What’s going on with the Nexus 7?


Many have asked me what’s been going on with the work on Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 recently. A lot of people put work into getting the raring images ready for public consumption. 12.10 worked great on the Nexus, but there were a few blockers on getting 13.04 to work as well. On this road among other things these issues were fixed:

  • A new onboard pre-release made it into 13.04 which fixes many bugs already and makes our on-screen keyboard a lot easier to use. Thanks a lot to the onboard team.
  • The new Unity stack got into raring, which is now automatically tested after commits and auto-released into 13.04. This is a huge milestone from the Unity team. Among the issues fixed was a nux problem, which constituted a blocker.
  • The new raring images use oem-config to present us with an installer window, where you can specify a user name, the wireless network you want to use and other bits.
  • Many many other issues were fixed as well.
Ubuntu on the Nexus 7
Ubuntu on the Nexus 7

So what does this mean for you now? You can now very easily put Ubuntu 13.04 on your Nexus 7. It won’t need any additional PPA, it’s stock raring, you won’t have to reflash, but can just do your regular updates and enjoy the latest and greatest improvements day by day.

This is a huge achievement and will allow us to do better and more immediate testing and hacking on the device.



One thing we want to improve on the Nexus 7 (and in Ubuntu in general) is memory consumption. Alex Chiang has put together some great blog posts on how to help with finding memory issues and debugging them. They are absolutely worth a read and an effort worth getting involved with. Here are the links:

If you want to make Ubuntu better and have a bit of a development background, be sure to check them out.


Meeting the team

Everybody who has been working on Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 has documented things on the wiki pages, so if you are excited about this, be sure head there first. Also does the team hang out in 24/7 in #ubuntu-arm on irc.freenode.net, so feel free to drop by, say Hi and get to know the others.

These are exciting times for Ubuntu and you can be part of it. 🙂

  • Ethana2

    Got a Nexus 10.. Nexus 4 is sold out.. guess I might get a Nexus 7 next, specifically for Ubuntu. Mostly for the lower wattage of the computer, partly the touchscreen.

    • dholbach

      Thanks for your feedback, you might want to talk to the people in
      #ubuntu-arm – maybe somebody is working on the project already or know
      something about it.

  • Azur Fischer

    Congratulations! Keep up the good work 🙂
    Here is a odp-presentation which shows why I think that “Ubuntu for Android” is a great strategy: goo.gl/aJGdg

  • Magnesus

    Please consider supporting also Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – it has open bootloader, it has stylus with pressure sensitivity (which would make using apps like GIMP or MyPaint excellent) and it has one of the most powerful ARM SoCs out there (apart from the new A15 SoCs).

  • Sunny

    Great news! When can I see a video? looking forward to 🙂