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Ubuntu transforms dual core phones into fully functional desktop PC's

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May 3, 2012

Ubuntu for Android aims to provide a full desktop experience

Ubuntu for Android aims to provide a full desktop experience

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Smartphones and the technology that powers them continue to evolve at an incredible rate. Year after year, phones have continued to close the power gap that separates them with their traditional PC counterparts. Taking advantage of the latest in mobile processors, Canonical is set to release Ubuntu for Android. The OS effectively turns your phone into a full Ubuntu desktop computer when docked and connected to a monitor, meaning the day your smartphone could act as your primary computer is drawing nearer.

Ubuntu sits alongside the standard Android operating system, as they share the same Linux kernel. Similar to the Motorola ATRIX 4G that becomes the engine for a desktop or laptop PC when slotted into an external dock, docking your Ubuntu for Android device with a USB HDMI dock will see it automatically boot into Ubuntu. Then it's just a matter of connecting a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you've got fully functional desktop environment.

From what's been shown so far, the experience looks to be seamless and responsive, Ubuntu is very lightweight after all, and it seems that today's standard dual core phone can handle the OS with ease.

In fact, it appears that any Android device can run Ubuntu so long as it meets the following requirements:
  • Dual-core 1GHz CPU
  • Video acceleration: shared kernel driver with associated X driver; Open GL, ES/EGL
  • Storage: 2GB for OS disk image
  • HDMI: video out with secondary frame buffer device
  • USB host mode
  • 512 MB RAM

As of now Canonical is working with handset manufacturers to get Ubuntu desktop functionality included out of the box in future Android phones - but whether or not any major players sign up remains to be seen. If HTC or Samsung used Ubuntu as a new marquee feature for an upcoming Android device, would the world take notice?

Source: Ubuntu

8 Comments

"PC's"? Don't you mean "PCs"? :)

Chris Hall
4th May, 2012 @ 03:37 am PDT

Hmm, I am not sure this would replace a pc. There is just so much my pc does better. Even a simple thing like Facebook is a pain. I am alwasy thinking, oh I can't do that with this app, I have to do it from my computer.

Then again perhaps ubunto will provide fully functioning programs, if this is the case then Hurray! How can I get my Samsung Galaxy II to work like a computer?

Paul Anthony
4th May, 2012 @ 09:15 am PDT

I've been using Ubuntu for years and have been very pleased with its performance. With this, I'll pretty much be able to do what I want, when I want, wherever I am. Nice.

For all you widows users, you could probably install a virtual machine and run that as well.

Thomas Roberts
4th May, 2012 @ 09:52 am PDT

Very interesting. No doubt Google is checking this out in regards to Oracle. Using this could render the case a moot exercise in lawyers making money over nothing.

Robert E. Moran
4th May, 2012 @ 09:12 pm PDT

This is awesome, I think. However, I hope there is a way to install this on an existing dual core phone. My phone is probably faster than my 6photon y/o laptop anyway.

CreativeApex
5th May, 2012 @ 05:31 am PDT

Chris Hall, you are missing the big point here. It is a full Ubuntu desktop OS. When you dock it, you can connect it to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. At that point you have a full desktop with desktop browser, etc. It's not just running phone apps on a bigger screen.

Damon Conway
18th May, 2012 @ 07:20 am PDT

Imagine using your cell phone as a desktop by porting to an external keyboard,mouse,and monitor. Who would need to pay Comcast or At&t for internet service anymore? They keep raising their rates for just internet service only, so this would severely dent their bottom line,esp. as more and more people are ditching cable for online tv options. POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Charles Gwinn
6th January, 2013 @ 08:09 pm PST

The duke, I think that is what is said. It can be used with an existing phone when docked. Or did I get it wrong? Exciting!

Swami Shailendra Saraswati
8th August, 2013 @ 06:08 am PDT
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