Install Ubuntu Phone in a Nexus 4 (step by step from me, as a complete newbie in this)

Well :) I bought a second hand Nexus 4, because I want to test uNav in it.

I never flashed an Ubuntu Phone, then, I'll put step by step :P Any doubts, please ask in comments.

I followed this official guide, but I didn't backup Android.
Step 1. Install in Ubuntu Desktop the software for flashing phone:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash
sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

Step 2. Enable adb to see the device:

Connect Nexus by USB, turn it on
Settings > About Phone
About Phone > Build number > Tap 7 times to become developer
Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging
Click to enable USB Debugging mode
Acept popup (remember checkbox)

costales@dev:~$ adb devices
List of devices attached
0065f7f61916b80b    device

Step 3. Reboot in recovery mode:

costales@dev:~$ adb reboot bootloader

Step 4. You'll see your device here:

Remember "PRODUCT NAME - mako" that mako ;)

Step 5. Check phone is visible yet:

costales@dev:~$ fastboot devices
0065f7f61916b80b    fastboot

Step 6. Unlock OEM lock:
costales@dev:~$ sudo fastboot oem unlock
[sudo] password for costales:
OKAY [ 14.160s]
finished. total time: 14.160s

Step 7. Accept OEM unlock:
Volume up > Accept with Power button: LOCK STATE will be unlocked, in red

Step 8. Reboot.
costales@dev:~$ fastboot reboot
finished. total time: 0.001s

Phone will reboot in Android, this will take a while. When it will boot, skip everything Android will ask. Poweroff the phone.

Step 9. Choose your Ubuntu Phone channel:
Take a look to what version of Ubuntu Phone you want (stable, rc-proposed...):

Step 10. Reboot in Recovery mode:
Reboot in recovery mode: Power off + Volume Down

Step 11: Install Ubuntu Phone with your desired channel:
I'll choose the rc-proposed (I want to try next things :D):
ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed/ubuntu --bootstrap

Install in recovery boot

It'll take a while:

costales@dev:~$ ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed/ubuntu --bootstrap
2016/02/08 19:58:01 Expecting the device to be in the bootloader... waiting
2016/02/08 19:58:01 Device is |mako|
2016/02/08 19:58:02 Flashing version 361 from ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed/ubuntu channel and server to device mako
10.61 MB / 273.55 MB [=>________________________________________________________________] 3.88 % 85.43 KB/s 52m31s

Step 12. Wait the Ubuntu menu

A menu with Ubuntu logo will appear, don't touch anything, the phone will restart by itself ;)

Wait, don't choose anything

All is done :)) Enjoy the freedom, enjoy your Ubuntu Phone!

Yes!!! :D

Do you want connect the Nexus to a Monitor and have an Ubuntu Desktop? Follow this guide :)

Picture of Marius Quabeck

Run desktop apps:
Do you want to run Desktop apps in your Ubuntu Phone? Follow this guide :))

Thanks to Marius & Gonzalo for their help!


  1. ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/rc-proposed/ubuntu --bootstrap... waiting
    just waiting and waiting. nothing is going on. how long need to wait? :)
    phone in recovery mode already 10 minutes

    1. You need to be in fastboot mode if youre using --bootstrap

  2. Even in the example it was 52m31s (52 minutes more)

  3. @Henpyxa: It was ~20minutes for me. But it could take more time.

    @Ricardo Gaya: Another devices here:

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Any reason to use this method and not MultiROM? I've generally found MultiROM to be a lot simpler (and then I can dual-boot Android and Ubuntu . . . well, triple-boot Android, Ubuntu, and SailfishOS, really :P)

  6. did u success install ubuntu desktop on nexus devices?

  7. sorry to post on an old thread.
    Great write up, worked like a charm.

    2017/02/09 10:30:19 <-- Start
    2017/02/09 10:42:09 <-- Finished