updated 07:15 pm EDT, Sun October 28, 2012
Linux distribution installer to help mobile development efforts
Users of the Google Nexus 7 can now install Ubuntu onto the tablet. The Linux distribution maintained by Canonical can be made to run as the operating system instead of the factory-installed Jelly Bean version of Android, though the exercise is meant to help in developing a future iteration of Ubuntu for mobile devices, and not for general use.
The process according to the Ubuntu wiki requires potential users to have already unlocked the bootloader on the Nexus 7, as well as having a computer already running Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Nexus 7 Desktop Installer installed onto it. The install will take around 15 minutes to take place, and can be reverted back to Jelly Bean if necessary.
The development of Ubuntu for the Nexus 7 is part of a wider effort to get the operating system on other mobile platforms, including smartphones and notebooks. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, wants development on the distribution to focus on mobile-centric metrics, such as battery life, numbers of running processes, and the memory footprint. "The tighter we can get the core, the better we will do on laptops and the cloud too," he said, before encouraging attendees of this week's Ubuntu Developer Summit in Copenhagen to bring along their own Nexus 7 tablets.