Ubuntu installer for Nexus 7 will make it easy to run Linux on your tablet

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 27, 2012

Google-Nexus-7 ubuntu

Canonical, the company that develops Ubuntu, has made it clear that it set its target on mobile devices, working to make the Linux distribution as mobile-friendly as possible. Among other initiatives, Canonical has made the Google Nexus 7 a reference device for Ubuntu, to help developers optimize the distro for ARM touch-based devices.

Now, Canonical has released a tool to help users and developers easily install a full version of Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. The only prerequisite is to have an unlocked bootloader, but, if you’re interested in running Linux, I don’t think that would be a problem.

The idea behind the installer is to allow regular folks to run Ubuntu on their tablet, so developers can get a feel of what works and what needs improving. As such, expect a fair number of bugs and glitches, and more importantly, make sure to report them to Canonical so devs learn about them. Among the kinks that need ironing out at this point, the most severe seem related to memory consumption, rotation, and scrolling issues; the webcam and the Bluetooth don’t work either. A full list of problems is available here.

To give the installer a try, head to this link. Note that you will lose all your data, but it’s easy to return to stock Android if you want to.

Are you interested in the convergence of Linux and Android? Would you like to run Ubuntu on your Nexus device?

  • MasterMuffin

    great, all I need now is a nexus 7 :D is this going to be available to nexus 10 also because then it would be seriously cool :)

  • Olivier Zanchetta

    No I like Ubuntu because it is a solid distribution. I can’t imagine why I would want Ubuntu on my phone or tablet.

    • With MHL, you can connect your phone/tablet to a desktop monitor while usinga kkeyboard and mouse and with Ubuntu, it would be like having a completely portable desktop replacement. Very neat implications.

  • Kyle Porter

    I have no need whatsoever to have Ubuntu on my cell phone or my tablet. But I still love it on my laptop.

    • Nathan Vargas

      If you only use your tablet as a consumption device, then I can understand this mindset. On the other hand, I want to use my tablet as a development machine and with single apps taking up the entire screen area on load up, that’s nearly impossible.

      Developing an app on an actual tablet would kick so much @$$. So I’m for Ubuntu on my tablet! Now please.

  • Radagast

    I would not even try it unless it were dual boot or co-boot +both Ubuntu and android using a common kernel, booting independently)

  • Jeff Warren

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the skinny on the Microsoft Surface Pro will be like with Ubuntu. Guts are much more laptop/PC (I5 & 4GB RAM), but with the tablet interface. As tight a Linux can get, I’m not sure that an Ubuntu/Debian desktop on a tablet intended for the much-lighter Android is going to be fair to the Linux in question. Android is Linux enough, and since one can write a Launcher replacement and nearly any other app, there’s no need for the other bits, either.

  • Brian

    I would love this so much. I would really like to be able to dual boot, and running them both at once would be even better, but that isn’t an absolute must. If you could get Ubuntu to legit work on the Nexus 7, all you would need would be a 15$ bluetooth keyboard and you could be up and coding, on a system with enough RAM and a good enough CPU, for less than 250$

  • u976415

    Canonical should choose a platform without an nVidia SoC. They should choose the Nexus 10, Samsung SoC and InSignal (Korean) Arndale Board. The screen is bigger and InSignal C.E.O : Mr.Ko Hyun Chul (AKA Godori in Linux community).