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Canonical Releases Ubuntu 13.10 for Smartphones, Its First “True Mobile” Release


This morning, Canonical announced the availability of Ubuntu 13.10, the first “true mobile release” of the OS. Inside the release, users can finally get a good picture of what the company is bringing to the smartphone game, with a fully-baked UI and core applications that have been developed by a highly experienced community of developers. There still isn’t much third party app support, but you will find the basics like a calendar, camera, phone, clock, and browser application. 

Rick Spencer, Ubuntu’s consumer-facing engineering lead, had this to say on the 13.10 release.

This is a milestone in computing history. The exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms. Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence.

Ubuntu 13.10 should be flashable on a couple of Android handsets if we aren’t mistaken, so you can follow the via link below if you are interested. Although, this is best left to developers and those that are familiar with tinkering in SDKs and have a working knowledge of adb. Unlike the Ubuntu for Android platform, this is more than just flashing a zip file in a custom recovery.

Via: Canonical

  • Ken Sharp

    I can’t stand the instability of Android on my Zeus device so hopefully I can play with this and see what happens.

  • lye

    I want to play with it, but it won’t let me flash to my vzw gnex. I don’t even care about the radios working.

  • eyeDroid

    Can you apt-get install stuff like openssh-server, tmux, octave, samba, cifs-utils, nfs-kernel-server, nfs-common, pixz, lm-sensors, mediainfo, mplayer2, smplayer, etc.?

    Can you run Bash scripts and setup cron jobs?

    Can you force a desktop application to run like say smplayer to play videos (though it’ll be hard to control without a keyboard like jumping forward/backward, changing audio/subtitle tracks and adjusting the volume)?

    Is there external USB keyboard support?.

    Too bad I don’t have a Nexus to try this on.


    • James Hill

      I don’t see why not. It’s Linux.

      • Mort

        Android is “Linux” too but there are things in your way in order to use it as a typical Linux distro from the command line perspective. Canonical could very well limit certain things like the launching of a desktop app while in the touch UI mode question. Also, some packages may just not have an ARM compiled version in the repos (I recall some users of ARM dev boards and SBCs running into this) and simply compiling from source is sometimes not possible due to the code needing modification.

    • Ken Sharp

      All of those packages are already available for ARM, and if not Ubuntu then Debian.

      You can run Bash scripts on Android.

      It runs Unity so whatever works on desktop should work on mobile, although it may look horrendous.

      USB keyboard depends on hardware.

      • eyeDroid

        Yeah, it was more of a rhetorical question to show that this really is a full Linux distro. I already run Arch Linux in a chroot but I would much rather have the main phone OS to also be a full Linux system in terms of what you would normally see in most major Linux distros.

  • Nick Floria

    Damn i just sold my nexus 4 monday.

  • jak_341

    Saucy Salamander! I could see me using an Ubuntu phone. Would match my laptop.

  • Michael Hammond

    Very cool – I may use my OG RAZR as the test subject on this one. Since there’s very little to no 3rd-party app support, my GS4 is out since it’s my main device.

    • glee24

      Can you let me know if you get it on the Razr? I may give it a shot this weekended as well.

  • Great news.. Ubuntu rocks!

  • Curtis

    I’ve got the perfect GNex.. I mean phone for this!

  • Loo

    Any chance we will see it for the VZW GNex or just keeping it GSM?

    • Greg Morgan

      Someone will more than likely try to port it. Might not be right away.

    • spearman792

      There’s an xda thread for it (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2159515) but they are unable to get the radios to work. Not worth it with no calls, SMS, or data :/

      • michael arazan

        I thought it did work with wifi

        • HarvesterX

          Would be nice to run this on the G2. I have an old GNex laying around here but the screen is so destroyed. I just want to be able to develop and build for the G2. I don’t have a laptop or PC atm, so that would completely make my day (yeah, I don’t mind programming with a virtual keyboard.. I’ve gotten used to it..)

  • Jeremy Gill

    Does this version have data over the cellular network yet?

    • Anon


    • spearman792

      Yes, unless you have a verizon GNex

  • So stoked on this.

  • Aldr01d

    Serious hopes this works on GS4

    • Doubtful. Believe it’s only available for G-Nex and N4. Although, that could have changed. I haven’t been following very closely.

      • There’s “unofficial” support for the gs3 s4 note and note 2 as well as another long list of other devices. Thanks Devs. Haha

    • j

      Not yet. Takes a while to port to various devices with differing hardware. Nexus only looks like right now.