Ubuntu for Xoom FIX!

Some of the people who tried to install my Ubuntu on the Motorola Xoom “hack” where having issues during the install process and where not able to boot it up… and after about 2 weeks of testing I have a fix. Please download this file, unzip it, and replace the “bootubuntu” and “” files on your xoom with the ones within the zip. Reboot your device and re run the instructions.

If you have any issues, feel free to comment or email me.

20 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Pingback: Thomas Sohmers - HOW TO: Run Ubuntu on the Motorola Xoom

  2. Bill

    Hi Thomas, I am uable to download the file due to error message. The message is: Unable to open Internet site. Can you please email me the files at ?


    • Try re downloading it again… I was stupid and didn’t set up the link properly.

  3. Scott

    Thomas – This fixed the running issue on my Xoom – thanks … Fun to play with, any other speed increases coming around?

  4. Bill

    Thanks Thomas, I got the file. Everything appeard to go well but I am now getting a message when booting ubuntu: vncserver: no free display number on local host.

    Do you know what that means???


  5. PaulG1488

    This fixed it for me thanks for your help thomas i look forward to more updates

    • PaulG1488

      actually upon further review i am stuck at the same spot bill is what can i do to get this running?

      • Bill

        I finally got it to work. Here is what I did….follow all instructions until you get to step 9. Do not use step 9,10, or 11. When finished, reboot your xoom. Then open up the teminal and type su. Next, type bootubuntu.
        Next, type export USER=root.
        Now type vncserver -geometry 1280×800

        Now try to connect using vnc viewer. You should be able to now. The only problem I see with this is that whenever I run bootubuntu again, it is not killing my original X desktop, but it advances to the next available. So I am having to advance my port number in vnc viewer each time I run bootubuntu. Example: 1st time I connect I can use port 5901 but the second time I need to use port 5902 and so on, it keeps advancing. If Thomas could take another look at steps 9,10, and 11 I think it is probably and easy fix.

        Thanks and let me know if this works for you.

        • PaulG1488

          worked great thanks for taking the time out to post your solution

  6. Bill

    Just a quick fyi…I am running ubuntu in 24 bit color mode and it seems to run pretty fast. Not seeing any major performance issues. One thing I had a problem with was with entering data. There was no on screen keyboard and whenever I tried to send text using vnc viewer, it was not working well. I found a solution called cellwriter, a linux app. Here is how I installed it:
    At the terminal prompt type apt-get install cellwriter

    This little app allows you to use handwriting recognition or the virtual keyboad, works well.

    • What Android VNC viewer are you using? it’s been quite easy for me to type using AndroidVNC…. Once you are connected to your Xoombuntu install and you press the ‘settings’ button (next to the multitask button on the bottom) and press “Input Mode” and select “Touchpad”, it works a lot like a laptop…. instead of pressing where you want to click, you use the screen like a trackpad for the OS. If you press and hold, on the screen there is a little “popup” and the bottom center of the screen with a zoom in and zoom out buttons… and in between those is what looks like a dialer pad. When you press that, the soft keyboard pops up and it works great.

      • Hassan

        am having troubles with the keyboard in ubuntu that I’m running on my xoom. The keyboard isn’t mapped right
        is there a solution?

  7. Bill

    A quick finding: I have found that if you install a few hefty applications in Ubuntu, you will quickly run out of disk space. Thomas, any ideas on how to resolve this? I could not run gparted to attempt to create a larger partition.

    Other than this, I am finding that ubuntu runs about as fast as it does on my pc, which I found to be very surprising!


  8. Julian Yun

    I am having the same problem as hassan

  9. ben

    hello..i cannot update why?
    Err karmic Release.gpg
    Could not resolve ‘’
    Reading package lists… Done
    W: Failed to fetch
    Could not resolve ‘’

    W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used

    • Ed F

      I found this in the comments from the original post- worked for me thanks to J.Lansing :

      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 karmic main restricted
      deb karmic-updates main restricted
      deb karmic universe
      deb karmic-updates universe
      deb karmic multiverse
      deb karmic-updates multiverse
      deb karmic-security main restricted
      deb karmic-security universe
      deb 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! Thanks again for this. It’s working perfectly for me now.


      • Aaron

        If anyone is wondering how to do this start by typing

        vi sources.list

        it will bring up an in-terminal editor


        (not zero)

        type in a source listed in the above post

        type :wq

        then type cat sources.list
        verify it went in properly

        • Aaron

          sorry forgot a step:

          before you type in :wq hit esc then type in :wq

  10. rogerio neri

    The terminal after apt-get update answer with this

    Ign karmic Release.gpg
    Ign karmic/main Translation-de
    Ign karmic/universe Translation-de
    Ign karmic Release
    Ign karmic/main Packages
    Ign karmic/universe Packages
    Ign karmic/main Packages
    Ign karmic/universe Packages
    Fehl karmic/main Packages
    404 Not Found
    Fehl karmic/universe Packages
    404 Not Found
    W: Konnte nicht holen 404 Not Found

    W: Konnte nicht holen 404 Not Found

    E: Einige Indexdateien konnten nicht heruntergeladen werden, sie wurden ignoriert oder alte an ihrer Stelle benutzt.

    any help please?

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