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Canonical Shows Off New Dual Boot Feature For Ubuntu In Latest Developer Preview

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Canonical today unveiled their latest work on their underdog Ubuntu mobile operating system. If you can remember, it was only October when Canonical announced Ubuntu 13.10 for smartphones, with a fully featured system attempting to rival Android. Today, in a somewhat odd move, the company has announced the availability of a developer preview of a new dual boot feature allowing supported Nexus devices to switch quickly between an Android-based OS and Ubuntu. 

To switch between operating systems, users have to launch an app on whichever side of the dual boot setup they are currently using to execute the OS change. In the past, command line interfaces and various key combinations were needed, making the process not exactly the most efficient or user-friendly.

Keep in mind that this is a developer preview, and as such will be unstable compared to a regular Ubuntu or Android installation. For you crackflashers out there, though, you can find instructions to get the dual boot setup on a Nexus 4 here. To go through the setup, it seems basic knowledge of the command line and a Ubuntu computer are required. You will need an unlocked bootloader, familiarity with adb commands, and the ability to follow a step-by-step guide.

Via: Ubuntu Developer Blog
  • Shane

    Who is this guy? He looks like he’s 10.

    • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

      Writer/”intern” for DL now.

      I can assure you that I am not 10.

      • Heh

        11?

        • Hah

          12?

  • ingmarmxy321

    My Uncle
    Gavin got Infiniti QX80 SUV from only workin part time on a home computer…
    pop over here B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • codemonkey85

    Has anyone here tried this? How stable is it on the Nexus 4 (Mako)? How does the docking thing work?

  • Tom

    Looking forward to Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish when they get stable. If they can keep the same Linux usability as most desktop Linux distros then I’ll be jumping from Android to one of them. It’d be great to run automation scripts using cron jobs and systemd/upstart events. Tasker is nice on Android but it’s very kludgy. Besides there are many missing Linux utilities and file system files that make Tasker “scripts” too limited.

    The desktop UI when docked is nice but only when ARM or maybe Intel Atom SoCs can provide a very responive desktop experience. High end ARM and Intel Bay Trail Atoms getting pretty powerful so, hopefully, performance requirements won’t be an issue soon(ish).

    • Minty

      As a Linux user, these are what most interest me about Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish. If I have easy access to the plethora of the Linux utilities (pre-packaged or easily installed from repos) and file system files that are usually available on desktop Linux OS’s then I’ll be jumping from Android when the OS gets stable.

      It’d be great to use the same scripts I have on my notebook on my phone and also write phone specific ones too. I can even set up a Git repo for the scripts right on the phone to keep track of my changes. Even back it up to Amazon S3 using a cron job and the AWS CLI. I’d probably tar.xz it before uploading to the cloud as well.

    • Lors

      I’d definitely jump from Android to another Linux based mobile OS if, at least from the terminal point of view, I can do the same things as my Linux desktop.

      I hope Canonical doesn’t remove/lock out this ability. If so, I may be using an Ubuntu Touch phone 1-2 years.

      • Lors

        On the dual boot thing, ya this is mostly useful for developers and users who provide feedback to them.

  • Mike Strollo

    “Unlocked Bootloader” guess I won’t be seeing this on my Note 3 any time soon.

  • Petro Dragoumanos

    While it’s interesting and it’s useful on a PC, I’m not sure if dual booting on a phone is useful.

  • morteum

    I totally want a Ubuntu phone.

  • AlexKCMO

    I honestly don’t see the point. What will running Ubuntu on my phone do for me that Android can’t?

    The only way I see this useful is if it has the docking capability shown in previous videos and if I’m already an Ubuntu user. This is such a niche I’m really surprised they’re developing it.

    • sonicyoof

      Q: “What will running Ubuntu on my phone do for me that Android can’t?”
      A: “It has the docking capability shown in previous videos.”

      • AlexKCMO

        But short of that, what’s the point? At best you could say full web when docked, but I doubt we’d see that.

        • sonicyoof

          The point of Ubuntu on a phone or the point of docking?

      • codemonkey85

        How exactly does that work right now?

  • Chris

    Whooo… DAFAQ are you?

    • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

      New intern/writer :)

      • Chris

        Figured that WELCOME!

      • AlexKCMO

        DL has Interns?????? O_O

    • kali bred

      I asked that same thing about that kyle guy the other day lol