Ubuntu Touch Emulator Officially Released

The new application from Canonical is still under heavy development, but it's working

By on May 13th, 2014 06:59 GMT

An Ubuntu Touch X86 emulator has been released and allows users to test the latest images of the Ubuntu for phones operating system.

An Ubuntu Touch emulator is one of the few things that Canonical was missing, and now, with the help of Ubuntu developer Ricardo Salveti de Araujo, users are able to test the latest images released by the team before deciding whether to install the operating system on the phone itself.

This is just the first iteration of the emulator and it's still in the early stages of production, which means that you will encounter numerous bugs and the interface is not smooth enough, even if it's running on a powerful system.

“During this weekend every package got approved, so I went ahead and updated the seeds, and as a result we finally published our first working image for the x86 emulator!” said Ricardo Salveti de Araujo in the announcement.

The developer explained how to install the new emulator with the help of a PPA. Users need to add the PPA to the system (you will need to have Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, at least) and to install the application from that repository.

In order to get the Ubuntu Touch X86 emulator in place you will have to open a terminal an enter the following commands (you have to be root in order to make this work):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-emulator ubuntu-emulator-runtime
sudo ubuntu-emulator create --channel=ubuntu-touch/utopic-proposed --arch=i386 test_x86
ubuntu-emulator run test_x86


The last two commands are pretty straightforward – one downloads the proper image, in this case “utopic-proposed,” which is the bleeding edge of Ubuntu Touch, and the second one starts the emulator, loading the downloaded image.

There are still a number of problems, which is to be expected with a platform designed for another processor architecture, in this case ARM.

“Remember you can run it with --memory=<n> if you want more than 512MB of ram. Not every app is available for x86 still, as the owner might just have uploaded the armhf click package for desired app. We should be uploading camera and gallery soon, so it can contain the same set of base apps at least,” also notes Ricardo Salveti de Araujo.

We encountered some problems running the sudo ubuntu-emulator create --channel=ubuntu-touch/utopic-proposed --arch=i386 test_x86 command. Even running with sudo, it failed to work and we had to open a gnome-terminal session with sudo.

The installation might look complicated, but it's not. If you are an Ubuntu fan and you want to check out Unity 8, for example, you need to try Ubuntu Touch even if it's just an emulator.

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