If you know a bit about Android, you might have noticed that the OS is built atop the Linux kernel. The most important component in Android is the kernel, which is also a central part of every Unix-like operating systems. The similarities in the overall structure allow running Linux on Android devices, but some changes are necessary. We previously talked about the Ubuntu project by XDA Forum Moderator and Recognized Developer zacthespack, but now it’s time to showcase a different approach.
If you want to try out Ubuntu on your device, you should consider trying out chroot. It changes the apparent root directory for the current running process and its children. Thus, a program that is run in chroot can’t access files outside designated directory tree. XDA Forum Member userdelroot used chroot when he created a script to install Ubuntu directly on your device.
The script creates a proper image and downloads the necessary files to your device. All you need to do is to copy it to the location mentioned by developer and run it as root. The development is still at a very early stage, so there might be some inconveniences here and there. So far, the method has been tested on the Nexus 7 (2013), but it is likely to work on most other devices as well.
To find out more about the project, head over to the development thread.
December 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You can dual boot Ubuntu and Android on your device with a developer preview release! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the official CyanogenMod for the Oppo N1 is available, as are the factory images and source code. AOKP KitKat 4.4.2 nightlies are also available for 10 device! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviewed Google Glass XE 2.0, Jordan spread some Android Christmas cheer, and TK showed us how to side load apps on our Google Glass. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’ve been wanting to try out Ubuntu on your mobile device but found yourself reluctant to switch to an entirely new ROM, Canonical has a special treat for you. Earlier today, they announced the developer preview of their new dual boot solution, which lets you seamlessly switch between Ubuntu and Android in just a few clicks.
Unlike previous solutions that allowed users to switch between Android and Ubuntu, Canonical’s new dual boot solution allows users to switch between the two OSes with nothing more than an application. Moreover, the new system is incredibly simple to set up, as installation happens nearly automatically through the Android client app. And if you wish to return to Android, you use the ubuntudualboot app on the Ubuntu side to reboot back into Android.
Not much is needed to get started. You need to be running Android 4.2 or higher on an AOSP-derived ROM, 2.7 GB of free space, ADB on your desktop and your phone’s bootloader must be unlocked. Currently, this has only been tested by Canonical on the Google Nexus 4, but they state that other Nexus devices should work as well. One small thing to keep in mind is that installing this dual boot solution will overwrite your recovery partition. So if you end up giving this a shot, make sure you are comfortable with the fastboot flash command in order to get your recovery back.
Those looking to get started should head over to the source link below. Are you going to give dual boot a try, or do you only care about Android? Let us know in the comments below.
December 13, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now available for the current Google Nexus devices and its source code has been released. That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the LG G Pad 8.3 and Sony Z Ultra now have Google Play Edition Devices and the Ubuntu Touch project has announced future devices. That’s not all that covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Android Tuner, Jordan showed us what the new Android 4.4.1/ Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates include, and TK gave us an Android App Review of List My Apps. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
October 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Last week, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan showed us how to work with developing an app in the upcoming Ubuntu Touch OS. Of course, developing an App for a device or operating system is always easier if you have a device to test it on. Luckily, Google released a new version of the Nexus 7, and the market is full of old Nexus 7s you can pick up for cheap.
In this video, Jordan shows you how to install Ubuntu Touch on an original Nexus 7 (2012) device. This will allow you to try Ubuntu Touch out as an operating system or even push apps to for testing your development. So if you have an old Nexus 7 (2012) or you want to try Ubuntu Touch, check this video out!
October 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In the past, XDA Developer TV has made videos showing you how to build an Android App. We even made videos showing you how to build a Windows Phone app, back when Windows Phone was new and had a chance. At our first Developer conference Ubuntu Staff Member Michael Hall gave a presentation on Ubuntu Touch.
On October 17th, Ubuntu Touch will reach version 1.0. This is a big deal. Given the interest in the new mobile operating system XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan has started a series showing you how to build an Ubuntu Touch app. Jordan has already created a video on how to set up the Ubuntu SDK on your computer, but today he shows you how to start working with an application for Ubuntu Touch. Check out this video.
September 19, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Continuing our little jaunt in the presentations we recorded and uploaded for your enjoyment from XDA:DevCon 2013, we present some great footage covering presentations from Ubuntu. As we all know, Ubuntu has been working hard to get Ubuntu on to mobile devices. They even had a failed Indiegogo campaign to make a device. The Indiegogo campaign is referenced in the video because this was recorded while the campaign was still ongoing.
The first presentation was from Ubuntu’s own Community Manager Jono Bacon. As the Ubuntu Community Manager, Jono is leading a team that grows, inspires, and enthuses the global Ubuntu community—a community numbering the hundreds of thousands. In his presentation “Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu,” Jono talks about what Canonical and Ubuntu’s vision is for the future of computing. By having Ubuntu on your phone, tablet, and computer; they strive to have you be able to be productive no matter where you are. Start a document on one device and pick up the completion on another. Ubuntu isn’t afraid of the obstacles against them. When asked “Why would you go up against Android,” they often reply, “Think about the mobile device landscape over 5 years ago, Blackberry was huge and Android was just starting.” To hear more about Ubuntu’s vision for the future, check out the video.
Ubuntu realizes that even with the most fine-tuned mobile operating system with many great features and facets, your ecosystems needs apps. So to help grow the app selection, Ubuntu employee and coding addict Michael Hall presented the “Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop.” Michael is an open source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist. He has extensive experience in developing desktop and web-based software in a large variety of languages and frameworks, and contributes to a number of open source projects and communities. He is ideally suited to talk about the features and benefits of Ubuntu Touch. Additionally, he creates an app for Ubuntu Touch and demonstrates how anyone can create an app themselves, or add-on to his app in the spirit of open source.
If you want to see more or get a copy of the presentations slides, visit the XDA:DevCon Presentations page.
So it’s been a week since XDA:DevCon 13 passed, and I am still blown away by the excitement, energy, and community that flowed out of the event. With top-notch speakers and sponsors giving their all, and a hotel staff that was committed to making sure everything went smoothly, there was hardly a chance for Uncle Murphy (the bad luck icon, not our amazing opening speaker Mark Murphy) to make an appearance.
Going into this event I didn’t know what to expect—much like when you and your significant other find yourselves expecting a child, you spend months planning something, but you still don’t know what is really in store. Is it going to come out looking like this or more like this?
So many exciting things happened, some of which XDA TV Producer Jordan Keyes spoke about in his recap last week, while others will probably never see the light of day (but have something to do with a dancing video bomb, crazy developer drink shots, and a dancing penguin, to name a few). One thing’s for certain though: without the support of the XDA community, and willingness to take a risk and show up to a new conference, this would have never been a success. Also, a big thanks goes out to XDA Staff, Sponsors, and Speakers who made it possible for this baby to be born.
It’s with that in mind that I want to give a shout out to those sponsors below. Without each and every one of them, XDA:DevCon would not have had the amazing giveaways and allow us the ability to serve amazing food during the conference. We thank you for your commitment and willingness to join us at our first ever developer conference.
June 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android has become the dominant mobile operating system. Many of us love Android, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore any new mobile OSes that may come along. What if we ignored Android when it was first released? In that spirit of support of new ideas, XDA has added forums for other OSes such as Ubuntu Touch, and we are having some discussions about Ubuntu Touch at XDA:DevCon 2013.
We already know the Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon will be discussing Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu. But what if you want to learn how to develop for Ubuntu Touch? Is there some kind of workshop you can attend? There is!
Open Source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist Michael Hall will be holding an Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop at XDA:DevCon 2013. Working for Canonical, maker of the popular Ubuntu operating system, and experienced in Perl, Java, PHP and Python languages and a number of desktop applications and libraries, he was responsible for promoting development of Ubuntu itself and the applications that run on it. He led projects to improve integration with Ubuntu’s flagship Unity desktop among desktop and web application and Canonical’s Skunkworks initiative, which brought in select community contributors to work on unannounced projects being developed internally.
When Ubuntu announced their plans to enter the mobile phone and tablet market and released an early preview of their SDK, Michael took a leading role in bringing it to application developers and working with Ubuntu engineers to extend and improve on the developer toolkit. He has overseen the collaborative development of a number of core applications for Ubuntu’s mobile offering, bringing community developers together with Canonical staff to plan, develop, and deliver high quality and visually stunning apps.
With all this experience in hand, he will be leading a workshop on getting started with Ubuntu Touch development. During this workshop, he will present the new Ubuntu SDK, what it has to offer mobile application developers, and how you can use it to create your own apps for Ubuntu devices of all sizes. You will be shown how to get a development environment setup, install the SDK, and where to find extra help and documentation. Finally, you will be shown step-by-step how to develop a working real-world Ubuntu Touch app, so bring your Ubuntu laptop (or VM) to code along!
June 17, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Community Manager Jono Bacon is scheduled to talk about Ubuntu Unification at XDA:DevCon 2013! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about NFC tag actions on your phone and how to find if there is an Ubuntu Touch build for your device.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about how a rookie can win a hackathon and he talks about women learning coding. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
June 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you’ve been paying attention to the latest Ubuntu developments, you will know that Canonical is trying to unify the experiences between your different devices—from phones to tablets to computers. We are excited to announce that Ubuntu will be represented at XDA:DevCon 2013 by a well-known man in the open source community, Jono Bacon.
If you don’t know, Jono Bacon is a leading community manager, engineering manager, consultant, and author. Working as the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical, he leads a team that grows and inspires the global Ubuntu community numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Bacon is a prominent author and speaker on community management and best practice, and he wrote the bestselling The Art of Community, is the founder of Community Leadership Summit (the primary annual conference for community managers and leaders), and is a regular keynote speaker at events about community management, leadership, and best practice.
Bacon was the co-founder of the popular LugRadio podcast, which ran for four years with more than 2 million downloads and 15,000 listeners, as well as spawning five live events in both the UK and the USA, and co-founded the Shot Of Jaq podcast. He is also the founder of the Ubuntu Accomplishments, Jokosher, Acire, Python Snippets, and Lernid software projects.
When you attend XDA:DevCon 2013, you will hear a new talk from Jono Bacon. He will present the vision of a single, ubiquitous, free and open OS that Ubuntu is working on that spans phone, tablets, desktops, and TVs. This vision is built from a central code-base, and a consistent yet responsive design across these different form factors. In the presentation, Bacon will present where Ubuntu stands today, how Canonical is working with the XDA community, the new application developer community that is forming, and the roadmap for the next year.
June 7, 2013 By: jerdog
Here at XDA, we endeavor to work with OEMs and software companies to facilitate win-win situations, where the community at-large is the ultimate benefactor. Sometimes it works, other times it is met with resistance. A few months ago, Ubuntu released Ubuntu Touch to the world, and the response has been electric here on XDA. It seems every week brings someone willing to port a the OS to a new device, and Ubuntu couldn’t be happier.
Just prior to Ubuntu releasing Touch, they reached out to us in an effort to find out how we could work together to help the community. Naturally, we were ecstatic. The mobile world needs another player to keep Apple and Google honest, and Ubuntu Touch has a great opportunity to be that third player. After a lot of discussion and collaboration on a few things, it was decided that one way for Ubuntu to reach out to the community would be to run a Q&A thread here on XDA.
To participate, first visit XDA thread and see the list of questions people have submitted. You can also submit one yourself via the link in the thread. Roughly every week, an engineer from Ubuntu will be posting back the questions and the associated answers to the thread so that everyone can benefit. As time goes on, the list will grow into a great Q&A—something that no other company has done on XDA. So go get involved and show your support for what Ubuntu Touch can become!
May 30, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
For most of us, Google I/O is probably beginning to feel like a distant memory—perhaps less so for those lucky enough to be browsing on your shiny new Chromebook Pixels. We’re all aware by now of the big stories from this years conference, but among all that was something that was of great interest to us here on the Portal, which you might not have noticed.
One of the sessions put on by Google was titled Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass, the purpose of which was to show those in the Glass Explorer program how to root the device and run their own applications. During the session, the capabilities of Glass were demoed by showing not only how to gain root access but how to run a full desktop operating system, in this case Ubuntu. One of the tools used to achieve this was an application called The Complete Linux Installer that we featured here on the Portal just under a year ago. Considering that the application was written by our very own Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator zacthespack, we decided to track him down and get his opinion on the use of his application to help hack Glass and a few other things as well.
Well Zac, why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
“Hello, I’m Zachary Powell (zacthespack on XDA) and I am a second year BcS Computer Games student at the University of Essex (UK). I have been on XDA since 2009, becoming a Recognised Developer in 2012 and a Forum Moderator earlier this year. My passion for both Android and FOSS has encouraged me to work on multiple projects, including Slap OS on Android, my newest joint-venture: XML Games, and of course; LinuxonAndroid. My other interest include computer games and computer game design. Virtual Worlds are a particular interest of mine because I enjoy seeing what a community can create within them.”
It must have been a bit of a shock to see your app being used by Googlers at IO. What was your initial reaction?
“Yes, it was quite a shock. It had never crossed my mind that the employees of Google could be using my app, never mind it being featured at their biggest event. I see it as a serious milestone in the project’s life to be included amongst Google’s work.”
Do you think that running a full desktop OS on a device such as Glass will become commonplace, or will users prefer to stick with a lightweight and minimal interface?
“I think that both have their places. Clearly for day-to-day use a desktop operating system isn’t practical, but it does have it’s uses – particularly when you are talking about using a command line and command line tools. Clearly, with the limited size of the glass’ screen, the use of a desktop GUI is prevented; it’s certainly not going to be able to run a web browser. However, when resolutions improve, this could become more possible. As it is, the screen is large enough for a command line and I like the idea of being able to develop and compile code from a HUD on the move.
I do feel that in general it won’t become commonplace for the average user to run a full desktop OS on the glass because for most people, a desktop operating system is a word processor and an web browser. There is no general need for them to have access to developmental tools. The minimal, easy to use system is preferred by the average user.
However for advance users and developers who want to tinker with their glass and unlock the full power of the device, running a desktop OS on the glass would make a big difference.”
What are your thoughts on Glass in general?
“I believe that the Glass is a fantastic product, and is something that I am itching to get my hands on. Obviously the idea of a HUD is nothing new, but I think that Google have taken the idea in such a way that the result is second-to-none. There is no other device like this and although there is still a lot of room for improvement, by the time Google release to the general public I think it will be a well polished and usable device. The fact it runs Android is great because you are able to run a far better range of apps, including my own. This also makes the process of ensuring apps are Glass compatible much easier. I am looking forward to getting my own Glass and discovering it’s full potential.”
What originally motivated you to begin the Linux On Android Project and is the project still going?
“The project originated from a desire to get Linux running on my HTC Desire S. The idea and method used in the project is nothing new, but we seek to make it a universally accessible platform (as long as you are rooted). After developing the project and creating a tutorial in XDA, there was a clear demand for the project as people started asking me to help them get it running on their devices. It was at this point that we started creating the universal method, and from there the project really took off.
Yes, we are very much still going. We are working on new improvements constantly, including new Linux Distros and making the app more universally accessible in terms of the languages it has been translated in to and the number of devices it can now run on.”
Considering our recent focus on helping those new to app development, could you tell us a little bit about your methodology, process, and perhaps any tips you might have for aspiring developers?
“Trial and error is definitely the key here. There is a great range of Open Source apps available which you can study the source code for and learn from. This is something I strongly recommend anyone to do. Although the phrase is “don’t fix something that isn’t broken”, I can’t help myself but to continue improving the app and adding new features.
My biggest tip would be to never stop learning. Always look to better your knowledge. The Android platform is always changing, and you have to change with it.”
Tell us a little more about the new projects you mentioned earlier.
“SlapOS on Android is a branch of LinuxonAndroid using our Ubuntu install as a base to then install the SlapOS software, allowing your android device to integrate with your SlapOS cloud, with this every Android device can become a cloud node!
XML games is a new project A friend of mine and myself have just set up and launched on kickstarter. XML Games aims to allow the players themselves to easily and quickly create new game levels using a predefined set of XML tags. Coupled with an XML web platform, players can view and share each other’s levels online, unlocking the possibility of endless new and unique gameplay!
Using XML to design levels allows for us as the developers to make the levels and games completely cross platform. This opens players to an ever growing range of different levels all of which can be designed by anyone on any platform.
Once you have made your levels, they can be shared on the XML Games website community. Allowing anyone to browse and download to play. The hope here is that users can head onto their PC, code their own levels with the help of our handy guide, and then head onto their phone, and download their own level!
We plan to start out on Android creating a few open source games, but with enough funding hope to expand onto other platforms and more games!”
Given the Linux theme here I have to ask, what is your personal distro of choice?
“Primarily I use Ubuntu for work as I like its stability, however I do enjoy playing with Arch Linux because of its customisability.”
If you’d like to follow up on anything mentioned by Zac, check out the links below.