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Install Ubuntu on Nexus 7 (ubuntu.com)
44 points by mitchellmckenna 1848 days ago | hide | past | web | 13 comments | favorite


I led the team that shipped this image, and I'm pretty proud of what we did. A few thoughts about our goals for this release.

The entire point of Ubuntu core on the Nexus 7 is to highlight our desktop's performance and resource issues. We know we're way too fat in terms of memory consumption, CPU usage, disk footprint, etc. and now we have a convenient developer platform that folks can use to help us optimize our core in preparation for a future world where mobile dominates. (nb, I've been calling it Ubuntu Pilates)

The great thing about Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 is that it finally provides a convenient, cheap, ARM platform where all the standard Linux tools work. Believe me, I've hacked on pandas, rpis, etc. and for what we're trying to do here, the Nexus 7 is so much easier to develop on.

And if I may insert some editorial, I often see the HN crowd complain about Apple's developer policies, working around strange bugs in their black box APIs, etc. This is your chance to help build out an open platform. I'm not saying our APIs are better (in fact, they tend to be less well thought out than Apple's), but at least you have a chance to help improve things in the platform, rather than accepting whatever the platform gives you.

In any case, the summary here is that for now, we've got a tight focus on improving our core OS footprint so don't expect that our current UI experience is great (it's not) or that it's a usable replacement for Android (it's not, unless you hook up a USB keyboard/mouse in which case it's just a super cheap, silent terminal).

Every bit that we improve the core OS on the Nexus 7 flows back into the rest of our platform so our desktop and our server gets leaner and faster. To make it painfully obvious, this will help all your Amazon EC2 instances. :)

We'd love to have any help. And stay tuned for more to come.

thanks, /ac

This is a very early experimental project, requires wiping your nexus 7, the performance will not be good and it doesn't have a tablet interface, so it's for testers/devs rather than normal users at this stage:


It might help improve desktop performance though, and provide an alternative truly platform to android for phone manufacturers in time, so an interesting move for Ubuntu.

Seems to work better with LXDE:


Now that this has been out for a few days, can anyone speak to the performance?

I wouldn't go near it yet, but it's very promising.

There are too many big bugs listed here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-nexus7/+bugs

RSS to subscribe to that is http://feeds.launchpad.net/ubuntu-nexus7/latest-bugs.atom

I'd like to hear about usability as well. If it's decent to use could be an interesting tool

Also anyone know about drivers? I have a microusb to usb dongle so it'd be cool to hook up a mouse and keyboard does anyone know whats supported in this regard?

You will need a USB OTG cable to use USB peripherals. This is mentioned in the wiki.


Extremely misleading title. Maybe the utility to download and flash the device only takes one click to use, but we can't just ignore the fact that you have to actually get the device in recovery mode etc to even reach that step. I like that my nexus could potentially have ubuntu on it, but I think it's important to not purposefully misrepresent the steps it would take to get there.

We did think about adding 'fastboot oem unlock' to our installer script, but decided against for UX reasons. Asking the user to do some ugly looking terminal commands hopefully scared away the folks who least understood what they might have been getting into, as it is explicitly intended to be a developer build.

As for the various blog headlines, we obviously don't have control over those.

[edit] Oops, I see you might have been referring to the wiki. Thanks, I cleaned up the wording a bit to say "graphical installer" instead of "one-click installer". Thanks.

I'm amazed there is no young 'Michael Dell' out there selling things like this out of his trunk at tech shows.

Why would there be? Android is a better OS than Ubuntu right now. Especially given all the issues that Ubuntu currently has on the Nexus (keyboard, camera, bluetooth, etc).

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