March 1, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Ubuntu Touch developers and the developers here are collaborating on porting Ubuntu Touch. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. The special community bulletin talking about Ryan Scott is mentioned as well. Jordan then talks about TWRP 188.8.131.52 and its extras and the Swappa and XDA partnership.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK talks about making backups of Android software, XDA Senior Moderator jerdog released a highlights of the first XDA Roundtable event and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an app review of Sidebar. Additionally, Jordan talks about the subscriber contest we are having here on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video. Finally, be sure to check out all the other news from XDA-Developers.
February 25, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
There was more discussion about Ubuntu Touch this week, and XDA Developer TV Producer and News Corespondent Jordan reviews this and all the other important stories from this week on the XDA Portal. Jordan talks about the Ubuntu Touch Porting Guide from Canonical. Jordan mentions the article talking about porting Ubuntu Touch being similar to porting CyanogenMod.
In rooting news, Jordan talks about the root exploit for the Jelly Bean-laden Motorola Atrix HD. Jordan talks about the petition to stop the Sim Unlocking ban reaching the required 100,000 signatures. Pull up a chair and check out this video. And if you any news to report, feel free to contact any XDA News Writer.
February 23, 2013 By: jerdog
Since the dawn of Android tablets, and really ever since the HTC HD2, developers have been looking for ways to bring Ubuntu to the mobile space. It seems like every new device gets a thread devoted to showing users how to load Ubuntu. More often than not, that implementation requires you to boot Android and then utilize chroot in order to run a Ubuntu instance, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re still running Android.
So when news of Ubuntu Touch coming to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 reached the interwebz, a collective shout of “Yippee!” erupted from the ranks. Then earlier this week Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, teased us with a video showing Ubuntu Touch in all its glory on a tablet.
On Thursday, Canonical released instructions for installing the Developer Preview on the Nexus devices, and the XDA thread erupted with discussion around it. Then as people began to install the Developer Preview on their devices, one thing became very clear: While a lot of the data being shown in the video looked real, it all exists in the Developer Preview as dummy data. It’s not functional, and is not intended for the user as was displayed. No, this is very clearly an alpha and not intended for the normal user or as a daily-driver. It even is clear that Android is very much part of Ubuntu Touch, even down to a stripped down version of CM10.1 as the base, and chroot is still the process used to run Ubuntu, albeit in a much nicer (and cleaner) boot process.
On Friday they released the porting instructions and another suspicion was confirmed: If your device is in the CM10.1 device tree and can run CM10.1, you too can port Ubuntu Touch to your device relatively easily. And in Friday’s hangout that the Ubuntu Development team hosted they discussed the following key points (props to XDA Senior Member KMyers for not only joining the hangout, but also typing up the results):
Question : Is Ubuntu Touch stable enough for a Daily Driver?
Answer : No, most of the core “Applications” are non-functional . There is also no support for 3G Data
Question : What Devices can Ubuntu Touch Be Ported to?
Answer : As the Ubuntu Touch Preview is simply running in a Cyanogenmod10.1 chroot, theoretically you can port Ubuntu Touch to any device that Cyanogemod 10.1 Supports. Development happened on ICS and eventually moved to JB. Keep in mind that performance may vary. Instructions to port Ubuntu Touch can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Porting
Question : Since this is running in a Cyanogenmod chroot, can it run Native Android Apps?
Answer : No – The Cyanogenmod Fork has been stripped of the Dalvik VM and all other components necessary to run Android Applications. There is a likely possibility that someone will develop a “bluestacks” like emulator to allow android applications to run, but this will most likely not come from the Ubuntu team.
Question : Is dual booting possible?
Answer : Yes, thanks to the effort of the people at XDA-Developers, Dual Booting is possible. With this said, this is not something that the Ubuntu Team has any intentions of officially supporting. While Ubuntu seems to encourage community efforts, they stress that they do not want this to become a feature that the end user will expect to see officially supported. (I bet you all wish you got the 32 GB Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 rather then the 16 GB)
Question : Is the Ubuntu Touch UI using X11 or Wayland?
Answer : None of the Above. Ubuntu Touch is using the same Display Manager that is in use by Android, Display Flinger.
Question : What Kernel is in Use?
Answer : A modified Android Kernel is in use
Question : What about CDMA support?
Answer : Fear Not Sprint and Verizon users, it is being worked on. The Ubuntu Team said that the GSM Radio is the global standard and this was simply where they focused most of their attention as all of the developers had GSM devices.
Question : Will Ubuntu be accepting merge requests for the Cyanogen10.1 sub system?
Answer : Yes, this is encouraged.
Question : Where is the Ubuntu chroot kept in relationship to Android?
Answer : The Ubuntu filesystem and all applications are kept in /data/ubuntu . If you use adb to browse this, you will see a familiar filesystem layout that most Linux users are used to
Question : What Works?
Answer : As this is a Developer Build, dont expect much to work. The items that have been confirmed to work are;
Question : What Does Not Work?
Answer : As this is a developer build, dont expect things to work properly, here are a few things that are not working
The issue with the release is that the focus in the video was that these features were working and is what would be deployed. What is painfully obvious instead is that the video highlighting those features was just PR and nothing else. Virtually none of the features displayed in the video even work, even on devices like the Nexus lineup that are generally the easiest to develop for, and already fully work on CM10.1. In fact, the calendar app is just a PNG placeholder and does not even function.
This doesn’t mean that we feel that there isn’t a future for this platform, but it does mean that there are definitely opportunities to improve. Here at XDA we publicly reach out and offer our services to the Ubuntu Touch project. We have more experience in the mobile development and mobile telephony space than most outfits, and have a lot to offer in what could be a tremendous collaboration. We look forward to seeing what such a collaboration would produce.
The release of the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview yesterday prompted a lot of activity on the Ubuntu Touch forum, and for good reason. The concept of Ubuntu on phones and tablets has been desired by many for a long time, and so it is great to see Canonical embrace the idea and set out on their own.
When Ubuntu posted the announcement about the Developer Preview, they mentioned that they would be releasing the instructions on how to port Ubuntu Touch to other devices other than the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Today they did so, and as we mentioned yesterday, they will be holding a “Ubuntu On-Air” at 15:00 GMT today (Friday, February 22) where they’ll have two of the lead developers in a Google Hangout to talk about the project as well. For those that miss it, they will surely have a replay available at that address as well.
The instructions for porting are pretty straightforward. Since Ubuntu Touch is just a CyanogenMod 10.1 base with the Ubuntu Touch interface running in a container and accessed via chroot, if your device currently runs CM10.1 then you’ll be able to port this. The instructions for porting are found on Ubuntu’s Wiki and are quite extensive, so make sure you follow them EXACTLY.