Sure, the Samsung Galaxy Tab ships with Google Android installed. But what if you want to run another operating system on this 7 inch tablet, like say… Ubuntu Linux? No problem. It turns out that Ubuntu runs pretty well on the Galaxy Tab.

The steps to get everything up and running are similar to the way you get Ubuntu to run on the Samsung Epic smartphone. You need to have a rooted phone with Busybox installed, and you have to use the Android VNC Viewer and Terminal Emulator to get everything up and running, but the end result is that you can boot Ubuntu without uninstalling Android first.

In the demo video below you can see some of the steps to install Ubuntu, but if you just want to see how it looks, skip ahead to about 7 minutes in, where you can see the Ubuntu desktop, the Firefox web browser, and the on-screen cursor. The browser appears to be pretty zippy, although it looks like it might be a little tricky to control the cursor.

via SlashGear

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4 replies on “Ubuntu Linux shoehorned onto the Samsung Galaxy Tab”

  1. I’ve been using standard Ubuntu (9.04 – which really trimmed down h/w requirements / startup time) on the first Asus EeePC (701; 4GB memory) for several years.  I’d tried others before, including the Ubuntu netbook remix and the pre-installed Linux (can’t remember what it was), but since trying the above standard version everything has been great.  Use it mostly for web and for remote access to other Linux and Windows systems (via VNC and ssh).

    Remixes and other pared-down, not-quite-standard versions were fine to get smaller devices (netbooks) going but are now superfluous as the hardware has caught up and standard versions like the above have been tuned.  It’ not worth the non-standard hassle to me… limited repositories, different UIs and facilities from the other systems I use, etc.

    I guess that most tablets are still in the not-quite-standard situation that netbooks were 3-4 years ago, exacerbated by the different architecture (ARM vs. Intel).  At the current rate of development this will hopefully be sorted out soon.

    Not sure that I’ll move away from the netbook for my main take-it-anywhere device though:
    – proper keyboard (which doesn’t wipe out half the screen when in use)
    – proper viewing angle for screen and typing angle for keyboard

    The only(!) winning feature of tablets is the portability.  For mainly content-viewing users (film, surfing) they’re fine, but for more ‘active’ (content creation, system access) users they’re a poor second, ergonomically, and quite a disappointment once the novelty wears off.

    For reading books, nothing beats the Kindle.  The screen is so superior to the likes of iPads, and the weight so much better suited to holding / reading, that they must be the device for anyone who wants to read seriously.

    Tablets, currently, fall between several stools for many types of use and feel second-best in too many situations to really attract me.  Yes, it would be fun to play installing things… but if you are the sort who really wants to do post-techie-install stuff, tablets are really just a novelty, a toy. 

    When keyboards and current screens give way to good voice control and small-to-carry / large-to-view displays (projector, goggles, flexible / unrollable screens, etc.) I think I’ll feel that the portable computer has finally arrived and is no longer the massive compromise that most current devices are.  Then we’ll look back and laugh at what we used to put up with.

  2. He is probably talking about the netbook distribution, thats what I would use.

  3. This guy has NO idea what he’s doing: wrong distribution, wrong window manager, not using any slate utilities. It’s too bad that the FOSS compatibility of ARM-based graphics hardware is so poor. This could be a compelling experience of properly setup, which this isn’t. That said, if I had to choose between any flavor of Android and this hacked up mess, I’d take this hacked up mess all day, everyday.

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