have to pay for some commercial licensing, and probably spend some effort setting it up. Think of dedicated kiosks or entertainment displays in a vehicle.