Installing Ubuntu on Nexus 7 2013 deb (LTE)



  • Hi,
    today I was finally able to install Ubuntu using this server on my device and I am quite happy about that after something like month and a half without Ubuntu on it.


    Here is a little how-to:

    ubuntu-device-flash --server http://system-image.ubports.com touch --channel ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed --bootstrap
    -- once it fails to instal, poweroff, boot to bootloader and run:
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    -- then boot recovery and run:
    ubuntu-device-flash --server http://system-image.ubports.com touch --channel ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed

    or optionally you can use the official Flo's image:

    ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu --device=flo --bootstrap
    -- once installed, let it boot and then reboot to bootloader:
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    -- boot recovery and run:
    ubuntu-device-flash --server http://system-image.ubports.com touch --channel ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed


    here are the boot.img and recovery.img files: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_T_rjYvwUdgQ3RJMHhSLWVvY0E/view?usp=sharing


    What doesn't work:

    • bluetooth
    • for some reason camera, but this one should work - may be fixed with server update

    Also, I sent an email to mariogrip with a possible fix so it may not be long before this works out of the box - anyway for those as impatient as myself this can be used and works pretty well.



  • Unfortunately and apparently -each update you'll have to reflash boot.img- (Update: Ok, this is not true - had to do this just once, but normally it works just fine with system updates) so that it installs properly until an update is made to the images. If you then boot the recovery it may start installing the update automatically as it did for me - or you can update manually by the "ubuntu-device-flash --server http://system-image.ubports.com touch --channel ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed" command.



  • Can you explain what's the story behind that boot.img and recovery.img?

    I'd love to install it on my Nexus 7, but the idea of flashing binary files from some random google drive isn't very appealing to me. Would you mind telling where you got them from or how you made them?



  • Hi,
    I created the boot.img and recovery.img using this guide https://developer.ubuntu.com/en/phone/devices/porting-new-device/ and as N7 is a Google device supported by AOSB I did not have to do any specific changes and all worked quite well out of the box. However, I believe the fact this site's repository doesn't work out of-the-box is the fact mariogrip doesn't have the N7 LTE and therefore has no way of extracting the device specific drivers from it as explained on the "Enabling a new device" section on developer.ubuntu.com.

    So you can either believe me that the files I created are ok (I only followed that guide) or create them on your own. Unfortunately because I got no response from mariogrip (after our initial chat) even thought I was trying to help him with the device support, I got rid of my N7 and can no longer help with this any further, but it would be awesome to see someone else contacting him and asking to finish what he started - the N7 LTE's full support is most probably only a step away.

    Good luck...



  • However, the device status has changed radically from not-being-listed to being featured as almost working: https://devices.ubports.com/#/deb ... doesn't it work without any modifications yet?



  • Yeah, it's listed as almost working, but I think neither the boot.img nor the recovery.img are working right now. I was talking to mariogrip a couple of weeks ago about the unbootable recovery.img and we went through a couple of rounds of me trying to boot them, showing him the error or any observations, him changing things and rebuilding and sending me a new file. In the end ideas and time ran out and we gave up. It looks to me as if the recovery is still in that same state.

    Cool, so you were able to compile them for your self. I had been dabbling with this on and off, but never managed to produce anything that worked. Would you mind me asking some more specific questions after I have dug up my build attempts and reminded myself where I got stuck?



  • Ok, I think I know where I got stuck.

    I followed the steps from https://developer.ubuntu.com/en/phone/devices/porting-new-device/ , choosing aosp_deb-userdebug in lunch, that did actually build something and I find recovery.img and boot.img in phablet/out/target/product/deb.

    I can
    fastboot boot recovery.img
    and it seems to work, but no such luck with boot.img
    fastboot boot boot.img appears to be stuck on the bootloader screen of the N7, while
    fastboot flash boot boot.img appear to be stuck on the Google logo boot screen after rebooting.

    At no step during all of this did I knowingly do anything like extracting device specific drivers.



  • "At no step during all of this did I knowingly do anything like extracting device specific drivers." that was it for me ... I did that https://developer.ubuntu.com/en/phone/devices/porting-new-device#anchor3 before I built the revocery.img and boot.img.



  • Or to be more specific, this is the exact thing I did (first step only): https://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Doc:_porting_intro#Add_the_blobs_to_the_vendor.2F_directory (that Ubuntu site is not much explanatory there, sorry)

    And then ideally you should end up with something like this in the device tree: http://pastebin.ubuntu.com/23097537/



  • I attempted to follow these instructions, but after I see the message "Rebooting into recovery to flash" in the terminal, the tablet gets stuck on the "This phone needs restoring from a PC..." screen.



  • @marxjohnson said in Installing Ubuntu on Nexus 7 2013 deb (LTE):

    I attempted to follow these instructions, but after I see the message "Rebooting into recovery to flash" in the terminal, the tablet gets stuck on the "This phone needs restoring from a PC..." screen.

    I had that originally as well, but now I did use the boot.img and recovery.img zubozrout provided in the google drive link and then it worked. Did you use those?



  • @zubozrout said in Installing Ubuntu on Nexus 7 2013 deb (LTE):

    I did that https://developer.ubuntu.com/en/phone/devices/porting-new-device#anchor3 before I built the revocery.img and boot.img.

    Ah yes, I followed the link in "Retrieving the proprietary blobs from Android" and extracted the three archives and now my boot.img seems to work.

    .... now, how do we get this into the ubports repository?!



  • @doniks Yes, I followed the instructions just as shown; ran the --bootstrap command, flashed the boot.img and recovery.img, booted into recovery and ran the second flash command.



  • Mhm, strange. Not sure what that could be. You are sure you have a deb and not a flo?



  • @doniks Definitely:

    mark@coachz:~/Downloads/deb_images$ ubuntu-device-flash ubuntu-device-flash --server
    http://system-image.ubports.com touch --channel ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed --bootstrap
    2016/09/10 13:33:52 Expecting the device to be in the bootloader... waiting
    2016/09/10 13:33:52 Device is |deb|
    


  • lets take a step back, maybe we can figure it out.

    can you install the recovery and then boot into it? what do you see?



  • @zubozrout said in Installing Ubuntu on Nexus 7 2013 deb (LTE):

    What doesn't work:

    • bluetooth
    • for some reason camera, but this one should work - may be fixed with server update

    It sounds like you are less optimistic about bluetooth than about the camera. Do you know why bluetooth is not working or can you share anything that might help getting it to work?



  • @doniks unfortunately I don't know much on this subject. The reason why I made this statement was the fact I was using Ubuntu on my Nexus 7 deb for a long time, originally with Vojtěch Boček's http://system-image.tasemnice.eu/ server that had unfortunately started to be problematic by the end of 2015 and completely stopped working in February this year. Bluetooth never worked with his builds on Nexus 7 deb while camera did work quite well. However, if you flash flo's image on deb I think that Bluetooth works so perhaps this info may be usable.



  • @zubozrout I just tried booting the boot.img for flo from the ubuntu server, but that doesnt make a difference. Maybe installing the complete flo image would make a difference, but I dont feel like setting everything up again. One of these days Ill try.



  • @doniks Yup, that is what I meant ... the complete official flo image. You can try installing it without the --bootstrap option and if you are lucky you won't lose any data. But I am not sure if that will suffice. It is possible that if and when mariogrip compiles the whole system with the drivers we compiled our recovery and boot images the camera and Bluetooth will miraculously start working - though I know nothing about that process so take it just as a very wild guess.


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