Google Nexus 7 (2013) Can Now Run On Linux-Based SlateKit Base OS

Do you still have the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet lying around? If you want to tinker around with it then maybe you may want to try to change its operating system from Android to Linux. While this can already be done with Ubuntu, another Ubuntu-based operating system can also be installed on the tablet called SlateKit Base.

Changing an operating system of a device gives it a new feel and brings a feeling of excitement for the users as they try to explore the new features. The SlateKit Base OS while really intended for developers wanting to build their own custom tablet interface can also be tried by anyone who wants to try it out. Since the version released is still a technical preview there are a few bugs here and there. It however already supports several basic functions and comes with a built-in web browser, lock screen, and on-screen keyboard.

If you are willing to give this OS a shot here’s what you need.


  • Nexus 7 “razor” [2013] (WiFi)
  • Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H)
  • rooted and adb shell access


  • Download the image: (146.7 MB)
  • Unzip files to /data, make sure busybox has executable permission
  • Start the UI by: ./

Technical Details

  • a minimal Ubuntu root filesystem (Trusty/armhf)
  • Qt 5.2.1 and Oxide 1.0 (Chromium content API wrapper)
  • libhybris for hardware accelerated graphics
  • hwcomposer QPA from Mer project

The goal of SlateKit Base is to give developers a fresh system where they could develop their own interface using JavaScript, Qt, or HTML. The built-in browser is based on Chromium while the root file system is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is the latest stable release with long term support.

In theory SlateKit Base OS should be able to run on any device running on Android 4.4 KitKat with HW composer 1.1/1.2aside from the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. Developer Ping-Hsun Chen is now working on an installer that can be used on other such devices.

Google Nexus 7 (2013) Technical Specifications

  • 7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, 16M colors
  • Android 4.4.2
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset
  • 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait CPU
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with face detection; 1080p video recording @ 30fps
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 16/32GB internal storage
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support
  • NFC connectivity
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • microUSB port with USB host and TV-out (1080p) support, MHL, charging
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Wireless charging (Qi charging standard)
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • 3950 mAh battery

via penkia

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