Ubuntu Touch OS launching Oct. 17, ready for supported Android devices


ubuntu for phones

The Ubuntu Edge didn’t reach its Indiegogo funding goal, meaning it will not come to market. This doesn’t mean that Canonical is ready to give up on Ubuntu Touch OS, though! In fact, Ubuntu Touch is almost ready for release and has announced a launch date – October 17.

Canonical’s amazing phone will probably never see the light of day, but you will be able to flash it into your compatible devices. We doubt we will be able to make it dual-boot (like the Ubuntu Edge was said to), so why exactly would us Android fans ever want to get rid of our favorite mobile OS for Ubuntu Touch OS?

Canonical Ubuntu Edge front back title

What makes Ubuntu Touch OS awesome?

The Ubuntu Touch OS is pretty much a simplified version of the desktop Ubuntu OS. One fit for the smaller screen. This gives Ubuntu Touch awesome capabilities, but my favorite happens to be dock mode with a monitor.

This bad boy can run full desktop Ubuntu when connected to a monitor (or TV, for that matter). You can carry your desktop computer in your pocket. Just imagine the possibilities!


How can I get Ubuntu Touch OS?

Because the Ubuntu Edge won’t make it to the market, you will have to flash it manually. At least until/if Ubuntu gets a smartphone partner or releases a device.

Ubuntu Touch OS image version 1.0 will be released October 17. You will be able to download it and simply install it then. Of course, you need a supported device. The official list of supported devices upon release is not out, but Canonical has a good list of supported beta devices.

This includes the Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Pretty much, if you have a Nexus device you should be set. Maybe they (or other devs) will be able to figure make this compatible with other popular smartphones from Samsung, HTC and company. We will have to wait and see.


Do you want to check out Ubuntu Touch OS?

I have been excited about Ubuntu Touch since I first heard of it. The promise of a device that really blends the line between mobile and desktop computing really amazes me. One thing is for certain, though. I am not willing to give Android up. At least not for Ubuntu Touch OS.

We are not sure how many of you would like to check it out, though. We are sure flashing Ubuntu Touch OS will void your warranty, so we can’t see too many users signing up. What do you think? Will Canonical’s mobile OS take off? Do you want to test it?

[The Orange Notebook]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Funding goal was redonkulous

    1. They still could have done it, they just wanted a bigger payout to line their pockets to celebrate. They didn’t get what they wanted so they scrapped it.

      1. They could have and should have done a longer campaign. I believe it was only 30 days? They could have made much more money by lowering the phone price maybe $50-$100 and extended the campaign to at least 60 days!

        1. couldn’t lower the cost of the hardware as they would basically be subsidizing the purchase. Open source geeks don’t work like that.

          1. Yup, they like to make money the hard way

      2. It was a fixed funding campaign so they were unable to continue unless they raised all the funds in their originally outlined goal. They could not have continued with less.

        1. actually they could have. LInux ports have been released throughout the years with minimal funding, and certainly prior to kickstarter. They just wanted to line their pockets and make this a full time job. Open source whiners.

          1. The money was to make phones not to sell the OS. From day 1 they’ve said the OS would be available free for Nexus devices.

          2. No they physically wouldn’t because the of the system they used. The campaign only gave them money if they reached the goal defined at the beginning. They didn’t scrap it. They didn’t reach the goal so they were given no money. It’s an all or nothing system.

  2. I want to try it. I already have a rooted unlocked n4 so the warranty is meaningless to me. I’m curious nonetheless. as long as I can go back to my android after satiating my curiosity I’ll be happy.

  3. It’ll take some time before this is ready to challenge the big boys of the mobile OS world; but it’s very interesting nonetheless. Dock mode could be the killer feature. I definitely plan to try it once a stable port is available.

  4. Soon as I replace my galaxy nexus daily driver with the nexus five, it gets unbuntu :)

    1. That’s what I plan on doing.

      1. Can’t wait for the nexus 5… My galaxy nexus is so crippled with 1GB ram, all my services keep dying..

        1. Huh, I am on paranoid android 4.3, and only a few problems, even with high powered games.

          Though for some reason the google browser with 2 tabs causes a delay to go back to the home screen, and real racing 3 does not, go figure.

  5. If I could try it out and then quickly/easily revert to a nandroid backup then sure I’d give it a whirl. However, if I wouldn’t be able to simply restore Paranoid Android, count me o-u-t for the time being.

    1. I’m sure you would since all that happens in the recovery mode.

    2. You would. If not you just add the simple step of going back to android then restoring your NANDroid.

  6. I’m interested in taking it for a test drive. I run Kubuntu on my laptop and desktop so it would be natural to run it on my phone too. I love the idea of plugging it into a doc and having a desktop experience.

  7. Nexus 7 doesn’t matter since it doesn’t have HDMI Out. =.[

    I would love to use my tablet for Ubuntu Touch. Oh well…

    1. Dat mhl tho

      1. I know, but HDMI-Out is hardware related. *sadness*

        1. The old Nexus 7 uses MHL for HDMI out, it will mirror to any HDMI Panel… And the new one uses SlimPort for HDMI out… Both fully support HDMI out with a 10 dollar adapter..

          1. I have never heard of that. I was told it didn’t. I tried and it didn’t work.

            Hmm… I’ll go do some more research around XDA. I did use a pretty bad MHL adapter the 1st time. I have a newer one now. I’ll give it a try this weekend after some clarification and studying.

            I hope I can get this to work. I would go back to aSense ROM on my HTC One since I won’t need that to play my games anymore. LoL!!

            Thanks for the info. You are the 1st to say that. Happen to have a link on who said that?

          2. I have personally used MHL adapters on the first gen Nexus 7 and I currently use a Slim Port on the second gen…. I do not need a source as I am the source. Also on XDA under accesories for the newer Nexus 7 there are tons of links to working SlimPort adapters.

          3. Odd, since I went to go do research on that in XDA and a lot of links show that it doesn’t work. They say that nothing at all works and you should give up.

            The things that do work are for photos and web browsing. They say that because it’s so slow and not really usable for video or moving images (games and stuff). As far as the 2nd Gen, I’ll hold off on learning about that one since I don’t have it.

            I did a search for Slim Port adapters and I didn’t get anything about it working on the 1st Gen. However, I did stumble across one post saying nothing works on the 1st Gen, but Slim Port works on the 2nd Gen.

            But you did say under “accessories”. I looked under Q&A. I’ll go look under Accessories and see if I can find something.

            I find it odd that you say you just plug in a MHL adapter and it works like that. Even though my 1st MHL adapter didn’t work so well, I still expected some type of output. Even if it flickered, like on my phone.

            I can’t wait until this weekend. I’ll try and see if my MHL adapter will work.

          4. Now that you say it maybe it didnt work on the first one, the first one had a lot of issues I actually didnt keep mine very long so I get consfused with features. I sold my original Nexus 7 soon after it launched because it was just not very good hardware.

            But the Second gen the one I have now and currently use does work great with Slimport (Does not work with MHL) I play games with my SlimPort and my Moga Pro on my flat screen a lot… I guess now that I think about it the MHL adapter I have was only used on my Nexus 4..

            By the way for the flickering on your phone if you are trying to just watch something or play a game if you lay it completely flat and dont move it, it wont flicker.. least that is how it works for me (Slimport with the Nexus 7 2 does not do thsi flickering crap btw)

          5. LoL!! The flickering was on the TV. The MHL adapter sucked. It would flicker or completely not register anything. I spent $20 on that thing. >=.[

            I bought one that came with an HDMI AND a method to charge it without needing to use a micro USB to charge it. It had a USB that you can plug into somewhere, like a portable battery charger or your TV. I got that for $7 on Monoprice. That one is working just fine.

            But thanks for the heads up. If you’re able to use a Slim Port adapter on your Nexus 7 2nd Gen, then I may pick one up. I like to play games on my tablet. =.3

          6. Yeah me too, I play games with that and my Moga pro. Pretty awesome gaming experience really.

      2. what the hell is that? English.

  8. Ubuntu is garbage. In no way, shape or form is it better then Android and it never will be. This is only a good idea to the young kids who run linux just to tell their friends and try to seem cool.

    1. You can’t (officially) boot your computer to Android, but you can boot to Ubuntu. That’s one thing on the list.

    2. “In no way, shape or form is it better then Android” ~ Either you should check with your Ophthalmologist as soon as possible, or I guess you have never seen Ubuntu Touch :)

  9. BOOOORING. Without a support-rich ecosystem, this is useless. Without the standard cadre of apps, this is useless. BOOOORING.

    1. You still use DOS?

      1. You still use UNIX?

    2. Seems to just be less of a toy more of a phone I don’t use my phone for games and I find convergence is a great Idea. Just a different perspective your not exactly wrong.

    3. And how do you expect Apps to come up unless people use the OS? o_O

  10. This is gonna be awesome. Ubuntu/Linux is the best OS out there. Free, open source, tons of apps in the Software Center (plus being able to install apps via PPA), and being able to have all that in the palm of your hand is icing on the cake. It will be like a supersized Android ecosystem (which I also love). I can’t wait. I switched from Windows a while ago, and couldn’t be happier. Microsoft who? Apple who?

  11. I want to try but alas.. Sgs3 user here

  12. I’d be interested, but I’m sure the Verizon GNex will be left out in the cold.

  13. Just because Ubuntu has a touch OS doesn’t mean you can have gimp on your phone and it will be optimized for touch. It’s the same problem Windows is facing. Their domination of apps and games on the desktop means absolutely nothing in the mobile world.

    1. True and true but I feel like windows 8 has a lot of problems Ubuntu touch might not have its worth a try. Got a new Windows 8pc its painful wish it would adapt to whichever input is provided rather than act like a tablet all the time.

      1. I hate to say this but I was at my sister’s house last week and noticed that they just got a new Dell Windows 8 tablet.

        But maybe that means they like to have everything since my sister has an iphone 4s and a Kindle Fire and my brother in law has a Samsung GS3.

        1. 3 phones that’s crazy… And nice phones to gee I only have my nexus 4 (android). The windows stuff though is hard to ignore never realised that people might want an alternative to windows until they stopped selling windows 7 machines in stores. Might return windows 8 and get a tablet android. Chrome OS is a joke I can’t afford a mac

    2. Convergence is a long story…they will be developing “Unity 8” (the UI of Ubuntu Touch presently) for the Desktop also, only then will full convergence be achieved in the user experience on desktop/phone/tablet, and that is targeted by 14.04 to 14.10…so by 14.10 when full convergence is achieved, you should be able to run Gimp on your phone…at least I think so!

  14. It would be fun if I had a second device just lying around and some extra time on my hands. Sadly, I don’t. If it was easier, it would be fun. However, I worry about it having any app ecosystem to be viable.

    1. Right… app ecosystem. I’d be willing to risk my Nexus 4 I think, but will I still be able to stream Rdio, my Google Music, SoundCloud etc? Is there a really good native eBook app? I don’t want to have to do that stuff from a browser… they typically don’t run well in the background.

      1. I don’t really know, Jorj_X_McKie, but a little Oggling brought up:

        FBReader – an e-book reader: https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/fbreader/

        Tomahawk for Soundcloud: http://www.tomahawk-player.org/

        Radio Tray to stream radio: https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/natty/radiotray/

  15. I’d flash it on my N7 to try it out. If it ran stable I might run it on my phone for a week and see how it goes. I like trying new things and I run the desktop version of Ubuntu so it’s worth a shot.

  16. Win: Create driver for Ubuntu that will output the display to Chromecast.

    Combined with a BT keyboard/Mouse the result is a full-fledged desktop OS from your phone with no wires.

    Someone will do it. Somewhere…

    1. So FULL of WIN!!!!!!!

  17. Hi Edgar, thanks for the article. :)

    Like you, I was wowed by the concept of convergence when Ubuntu was showcased in Barcelona. There’s something I (as a non-techie, non-Linuxy person) don’t quite understand though… Why does is it only work in desktop mode when connected to a monitor? I’ve used the buggy QuickOffice app on my very dated iPhone 3, and would want the flexibility to do work as well as social stuff from whatever device I decide to upgrade to. Will Touch run something like LibraOffice or KingsOffice on-the-go? After all, as Canonical says, the computer bit is in the phone, not the monitor, and phones are as powerful now as desktops were a generation ago.

    1. Yes but the app would have to have been designed with convergence in mind a full blown desktop libre office wouldn’t work on a small phone you would either have no room for your text or be unable to press any buttons. They would have to have build the application from the ground up with a design built to change from the phone tablet and desktop interface… Couldn’t be to hard for kingsoft they already have a mobile app…have to find a way to motivate them

      1. Ah of course – I hadn’t considered that. Thank you. I’ve often read comments about mobile OSs needing to have more apps (first Android, and now Windows) , and thought “How many apps do you need?” And I know that Mr. Shuttleworth has promised to provide “the top 50 apps for Ubuntu Touch”. I suppose a well-written app (in terms of where all the knobs an buttons are, as much as its capabilities) optimises the user experience over and above wrestling with something through a web browser.

    2. On a side note, Kingsoft Office has released a Beta for Linux -which was, in fact, developed with Ubuntu in mind. This was due to China’s decision to use Ubuntu as its “official” operating system.

      1. That’s very interesting – thanks for that.

  18. please, SOMEONE, support the G2.

  19. I just don’t want to brick my phone.

    1. you can back up your current rom in the internal storage, this way even if the installation goes wrong and the device does not power up, you can go to the bootloader and flash your recovery. Sounds complicated, but its really easy. :)

  20. Thanks to the hard work of developers I was able to try the preview port of this on my hand-me-down Samsung Vibrant. Keep an eye over at XDA… people are doing amazing things, for free.
    If I upgrade phones again I’d definitely try the full working version, and if it works, keep it, too.

  21. It can’t be an amaziing phone if its not available.

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