Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. - a new kind of Android™ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at

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16 responses to “Review: Ubuntu for Nexus 7”

  1. Alex Chiang

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks for taking the time to review the developer release of the core of Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. I led the team that delivered this image, and we’re actually quite proud of what we’ve done.

    Our intention and our messaging from the beginning has always been that this is a developer release specifically designed to illustrate how far the core of Ubuntu needs to be improved before it is suitable for mobile devices, and to motivate our developer community to start polishing the rough edges in our core.

    We’ve put up extensive documentation in our wiki about all the known issues, linked to our bug tracker, and have stated multiple times that this is a developer release.

    To your point that we should install an additional warning in our installer as well, that is a good suggestion and I’ll file a bug for us to do so.

    At the same time, I would gently suggest that reviewing an explicit developer release on a website aimed at general consumers is rather unfair. Open source software development necessarily happens in the public purview which has both strengths and weaknesses. While we can harness the power and enthusiasm of our development community by developing in the open, we also run the risk of folks outside our community’s normal borders not fully understanding what we’re trying to do.

    Thanks for warning your users to avoid our developer release. When time comes, we’ll happily welcome the general public to use our products, but until then, they should probably stick to the other consumer grade OSes.

    Alex Chiang

  2. Tom S

    Alex, while I like it when devs sound off… I don’t think you really understood Chris’s conclusions. You attack his review for criticizing your accomplishments in the wrong context.

    I don’t think he did that at all. The first half of the review was a Ubuntu lovefest. And, he concluded by saying that this effort was great and showed tons of progress. has been around for a long time, and they aren’t as “general tech” as you seem to think they are. The readers of this site are the very people (like me) that want a working Ubuntu on our tablets. All Chris is saying is that we should hold off, that’s all. He isn’t bashing you or your team’s work. I think if you re-read it, you’ll see he’s doing the opposite.

  3. Not Bashing

    “At the same time, I would gently suggest that reviewing an explicit developer release on a website aimed at general consumers is rather unfair…” -Alex Chiang

    “You attack his review for criticizing your accomplishments in the wrong context…”- Tom S.

    You’re way out of line Tom S.

  4. Tom S

    Constructive arguments don’t end with a statement lacking rational. If you don’t like what I said, or want to claim I’m out of line, you’re going to have to do better than that.

  5. Links 1/11/2012: Android Rises in Jobs Market, Ethiopian Kids Use Linux | Techrights

    […] Review: Ubuntu for Nexus 7 We take a look at Ubuntu for Nexus 7, made possible with the new one-click installer promoted by Canonical. What we found certainly surprised us… […]

  6. e8hffff

    I installed KDE ad it works much faster than Unity. The problem with KDE is that it has some problems with touch functionality.

    Very important to install ssh-server so you can manipulate the device without using the screen incase you lose control.

    Overall I was impressed with how much works. It needs a few months of wrok to clean up the touch routines, and other small areas.

  7. Ismail Arslangiray

    A great review. Exactly the way I saw when I first installed. I think it needs a lot of work before goes into the regular user. But it is a good start by Ubuntu to port into ARM and Google Nexus 7 is a great device to start with.

  8. Review: Ubuntu for Nexus 7 | Nexus 7

    […] Complete Story […]

  9. Alex Chiang

    We don’t plan on maintaining that particular installer for much longer.

    After our currently running developer conference in Copenhagen ends and we all go home, we’re going to start upstreaming our work into standard Ubuntu, and there is work planned to update our standard installer (usb-creator) so that it can directly flash the Nexus using fastboot.

    The Ubuntu update model doesn’t require a new installation for a new release. Once the machine is installed, users will just get updates via our standard software update process.


  10. garry

    My KDE running netbook is 4years old and might buy a tablet if I can run a real OS next to Chrome so Im gonna wait till I can dual booth ChromeOS with Kubuntu lets say.
    Besides, Google doesnt play nice with .odf in any of its services now so I still need a real word processor but dual boot is my tipping point.

  11. Chris Van Hoof

    Heya Chris — The sources are posted here: … changelog updates will also migrate their way to the same location but as Alex mentioned there are larger plans to utilize tools like usb-creator to achieve the same results. This utility was put together to make folks lives a bit easier when testing this development release.


  12. ryan villegas

    really appreciate the honest review. funny watching that alex chang guy get all pissy about constructive criticism


  13. Ademeion

    “Tom S” and “ryan villegas”: you are both indeed out of the line. Alex clearly isn’t “attacking” or “pissy” at all. Instead he is bringing up a good point of view in a very polite manner, and at the same time promising to move forward Christopher’s idea of a warning in the installer.

  14. Francesco

    Having ubuntu on the nexus would be awesome! Actually I messed a bit with this release, and I was even able to have it run a fully working ruby/rails/mysql/nodejs stack! And I can assure you that performance was not an issue.
    Now I’m flashing android back, as not having right click and zoom makes this release too hard to use.

    PS : would ubuntu server be available for the nexus 7 in the future?

  15. Steven Goldfein

    Chris –
    Thanks for a great review and for supporting side loading. I remember when you were the first to seemingly raise this issue back when Windows 7 was announced and the first developer editions began to flow. It is great to know that you are still championing this cause for the masses. Thanks.