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back to article Dev preview of Ubuntu for phones touching down February 21

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has confirmed that the initial testing version of Ubuntu for phones, dubbed the Touch Developer Preview, will be available on February 21, with rolling updates to be released thereafter. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth first mentioned a February release for the …

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Bronze badge
Linux

I wish they'd

make this for the Galaxy S (i.e. the GT-I9000)

So is this gonna be a full blown Linux or just an Ubuntu flavored Android OS?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wish they'd

Not once is Andriod mentioned in the article. Linux is mentioned twice.

Not that hard is it?

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: I wish they'd

But then as I was beaten around the head with, Android is Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wish they'd

And it really isn't. Sure, it's the Linux kernel, but it uses a libc with a bunch of BSD code, mksh for a shell, Busybox for a lot of the utilities, and everything else runs on their own Dalvik VM.

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Anonymous Coward

Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

Yawn...

So what is the USP that will make me give up my current device for this one?

If their desktop thing called Unity is anything to go by then I don't know anyone who will buy one of these.

In fact, there is less chance of them (former Ubuntu fanbois who have gone to Mint, Debian,Fedora etc) buying a Ubuntu phone than a Nokia running Windows TIFKAM and that has to be saying something.

Yawn, Yawn,

Come on Canonical, spend what $$$, Rnd that Mark has left in the kitty fixing the disaster that is Unity on the desktop otherwise you won't have any users left.

I'm not an ex Ubuntu user but plenty of my friends who were staunch supporters are no longer in the Ubuntu camp. There is something you are doing that is alienating your fanbase. Fix this first please.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

So you think Google should just remain unchallenged? this is how stagnation happens.

From around 1995 to 2002 Microsoft was largely unchallenged for the PC desktop and Intel had the market largely to themselves. Funny how when OSX appeared and AMD Athlon appeared that Intel and Microsoft raised their game.

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Silver badge
Linux

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

No, I never said that. I happen to think that Ubuntu will never be able to challenge Google.

IMHO, it will come from Samsung. They seem to be willing to do whatever they please these days. Their version of Android is getting further and further removed from the Google Standard Version that soon enough, it will be recognised as a different system even though it has a common root.#

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That, Ubuntu USP

If last year's preview was anything to go by, the USP is that it normally behaves like a phone, but when you plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor it behaves like a proper computer.

The me that's much more interesting that trying to make computers work like phones or vice-versa. However I have an unpleasant foreboding that the Ubuntu offering will fall between the stools & do neither particularly well... which would be a particular pity as I'd really like to have a pocketable real computer that has a nice touch interface on its dinky screen, and a full windowed UI when there is enough screen real estate.

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Silver badge

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

> So what is the USP that will make me give up my current device for this one?

No one will try to get you to 'give up your current device'. The whole point of a multitude of systems is so that you can have a _choice_, something that few buyers of PCs have.

> In fact, there is less chance of them (former Ubuntu fanbois who have gone to Mint, Debian,Fedora etc) buying a Ubuntu phone

There is no reason why Mint, Cinnamon, LXDE, XFCE, E17 or KDE Plasma could not be made to run on Ubuntu phone, just as they do on desktops.

> There is something you are doing that is alienating your fanbase.

What they have been doing is building a UI for the future where that future includes tablets and phones. Unity on the desktop, as you say, may have alienated some, but they always had the option of XFCE or LXDE, KDE or other. Adding a real menu to Unity is also easy. The point about Unity, and has been from the start, is that it encompasses mobile.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

Silly AC. Didn't you remember - repeat after me...

LINUX IS BEST.

LINUX IS GOOD.

WE MUST NEVER DOUBT LINUX.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

There's this small company called Apple that can challenge Google. You might have heard of them.

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Thumb Up

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

Silly AC. Didn't you remember - repeat after me...

LINUX IS BEST.

LINUX IS GOOD.

WE MUST NEVER DOUBT LINUX.

Congratulations! You are now eligable to join Eadons Church of St. Linus !

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Bronze badge
Happy

Re: Ubuntu this, Ubuntu That

I think you misunderstood JDX's humor, and if you didn't, I'm still left believing you don't understand Eadon or anyone like him. Someone like Eadon stands opposed to Microsoft....period. The /enemies/ of Microsoft are my /friends/, it's a plural vs. singular thing. Sort of like a removal of all things Richto.

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So I can take the shoddy OSX knock-off I have on my secondary boot drive and have it on my phone. Happy days are here!

Or maybe not.

But I can apparently have a command-line if I do. Killer feature right there. I know that's what I've always wanted in my phone.

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Gimp

shoddy OSX knock-off...

But iOS 6 is already available on phones.

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Trollface

bleeding edge?

If its anything like their crappy early Netbook remixes its going to be dog ass slow and buggy. Definitely for the Linux nerds who don't have to worry about ever missing a call from the opposite sex.

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Silver badge

Re: bleeding edge?

And yes Linux rules including Android but Ubuntu lost it's way quite some time ago.

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Linux

The Ubuntu fragmentation issue?

Any sign of the Ubuntu fragmentation issue yet?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Ubuntu fragmentation issue?

Nope. RICHTO seems to have left the building.

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Thumb Down

Losing focus

Having been a die hard Ubuntu fan from day one until they forced Unity on us, I'm now using Mint as my day to day OS. The problem with Ubuntu is that they are trying to do a Microsoft and have their fingers in too many pies. They need to get back to the Nix mantra of do one thing really well.

I think it all started with Ubuntu One, they tried to diversify and started losing focus. Then they turned the desktop into a toy with Unity. M$ followed suit with TIFKAM.

Now they're trying to do phones. Shuttleworth is trying to fast track to becoming the new M$ and he's doing a great job of it. Alienating users/customers and trying to be all things are not traits that sit well in the Nix communities but are SOP at Redmond.

What next? A Ubuntu console to try to compete with the Steam box?

Screw you Shuttleworth, you changed Ubuntu into an entirely different beast to that which attracted so many users in the early years.

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Silver badge

Re: Losing focus

> you changed Ubuntu into an entirely different beast

Exactly. He changed it into a phone/tablet/TV/mobile-computer OS for the future.

Meanwhile KDE, LXDE and the rest are still available for those who want to stay with desktops and the past.

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Happy

Re: Losing focus

I'm gonna get my own multi-platform operating system, with Blackjack and hookers...

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Boffin

Re: Losing focus

"Meanwhile KDE, LXDE and the rest are still available for those who want to stay with desktops and the past so they can work on complex tasks such as biomedical simulation; statistical and mathematical modelling; programming and celestial mechanics (i.e. asteroid tracking) using large monitors"

Fixed that for you.

I'd love to be able to get a phone that docks to run a smallish monitor/keyboard/mouse in desktop mode for basic office/web/email. Stroll in, dock the phone, type out the worksheets & do the presentations. Unity would be fine for that (what I'm using now on a 1080p cheapo monitor).

Will still need a PC with a bit of welly for the R stuff. Nothing old fashioned or 'past times' about that.

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Silver badge

Re: Losing focus

"Exactly. He changed it into a phone/tablet/TV/mobile-computer OS for the future.

Meanwhile KDE, LXDE and the rest are still available for those who want to stay with desktops and the past.

"

Personally, I don't want a full OS phone/tablet/tv/mobile [ i assume you mean smaller than a normal "PC" ] computer. My hands are the same size as they were when I first got a computer, and I first learnt to touch type on the standard "PC" keyboard, I still go for the highest resolution system I can, so i can have more and more windows open at once.

This is the environment I need for maximum efficiency - my desktop/laptop and cheapo non-smart phone are all I need

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Wonder how long...

...it will be before the clever guys over at XDA Developers wrestle this onto the HD2? (which STILL gets more love than any more modern devices). The HD2 already runs full desktop Ubuntu... as well as Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, Android (even up to the latest version!) and Meego

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Bronze badge

They don't make them like the hd2 anymore.

Very recently I was in two minds about getting a new battery or getting a new phone. It's tempting but I love my hd2 too much to abandon it.

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Angel

non0unbuntu user need not apply

"If you do want to try out this bleeding-edge version of Ubuntu on your phone, however, you had better be an Ubuntu user already."

and the odds of a non-ub user even thinking of using this has to be close to zero

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Thumb Up

Rock on

This quite simply means a variety of debian to use on your phone; no need to have Unity in desktop mode is there? For me this is a great win for the community at large with no cost but, I guess there will always be haters. You really need to stop hating things which are provided for free!

As an Arch Linux user, I favour no distro more than the next, just what is good for my needs. I'll be having a go at hacking this on to my tab 7.7, the phone UI looks quite interesting.

So, good job Canonical, I appreciate the work you do for the community. Sticks and stones may break your bones, may trolling morons mourn on themselves.

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JDX
Gold badge

ANOTHER phone OS?

Just what we need :)

With this being Linux, does that mean everyone who decides to do a Linux phone variant will make their own totally new GUI - or are they adapting the desktop GUI for touch? How much customization have they had to do?

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Excellent!

Although I've stopped using Ubuntu directly, I still have a toehold through Mint, and my daughter at uni uses Ubuntu exclusively, and gets on fine with it---despite having to bully the uni IT services into changing their Windows only (WTF!) WiFi login service to one that would accept all comers.

Anyhow, having a computer in my pocket that does it's 'smartphone' thing when out and about, but can just plug into a decent monitor, keyboard, and mouse, etc. and let me get on with real work whenever and where ever is, I think, a real step forward. And one I hope others will be quick to pick up and run with. Anything, to stop the steady slide towards computing devices becoming completely locked down and locked in appliances---basically simple money conduits from our bank accounts to the big corporates'. Which, after all, is what they really want to achieve.

Doubtless Canonical wants it's own conduit, fair enough. But we need variety and choice, as well as standards and reliability, at east cost... Yeah, okay, nirvana is always just around the corner, but if it's the nirvana created by monopoly and stagnation then 'No Thanks!'.

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Windows

Re: Excellent!

"despite having to bully the uni IT services into changing their Windows only (WTF!) WiFi login service to one that would accept all comers."

Excellent industrial experience there. Will stand your young lady in good stead. Should write it up for her 'professional development log' that many universities use these days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent!

the reg should let you place a pint donate button in your post, because i'd buy you one for raising a daughter who would fight the good fight like that. Congrats!

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Joke

To boldly advertise where no advertiser has advertised before!

Hopefully they will find a way to monitor our phone conversations and other activities then provide relevant ads from Amazon. Should I need to talk to someone about my secret mistress though I'll have to use another phone or hide this phone from the wife.

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Go

Still not good enough

When they come up with Mint for Phones, than it will be news. Go Mint!

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If you want Mint on your phone

...just make sure it has a rear camera so you can keep looking backwards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you want Mint on your phone

I take it you have the "internal camera" option so you can keep looking up your arse?

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Re: If you want Mint on your phone

Yeah okay I probably deserved the downvotes, but I was only being flippant.

As good as LXDE, XFCE, KDE, Mate and Cinnamon are - and they're very good indeed¹ - mobile computing is exploding exponentially, it's vital to get at least a toe-hold in that, and they won't.

¹Gnome3 is dogshit.

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Silver badge

Want!

I've read all the naysayers, and the caveats, and the warnings.

But I still WANT ONE.

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