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HOW TO: Run Ubuntu on the Motorola Xoom

UPDATE 4/10/11: Now you can enlarge your Xoombuntu install! http://trsohmers.com/2011/04/10/how-to-expand-xoombuntu-disk/

UPDATE 4/2/11: Here’s the fix! http://trsohmers.com/2011/04/02/ubuntu-for-xoom-fix/

UPDATE 3/20/11: OK, so I modified a couple of steps to make the system a bit faster, and I am going to be releasing a small path tonight to fix some issues people have been having with the install.

UPDATE 3/7/11: I made a stupid mistake in the bootubuntu file… sorry about that guys. What you need to do is edit your bootubuntu file to what is here…… just open up bootubuntu in your favorite text editor (Notepad, TexEdit, etc) and copy and paste what is there. I will continue to update that file, so if there is ever any changes to the bootubuntu file…. it will be there.

I am also planning on releasing a new version this coming weekend with some fixes and small improvements… plus a install tutorial video, and usage tutorial video.

If you have any issues, feel free to leave a comment on this page, tweet me @trsohmers, or send me a message using the “Contact Me” form on this site.

Hey everyone,

Yesterday I posted simplified instructions for unlocking the bootloader and rooting the Motorola Xoom on Mac OS X, and today I have full instructions on how to install and run Ubuntu on your Motorola Xoom tablet. The method this uses is to install Ubuntu in a chroot “jail” to keep it separate of all Android processes… similar to how a Virtual Machine (Virtualbox, Parallels, VMware) runs an x86 operating system (Windows, OSX, Linux) on an x86/x64 machine. Since the Xoom and most Android devices run on an ARM processor,  you can only run an operating system made for ARM, so I am using the ARM version of Ubuntu version 9.10.

Here is a video of it I posted on Youtube:

INSTRUCTIONS:
NOTE: Even though this is running in a chroot jail, and I am 99.9% sure this will not cause any harm to your device, I can not be held responsible for anything that may happen to your device. Just by rooting and unlocking your device (which you have to have done already to do this) COULD void your warranty and/or brick your device. Then again, you COULD be struck by lightning 42 times the next time you walk outside your house… it is highly improbable unless you go outside in a thunderstorm with a lightning rod.

NOTE 2: The install files for this are about 660mb zipped, and once expanded the files are about 2.5gb.

STEP ONE: Setting up your enviornment

NOTE: I will be writing this from the viewpoint of a Linux/Mac user. If you are running Windows, just remove the ‘./’ from the commands.

NOTE 2: My Android SDK folder is /AndroidSDK/… please insert whatever the name of yours is.

1. I am assuming you have the Android SDK from when you rooted… if you do not, download it.

2. Please download this zip… this is the 660mb one, so it may take a while. Get your favorite drink, have a snack, and if you want you can skim through the rest of this  while it is downloading.

3.OK, now that you have the ubuntu.zip file, extract it to AndroidSDK/tools/

4.Take the busybox and installbusybox.sh files and copy/move them to the root of the sdcard on your device… you can do that manually by plugging your xoom into your computer and browsing the directories (on the Mac you have to use the Android File Transfer application provided by Motorola).The other way is to use ADB push, and that is what I will explain.

(Make sure you have USB debugging enabled in Settings > Applications > Development)

4a.Open up your terminal application, and change the directory to your AndroidSDK/tools

4b.Type in ./adb push busybox /sdcard (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

4c.Type in ./adb push installbusybox.sh /sdcard (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

4d.Type in ./adb shell (This allows you to access the terminal on the device itself)

4e.Type in su (This gives the terminal Super User privileges. If you get the error “Permission Denied”, you have not rooted your device)

4f.Type in cd /sdcard (Changes the directory to the device’s sdcard. NOTE: The Xoom doesn’t really have an sdcard at release… but Motorola seems to have made a virtual one so devices that require an sdcard still run.)

4g.Type in sh installbusybox.sh

After that is complete, busybox should be installed. Try entering a command like cp and see if it displays anything. If not, reboot the device (./adb reboot) and try the cp again.

5. Now that busybox is installed, lets get to actually installing Ubuntu. You now have to move all the files in the Ubuntu folder (minus busybox and installbusybox.sh) to /sdcard/ubuntu …. you can do this using a method other than ADB push, but I will explain it the ADB push way.

5a.Type in ./adb push fsrw /sdcard/ubuntu (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

5b.Type in ./adb push mountonly /sdcard/ubuntu (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

5c.Type in ./adb push ubuntu.sh /sdcard/ubuntu (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

5d.Type in ./adb push ubuntu.img /sdcard/ubuntu (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

NOTE: This file is over 2gb’s! It will take a while to transfer, and on average it takes 25-30 minutes. Time for another snack break.

5e.Type in ./adb push unionfs /sdcard/ubuntu (It should tell you when it has done transferring)

STEP TWO: Installing Ubuntu

6. OK, lets get this installing. You are going to be going to be going into the shell again, so follow these commands:

6a.Type in ./adb shell (This allows you to access the terminal on the device itself)

6b.Type in su

6c.Type in cd /sdcard/ubuntu

6d.Type in sh ./ubuntu.sh

It will give some errors, but as long as it gets to “To enter the Debian Linux Console type in ‘bootubuntu’”, you should be good. Congratulations, Ubuntu is now installed.

7. OK, now that Ubuntu is installed… you want to turn it on, right? now Type In: bootubuntu and you should give you a new line saying “root@localhost:/” Congratulations, Ubuntu is now running. If it is not running, try to Type in su bootubuntu and then bootubuntu again. If that does not work, try rebooting your device and do it again… if it is still not working, try going through steps 5-7 again. If you have any more issues, feel free to comment here and I will try to help you.

STEP THREE: Setting up Ubuntu

8. You should still be in the shell and at the root@localhost entry. You are now entering commands through your terminal, into Android’s terminal, which is entering into Ubuntu’s terminal (What is this, Inception?). Like all operating systems, you need to update them… but with Ubuntu, this is quite easy.

8a.Type in apt-get update

8b.Now we are going to add a “head” to this “headless” OS. Since Android is the main operating system on here and Ubuntu has nothing to display on, we are going to output X windows (The GUI Linux OSs) to VNC. Type in apt-get install tightvncserver

8c.Once tightvncserver is installed, type in apt-get install lxde

8d.Type in export USER=root

8f.Type in vncserver -geometry 1280×800 (Resolution of the Xoom’s display. You can experiment to find a resolution you like.. you can type this command whenever to change the resolution)

8g.It should ask you for a password for your VNC… you can use something simple like 123 since you are the only one who can access it since it is only on your device.

9.Now we are going to change some settings to make the VNC experience better….

9a.Type in cat > /root/.vnc/xstartup
9b.Type in #!/bin/sh
9c.Type in xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
9d.Type inxsetroot -solid grey
9e.Type in icewm &
9f.Type in lxsession

10.Press CNTRL+D, and then enter this…

10a. cat > front
10b. export USER=root
10c. cd /
10d. rm -r -f tmp
10e. mkdir tmp
10f. cd /
10g. vncserver -geometry 1280×800

11.Hit CNTRL+D again, and enter this…

11a. cat front /root/.profile > temp #Thanks David Tangye

11b. cp temp /root/.bashrc

12. Now you can exit out of the Ubuntu terminal by typing exit

13.Reboot your device

13a.Install a VNC app from the market such as this Android VNC (Free)

13b.Install a Terminal Emulator app from the market like this Better Terminal Emulator Pro (3.99) or Android Terminal Emulator (Free)

13c.Now you can use the ADB shell again, but I suggest doing this on the device using one of the Terminal Emulators.

13c.cd /sdcard/ubuntu

13c.su (If the Superuser app asks for permission, press yes)

13c.bootubuntu

13c.OK, you should see the same thing as you did on your computer screen. Now go back to your homescreen, and  open your VNC client.

13d.Now, in the Nickname spot, put ‘Ubuntu’ or whatever you want.

13e.In the password spot, put whatever you put for a password earlier.

13f.Leave the address blank.

13g.Set the port at 5901.

Set the color format to 256 colors (1 bpp) for the best results.Then you press the Connect button, and you are on Ubuntu!

14. Some information:

1.Tap to click, pretty simple.

2.Double tap for right click.

3.You can switch in and out of ubuntu… just click your home button or the task manager button.

4.You should be automatically connected to the internet since it shares the device’s internet connection. So this will work on 3G, 4G, Wifi, or not having any connection. I am also going to see if I can transfer files between Android and Ubuntu since they should be on the same ‘network’.

That about wraps it up! Hope you will enjoy Ubuntu on your Xoom!

CREDITS:

Thomas Sohmers -Writer of this guide, file modification for the Xoom

Max Lee -Original hacker which did this on the Nexus One.

Charan Singh -Original installer file creator

Koush -Rooting the Xoom

141 comments. Leave a Reply

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  12. PaulG1488

    i get to step #7 but when i type in bootubuntu i dont get the “root@localhost:/” line i get t6his in return

    mknod: /dev/loop2: File exists
    ioctl LOOP_SET_FD failed: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
    Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical
    and the open source community!

    bootubuntu: 29: Syntax error: Unterminated quoted string

    What Should i do i tried restarting but it didnt work any advice?

    • Hi Paul,
      I am currently making a tutorial video for all fo this which may help… also, did you place the “Ubuntu” folder with all the files on the root of your (nonexsistant) sdcard?
      so, for example, ubuntu.img would be located in:

      /sdcard/ubuntu/ubuntu.img

      • Mike Berkman

        Check the bootubuntu script…I think there is an issue at the end of that line. You need to add a double quote.

        • Good catch… Wow I feel quite stupid for missing that.
          “Doh!”

      • PaulG1488

        i made the changes you did in your update and i still can get past step 7 i have my dirctory properly setup with the ubuntu folder but now i get a new error message saying

        bootubuntu
        mount: No such file or directory
        mknod: not found
        ioctl LOOP_SET_FD failed: Bad file number
        mount: No such file or directory
        mount: No such file or directory
        mount: No such file or directory
        sysctl: not found
        Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
        : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
        : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
        Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
        : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt

        VERSION 0.8.1
        Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical
        and the open source community!

        Ubuntu is now loaded and you should see a ‘root@localhost’ terminal entry below
        this╔ if you do not, than Ubuntu has not successfully loaded. Have fun!
        chroot: not found
        : not found

        : not found
        Shutting down Ubuntu
        failed.
        umount
        umount
        failed.

        what am i doing wrong?

        • Could you try running the “cp” command? Tell me what it gives you back.

          • PaulG1488

            here you go:

            # bootubuntu
            bootubuntu
            mount: No such file or directory
            mknod: not found
            ioctl LOOP_SET_FD failed: Bad file number
            mount: No such file or directory
            mount: No such file or directory
            mount: No such file or directory
            sysctl: not found
            Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
            : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
            : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
            Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
            : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt

            VERSION 0.8.1
            Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical
            and the open source community!

            Ubuntu is now loaded and you should see a ‘root@localhost’ terminal entry below
            this╔ if you do not, than Ubuntu has not successfully loaded. Have fun!
            chroot: not found
            : not found

            : not found
            Shutting down Ubuntu
            failed.
            umount
            umount
            failed.
            # cp
            cp
            BusyBox v1.16.1 (2010-03-29 11:50:09 CDT) multi-call binary.

            Usage: cp [OPTIONS] SOURCE DEST

            Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY

            Options:
            -a Same as -dpR
            -R,-r Recurse
            -d,-P Preserve symlinks (default if -R)
            -L Follow all symlinks
            -H Follow symlinks on command line
            -p Preserve file attributes if possible
            -f Force overwrite
            -i Prompt before overwrite
            -l,-s Create (sym)links

            #

        • Hi Paul,
          I may have a fix for you that I have been testing with some people with the same issue. I still can’t find a connection between any of the devices you have since it installs fine on a majority of people.

          I will be posting a update on the site later today or tomorrow with a possible fix.

    • Tony L

      greatly love your idea of putting UBUNTU ON Motorola Xoom. But i am lost as to what i need to do first or just what i need to do to be successful @ accomplishing this part. with much appreciation could you please help!

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  26. Paul

    Thanks, very useful.

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  49. David Tangye

    Steps 10 to 12 add code to /root/.bashrc, which executes whenever a new shell is started. Would it be better to use /root/.profile instead? Clearing /tmp and startig a new vncserver on each new shell sounds overkill to me.

  50. You should do this for Ubuntu netbook remix. I think that should be a perfect fit for the Xoom as it is more touch optimized or maybe even jolicloud.

    • Tom

      I agree, UNR for ARM would be super sweet on the XOOM. I’m curious though if it can be a dual boot or switchable thing without the need for VNC. I assume not “switchable” otherwise you wouldn’t be using VNC there…But maybe bootable. I don’t know if that means special drivers are required or what for the screen…Hoping there’s something generic that would be usable for the touchscreen. Bonus points to boot off an SD card! =)

      • Hi Tom,
        I am currently trying to find a method of installing an other OS within fastboot… but the problem is it would whipe android off the system. I am going to wait until I can get another test device (Donations are welcome :P ) or positive that I won’t break anything in the process.

        I MAY, MAY be able to have it boot off of the SD card once Motorola fixes it… looks like it would be a firmware update that would have to fix that since it doesn’t seem to come up in anything. My guess is to somehow replace fastboot with uboot (Which is used by a lot of embedded computers like the Beagleboard) which would allow it to boot from either internal memory (Android) or an SD card (Anything else)

        Keep checking the site and follow me on twitter for the most recent updates.

        • Vapor 1c3

          Hey tom,
          So i carried through with the instructions, and ran into the issue with the that required the patch. it solved it, and the rest of the installation went on flawlessly. Ive tried it both on my computers terminal and the xooms terminal, when I run the bootubuntu command (before I run the VNC) it goes into this loop.

          New ‘X” desktop is localhost:1
          Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/startup
          Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:1.log

          New ‘X” desktop is localhost:2
          Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/startup
          Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:2.log

          New ‘X” desktop is localhost:3
          Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/startup
          Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:3.log
          ………………………………

          after the localhost reaches 100 logs, the loop continues but says:
          vncserver: no free display number on localhost.
          vncserver: no free display number on localhost.vncserver: no free display number on localhost…….

          any idea whats up?

          • goofballtech

            Same as above. Have done it a couple times and keep running into that loop at the end of the process.

          • kerkael

            The /root/.bashrc bas a loop to itself, copyed from the .profile
            Edit the .bashrc to remove or comment the lines that re-execute .bashrc.

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  61. Bill

    I am getting the exact same errors as PaulG1488.

    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    mount: No such file or directory
    mknod: not found
    ioctl LOOP_SET_FD failed: Bad file number
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    sysctl: not found
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
    : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt
    Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
    : directory nonexistentte /data/local/mnt

    VERSION 0.8.1
    Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical
    and the open source community!

    Ubuntu is now loaded and you should see a ‘root@localhost’ terminal entry below
    this╔ if you do not, than Ubuntu has not successfully loaded. Have fun!
    chroot: not found
    : not found

    : not found
    Shutting down Ubuntu
    failed.
    umount
    umount
    failed.
    # cp
    cp
    BusyBox v1.16.1 (2010-03-29 11:50:09 CDT) multi-call binary.

    Usage: cp [OPTIONS] SOURCE DEST

    Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY

    Options:
    -a Same as -dpR
    -R,-r Recurse
    -d,-P Preserve symlinks (default if -R)
    -L Follow all symlinks
    -H Follow symlinks on command line
    -p Preserve file attributes if possible
    -f Force overwrite
    -i Prompt before overwrite
    -l,-s Create (sym)links

    #

    • Hi Bill,
      If you want to email me, I have a possible fix that has worked for two people with the same issue, but I wan’t to test it on a 3rd for good measure.
      Check the Contact Me tab at the top of the page.

      • bill

        Hi thomas, having any luck or did you hit some snags?
        Thanks

      • PaulG1488

        i emailed you I want to see if your patch will help me get this installed thanks

  62. Bill

    Thomas, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. I am wanting to run xournal (ubuntu note taking app). Could you please install it and see if you can use the handwritten note part of it? I want to see if it is laggy and if it will work on a capacitive touch screen with a stylus.

    I would greatly appreciate this.
    Thanks

    • I will try to install it, but I do not have a capacitive stylus around, will get back to you ASAP.

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  64. Samuel Allen

    I don’t suppose there’s a way to just boot off the microSD is there? I want to use this for testing in tablet environments and would prefer to be able to boot Ubuntu and maybe even WindowsEmbedded off of microSDs. Is there a reason why that strategy wouldn’t work?

    • Sean

      I am interested in this as well does anyone have any advice?

      • The problem with this is two things… one Motorola has not officially fixed the MicroSD slot yet, and two it would involve replacing the bootloader on the device which has a high chance of bricking it. I would love to experiment with this if I had another device to spare, but I’m not going to experiment on a level that could brick a $800 device just yet.

        This should theoretically work though, because Fastboot (which is the bootloader the Xoom and most other Android devices) is based off of the open source ‘uboot’ bootloader.

        • Mee

          Mine is rooted, I have access to my micro SD slot using a different kernel, Im going to try this tonite maybe.
          Twitter maya122112

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  66. Scott

    Thomas -

    I cant seem to get it to work, but I think my issue is the ext2 portion of the ubuntu.sh script – Its coming back file not found. If I try to bootubuntu after running the ubuntu.sh script, it fails like the other 2 posts on here.

    I sent you an email with the output…. Any ideas?

  67. yen

    Hi Thomas,

    Thank you for the great work!

    I have one problem however:

    New ‘X’ desktop is localhost:1

    Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
    Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:1.log

    New ‘X’ desktop is localhost:2

    Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
    Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:2.log

    New ‘X’ desktop is localhost:3

    Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
    Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:3.log

    New ‘X’ desktop is localhost:4

    Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
    Log file is /root/.vnc/localhost:4.log

    ….

    and it loops forever… I am using the ‘updated’ files and my:
    /root/.vnc/xstartup
    /root/.bashrc

    are identical to above??

    • Sean

      I am having the same problem did you find a solution? please email smith.seanp16@gmail.com

      • Sean

        I just did a hard reset and reinstalled and that was it hope that works for you!

  68. scramasax

    I wonder if there is a difference with the wifi version. I am able to install ubuntu but when the internet link is not established. So I am failing at the apt-get command

    This is not only a dns problem. a ping is not working

    • scramasax

      I found that after the installation my wifi was giving an error. I had to reinstall some module including the bcm4329.ko

      • Interesting… could you send me additional details through the Contact Me at the top of the page?

        Thanks

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  70. Have you seen any issues running Ubuntu on the Xoom while it is overclocked?

    I ran into some development issues with this when attempting to run Ubuntu on the Rhodium while overclocked.

    • I haven’t noticed anything… I’ll look into it a bit though.

  71. jhench

    Thank you so much! You made me decide for the odroid-T reference tablet frlm hatdkernel. I got your imge to run on it with only little modification. Do yo think it’s safe / possible to ipgrade to 10.04? I already enlarged the image. Do you see a way to access the speakers? Well, probably not.

  72. kj

    now ubuntu 11 is out with unity is there any way to run it on the xoom directly without using vnc?

    • Yep! I have an img already made and working… I’m going to be releasing it this weekend.

      • Thomas,

        I’m very impressed by your work. I’m a supporting member of the Free Software Foundation and have e-mailed them requesting support for your efforts. I am not happy that the Motorola Xoom is using the Android 3.0 operating system that is not Free/Libre nor is it open-source. The difficulties that may be encountered with.dual booting and using this hardware will require open-source code and the freedom to manipulate and share drivers for the device hardware and internet accesibility. With pressure from the community, the manufacturers, Motorola, Google, and Verizon hopefully will respond positively to end users and customers who demand their freedoms in order to make the most of this device’s potential power and utility without interfering with the experience of other less motivated consumers who may be accepting less from such an expensive device out of the box.

        The holy grail, if you will, will be the ability to fully install our own 100% Free/Libre core boot systems, any of the Free/Libre GNU/Linux Operating Systems and Software with full hardware functionality. We should not accept anything less and be willing to inform the community of consumers and return and/or boycott products and services provided by companies who refuse to respect and provide us with our freedoms. Similarly, we should be willing to financially support and recommend the use of products and services provided by companies who promise and deliver on the promises of end user freedoms and privacy. I promise to help fund your work to this end goal that is of mutual benefit to all concerned via donations to the Free Software Foundation if you and them are willing and able to collaborate together on this project.

        Please contact John Sullivan with the FSF, and be sure.to mention my name and membership number #6887 to ensure I support you and them fully.

        Thank you for all of your hard work!

        Sincerely yours,

        Steve

        Steven C. Morreale, M.D./M.P.H.
        FSF Member#:6887

        • From Dr. Richard Stallman:
          [regarding an e-mail I sent pledging a donation to the FSF to help Thomas Sohmers free the Motorola Xoom Tablet PC]

          … making free software run on phones or tablets is a good thing to do. However, most of them have a disastrous flaw:
          the radio firmware can take total control of the machine, or it can eavesdrop, and there is no way to replace it with free software.

          So it seems like an important question whether that is the case for the Xoom.
          I don’t know.

          Thomas, do you know?

          – Dr Richard Stallman
          President, Free Software Foundation
          51 Franklin St Boston MA 02110 USA http://www.fsf.org, http://www.gnu.org
          Skype: No way!
          That’s nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
          Use free telephony
          http://directory.fsf.org/category/tel/

  73. ieatgiraffe

    Would the install be suffiecent for the Acer iconia a500?

    • Yea, it should work fine…. If it works for you, please post here or send me a message so I can put it on a list of confirmed working devices.

      If you have any issues, feel free to ask.

      • ieatgiraffe

        heres what happens when i type bootubuntu (from within the terminal on the device itself)
        # export PATH=/data/local/bin:$PATH
        # su bootubuntu
        # bootubuntu
        net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
        Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
        Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
        Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical and the open source community!

        bootubuntu: 29: Syntax error: Undetermined quoted string
        #

      • ieatgiraffe

        Got it working on my Acer iconia a500.

      • Sean

        i can not get the local host to stop counting up so that i can connect.

        yen listed the same thing above that i am getting.

        any ideas?

        thanks

        • billy

          I had the same thing happening and I just removed the additions to the .bashrc file and after you see ‘ root@localhost ‘ just start the vncserver manually with the command vncserver -geometry 1280×780

  74. Pingback: [GUIDA] Collegare XOOM a pc LINUX - Pagina 2 - Xtreme Hardware Forum

  75. Pingback: How to run Ubuntu on the Motorola Xoom | 411Droid

  76. Greg

    hey, i cant get it to work, when i type bootubuntu after doing the other stepsm i get this

    # sh ubuntu.sh
    sh ubuntu.sh
    modprobe: chdir(/lib/modules): No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    mkdir failed for /data/local/mnt, File exists
    rm failed for /system/bin/bootubuntu, No such file or direc
    rm failed for -/system/bin/mountonly, No such file or direc
    cp: can’t stat ‘bootubuntu’: No such file or directory

    Ubuntu Chroot Bootloader v0.1
    Ubuntu Bootloader is now installed!
    This process does NOT damage Android OS!

    Original Installer by Charan Singh
    Modified for Ubuntu Chroot by Max Lee at NexusOneHacks.net

    To enter the Debian Linux console just type ‘bootubuntu’
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: not found
    #

    I had to use windows to move the files over, then root explorer to move the files and create the ubuntu folder in /sdcard, adb push refused to work.

    • Greg

      Umm, oops, forgot to transfer the bootubuntu file…derp

  77. Julian Yun

    Hey Thomas,

    Thanks for the great write up, but I am having an issue with the soft keyboard…all the buttons are incorrectly mapped. Any fix for this or do you know of a solution?

    • Julian Yun

      anyone?

      • kerkael

        I usualy work on Fr keybd. Here I chose default US for the shortcut to work, like volUp+C for classic ctrl+C

        • kernel_A

          I am facing problem with the keyboard mapping when typing in Ubuntu. What is typed out on the android keyboard is showing differently in ubuntu. Could not google a solution out. Any advice would be appreciated?

  78. Greetings,
    I got this up and running on my asus transformer once. After updating ubuntu as specified in the this doc, I rebooted per the instructions and now I’m unable to start it up again.

    Ubuntu is now loaded and you should see a ‘root@localhost’ terminal entry below this? if you do not, than Ubuntu has not successfully loaded. Have fun!

    [1] Segmentation fault busybox chroot $…

    Shutting down Ubuntu

    # busybox
    BusyBox v1.17.4 (2010-12-13 07:59:19 PST) multi-call binary.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    /sm

    • FYI I tried updating to the latest busybox as well with the same Seg Fault above
      BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-04-04 18:40:20 CDT) multi-call binary.

      • Sorry for the spam. I’ve updated to android 3.1 and re-installed everything. I’m now left with:

        # busybox chroot /data/local/mnt /system/bin/bash
        chroot: can’t execute ‘/system/bin/bash’: No such file or directory
        # /system/bin/bash
        [19:10:13 bin]#

        • I am actually having the same problem on 3.1… I’m looking into it, but I was able to get it running by running by running each command individually within ‘bootubuntu’… I’m going to be looking for a fix.

          I am also working on an application with homescreen shortcut to boot ubuntu automatically. I’m really busy with school finals and state testing for the next 2 weeks. I’ll be tweeting updates more regularly then I post on here, and I try to do as much testing as possible before public release.

          • Would love to help beta test anything. Let me know if I can be of help

  79. kerkael

    Step 6 : dont forget to push bootubuntu itself !

    Remove step 11, 11a, 11b
    Instead, in step 10 do :
    # cat >>.bashrc

    .profile points to .bashrc, so concatenating them from temp file creates a loop on .bashrc !!!

  80. kerkael

    Hi, it works fine, after all.. still the graphic env would not start if the whole stuff had not rebooted.
    Now, how do I increase the space available for my ubuntu ? only 2gb for the disk… and 52mb left :(
    Is there a way to let the ubuntu see the sdcard, for example ? Or would you suggest to reinstall in a bigger virtual file than the default configuration is done for ?
    Thx all… maybe these questions will find answers on the ubuntu forum.

  81. Fredrick Sylar

    Isn’t there anyone smart enough to mount all these steps and commands into an app like One-Click-Root?

  82. Jarod Simmons

    Can you run this along side Android using a virtual machine?

    • Jarod Simmons

      Nevermind

  83. Hey everyone. Just in case anyone wants to install this and they are having a hard time getting Tightvncserver to install with the “simple” apt-get install

    #Go to where the repos are held
    cd /etc/apt/

    # Here you will see the repos that are being used. And they don’t work
    cat ./sources.list

    Replace that file with one that has the following inside it.

    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic multiverse
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates multiverse
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security multiverse

    —————————————————————————

    And that should fix the problem. If you could change the image that you have on this post to have that inside it already, or include the change in the install script. I’m sure it will help out any future users! :D Thanks again for this. It’s working perfectly for me now.

    -JL

  84. Nico

    Just a quick note, http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports does not have karmic anymore.

    you can use jp.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports instead

    from argentina is really slow, but its the only one that i was able to find.

  85. Matthew

    Hey, i’ve followed all the instructions, including the fixes, and this I still get stuck after running sh ubuntu.sh, this is what I get:

    # sh ubuntu.sh
    sh ubuntu.sh
    modprobe: chdir(/lib/modules): No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for /system/bin/bootubuntu, Is a directory
    rm failed for -/system/bin/mountonly, No such file or directory
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/bootubuntu’: File exists

    Ubuntu Chroot Bootloader v0.1
    Ubuntu Bootloader is now installed!
    This process does NOT damage Android OS!

    Original Installer by Charan Singh
    Modified for Ubuntu Chroot by Max Lee at NexusOneHacks.net

    To enter the Debian Linux console just type ‘bootubuntu’
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # su bootubuntu
    su bootubuntu
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # su bootubuntu
    su bootubuntu
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # exit
    exit
    # exit
    exit
    # exit
    exit
    # exit
    exit

    C:\Users\Sonny\Downloads\android\Android>adb reboot

    C:\Users\Sonny\Downloads\android\Android>adb shell
    # cd sdcard
    cd sdcard
    # cd ubuntu
    cd ubuntu
    # su
    su
    # sh ubuntu.sh
    sh ubuntu.sh
    modprobe: chdir(/lib/modules): No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    mkdir failed for /data/local/mnt, File exists
    rm failed for /system/bin/bootubuntu, Is a directory
    rm failed for -/system/bin/mountonly, No such file or directory
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/bootubuntu’: File exists

    Ubuntu Chroot Bootloader v0.1
    Ubuntu Bootloader is now installed!
    This process does NOT damage Android OS!

    Original Installer by Charan Singh
    Modified for Ubuntu Chroot by Max Lee at NexusOneHacks.net

    To enter the Debian Linux console just type ‘bootubuntu’
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # su bootubuntu
    su bootubuntu
    # boot ubuntu
    boot ubuntu
    boot: not found
    # bootubuntu
    bootubuntu
    bootubuntu: permission denied
    # exit
    exit
    # exit
    exit
    # exit
    exit

    C:\Users\Sonny\Downloads\android\Android>

    I have no idea what I am doing wrong, any ideas?

  86. Dan

    Hey, i know this is old but i dug it up and wanted to do it. I’ve ran into an error and i was wondering if you could help me. Thanks for all of this Thomas, it must have taken you ages! i had to do some tampering, it seems that karmic is no longer supported, so i changed sources.list to lucid. I’m right at the end now, but after I run bootubuntu after rebooting my xoom, it shows vncserver: geometry 1280800 is invalid
    rm: cannot remove ‘tmp’: Input/output error

    over and over and over again, real fast! i copied and pasted the commands at the end into my terminal, so no mistakes there ^.^ like i said, i dont know if your still working on this project, but if you happen to know a fix…. Thanks!

    • rjgii

      I got this as well.

      For me, turns out there was a loop in the .bashrc file that was calling itself over and over. The invalid geometry was an invalid character (which seemed to happen when running the cat command to output the lines to .bashrc eventually).

      The fix:
      After you boot the Ubuntu image:
      1. cd /root
      2. vi .bashrc
      3. Change the bad character between 1280 and 800 (I also recommend using 1280×752 – see my post down a bit).
      4. Comment out the loop
      5. Save
      6. Reboot
      7. Try again

  87. Daniel

    When ever I try to do bootubuntu after the fix it keeps saying this:
    mknod: /dev/loop2: File exists
    mount: I/O error
    mount: I/O error
    net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    /system/bin/bootubuntu: line 16: /data/local/mnt/etc/resolv.conf: Input/output e
    rror
    /system/bin/bootubuntu: line 17: /data/local/mnt/etc/resolv.conf: Input/output e
    rror
    Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
    /system/bin/bootubuntu: line 19: /data/local/mnt/etc/hosts: Input/output error

    VERSION 0.8.1
    Brought to you for the Motorola Xoom by Thomas Sohmers, and Ubuntu by Canonical
    and the open source community!

    Ubuntu is now loaded and you should see a ‘root@localhost’ terminal entry below
    this╔ if you do not, than Ubuntu has not successfully loaded. Have fun!
    chroot: can’t execute ‘/bin/bash’: Input/output error

    Shutting down Ubuntu
    failed.
    failed.

    and when i type in cp it says this:

    BusyBox v1.16.1 (2010-03-29 11:50:09 CDT) multi-call binary.

    Usage: cp [OPTIONS] SOURCE DEST

    Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY

    Options:
    -a Same as -dpR
    -R,-r Recurse
    -d,-P Preserve symlinks (default if -R)
    -L Follow all symlinks
    -H Follow symlinks on command line
    -p Preserve file attributes if possible
    -f Force overwrite
    -i Prompt before overwrite
    -l,-s Create (sym)links

    help please.

  88. DeSpainJE

    when attempting to install it seems that it can not see the WIFI adapter, is that because I am connected already and should reconnect via terminal, Keeps failing to get updates or VNCserver.

  89. Craig

    Hey, I cannot run the command ./adb push busybox /sdcard

    says that the ‘.’ is not a know class?

    thanks in advance

    • ed french

      The ./ is there to let the os know the adb command is in the directory above the one with busybox in it- but that doesn’t work on windows. When you rooted you might well have added adb to your path environment variable, if so you can omit the ./ from the start of the command and it should work. Otherwise you’d be best to go back to your rooting instructions to seen where it tells you how to add to path.
      Good luck.
      Ed

    • tifford

      then take off the “./” and just type “adb push busybox /sdcard”

      and take off ./ from all of the commands in the tutorial

      also, the newer versions of android put adb in /platform-tools not /tools
      so, unzip the ubuntufiles.zip into /platform-tools instead of /tools and, of course, cd to platform-tools instead of /tools for adb commands

  90. Ed F

    I’ve got it partly working thanks to J.Lansing for the hint on sorting out the repository servers for ubuntu.

    However, first time out I got the full ubuntu screen, but when I tried to launch firefox it just failed quietly each time. Since then, despite rebooting, I can only get to the grey checkerbox x-windows background and mouse.

    I’m a linux newbie so I’m really stuck there!

  91. rjgii

    I know it’s been awhile since someone last posted here, but just a suggestion:

    Set the geometry of the vncserver to 1280×752 and you won’t need to pan around in your vnc viewer app.

    48px is the height of the menu bar at the bottom.

  92. RENZO

    Hello, I ‘ve tried to install ubuntu but the following line doesn’t work for me.

    11a. cat front /root/.profile > temp

    terminal says “cannot create temp: read-only file system”
    or
    /root/.profile: No such file or directory

    any advice?

    Thanks for this Howto btw :)

  93. Ok I have a problem. I installed ubuntu and it ran but I cant establish the vnc server because it messes with the repository servers and there is a missing file on the server. I tried aptitude but no success. I tried to use vi and to edit sources.list but it is not working properly nor with cmd nor with terminal emulator. What should I do I tried the update comand and the sudo command but nothing. Maybe I have to download an ubuntu.img from ubuntu.com

  94. Benjamin

    When I type vncserver -geometry 1280×800 I keep getting an error that says bash: vncserver: command not found

    I believe I have followed all previous instructions, though I did have to edit the sources.list and add the extra sources per instructions following a different error when installing as posted:

    J.Lansing says:
    November 20, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Hey everyone. Just in case anyone wants to install this and they are having a hard time getting Tightvncserver to install with the “simple” apt-get install

    #Go to where the repos are held
    cd /etc/apt/

    # Here you will see the repos that are being used. And they don’t work
    cat ./sources.list

    Replace that file with one that has the following inside it.

    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic multiverse
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-updates multiverse
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security main restricted
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security universe
    deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic-security multiverse

  95. Adrian

    Right. So Ubuntu is installed and working very well from the terminal. The problem is in getting the GUI working. I changed the repositories in /etc/apt/sources.list but aptitude still can’t find lxde ir any of it’s components. I tried downloading the .deb packages with wget and then installing them with dpkg -i, but eventually I got to dependencies that I could not find using Google. So, anyone know where I can find the repositories holding lxde now? And if not, can anyone point me to anywhere where I can get the .deb packages for lxde and it’s dependencies (and their dependencies!). I suspect most of this wouldn’t be a problem if (apt-get update) ran properly, but it seems to fail looking for the Release indexes. So basically, anyone know what repositories I should be using now? (things seem to have changed since this guide was made). Thanks in advance hugely for any help. Not sure if anyone reads this anymore but looking from terminal LAMP seems to have installed nicely and I (unlike many others I talk to) am excited about the possibility of web development on a tablet!

    • Adrian

      Nevermind, used jp.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports as mentioned above. Now to try and get LAMP working properly! Thanks for the guide.

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