Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

Summary: Ubuntu Touch, the version of the Linux operating system for smartphones and tablets, is now available.


How does Ubuntu Touch, the version of Ubuntu Linux, compare to Android? Well, you can finally find out for yourself. The first official, public bootable Ubuntu Touch images are now available.

Bootable Ubuntu Touch images are now available for the Nexus smartphone and tablet lines.

Nicholas Skaggs, a Canonical software engineer and quality assurance community coordinator, wrote, "I'm happy to announce the Ubuntu touch images are now available for testing on the isotracker. And further, the images are now Raring based! [That is to say, they're based on the soon to be released Ubuntu 13.04 codebase.] As such, the Ubuntu Touch team is asking for folks to try out the new images on their devices and ensure there are no regressions or other issues."

Specifically, there are four officially supported devices and images for each of them: Nexus 7, grouper; Galaxy Nexus, maguro; Nexus 4, mako; and Nexus 10, manta. These are all early releases and I recommend that only power Ubuntu and smartphone/tablet users try them at this point.

To install them, you'll need an Ubuntu-based computer and to follow the installation instructions closely. If, as is almost certain at this point in development, you find a bug, Skaggs said, "use the instructions to report them and add it to your result. Never used the tracker before? Take a look at this handy guide or watch the YouTube version".

"Once all the kinks and potential issues are worked out (your feedback requested!), the Raring based images will become the default, and, moving forward, the team will continue to provide daily images and participate in testing milestones," concluded Skaggs.

Don't have a Nexus device? In a note, Skaggs added that while there are "No official images, people have been busy porting! Have a look here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Devices". These devices range from the Dell Streak 7 to the Kindle Fire to Motorola Droid 4 to a wide variety of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

More supported devices will be coming. On Google Plus, Jono Bacon, Canonical's community manager, wrote:

As part of our Ubuntu Touch community growth and outreach, the codebase has been ported by our community to and working on 40 handsets, with 25 handsets in progress, and across 19 different brands. There are 4,800+ posts in the XDA Ubuntu Touch forum, and our app developer community has already grown to 1,650 members here on Google+ with a huge variety of apps in development, and we have only just got started.

The revolution is getting its wheels rolling, come and join us and be part of building a world class convergent platform. Together, we can do this.

Starting today, independent developers and fearless early adopters can judge for themselves if Ubuntu will indeed be able to succeed on smartphones and tablets.

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Topics: Ubuntu, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software Development, Tablets

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  • So

    Could somebody tell me if this is a usable version, with the ability to put in real data and hook real email accounts to it? And does it have real apps, instead of a lot of pictures of what the apps might look like when they're done? I really do want to use this, but I don't have a random device that can sit there and do nothing.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • The website has the following disclaimer

      "Consider this text your giant disclaimer. Just a reminder these images are not intended for end-users; please don't go flashing your device thinking you'll have a replacement for android. These images are intended for developers, enthusiasts and testers who want to help. If this describes you, please read on!"

      I have an Asus Slider (which has identical specs and uses identical images as the Transformer) which I can play around with, but if I were in your position I would not try it out.
      Michael Kelly
      • Well, that whomps

        I was under the impression that, since this was a beta, the page was just outdated.

        If that isn't the case, how is this different from the dev preview? How is this a beta?
        Michael Alan Goff
        • I'm under the impression

          that it is possible to put your own data on this build, though I have not tried it so I cannot confirm for sure. Shuttleworth said the beta would be usable as a daily driver (though obviously it will have plenty of bugs and at this point very few apps available).
          • So it can be used as a daily driver?

            I'm just tired of occasionally trying it just to get laughed at as it doesn't really do much of anything.

            That being said, it's been over a month since I did try it.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • SHuttleworth said the beta would be usable as a daily driver

            but if this particular build is the particular build he was talking about, I'm not 100% sure
          • Okay

            I'll wait for people to come out and say one way or the other before I flash it. I happen to really like my Nexus running CM 10.1... it's really nice.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Ubuntu is DOA.

            Cannonical has never gotten any traction, their marketshare is almost non existent and any new version is like the last DOA.
            Right SJVN? You base these things on consumer demand with windows, why not Linux.
            Oh that's right, you are a biased blogger and could not write an objective piece if you life depended on it. You write your Win 8 DOA blogs for click bait.
            Here is some news for you, your blogging is DOA.
    • Re: So

      No there isn't.
  • great to hear ubuntu touch is progressing

    I hope it can build momentum and flourish- it's a beautiful OS with great possibilities.
    • Aye

      It's going to be really great when finished, if the dev preview was an indication.

      I wish it all the best.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Yeah...

      I dislike the stock appearance of Ubuntu, a lot. But the UI on this phone.... I reeeeeeeally like it.
      Hallowed are the Ori
    • Might not ever use it...

      Its a good thing for consumers that another mobile UI is becoming available. Competition will spur others to improve and even if I never use the ubuntu phone UI, I will benefit.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • Dual Boot

    Would like to see some way to dual boot or even tipple boot between Ubuntu Touch, Standard Android and/or CM version. I don't know if it will ever happen, but it would be fun.
    • Would like to see some way to dual boot or even tipple boot

      You can triple boot on the Nokia N9, I don't see why you couldn't use Ubuntu Touch as one of those options when or if someone ports it to the N9. you could probably even quad boot between Meego, Nitdroid, Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish.
  • Re:

    Let's hope Ubuntu touch replaces Android (the operating system sponsored by the CIA. Goodbye privacy!).
  • Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

    How hard is going to be to compile your kernel using only a touch interface? Also, how long is going to take with the slower chip and ram in these phones?
    • How hard and how long?

      Nowhere near what it would take to get an ounce of intelligence from LD.
    • (Sigh)

      Come on man, don't chum the waters. Please?
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • You must be talking to "Another View"

        He chums the waters in every blog he visits. He goes to every Windows 8 blog he can find to post ABM dribble.
        I'm sure he would give this incomplete project great reverence however.