Canonical has announced that its Ubuntu Touch software aimed at mobile devices can now dual boot with the Android operating system. Previously the only way to run Ubuntu on an Android device with an unlocked bootloader was to totally replace Android. This new development makes it easier to switch between both operating systems.
The dual booting feature is still not recommended for the casual user as Canonical announced it is suited for developers. This is because it requires knowledge on flashing and reconfiguring the partition layout, however if you’re up to the challenge then you may try it out.
Canonical says that “Ubuntu Dual Boot Installer is provided as a tech preview for developers who want to run Ubuntu and Android on a single device. It is not intended to be used by regular users, neither at this point nor as its ultimate goal. Those developers installing it should be familiar with the Ubuntu and Android partition layouts and should also feel at home with manually flashing partitions in case something goes wrong.”
“Ubuntu Dual Boot Installer was born as an internal skunkworks project some Canonical Engineers dedicated a limited amount of their time to. Seeing the good progress, it was decided to release this preview for the developer community to test, study and contribute to.”
“Dual boot is not part of the regular Ubuntu release.”
Dual booting will work on several Android versions including but not limited to stock Android and CyanogenMod (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and above).
An app is available on both platforms that will let users easily switch between the two environments. Just tap on the button to boot to Android or Ubuntu Touch.
Getting this new feature on an Android device may be a little bit tricky. If you haven’t tried installing Ubuntu Touch on your device before then its best to read the instructions carefully.
Requirements for dual booting
- A Nexus 4 phone (other Nexus devices may work, but haven’t been tested)
- Android 4.2 or higher with a stock, AOSP, or CyanogenMod-based release
- 2.7GB of free storage on the device
- Android’s adb tools installed on your PC
- Bootloader unlocked
- USB debugging enabled
Ubuntu Touch is the mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system developed by Canonical. It is designed to take advantage of the touch interface of smartphones and tablets. It was first announced in October 2011 while the Ubuntu platform for phones was unveiled last January 2013. A Developer Preview was released a month after the unveiling.