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Ubuntu Touch Developer Previews for Smartphones and Tablets Now Available


It’s finally Thursday and if you have been paying attention, you would know that means it’s finally Ubuntu Day! This morning, Canonical released the developer previews of Ubuntu Touch that was built to allow developers an early access until the OS’s official release slated for some time early next year. 

Currently, the OS is only available for flashing to the Galaxy Nexus (GSM ‘maguro” variant only), Nexus 4 “mako,” Nexus 7 “grouper,” and Nexus 10 “manta.” If you have any other device than those listed, do not attempt to flash. These builds are intended for developers only and other than it just being a pretty UI, there are hardly any working apps or anything a normal consumer would consider useful. But then again, after flashing, returning to stock Android is very simple.

If you are still interested, they have also listed device specific issues that you may run into after flashing. For example, “In rare circumstances, the Nexus 4 may get into a state where it may not boot at all after the battery is drained ( even into recovery ). If this happens, the only way to restore it is to disassemble the back of the phone and unplug/plug the battery connector.”

Now that you have been fully warned, let’s do this!

Full flashing instructions here.

Via: Ubuntu Wiki

  • baconslayer09

    A lot of the features don’t work yet, but that’s expected.

    This is a very nice taste of the OS. Right now, it’s a bit laggy and unresponsive (expected on a Galaxy Nexus) and it lacks a ton of options and features. But the UI is innovative and beautiful. Although I do feel helpless sometimes as I don’t know WTF to do when there are no buttons to perform actions.

  • Hopefully there will be a flashable zip somehow. Considering it’s not very stable/feature full, I don’t really want to restore factory images to go back to Android. I don’t have time.

  • wh1te_mag1c

    I wonder if someone will come up with a way to run this no cdma devices.

  • I have been waiting for so long for this. I have refreshed that wiki page constantly today, waiting for the instructions to come up. I have the Verizon Nexus. My heart split in half. I read so many articles and hadn’t read where CDMA wasn’t supported. Man……….

  • Flashing on my Nexus 7 right now! Also, did DL implement DB caching? Page loads are now lightning fast! Props guys!

  • John Burke

    I’ll wait til someone packages it up 1-click style.

  • This has potential..well once it gets out of the limited developer preview stage..

  • c’mon touchpad!

  • Blake Curtis

    I’m an Android Supremist.. This isn’t needed lol

  • Austin Warren

    Tablet version looked smooth and awesome.

  • C-Law

    Could you flash this on the Toro gnex? I only need WiFi to work.

    • itznfb

      Why don’t you try and let us know? 😀

    • Don’t brick it

  • Travis Faulkner

    Yeah! No Toro? This sucks!

  • didn’t recognize n7 with PA3 installed. flashing to stock now… :/

  • Why not just wait until the dev’s get their hands on this and pick up when they are done porting over to other devices. I am sure it will not take long.

  • jimingo

    I can’t wait until the industry standard is multi-boot mobile OS. One could buy any hardware from any manufacturer and slap on any OS. I can dream..

  • GoroWins

    CWM compatible? Would be awesome if we could flash like a ROM.

  • jimingo

    Are all Nexus 7’s the “grouper” kind?

    • KleenDroid


      • jimingo

        And..off to Ubuntu land.

        • KleenDroid

          Don’t forget there is a WiFi and 3g version. Don’t know if how that will affect things.

    • itznfb

      Absolutely not. grouper is the WiFi only version.

      • jimingo

        Thank you for the clarification.

  • Dan Lopez

    No toro? Bollocks!

    • Was about to say that (except im toroplus). CYMod can do CDMA but not anyone else? Oh well no Linux

    • itznfb

      The dev community is your toro’s only hope.

  • cole hartman

    Hoping for a port to the Note 2! 🙂

    • Kevin Rees

      count me in too

  • droidftw

    I was really looking forward to installing this on my Nexus today. This sucks.

  • Kree Terry

    wonder how fudged up my phone would be if i flashed this on my toro. I dont need the radios to work just wifi, gonna try it as soon as i get ubuntu setup

  • thesaber2000

    No vzw gnex love?! Aww come on man!

    • John Malin

      CDMA binaries are closed source 🙁

      • doesntmatter

        can you elaborate on this?

        • John Malin

          The software used to run the CDMA radio’s are proprietary, and cannot be shared without paying a licensing fee

      • thesaber2000

        Is this just for Verizon, doesn’t sprint use cdma too? Are all cdma closed?

        • PhoenixPath

          CDMA = Qualcomm.

          Qualcomm=Closed Source, pay-to-play.

          I would love to see Qualcomm open up their CDMA licensing or go OSS with it. CDMA is on the way out anyway…and the PR reaction would be spectacular.

        • John Malin

          Yes, sprint does. And yes, I think all CDMA binaries are closed source

      • So are some GSM binaries. Probably why there is no data working over GSM.

        • John Malin

          Are you the same adrynalyne that used to do ROMS for the fascinate? If so I LOVED your work.

  • Eric Yamoah

    WOW! Okay flashing via TWRP anyone?

    • PhoenixPath

      Egads…at this point, why bother? From teh wiki:


      The Developer Preview currently only supports limited voice and SMS over GSM.

      The following Radio technologies are not yet included in the Developer Preview:



      Airplane Mode

      Settings ( eg. APN choice, 2G only, … )

      Mobile data is not supported, data is available via Wi-Fi only.

      • Tony Allen

        If that’s the case though.. then why isn’t Toro supported?

        • PhoenixPath

          “If that’s the case”??

          If? Wow. Click the link at the bottom of the article. Trust me: It’s the case.

          Why isn’t toro supported? No CDMA+No LTE=No Phone.

          It’s not even a guess as to why it isn’t supported…it’s a phone.

          • Chris

            You my friend do not need to be a dick! Other PHONES are supported with out the Radios… He was making a very valid point.

          • PhoenixPath

            I wasn’t being a dick, but you are un-informed (would “mistaken” be less “dick-ish”?). Let me help you out and correct that:

            “Other PHONES are supported with out the Radios”

            maguro? GSM = supported.

            mako? GSM = supported.

            The only other two supported devices are tablets, not phones. Again: Look at the link at the bottom of the article. Just a helpful suggestion…

          • MG_MAFS

            “dick-ish” is now being added to my dictionary!! LOL

          • PhoenixPath


            Can’t take credit. I think I got that ages ago from the show Ally McBeal. I think the character was Elaine…

          • WhyTheFace

            PhoenixPath… seriously, you don’t get to talk anymore, now that you’ve brought up Ally McBeal. Jesus. Holy crap, man.

          • PhoenixPath

            Ally McBeal (Damn, did it again….)

            Eli Stone (lots of singing in that one)

            Let’s see…what other shows might you think are “lame” or “uncool”…

            Seriously, the rest of us left 3rd grade ages ago. Why don’t you join us? 🙂

          • MG_MAFS

            Actually other PHONE work… Mobile data just not supported… Everyone Keep calm LOL!!!

  • damn it, you cant install through windows… im not going to spend the next hour just to set up ubuntu…

    • Danrarbc

      Ubuntu sets up in 20 minutes or so. Do it in wubi and you don’t even need to partition.

      • Yea, but i was playing around with Ubuntu a few weeks ago on my new computer, and it took me hours to set it up. Kept crashing, updates failed, it was a nightmare. Idk what went wrong.

        • Tony Allen

          You obviously just suck 😉

    • j

      dl ubuntu, or something small like puppy linux. boot from cd (don’t even install). ???? profit.

    • brando56894

      Live CDs are your friend 😀

  • Dead link??

  • Cody Stamps

    If only available for the “maguro” galaxy nexus, why is there an image for the “toro” (vzw variant)?

    • NexusPhan69

      I don’t see one. Where is it?

    • droidftw

      Where do you see that? I don’t see it.

    • You might just be referring to Google’s image for the file that they link to. There is no Ubuntu Touch build for the toro or toroplus…yet.

      • itznfb

        And there never will be. An official version anyway.

      • Tony Allen

        Won’t the maguro image work for the toro though, since HSPA/3G/4G/LTE etc isn’t supported yet?

        • PhoenixPath

          I would guess not: different CPU configuration and what-not.

          I am sure devs will be able to port it over, but I wouldn’t expect it to be anyone’s first priority as it would only barely be functional at best.

  • The only instructions I see are for Linux-based machines. Any Windows instructions floating about?

    • Willard Potter

      While it isn’t an ideal option for most people, you could always install ubuntu from within Windows using wubi, go through the installation on your phone/tablet, and then uninstall again through wubi when you’re finished, though i’d say keep the dual boot just in case you want to switch back or run into issues.

      Considering that these are wifi only, if you’re trying to install to a phone, i’d definitely say keep it installed so you can go back to Android. Again.. just an option for those that don’t know how to do things normally.

  • Instructions are down so far but this will be something fun to do when I get home tonight.

  • NexusPhan69

    No toro?! I’m devastated….

    • notregistering

      LOL you thought that Verizon had open source radios or at the very least provided documentation to port them over. That is just too cute.

      • NexusPhan69

        No I didn’t expect one for toro. Just had been really hoping for a miracle.

        • itznfb

          Don’t hold your breath.

      • Tony Allen

        I’d like to see a WiFi only version for Toro, just to try it out. I’m sure the devs will get on it.

      • Justin Doshay

        ironic when mark shuttleworth shows his verizon phone on the demo video

        • notregistering

          Does it have cell service? Wifi? NOPE

  • Justin Barrett

    Seems their servers are bogging down.