How to Install Ubuntu Touch on Nexus 4, 7, 10 & Galaxy Nexus Android Devices

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview became available earlier today and can be installed on Nexus devices. The step by step guide explaining all the steps involved is posted below. This guide can be used to flash / install Ubuntu Touch on Nexus 4, 7, 10 or on Galaxy Nexus I9250. You will need a Linux / Ubuntu desktop computer to set up and install Ubuntu Touch with a series of commands.

Before you Begin:

Be sure to backup your data including Contacts, SMS / MMS, APN & MMS Settings as well as photos and videos stored on your device’s internal or external storage. If you have a rooted Nexus device with custom Recovery (like CWM or TWRP) on Nexus 4, 7, 10 or Galaxy Nexus; you can take nandroid backup as well which can be really handy.

Known Issues

Important: Be sure to see Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview known issues.

Also .. here are some device specific known issues:

Galaxy Nexus (maguro):

  • 802.11a ( ie. 5GHz ) is currently not working.

Nexus 4 (mako):

  • In rare circumstances, the Nexus4 may get into a state where it may not boot at all after the battery is drained ( even into recovery ). If this happens, the only way to restore it is to disassemble the back of the phone and unplug/plug the battery connector.

Nexus 7 (grouper):

  • Runs in portrait mode by default. (no side stage)
  • Camera, video decoding and audio output do not function.
  • Greeter screen is misaligned.
  • No multi-user login.

Nexus 10 (manta):

  • Taking pictures with the camera application causes an issue with audio. The volume indicator and volume keys will not work to control the sound until reboot.
  • People lens sometimes comes up empty after first flashing the device and booting. Rebooting fixes the issue.

Task 1: Set Up Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Tools PPA

Step 1: On Ubuntu desktop, navigate to /etc/apt/ directory and open the sources.list file.

Step 2: In sources.list file, add this line: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools

Step 3: Now save and close the file.

Step 4: Launch Terminal and execute following command:

sudo apt-get update

This command will download the package lists from the repositories and PPAs.

Step 5: Now execute following command:

sudo apt-get install phablet-tools android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

Task 2: Setting up your Device

Step 1: Unlock your device bootloader. If you have not unlocked it already, follow these steps:

  1. Switch your device off.
  2. Press & hold Volume up + Volume down + Power buttons till device boots up
  3. Now connect your device to the PC via USB cable
  4. Execute following command:

On Linux / Mac: sudo fastboot oem unlock

On Windows: fastboot oem unlock

  1. Now from your device, accept the terms for unlocking bootloader.

Step 2: Enable USB Debugging your Nexus device.

Task 3: Flash Ubuntu Touch on Nexus 4, 7 ,10 or Galaxy Nexus

In the terminal window, execute following command:

phablet-flash –b

This will download and install the latest build of Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview for your device. You should have a good internet connection to download the image and flash it. Once the installation process is complete, your device will reboot. When it boots up, it will have Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview latest build installed.

You can execute following command to check, download and install the latest build:


This command will update your already installed build, if an update is available. You will not need to execute this command immediately after flashing Ubuntu Touch as the latest version will already be installed. You can run this command daily (starting the day after installation) to check and install the latest version.

via Ubuntu Wiki

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