It’s no secret that Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth wants the highly versatile Ubuntu loaded and running on mobile devices like tablets.
Recently, the OS surfaced on Google’s flagship Nexus 7 tablet, which features an unlocked bootloader, a 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
So, yes, the device is obviously perfectly capable of running touch-based operating systems other than the default Android.
Of course, as Liliputing’s Brad Linder notes, this is hardly the first time we’ve seen Ubuntu or another Linux flavor running on an ARM-based mobile device. Indeed, the OS was booted up on Google’s Nexus S smartphone back in January 2011.
In addition, early builds of Arch, Debian, and Ubuntu are available for the HP TouchPad, while Android users can currently install the OS on their devices as if it were an app.
It remains unclear why Canonical wants the OS up and running on the Nexus 7, but it is likely the company wants Ubuntu to be perceived as a tablet-friendly operating system for devs who can use the ARM-based version as an inexpensive reference platform.
However, while Linux may be wildly popular in the dev and modder communities, it is unlikely to achieve mainstream adoption in the mobile market which is currently dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS – with third place reserved for Microsoft’s upcoming Windows RT.