Where’s my Ubuntu for Android?

Where's my Ubuntu for Android?

I can clearly remember the day when Canonical announced Ubuntu for Android. My first reaction was – finally, the true convergence is here! The ability to turn smartphone into a full-blown PC is something we’ve been hearing about for quite some time now. And Canonical was first to make that dream into a reality. Except that the mentioned software was never released to the general public. Instead, the company decided to pitch OEMs and allow them to pre-install the application on their devices. Bad idea, considering the tight relations major OEMs have with carriers.

So we thought Canonical will make its software available for download. For some reason, that’s not happening and I can’t but wonder why? Are they waiting for their own mobile platform to launch or the software is “still not there.” We can only speculate at this stage and hope that someone from Canonical is reading this.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who would pay for the benefit of having just one computer – my smartphone. And with the stack of Ubuntu apps I would be able to accomplish 90% of tasks. Yeah, I’ll miss few Windows apps but that means I’ll use my Windows PC only in special circumstances.

So Canonical – why don’t you release Ubuntu for Android? Sell it for $50 (or more) if you have to – just give us the goodies. I’m getting impatient…

What about you – do you want Ubuntu for Android? And would you be willing to dump your “regular” computer to have just one device, the one you carry around in your pocket?

  • PeterSteinbeck

    I want Ubuntu on my Android, too. 🙂

  • I’d kill for it. Real Mark. Who do you need… gone. On top of wanting to be a user, I would love to build one app for all. It’s also why I’m waiting for the very slow Ubuntu Touch. Dusan, they’re just not there yet. They never released a great deal on Ubuntu for Android. If it truly rode the android highway, rather than having to build an infrastructure ala Touch, then why not release it? Unless, it was a pitch. Ubuntu touch is still an idea. It’s a stage of cardboard cutouts representing great ideas. I’m not convinced that Ubuntu for Android wasn’t just that, just on a grander scale.

  • Cesar Blancarte

    Agree. Bad move from Canonical.. start a war with android instead of an alliance. Ubuntu Phone have no apps. I they don’t plan to support android apps on Ubuntu Phone. Instead of a rapid growing We will see a slow war with the rest of the phone os inthe market.

    • Yes, it is not Ubuntu on Android, or Android on Ubuntu… It’s JUST Ubuntu. As I stated above, the author’s assumptions indicate that he knows dick about the Linux world.

      • I never said I know “dick about the Linux world.” I said I want “Ubuntu for Android” – to keep Android on my phone and use Ubuntu when connected to a PC. That’s how Canonical markets this product. What’s wrong with that?

        • I was following your logic Mr. Belic. I am not sure why Herbie’s post is so visceral and caustic.

        • Sirus Laia

          That’s exactly what I’m dreaming of. What do you think of Debian Kit, which has appeared on Google Play? Can it be develop to be the real Ubuntu for Android?

        • IMO, posts from trolls should be deleted and repeat offenders should be blocked.

  • I CANNOT wait for Canonical to release Ubuntu for Android, and I’d pay $100 for it! I already have the dock ready to roll for my Note 2. I want to be done with my Windows PC!

    • Try searching Google and XDA, buddy. If your phone support loopback, you can do it already. I’ve been running Ubuntu on my Atrix for over two years. Don’t even need a dock, just plug in the HDMI and grab my Apple BT keyboard and mouse 🙂

      • Sirus Laia

        I’ve been searching for this for long time in Google and XDA and I’ve found no solution. Yesterday I heard of DebianKit (haven’t tried it yet). Probably this is the one Ubuntu for Android may be.

        BTW you said loopback. How can I find out that my Galaxy Note 2 supports it? I’m really looking forward to using my Note 2 for laptop replacement.

        • Not certain about the Note II but it’s been enabled in most android kernels for a while.

  • Sorry but this author knows dick about the Linux world.

  • boris528

    ive wanted this for so long. I want 4gb of ram on my phone too…. please hurry up and release it!!!

  • I have been waiting somewhat patiently as well. I am about ready to risk bricking my Samsung Droid Charge. I would like my next new phone to be Ubuntu.

  • I have been waiting somewhat patiently as well. I am about ready to risk bricking my Samsung Droid Charge. I would like my next new phone to be Ubuntu.

    • I have about changed my mind as you can’t get bluetooth audio with Ubuntu and Canonical isn’t developing it. One would think that being able to use bluetooth would be make or break. POh well back to the Android spy-ware.

  • RealLinuxGuru – troll away

    There always a few “dicks” around that assume their supposed superior knowledge about Linux means they can troll good posts like this one. Dusan is making good points about general usability for common users. Something these “dicks” bemoan and don’t want to ever happen because it removes their superiority.

    Dual booting a good smart phone, cake. Using he same kernel and making it usable for non technical users means real development for the platform. The “dicks” will never get it. Its not esoteric enough and way to easy for common users.

    The challenge is making it easy. Get it or don’t. Its not about the power users (seriously, dual booting any computer is cake) its about real usability. Now go step on that dick a little more and tell us how great you are.

    Thanks Dusan. I have been watching this distro as well. Unfortunately it does run contrary to carrier control. So may never launch except as a community sponsored initiative. Sad.

    • It’s not trolling. We just don’t want you guys tainting our community.

      • Mike Varone

        wow that’s apple talk!

  • Alan Bell

    They can’t.

    Slightly longer answer, U4A was on a Motorola Atrix and used the hypervisor and some of the integration glue that it already had for surfacing android through webtop. That stuff isn’t GPL and doesn’t necessarily run on other devices (not to mention the dock with USB host and HDMI out). I understand that it has run on other devices, but it is far from an offerable download, due to non-free components and specific hardware dependencies. It was always a pitch to the OEMs rather than intended to be an aftermarket install. Ubuntu Touch on the other hand is an aftermarket install on a bunch of devices with no non-free integration code. It is also an OEM pitch, Canonical are mildly interested in people installing it on random devices for purposes of app development, but they want an OEM to sell it in volume. With U4A there isn’t a specific app development requirement (you are either doing an Android app, or an Ubuntu desktop app) so there is no particular reason for Canonical to want people to install it – especially as no OEM has publicly committed to shipping it to my knowledge.

    • naiem

      They can still make money by selling the O4A app and licensing docks. Ubuntu is free anyway.

  • Mike Varone

    This is how Ubuntu goes from free to not so free. Honestly I don’t care I would pay to be able to run Ubuntu off a dock from my android. But will it ever be a reality? I guess time
    will tell, step up your game Ubuntu. If you want to play with the big boys you can’t cry when you get hurt!

  • jbongaerts

    I also would have loved to see it on my phone. It just seems like such a great idea, and I also hope Canonical picks up from where they left.

  • sadikk

    Ubuntu for Adnroid is dead.. Cause there is something called chromium.. Android is full blown OS with Mouse and KB support in future.. see the merging of Chromium + Android + Chrome… and the man leading it all is Sunder pichai..

    • vboy

      CAC mean dick in my language.

  • naiem

    I am eagerly waiting for it. Seems like it will not come out until next year. If they also release a dock with USB 3 then you can run your windows VM on a virtual box. If they do it right, I would swap my iMac with an apple monitor.

  • Joe D

    I have been patiently awaiting news about this since first hearing it… From the initial get-go it sounded very much like a downloadable piece of software that worked in conjunction with any Android phone… provided it had a dual core processor. Now however, I’m hearing nothing on that front but instead an “Ubuntu phone” – which replaces Android completely, but still does the Turns-into-a-desktop-when-docked thing. Yeah. Great. Now I’m not only limited on my hardware choices, but I get to unlearn Android for another mobile OS. I thought the Ubuntu addition TO an existing range of compatible Android devices was brilliant – and sounded very promising. I would have loved that, even though not all phones may have been able to take advantage of it… Having a phone with familar and well-supported Android on it, that becomes a full-fledged desktop computer at the docking station. Now I just don’t know what the Hell they’re up to. One thing I WON’T be doing is waiting around forever… I’m planning on buying a new Note 3 probably in the forth quarter of this year. Canonical has until then to let me know if they’re actually ever going to release Ubuntu for Android, what devices are able to use it, and how much it costs – yes, I’d pay several tens of dollars for it – otherwise, Screw’em. I’ll enjoy my new octo-processor Note 3 until it’s time to buy something else.

  • cpgeek

    I got really close to writing an article just like this one before i found yours… this is a travisty.

  • John Palahnuk

    Already using my SGN2 as a full fledged desktop PC. Unlocked, rooted, ROM’d then set it up to autolaunch LaunchXPro when docked using Tasker. I have a totally Windows like desktop and one of my many (normal sized) icons is a shortcut to RemoteRDP where I log into my Windows VM if I want to. All runs super smooth and Tasker automtically sets the phone back to portrait Touchwiz when I pull it off the dock. I put my laptop away and never use it now that I have my SGN2 set up as my desktop PC. Finally, the best part about this setup is receiving texts and phone calls seemlessly while working on spreadsheets, emails or surfing the web. I didn’t wait for Ubuntu Touch, forget them… I did it myself and its great!

  • Keith

    YES! i would pay for it. I can not wait to get my hands on it.

  • Ramiro

    It may sound like a silly idea, but perhaps the biggest hurdle is the lack of USB OTG on the Nexus 4. I know because it is my current phone.
    The first time they showed “Ubuntu for Android” it was running on a Galaxy Nexus. But now the official “open” Android phone is LG’s Nexus 4, lacking USB OTG, and without it forget about the possibility of connecting USB peripherals like a mouse or a keyboard.

    • The lack of OTG support can be “fixed” by flashing a modified version of Franco’s kernel. That said, the phone can’t actually supply the power most devices need, so a powered USB hub, USB y-cable or separately-powered device (like some portable HDDs) are required still.

      As a fellow Nexus 4 owner, I agree it sucks.

  • Richard Fong

    The lack of news on this and the lack of releasing source codes is really deeply upsetting. I’d happily good money for it. To put a value on this, I would consider the saving of not needing to buy a laptop and offset the cost of Ubuntu, a keyboard and a touchpad/mouse against that.

  • heldeman

    I want Ubuntu’s smartphone. I need it, want it, crave it, pleeeeeease!!!!!!

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