Ubuntu Running on Nexus One [Video]


Using a combination of the Google Nexus One, Android, smarts, and AndroidVNC, Max from NexusOneHacks.net took Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux OS and got it up and running for the device. He hasn’t gone into too much detail about how he was able to do it yet, but he did offer up a nice video tutorial showing how you can do the same.

Ports and hacks like these may not be practical for everyday situations, but it really shows the freedom developers and users are being given when they adopt Android (and – specifically – the Nexus One which Google almost encourages people to crack). Who’s racing for their Nexus One right now to try this out?

[via NexusOneHacks]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. this post looks eriely similar to the one on talkandroid yet they weren’t listed as the source, weird

  2. Really? That looks just like a vnc viewer? I’ve run those on my ipod touch before and on my droid.

  3. Fyi Vnc viewer is just a program on your computer that let’s a device remotely access your computer. He’s not doing anything special. Not a hack in the least.

  4. Yeah, same old trick they used on the G1. I want someone to be able to install X11 ON TOP of the Android FB, not run a silly VNC program to access localhost.

  5. “Who’s racing for their Nexus One right now to try this out?”

    Where do you think I’m reading this? From my nexus one, of course!

  6. Shane and Bryan, he’s actually got a cool trick going there.

    You’re right that he’s using VNC, which is no big deal. The big deal comes in that he’s having VNC connect to a locally installed Ubuntu system. That’s wild!

    Your phone doesn’t run an additional OS.

    Big props to this hack. Given some time, people will come up with additional things to do with Ubuntu in the background.

  7. @Jeff we were tipped with direct links to the videos. It’s quite possible that TalkAndroid was tipped, as well.

  8. he isn’t just running a vnc session over to his machine on his desk. He says running in a chroot environment!!!! learn unix before you start giving someone shit who is just tinkering and trying out neat things.

    Remember kids, before you open your mouth about something you don’t really understand you can always check the man pages. Very simple, open a terminal and do a “man whatever you are looking for” in this case you would do a “man chroot”

    chroot is incredibly useful and should be well understood by anyone using any kind of unix (that means android ppl too)

  9. @Jeff – welcome to the interwebz. Unless you’re amish, you should understand there is a chance somebody saw this somewhere besides TalkAndroid, which isn’t even the original source. Phandroid CONSISTENTLY sources those who deserve credit and this case is no different.

  10. For those who are confused, the phone *is* running Ubuntu, it’s running it as well as Android, in a similar way to a computer running VMWare is running two operating systems at once. The VNC viewer is connecting to the virtual computer which is running on the phone itself. He’s not attaching to a desktop box over wifi or anything like that, it’s a virtual computer running on the phone. He’s using VNC because it’s a quick and easy way to connect to Ubuntu that’s available in the OS from the outset.

  11. lol, not really news is it. I’ve been using VNC to access Ubuntu from my phone for years.

  12. I was more impressed with the dude who was running his Nexus One as a linux PC with keybaord, mouse and monitor.


  13. Perhaps people should read more carefully…

    He’s running VNC to access a local Ubuntu installation, you wouldn’t need wifi or anything to use that…

  14. I have a MID that runs Ubuntu for ARM. The overall experience is crappy because Ubuntu/Gnome isn’t designed to run on such a 5″ small screen. For instance, there are no good music players because the buttons are way too small. There’s a hacked up virtual keyboard which pretty much sucks and any other X11/GNOME/KDE virtual keyboard apps suck or has a set of difficulties with it. What isinteresting here is that the android VNC client really adds to the experience by providing the keyboard and zoom capabilities. Not sure this is really useful since I can’t think of any must have Ubuntu app that I would go through all this for.

  15. i love Ubuntu!!!!!it’s my only operating system!

  16. This is nothing new.

    It’s been done on the G1, Mytouch, and probably every other rooted Android phone as well.

    Here’s where I did it on the Cliq.


    I can run full Mozilla Firefox on it, Dosbox, and any number of other Ubuntu apps just fine.

    I bet the Nexus One runs it beautifully though.

  17. @ian this is nothing like vmware. There is only one kernal running, he just has an ubuntu chroot installed.

  18. Uhm… Disney Princess app?

  19. @ian he is not running a virtual machine. When you’re running a VM on a host machine you’re running your own kernel. Using chroot is as the names states “change root” you’re telling a process and its child processes the root directory is somewhere else. Like say at /home/ian/i/dont/know/unix/well

    This is not true virtual machine as it does not allow the guest to run its own kernel. Think of this more like what FreeBSD does with it’s FreeBSD jails or I guess most other BSD’s implement a similar approach too. With FreeBSD you can create jails but they’re all running on the same kernel.

    ssh -X

  20. Will this work on the HTC Desire???

  21. The problem with Ubuntu is input. No real way to pull up a keyboard or good support for the touchscreen. Neego would be a better choice if they could get their act together.

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