Canonical released its developer preview of Ubuntu for Phones yesterday, and it provided a method for the public to flash the preview of the platform to their personal Nexus devices. After trying to the better part of two hours to get apt-get working on my MacBook Air, I turned to someone for help. I was pointed in the direction of xda-developers, where I learned that flashable images were hosted on Ubuntu’s site.

The instructions, however, were a little scarce, particularly for anyone who isn’t well-versed in the world of Android modding. If you’re wondering how to get Ubuntu on your Nexus 4, look no further.

Files you will need

Ubuntu 12.10 Touch Images: quantal-preinstalled-armel+mako.zip and quantal-preinstalled-phablet-armhf.zip

TWRP for the Nexus 4

You will also need ADB (Android Debug Bridge) installed and setup on your computer. And the bootloader on your device needs to be unlocked. (Backup first!) Once those two things are done, you are ready to begin.

How to install Ubuntu

  1. Boot the Nexus 4 to the bootloader (power down, press and hold power, volume up and volume down simultaneously), and plug it into the computer. In Terminal, change directory to where you saved the TWRP file and type “fastboot flash recovery openrecovery-twrp-2.4.1.0-mako.img”.
  2. Once TWRP is flashed and you have booted to recovery mode, perform a backup and move the backup to an external hard drive. Then perform a factory reset from within TWRP.
  3. From the home page of TWRP, select Advanced, then select ADB Sideload. From Terminal on the computer, change directory to where you have the Ubuntu images saved. Type “adb sideload quantal-preinstalled-armel+mako.zip” first. Once that finishes, type “adb sideload quantal-preinstalled-phablet-armhf.zip”. This process will take some time. Once it completes, tap Reboot System and wait.
  4. You now have Ubuntu 12.10 Touch on your Nexus 4.



Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn’t go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or “nerd bag.” In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition.

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