Install Ubuntu Touch

Installing Ubuntu Touch is easy, and a lot of work has gone in to making the installation process less intimidating to less technical users. The UBports Installer is a nice graphical tool that you can use to install Ubuntu Touch on a supported device from your Linux, Mac or Windows computer.

Warning

If you’re switching your device over from Android, you will not be able to keep any data that is currently on the device. Create an external backup if you want to keep it.

Go to the download page and download the version of the installer for your operating system:

  • Windows: ubports-installer-<version-number>.exe
  • macOS: ubports-installer-<version-number>.dmg
  • Ubuntu or Debian: ubports-installer-<version-number>.deb
  • Other Linux distribtuions: ubports-installer-<version-number>.snap or ubports-installer-<version-number>.AppImage

Start the installer and follow the on-screen instructions that will walk you through the installation process. That’s it! Have fun exploring Ubuntu Touch!

If you’re an experienced android developer and want to help us bring Ubuntu Touch to more devices, visit the porting section.

Install on legacy Android devices

While the installation process is fairly simple on most devices, some legacy Bq and Meizu devices require special steps. This part of the guide does not apply to other devices.

Note

This is more or less uncharted territory. If your device’s manufacturer does not want you to install an alternative operating system, there’s not a lot we can do about it. The instructions below should only be followed by experienced users. While we appreciate that lots of people want to use our OS, flashing a device with OEM tools shouldn’t be done without a bit of know-how and plenty of research.

Meizu devices are pretty much stuck on Flyme. While the MX4 can be flashed successfully in some cases, the Pro5 is Exynos-based and has its own headaches.

Warning

BE VERY CAREFUL! You are responsible for your own actions!

  1. Disconnect all devices and non-essential peripherals from your PC. Charge your device on a wall-charger (not your PC) to at least 40 percent

  2. Download the Ubuntu Touch ROM for your device:

  3. Download SP flash tool for Linux.

On Ubuntu 17.10, there are issues with flash_tool loading the shared library ‘libpng12’, so this can be used as a workaround:

wget -q -O /tmp/libpng12.deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/libp/libpng/libpng12-0_1.2.54-1ubuntu1_amd64.deb \
&& sudo dpkg -i /tmp/libpng12.deb \
&& rm /tmp/libpng12.deb

You will also need to use the latest version of the tool.

  1. Extract the zip files
  2. Start the tool with sudo
  3. Select the *Android_scatter.txt file from the archive you downloaded in the first step as the scatter-loading file
  4. Choose “Firmware Upgrade”
  5. Double-check you chose “Firmware Upgrade” and not “Download” or “Format All”

Warning

If you select DOWNLOAD rather than FIRMWARE UPGRADE, you will end up with a useless brick rather than a fancy Ubuntu Touch device. Be sure to select FIRMWARE UPGRADE.

  1. Turn your device completely off, but do not connect it yet
  2. Press the button labeled “Download”
  3. Perform a final sanity-check that you selected the “Firmware Upgrade” option, not “Download”
  4. Make sure your device is off and connect it to your PC. Don’t use a USB 3.0 port, since that’s known to cause communication issues with your device.
  5. Magic happens. Your device will boot into a super old version of Ubuntu Touch.
  6. Congratulations! Your device will now boot into a very old version of Ubuntu Touch. You can now use the UBports Installer to proceed.