Ubuntu and XDA: An Awesome Relationship

Ever since we first announced Ubuntu for phones on January 2nd this year, a fantastic relationship with our friends in the XDA community has formed. For quite some time now we have been releasing daily images of Ubuntu for phones/tablets and our friends in the XDA community have been working to enable these images for a wide range of devices.

Much of this work has been happening on the Ubuntu Touch XDA forums which have seen 4600+ posts from this enthusiastic community.

I wanted to follow up on a few different XDA-related things that are going on.

Participating in and Sponsoring xda:devcon

From 8-11 August in Miami, Florida will be xda:devcon, the very first XDA developer conference. We are sponsoring the event and will be exhibiting there. We are delighted to be supporting such an awesome event. :-)

I will also be speaking at the event and delivering a new presentation called Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu that will cover the vision and goals of Ubuntu on devices, how our community is right at the core of what we are doing (and accessible to everyone), and how far along we are in this vision.

Michael Hall will be running an app development workshop and showing attendees how to build an application from scratch that runs across Ubuntu phones, tablets, and desktops. More details on Michael’s workshop will be announced soon. Given that we are releasing the beta of our Ubuntu SDK in July, this workshop will be a great opportunity to come and learn how to get started!

We will also be joining the main conference and happy to answer questions, demo Ubuntu on these different devices, and anything else. If you want to set up a meeting, please drop me an email.

Weekly XDA Q&A

We want to ensure our friends in the XDA community have as much information at their fingertips about Ubuntu Touch. As such, Daniel Holbach is collating questions from the community (you can ask your question here) and then posting a weekly summary of questions on this XDA forum thread.

As ever, if anyone has any other questions, be sure to join my weekly live Ubuntu Q&A videocast. This week it will be happening at 6pm UTC on Wednesday 19th June on Ubuntu On Air. Be sure to join me then!

Making Porting Easier

One of the reasons I am so delighted to see the close relationship between Ubuntu and XDA continuing to form is that I feel making Ubuntu available on a range of different devices is a key part of what will help us to be successful.

Although we at Canonical a are currently targetting a very specific set of handsets for our first release of Ubuntu Touch (Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4), the wider XDA community has been working to enable the image on other devices that Canonical is not directly focused on. This is an awesome contribution.

One of the technical challenges here is how we handle firmware and binary blobs to make various hardware components work. Unfortunately, some of this firmware cannot be legally re-distributed by us (although the user can typically download it directly).

I have asked Daniel Holbach to work with the phonedations team to ease this process as much as possible and some work is going into phablet-flash to make it easier to handle these firmware pieces. We should have more on this in the coming weeks.

Onwards and Upwards!

There is lots of fantastic work going on and I am looking forward to continuing to work with the always excellent and approachable XDA community. We look forward to seeing you in Miami in August!

  • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon


  • Anonymous

    These are exciting times for Ubuntu users and developers !

  • Steven Masters

    Thanks.I will always have a soft spot for ubuntu as it was my first introduction to linux & is still a superb distro.I do use Mint a lot as well though but seeing as they are both FREE i don’t worry about which is best i just dualboot the two & enjoy using them both.Both have their shortcomings & strong points & the fact that linux is easily modified & adapted means one can try lots of distro’s & enjoy a mulitude of linux goodies.I can’t understand how people get so angry about which distro is best.From what i see there is nothing to lose in exploring further & on that note i think it’s great that ubuntu is going to be used on a tablet & phone platform.Here i think it will show it’s strength & i can’t wait to see it grow & perform further.

  • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

    “One of the technical challenges here is how we handle firmware and binary blobs to make various hardware components work.”

    That would be because you are using hardware platforms targeted for Android and the ODM’s are not licensing it for re-distribution with Ubuntu Touch.

    Is the plan for Ubuntu Touch to be a platform that is piggybacking off of Android the platform and hardware? XDA is a Android rom community through and through.

    Seems like porting will be futile when convergence occurs since it will take Android out of the equation and the binary blobs and radios.

  • Michael Hall

    The plan is to run Ubuntu natively on hardware. XDA has shown interest in more than just Android, including Ubuntu now.

  • http://fyksen.me/ Fredrik Fyksen Lund

    And Windows phone, and Bada..

    Their “slogan” is: This site is the ultimate resource for any Windows Mobile developers or users who wants to customize their device. Just because the XDA forum likes Android ROMs, doesn’t mean that Android “built” it.

  • Dieter

    How much are you paying them, or do you plan to let them do the work and Canonical keep all the profits?

  • Luckyskh

    Unfortunately the Note 2 guys seem to have lost interest… may i know when we’d get a build with a working cellular radio?

  • http://utchanovsky.com/ Uchan Utchanovsky

    What kind of profit since Ubuntu is free at all?