Ubuntu Touch for tablets on Nexus 10, Xperia Tablet Z

By Peter Chubb - Oct 7, 2013

The Nexus 10 and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z are two very popular Android tablets, although some of you feel they have far more to offer if they were running on Ubuntu Touch. And, while this was first put forward as something for enthusiasts, as well as developers, seeing the code go live earlier this year was a special moment for them.

However, back then the code was incomplete because it lacked some of the core functionality that makes up the OS, such as being able to play music files. However, the final version, which is when the code gets signed off will be on October 17.

We have to wonder if Ubuntu Touch will be able to attract big hardware makers, or will they see this as a lost cause? If you have wondered what the OS looks like running on the Nexus 10 or the Xperia Tablet Z, then we have a few videos showing them off.

In the first video from way back in February we get to see a Nexus 10 running Ubuntu Touch, although as you would expect is the developer preview. The video helps explain what is involved when flashing Ubuntu to the device, and how easy is it to go back to the previous OS.

Latest version of Ubuntu Touch on the Xperia Tablet Z

Latest version of Ubuntu Touch on the Xperia Tablet Z

The second video shows you how to install Ubuntu Touch onto your Nexus device, although you will need to make certain you have a custom recovery installed. The third video is from last month and shows Ubuntu Touch on the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, which was the newest version at that time, and so is much closer to next month’s final build.

We have saved the best until last, as it is a video from the Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, who discusses what Ubuntu for tablets has to offer for hardware partners. It is clear they need them on their side, we just hope some of them jump on board.

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Also See: Increased Nexus 7, 9 and 10 updates from August 2015

  • 3arn0wl

    The guy demoing Ubuntu Touch on the Sony Experia Z – sorry I didn’t catch his name – suggests at ~ 3’30” that Ubuntu can’t play mp3 format files for patent reasons. What audio formats are supported? Also, are there any other patent limitations to Ubuntu?


    • Patrick Howard

      Its more of the plugins are proprietary for reading MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (MP3). Standard desktop Ubuntu has this same issue as well in which a plugin is not installed until the system is booted up for the first time (or is downloaded and installed when the computer is connected to the internet).

      While I don’t think its because of patent issues. I do know that it is a way that Ubuntu can keep its title as FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)

      • 3arn0wl

        🙂 Thanks for the clarification, Patrick. Presumably Touch will come with an audio player of some sort? I don’t mind if it only runs Wav or Aiff to be honest, since the fidelity is so much better.

        But what about for video playback? I’ve not read any information…

        • Patrick Howard

          It will be coming with a in house built media player.

        • 3arn0wl

          Thanks Patrick – will it play videos too?