Ubuntu Touch is a mobile Linux distribution designed to run on smartphones and tablets. And this week a new version is starting to roll out for more than two dozen supported devices.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-3 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and includes the latest Ubuntu security updates, as well as a number of mobile-specific updates and bug fixes. It’s also the first release based on Ubuntu 20.04 that’s available for Pine64 devices including the PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, PineTab, and PineTab 2.

Ubuntu Touch on the PinePhone (2021)

The operating system was originally developed by Canonical, the company that makes Ubuntu for PCs, servers, and other devices. But after Canonical abandoned Ubuntu Touch in 2017, an independent group of developers formed UBPorts and continued to work on the operating system.

Users can install the operating system on a number of officially supported devices including many that originally shipped with Android (including models form Google, OnePlus, Sony, and Xiaomi), and some that are designed to support installation of custom ROMS or Linux distros (including models from Fairphone, F(x)tec, Pine64, and Volla).

Up until recently PinePhone and PineTab branches of Ubuntu Touch had been separate from the OTA releases that UBPorts issued for other devices. But the team is bringing Pine64 devices into the fold with this release… sort of.

UBPorts says the OTA-3 update for Pine64 devices is still considered beta, so don’t be surprised if the software is a bit buggy on those devices.

Other changes in OTA-3 include support for disabling vibrations from notifications and other apps, additional keyboard layouts, updates to the system settings user interface and menu structure, preliminary support for Snap packages, and improvements for running Android apps on Ubuntu Touch using Waydroid.

You can find more details in the release announcement.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,500 other subscribers

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Not ready for prime time. STILL not ready. Not only does this OS only work on a pitifully small number of odd-brand devices, but it doesn’t even fully “work” on them. They added support for a 2012 OnePlus. Wow.

    But the limited model coverage ain’t even the worst part. They have to provide a list of what does and doesn’t work for each device on which one might install this OS mess. That just seems laughable.

    Articles like this fail to emphasize that this mess is BETA. It isn’t meant to be fully working at this stage and certainly isn’t.

    GPS is still a global issue. It is not merely problematic on certain devices. That’s a huge problem. Rock solid gps is a necessity upon which a lot of mobile applications rely.

    Incoming/outgoing calls is another global issue. So basically it has issues on many models being a phone with memory. Yeesh.

    There seems to be a strategy in play here that is only partially working, much like their OS itself. They use oddball models hardly anyone uses. But then they won’t just make it work 100% by copying the drivers over for the whole system, or even reverse engineering the hardware layer point for point. I mean, if you are limiting your lawsuit exposure by bottom-feeding the lowest market share devices, at least have the gumption to capitalize on their litigation weakness.

    I don’t want to hear that it is still in BETA making it ok for it to suck this bad. This is taking WAY too long to develop.

    1. I’m sorry that the team of volunteers working in their free time on this project aren’t living up to your timeline. Would you like a refund for all the money you spent on this free operating system?

    2. You’re right, it IS taking way too long to develop.
      But that’s what happens when every device has proprietary firmware, drivers for the modems and random encoders and accelerators stuffed into the SoC, and memory maps, which all have to be worked around.
      This is why I don’t have much interest in any non-Systemready ARM device.

  2. I’m keeping a close eye on Marius and Mike’s work on Lomiri for Debian. It seems to be stuck in testing at the moment. I guess Marius has been busy with this update.

  3. I just looked up F(x)tec since I was planning to get one a while ago after the IGG shipments finished but then I gave up waiting. Anyway, it seems they’re still trying to finish shipping IGG orders.

    I was hoping they’d make a new one by now but I guess if they did anytime soon, there will probably be many angry backers telling everyone on the internet about their anger. At least they’re still going and haven’t given up though.

    Maybe there will be a new version with better specs later. I’d like to run Ubuntu Touch or some other Linux distro on it. More interested in using it as a UMPC with keyboard. Or maybe Windows on ARM will finally take off and will trickle into UMPCs.