Saucy Salamander - Ubuntu is coming to your smartphone soon

Canonical wants to establish the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu on the smartphone. Now, for the first time, a trial version of Saucy Salamander is ready for the new mobile operating system. It will take some time until the first devices with the operating system come on the market.

Ubuntu 13.10, or "Saucy Salamander" (Kecker Salamander) is the first official trial of "Ubuntu for Phones". The version description refers to instructions to install the Ubuntu Touch mobile version on suitable smartphones and tablets. The release of the final versions for desktop, server and phones Canonical has announced for October 17 .

There is no hardware developed for Ubuntu yet. Therefore, developers for the mobile version of Ubuntu mainly rely on the relatively cheap yet powerful Nexus devices from Google. Unlocking the bootloader is possible on these devices, making it relatively easy to install another operating system. Priority support will find Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. There are also images for a number of other Android devices . These, however, seem less mature.

The essential smartphone functions are available for the reference hardware. However, the developers expressly warn against the risks of installing the beta version. This was intended exclusively for development and testing. author Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has tested Ubuntu Touch and is quite convinced of the first impressions.

In order to achieve better graphics performance - and to create an operating system for tablets, smartphones and PCs - Ubuntu relies on its own display server Mir, which is to replace the comparatively slow X Window. Ubuntu 13.10 brings with it the stack XMir, which supports X as well as X. Other Linux editions such as Red Hat, however, rely on Wayland as a replacement for X Window, and it is still unclear which successor strategy can prevail.

For Canonical, Ubuntu Touch is significant because it hopes to make a profit faster than the Linux desktop edition. Although a crowdfunding campaign for the planned smartphone Ubuntu Edge failed because of excessive requirements, but nevertheless achieved a swarm financing record with pledges of 12.8 million dollars.

Ubuntu CEO Jane Silber then announced the first smartphones and tablets with the operating system Ubuntu Touch for early 2014. Unlike Edge, but they probably bring not the "full convergence" of versatile devices with Android compatibility, which also connect to a monitor and one complete Ubuntu PC. "I think convergence is the future," she said. "It can take many forms."