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Things to consider before flashing Ubuntu on your Nexus Device


With the availability of the Ubuntu Touch developer preview for Nexus devices (for both nexus smart phones and nexus tablets), you may be looking forward to flashing your device with this OS. However there are plenty of things that you should consider before actually flashing your device.

Installing Ubuntu on your Nexus device is not going to be an easy task especially considering the fact that the OS is still under development. There are several issues and bugs associated with the operating system and you might want to wait for some more time till the stable version is available for installation.

nexus ubuntu

However, if you still want to take the risk (and I am pretty sure many of you will go ahead and install it), make sure that you read this post before actually doing it.

Have a look at this post carefully and make a note of the various issues associated with Ubuntu mobile.

1. Compatibility

Ubuntu supports all the new nexus devices including Samsung’s galaxy nexus. As a result you can install Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview on Nexus 4 (mako), Galaxy Nexus (maguro), Nexus 7 (grouper) and Nexus 10 (manta).

If you ever want to restore the device to its original android firmware make sure you keep a note of the android version running on the device and then flash it again using the firmware given on the Google developer’s page.

2.Issues with the developer preview

The OS is still in its developmental stage so naturally it will contain many bugs and issues. The current developer preview supports calls and texts over GSM networks only. If you have a nexus device locked to a carrier like Verizon, then you will not be able to make calls or texts on your device once you flash it with Ubuntu Touch. Further call features like Emergency calls, PIN/PUK support for sim card and speaker phone support is not yet available on the OS. You also cannot import contacts via syncing your gmail account. The only option is to manually add contacts or to import it via csv file. Moreover, as is the case with most of the developer preview versions of an operating system, the memory usage is not optimized and hence you may frequently face app crash.

Mobile data will not work and your only option is to use WiFi. Also, Bluetooth and Hotspot/ Tethering is still not supported by the developer version.

 3.What will not work after flashing ubuntu?

The various features that may not work with your device after flashing Ubuntu are given below.

  1. Galaxy Nexus  :  Galaxy Nexus will not be able to run on 802.11(a) Wifi connection
  2. Nexus 4  : Nexus 4 may not boot after a complete battery drain. The only fix is to remove the battery manually and replug it
  3. Nexus 7 : Problems with audio output, camera and video playback. No support for multi user login
  4. Nexus 10 : Using the camera interferes with the device audio. Many a times, the volume up or down button won’t work until the device is rebooted.


Ubuntu Touch looks like a promising operating system. However, we still think flashing your device with the developer preview is not a feasible option (unless you have an extra nexus device which is lying idle). As a result, you may want to wait for some time till Canonical finishes with the OS development after which you may flash your Nexus device without any worries.

Here is a link to the installation guide given by Canonical. Also, a list of all the issues of the OS can be found here.

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