Canonical Unveils Ubuntu Linux for Media Tablets

Ubuntu Linux Now Available for Tablets

by Anton Shilov
02/19/2013 | 11:57 PM

Canonical on Tuesday presented Ubuntu's user interface designed for media tablets. The company hopes to boost adoption of its Linux operating system by makers of slates, smartphones and TVs thanks to specially-customized UIs. In theory, Ubuntu could rival Android and iOS platforms, but given the scarcity of Linux software for consumers it is unlikely that it will gain traction.


The Ubuntu tablet interface supports screen sizes from 6" to 20" and resolutions with pixel density from 100ppi to 450ppi. The tablet interface is presented by exactly the same OS and code that provides the phone, PC and TV interfaces, enabling true device convergence. Ubuntu for tablets also features the heads-up display, which makes it fast and easy to do complex things on touch devices, and transforms touch interfaces for rich applications.

On high-end system-on-chips, Ubuntu offers a full PC experience when the tablet is docked to a keyboard, with access to remote Windows applications over standard protocols from Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and Wyse. Even without chipset-specific optimisation, Ubuntu can operate smoothly on entry level hardware, according to the developer. Ubuntu supports multi-tasking on tablets and smartphones with screen edges used for navigation between apps, settings and controls

"Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience. Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That's unique to Ubuntu and it's the future of personal computing," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.

Canonical’s Ubuntu supports multiple accounts on one tablet with full encryption for personal data, combined with the trusted Ubuntu security model that is widely used in banks, governments and sensitive environments, making it ideal for work and family use.

"The tablet fits perfectly between phone and PC in the Ubuntu family. Not only do we integrate phone apps in a distinctive way, we shift from tablet to PC very smoothly in convergence devices," said Oren Horev lead designer for the Ubuntu tablet experience.

Ubuntu is compatible with any Linux-oriented Board Support Package (BSP). This means Ubuntu is easy to enable on most chipset designs that are currently running Android. Ubuntu and Android are the two platforms enabled by Linaro members.

The Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on the 21st February 2013 with installation instructions for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet devices as well as smartphones such as the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. Installable images and source code will be available from