A new build of Ubuntu Touch is scheduled for release on March 24, 2023. It will bring a number of bug fixes and usability improvements. Ubuntu Touch OTA-25 will also be the final version of the operating system that’s based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS “Xenial Xerus”. Update 3-31-2023: Ubuntu Touch OTA-25 is now available for several dozen devices.
Future builds of the operating system are expected to be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”. Release candidates of the newer version have been available for a few months.
Ubuntu Touch is a Linux-based operating system designed to run on smartphones. It was originally developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu for laptop, desktop, and servers. But Canonical gave up on the project in 2017 and it was taken over by the independent group of developers at UBPorts.
The UBPorts team updated the operating system from Ubuntu 15.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 in 2018. But all stable releases since then have been based on Ubuntu 16.04, which has already reached end of mainstream support.
Moving to Focal Foss should bring a number of under-the-hood changes as well as support through at least 2027. You can see the roadmap and progress updates on the move from Xenial to Fossa at GitLab.
For now, the UBPorts team is asking folks interested in helping test the Xenial-based OTA-25 to install the latest release candidate and provide feedback. You can find more details at the UBPorts blog and forum.
I honestly didn’t even know this project was still going… 😛
I’m right in the process of modding an older phone, might be able to give it a try.
Don’t need much from it, but I fear the only few things I need to work won’t run on it… well, will give it a look anyways.
Nah the biggest issue with Ubuntu Touch is the lack of VoLTE which is required in the US and is quickly becoming a requirement in the EU.
About a year ago Ubuntu Touch stated they had “cracked it” and had VoLTE working….yet at no point were there any commits, nor any proof.
IIRC the guy that actually drove the improvements of Ubuntu Touch bailed out a while ago.
…Which, due to VoLTE encoding being proprietary information about what symbols the modem is supposed to interpret from the phase and amplitude modulations at every clock cycle, basically requires working with OEMs who can persuade carriers to cough up that information.
What the OS needs is drivers for every modem they want to support that could load that information if it was given to them, which might require persuading OEMs to give them the drivers in the form of blobs.
Every part of this highly restrictive situation is artificial.
Biggest problem of adoption is the fact that it runs on ancient hardware that many of us have long abandoned. If Ubuntu touch is going to be a thing, they’ll have to start working with Tier 1 hardware vendors like Samsung and Lenovo and actually implement it on a mid range tablet/phone or higher. It’s too niche to be sustainable, and if it is sustainable via volunteer labor, it’s never going to take off.
Is this to say that the latest release of Ubuntu Touch is a security threat?