In February, Canonical announced that Ubuntu would make its way to mobile devices in October. Since then, it’s been a crazy year for the Linux-distribution, from a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign that ultimately failed to a big push in getting Ubuntu on tablets. Now the moment Linux fans have been waiting for is here as Ubuntu for mobile devices has officially launched.
This week, Canonical launched Ubuntu 13.10, or Saucy Salamander, for PC, Mac and servers. Alongside these platforms, this is also the first Ubuntu release to officially support mobile devices. That means Linux fans can now flash a version of Ubuntu onto their mobile device that’s guaranteed to at least work.
Of course, any new product launch is going to have a catch, and that is the case with Ubuntu 13.10. Canonical only has official builds for the following devices – Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Thankfully, Ubuntu is an open platform and developers are already hard at work making Ubuntu work on a variety of Android devices. In fact, stable versions of Ubuntu Mobile are available on over 40 devices, and there’s even more devices in the work in progress list.
Despite Ubuntu for mobile being nearly feature complete, it does lack the one killer app that made it so desirable in the first place. According to Gigaom, Ubuntu Touch users won’t be able to hook up their mobile device to a monitor via HDMI and transform their mobile device into a fully-featured Ubuntu desktop. That feature has been delayed until Ubuntu 14.04, which launches in April 2014.
Aside from that one feature, Ubuntu is pretty much set to start shipping on mobile devices. In fact, Richard Collins, Mobile Product Manager for Canonical, told Gigaom that hardware makers can already start integrating Ubuntu into their mobile device planning. Those hardware makers may hold off on integrating Ubuntu into their lineup for now, however, as it lacks some of the consumer oriented apps that you see on Android and iOS. The OS in its current state, however, does sport the essentials, like a phone dialer, a messaging app, photo gallery, Web browser and more.
If you want to try out Ubuntu 13.10 out for yourself, you can grab it here. Just be sure that you grab the proper image for your device.