Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

Summary: This could put a lot of new eyeballs on the Ubuntu OS.

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Canonical, the folks behind the Linux distro Ubuntu, have announced a new product. The ability to run Ubuntu from a docked Android phone.

Image credit: Canonical

The idea is an interesting one. A desktop version of Ubuntu, called Ubuntu for Android, is installed onto the handset along with the standard Android OS, and the OS runs on the host PC when the handset is hooked up to a special dock that connects it to the keyboard and monitor (yes, additional hardware is required for this to work).

This is not some cut down OS either, there are a ton of apps and features for the user to play with:

Image credit: Canonical

The hardware requirements are also very modest:

  • Dual-core 1GHz CPU
  • Video acceleration: shared kernel driver with associated X driver; Open GL, ES/EGL
  • 2GB storage for the OS
  • 512 MB RAM
  • HDMI video out with secondary frame buffer device

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth is thrilled by this technological step forward for Ubuntu:

For network operators who have long believed that the phone was the PC of the future for the next billion connected consumers, and for handset manufacturers who want to offer companies a single device for corporate computing, this is a delicious prospect. For those of us who love our desktops free, focused and mobile, it’s nirvana.

This could put a lot of new eyeballs on the Ubuntu OS.

Sorry if you got all excited, but this product isn't available for download. It's currently available only to OEMs.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Open Source

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20 comments
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  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Oh, wow... this is a lot cooler than what I originally suspected when I saw the headline.
    dsf3g
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Still comes with all the issues that you find in linux, introduces new issues since linux wasn't made for a mobile platform. One hack which is easy to do in linux and your phone is 0wned, could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. Oh and this project serves no real purpose. You can only use it when a keyboard and mouse are connected which defeats the purpose of some mobile devices. No thank you.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Eating you up, isn't it?

      @Loverock Davidson- <br><br>The IT world is moving too darn fast for MS to ever catch up.
      D.T.Long
    • since linux wasn't made for a mobile platform

      @Loverock Davidson-

      Haha brilliant! you really are a jester.
      guzz46
      • RE: Haha brilliant! you really are a jester.

        @guzz46

        Close, but no cigar there!

        I believe I saw a picture of LD recently, after breaking out a new deck of playing cards. It was on one of the cards not normally used in most card games - [b]the joker![/b]
        fatman65535
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    I'm sure you can get an abacus app as well ;-)
    tonymcs@...
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Cool! this is super brilliant! Technology always surprises us. What else are we going to expect on technology now a days!

    www.homesforent.ca
    janebakers
  • Free alternative - lets you use any OS not just Ubuntu

    There's already an alternative solution called PocketVM for iPhone/iPad and Android that lets you carry Windows, Linux or other full desktop OSes on your phone or tablet with you. e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXlkCOsuHE8
    dan_fonleap
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    This looks to be an extension of the idea used for the Motorola Atrix [and others moto products] for the docked phone. I have used this on the "lap dock" and it does extend the usefulness of the phone by having a 'full' desktop experience. Perhaps this will spur the further development of this platform after all we are all carrying around a small computer on our hips might as well use it even more.
    carlson1@...
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    A docket android phone? Is that a smartphone used by a judge or lawyer?
    I think you mean DOCKED. Sheesh -- am I the only one that doesn't rely on (or trust) spell check? Knowing how to spell without a dictionary or spell-check is truly a dying art...
    matthewlinux
    • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

      @matthewlinux
      It is also "the Linus distro Ubuntu".
      rogergough
    • RE: Knowing how to spell without a dictionary .......

      @matthewlinux

      ZDNet, in order to [i]increase shareholder value[/i], determined a long time ago that proofreaders were an unnecessary expense. And, I too saw the use of [b]docket[/b] and wondered [u]WTF!![/u]
      fatman65535
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Have I got my products confused or is this a lot like the Motorola Atrix Laptop with Phone Doc?
    rogergough
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Isn't Android a version of Linux?
    monolithm
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    This had better not remain OEM-only. That would be just plain silly and against Ubuntu's own spirit.
    thombone
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    There are already ways to root the motorola (Google) webtop to allow you to run a sandboxed VM versions when connected to a lapdock or HD screen and or BT keyboard. As for security, the android sandboxes work as well as any of the VM.
    panamman
    • and the average human

      @panamman
      has no idea what you just said, nor will they care. Translation, International market for this tripe - 2
      Cynical99
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    Very good, I have been totally Linux since 2002 and followed Ubuntu till 11.10 when Unity came out, changed to LinuxMint but didn't care for Gnome 3, so I found the Zorin release of Ubuntu and am really happy now. Linux has advanced so far, M$ is way back in the dirt!
    jedstewart1
  • RE: Run Ubuntu from an Android handset

    I can now run Chrome browser on Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.2 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad out to HDMI (via MHL cable) to a HD TV. No dock needed. Similar to Chromium laptop. Why not VM Linux native to such a smartphone, why have to wait for OEM and dock?
    joeshuren
  • it better have

    mahjongg! So who needs a PC/Mac? The dock is a tad kludgy though (it still needs one, but ) - the phone would make a nice trackpad/kinect haptic device . Just think - go ooogerdybooogerdy to the telly and it does stuff, YAY! Get enough of them out the door for cheap enough and you have some answers for the third world (well the world really) Mesh them up via wifi and you have the real internet starting to form - one that hasn't been subsumed and perverted by tyrannists and impossible to control by evil mafiaa's and their stooges in gummint.

    the truth shall set you free - yay!
    walkerjian@...