Announcing the first ubuntu-mobile image

With the intepid development cycle the mobile team has split its efforts into producing two different images, one is the well known Ubuntu MID image targeting 4-7″ MID devices with 800×480 desktops using mobiln technology. This image is getting a lot of improvements over the hardy release during the intrepid cycle …
You can find the current daily build for it here.

The second image which i’m proud to announce today is the new gnome based ubuntu-mobile image that is targeting the bigger MIDs from 7-9″. This image is a first try and supposed to be the base for a well working touchscreen centric gnome mobile desktop on 1024×600 screens. For now it is running best on a samsung Q1 (since it was developed on such a device) and we hope to get valuable input from users with it. So we can make sure the applications run fine at this resolution and we can support all possible MID hardware of this class in the jaunty release.
Screenshots, installation instructions and the download link for our first shot image can be found here.

ubuntu-mobile desktop

All images of the mobile team are built as live images nowadays so you can directly test them by booting from a USB key. Feedback and discussions are appreciated on the mailing list or via bugs. If you want to modify one of the images to your needs, see the HowTo section of the MobileTeam wikipages.



  1. dthomasdigital · September 24, 2008

    Will this install on a Nikoa 810?

  2. Paulie · September 24, 2008

    please, could you clarify a thing for me – you mentioned touch screen, does it mean that this Ubuntu mobile is meant for the devices with touch screen only? What about, say, the new Dell Mini 9? Should I better use stock Ubuntu on that?

  3. ograblog · September 24, 2008

    The nokia n810 uses the ARM architecture, currently there is no port of ubuntu to ARM, as soon as there is, this desktop flavor can indeed run on it.
    In the interim, you might probably want to take look at

  4. ograblog · September 24, 2008

    Ubuntu mobile and Ubuntu mid are both very focused on touchscreen usage, but that indeed does not mean you can not run them on a netbook, they are just desktop variants and will react to mouseclicks as well as to finger taps …

    The thing is that they are really focused on finger input, UI elements are used at a size you can use with your index finger tip as well as with your thumb, so they usually look a bit clunky on a normal desktop. For netbooks like the dell mini i would really recommends using the ubuntu netbook remix applications, they are in the ubuntu universe repository in intrepid so you can easily install them on any stadard ubuntu install to turn that into a netbook desktop.

  5. Vadi · September 24, 2008

    I’m waiting for a Ubuntu MID to be shipped. The Q1 at being 1000+$ is a tad too pricey for me, and I thought those things were said to be sold as below 500$ anyway…


  6. Paulie · September 24, 2008

    Understood. Thank you!

  7. DulceangustiA · September 24, 2008

    The device was a Q1 or a Q1 Ultra?

  8. ograblog · September 24, 2008

    sorry, yes,its a Q1 Ultra,
    but that shouldnt make a big difference, as long as you can run the Q1 in 1024×600 mode, the build architecture for this image is explcitly *not* lpia (ATOM) but uses the ubuntu generic kernel to be as backwards compatible as possible.

  9. Steve 'Chippy' Paine · September 24, 2008

    Doing some live testing now on
    Feel free to come along. Audio and video available as I work through the install.
    From what I see at the moment, you’ve done a really great job.

  10. Pingback: Ubuntu Mobile edition. News and First boot Video. | UMPCPortal - The Ultra Mobile Computing reference site
  11. Sonex293 · September 24, 2008

    What’s the easiest way to get the image onto a USB key using Windows?

  12. ograblog · September 24, 2008

    hum, i havent used windows for several years, but i heard there is still rawrite.exe for windows and there should be a version of dd for windows as well …

  13. Pingback: Ubuntu Mobile и оптика на Eee PC | советы/хаки/моды |
  14. Bob Vansteel · September 25, 2008

    Hi there! let me start of by saying, this is AWESOME! Now that i got that over with let me continue. After reading comments that you and some others have made(like on that of regarding the large touch favorable interface of apps, I have formed an idea! It would be something like the large bottom nav bar of the moblin browser, the “touch-bar” if you will. This touch-bar would be more of an application that recognizes which program you are running, and then displays appropriate touch controls for that specific app. With use of a touch bar like this, there would be no need to recreate or edit every application for touchscreen use. I think this would work quite nicely and add a universal form of touch input across a whole variety of programs…I might not be explaining this very clearly, so please e-mail me and I can use the aid of pictures to help with the presentation of my idea.

  15. Bob Vansteel · September 25, 2008

    and second, for the guy that wants to use windows to get this baby on a usb…just get your self a live CD! pssft windows…

  16. jkkmobile · September 25, 2008

    I have been testing this now with different netbooks and umpcs… how could I contact you to report about issues and features?

  17. ograblog · September 25, 2008

    well, either via teh mailing list i mentioned in the blogtext, you can mail me personally if you feel thats better under or file bugs in launchpad against the ubuntu-mobile package and we’ll sort them in the right direction (i.e. to the application maintainers)

  18. Gerard · September 25, 2008


    Firstly – thanks very much for this. I have been testing the live USB on my Q1U and it seems ideally suited (a viable alternative to the awful Vista install, without losing all the specialist hardware)

    However, I’ve hit some problems once I tried to install to hard drive and would appreciate some help in getting this to work on a more permanent basis!

    A few weeks ago I installed the current desktop version of Hardy over the restore partition which comes with the Q1U (about 10Gb total, which I split into ~8Gb ext3 and ~2Gb swap). That all worked fine, but I couldn’t get the touchscreen working (despite following the various guides etc) so when I saw this I thought it would make an ideal replacement.

    So, I booted the live “stick” I created from your MID edition (7-9″) and tried to install over the old 8Gb Hardy partition. I went for manual partitioning, leaving everything alone except the hardy partion which I set to format with ext3 and mount as “/”.

    Everything seemed to install fine (including all the language packs etc from the web) and it got through to the restart dialogue. I restarted, removed the stick when prompted and it got back to the grub screen showing the new Intrepid install and the longhorn loader for Vista (which still seems to work).

    However, when I select the Ubuntu option I just get “Error 15: File not found”

    I tried it again and got hit the same problem – any suggestions?

    Many thanks


  19. dreador · September 26, 2008

    Im getting the error 15 on a Q1 Ultra Q1UA

    Mines a clean install though – totally blanked the HD and then ran install.

  20. Pingback: Ecco a voi Ubuntu-Mobile ! | Netbook Italia
  21. Gerard · September 26, 2008

    Just to add to the above post – I have been following some of the general guides on “error 15” and trying to point grub to the kernel manually.

    I may be being spectacularly thick and noobish but I can’t find the actual kernel file in the /boot directory (which I think would explain the error 15?).

    List of files I have is abi-2.6.27-4-generic, config-…, initrd.img-…,…, vmcoreinfo-…

    I tried pointing to all of these with the “kernel” command but get an error 13 back (wrong type of file).

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks again (and sorry for clogging your blog up with stupid questions – I just keep picking at this because it looks genuinely great and I really want to get it up and running!)


  22. dreador · September 26, 2008

    Same error as Gerrard but with a clean install.

    I found the kernel from the usb boot and moved it to the boot directory on the hard drive and then changed the grub link, now get kernel panic when booting and a crash.

  23. ograblog · September 26, 2008

    for everyone seeing the error 15 thing (well, pretty much for everyone trying out the install atm (we are working on fixing the installer), there is a workaround in this mailthread:
    please try it out, it shoudl get you going

  24. Pingback: Peng’s links for Friday, 26 September « I’m Just an Avatar
  25. Gerard · September 27, 2008

    Thanks guys – good to know I’m not alone and just being stupid!

    Tried the workaround linked just now – I can see how this would work but I’m getting a “404 Not Found” when I try to use aptitude to download the kernel image. I guess this could be a server down somewhere? (will try again later)

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ aptitude download linux-image-2.6.27-4-generic
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Initializing package states… Done
    Err intrepid/main linux-image-2.6.27-4-generic 2.6.27-4.5
    404 Not Found [IP:]

    Please shout if you have any thoughts on this (I’m pretty new to the world of Linux and I may well be missing something obvious!)



  26. Gerard · September 27, 2008


    Ubuntu MID is now permanently up and running on my Q1U (and very nice it is too!) – thanks very much for all your help

    Only minor problem so far has been that one of the automatic updates seemed to hobble the customised browser (Epiphany still works though, and I’m typing this on the Q1U now) – when you try to open the browser, it thinks about it for a bit, then quits. I will keep playing and see if I can get it going (sorry, not sure what it was, as I downloaded something like 150 automatic updates in a batch!)

    Thanks again for a very nice OS


  27. kenjiru · September 28, 2008

    How can I test this in Vmware?

  28. Eiji · September 28, 2008

    This is a great release. It shows a lot of promising user productivity and ease of use. I can confirm that using the link given 2 posts above by ograblog, bypasses the installation problem.

    I was happy to see that wifi was automatically recognized on my EEE 701. There were no shutdown problems either.

    The only thing I’m having trouble with is installing the drivers for the egalax touch controller. I had it successfully working with Ubuntu Hardy.

    I’ve noticed that the xorg.conf doesn’t have a “ServerLayout” section which the driver requires. I created one and had problems when rebooting since it would send me to “safe mode”.
    Does Intrepid have a different xorg format or something? Thanks in advance.

  29. Alan · September 28, 2008

    Well i gave it a try.. i currently installed in a e3pc 701 with no problems at all ( only the erro 15 one ), after all wifi work out of the box and after the update it keeps working… but since i dont have a keyboard ( i modded my e3pc 701 to a tablet pc )its prety hard to actually use the virtual keyboard… whe you get prompt to enter the admin password the background programs are lock and i can not use the vkeyboard… any suggestions? at least to stop promping for admin password??

  30. ograblog · September 29, 2008

    i fear i cant say much about vmware as i have never used it … you should be able to just boot it from a virtual usb port if vmware offers such a thing, but i had reports it doesnt work in kvm/qemu so your mileage may vary …

  31. ograblog · September 29, 2008

    xorg 1.5 changed a lot with regard to input devices, you will likely ave to create a .fdi file for hal that tells it to use the egalax driver, if you mail me a working hardy xorg.conf and the output of the lshal command i can generate a .fdi file for you (

  32. ograblog · September 29, 2008

    there are some tricks to drop teh security and thus avoid teh password prompt, mainly you need to modify the sudoers file, see:
    and allow your user to run all commands passwordless … but beware thats a high security risk if you
    a) forget you are doing things that could harm your system
    b) give your device in foreign hands (i.e. for tryintg it out)

  33. Alan · September 29, 2008

    yep,i now that, running like root… well thats actually not an option, but the main problem im aware its that if the user dont have a real keyboard, even with touchscreen or with mouse, its not posible to “acces” the vkeyboard when you get prompt to enter the admin password…

  34. BUGabundo · September 29, 2008

    Is there an MD5 hash so we can check the images?

  35. ograblog · September 29, 2008

    i’m at this moment working on proper image builds in the ubuntu datacenter, there will be daily images on soon, with md5 sums, package lists etc.
    (i’ll write a new blogost once i’m done, the plan is to have teh images available before the ubuntu beta release (whcih is scheduled for thursday))

  36. Nick · October 2, 2008

    Great OS, I love it. It was very easy to install and runs quite well on both the Asus EEE 4G 701 and the Asus EEE 901.

    Only as one of the earlier comments mentioned, the mid-browser died after applying a shitload of updates.. any idea how I can revert the update?

  37. Nick · October 2, 2008

    Sorry a little follow-up, forgot to mention that I ran midbrowser in Terminal and I got this :

    pure virtual method called
    terminate called without an active exception
    aborted (core dumped)

  38. ograblog · October 2, 2008

    midbrowser has a bug currently it should be fixed after ubuntu beta release (currently uploading to the archive is a bit difficult due to the beta freeze), if you want to get around the updates just use one of the daily images (i’ll blog about it soon)

  39. Alan · October 2, 2008

    current release will be updated to beta status trought updates?

  40. ograblog · October 2, 2008

    yes, it uses the normal ubuntu archives and thus recieves all updates

  41. cheb · October 4, 2008

    I’m just after a bit of advice.
    I run the dd command in linux to copy the image across.
    But when i try and boot my q1b from the usb stick I’ve copied the image across to I just get a flashing line in the top left corner of the screen.
    What am I doing wrong?

  42. benjamin · October 4, 2008

    you are really doing an AWESOME job!! I tried your usbkey U mobile edition in my Acer aspire One, and got some video clips experiences in my blogsite this week, had the same problem with the installer (error 15) but Hickory’s help notes didn’t work ( couldnt apply his instructions or commands correctly in the terminal…I am downloading your current image to see if you’ve had solved this installing detail. On the usbkey this Mobile OS works really great! I will try to copy this same into a Flash card to use it as alternaitve OS boot..The best from Chile, South America. And thanks a lot.

  43. cheb · October 7, 2008

    ok, I worked out where i was going wrong.
    i was dd ing to sdb1 instead of sdb.
    would it be possible to add the graphics drivers for the q1b in the next mobile release? as at the moment i can only get 800×480
    heres the link

    I also get a no screens error when trying to boot the MID edition. this happens after the ubuntu splash screen. any ideas?

  44. Puh · October 12, 2008


    that looks great:

    But as u wrote above: it’s a arm cpu in the Nokia N8x0 – how does this work or is the picture a fake? :o)


  45. Pingback: S01E16 - I Can Help | Ubuntu UK Podcast
  46. Pingback: S01E16 - I Can Help - MP3 HIGH | Ubuntu UK Podcast
  47. Pingback: S01E16 - I Can Help - MP3 LOW | Ubuntu UK Podcast
  48. Pingback: S01E16 - I Can Help - OGG LOW | Ubuntu UK Podcast
  49. Pingback: S01E16 - I Can Help - OGG HIGH | Ubuntu UK Podcast
  50. ograblog · October 17, 2008

    puh: sad to disappoint you, that was just me playing around with a debian based image to try out the ubuntu-mobile ui settings there, until the ubuntu build system and archive supports arm there wont be any work on such a setup.

  51. Pingback: Ubuntu UK Podcast: S01E16 - I Can Help | Install and Use Ubuntu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s