Ubuntu on Nexus 7

So I had exchanged e-mails with Victor Palau who is in charge of the Nexus 7 initiative for Ubuntu and released an early video and today I flashed my Nexus 7 using the instructions that Canonical released. The process was straightforward and just as easy as installing any other custom rom on an android device. You might also be interested to check out Jono’s blog post which talks about the initiative.

Filesystem Building - Ubuntu on Nexus 7
Filesystem is building out

After the flash the Nexus 7 will go the a black screen with white text as it starts to build out the filesystem then it will initially boot into Ubuntu. I found the first bug which was Wireless does not seem to work on the first boot (I confirmed with a re-flash) so you will need to reboot for available networks to show up.

Network Connections - Ubuntu on Nexus 7


Unity works pretty nice aside from the occasional times it becomes unresponsive and the device requires a reboot and for some reasons apps inside the applications lenses cannot be launched so I was not able to use terminal to see all what is running.

OMG Ubuntu on Ubuntu for Nexus 7
OMG! Ubuntu! in Firefox on Ubuntu for Nexus 7

Firefox ran excellent on Ubuntu for Nexus 7 while for some reason the default page was Amazon not the usual Google Search page you might be used to. Additionally the Dash did show the new Shopping Lens and so I searched for “Beans”.

Beans Results on Ubuntu for Nexus 7
Lots of Beans

and finally a short video (warning: shaky) showing some of the dash issues I ran into which was the unresponsiveness but all in all I really like this so far and look forward to providing some contributions in testing and other areas.

Note: Flashing Ubuntu to the Nexus 7 takes about 20-25 minutes roughly while flashing Android Stock back takes just over one minute so if you do not like the testing images you can get back to stock in a minute plus the time it takes you to setup your android widgets, apps and settings again.

Update: Check out this new post with info on the script that powers the installer and potential for community flavors on the Nexus 7


  1. Ben says

    Which version of Ubuntu is installed on the device, I’m guessing it is 12.10? Is it possible to install different versions, such as the 12.04 LTS release?

    • says

      Ubuntu 12.10 its a pre-baked image since it does not use the regular installed but so far with Zram enabled it works good. Double-Boot would be nice but I’m not sure if that is technically possible.

  2. Arkan Hadi says

    why not lighter version of Ubuntu like xubuntu or lubuntu if Ubuntu becomes less responsive..
    1. Ubuntu has became bloated and heavy on resources specially 12.10.
    2. xubuntu or lubuntu both have menus where you can access apps and terminal easily.
    3. they are based totally on Ubuntu but they are lighter. so if Ubuntu worked xubuntu or lubuntu should work just fine.

  3. DaVince says

    Starting the video with a “Server not found” window doesn’t exactly leave the best of impressions, even if everything does work. πŸ˜‰