"Raring" to Try Your Nexus 7 with Ubuntu?

Back at UDS-R in Copenhagen, I had the fortune to meet the fine folks on the (Canonical) Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. One thing that impressed me is just how open they were to community input and how eager they were to make Ubuntu the best it can be on a tablet form factor. Oops! That's two things.

Actually, I have a bit of a funny story. On the second day of UDS, I was sitting in the dining hall beside one of Ubuntu Vancouver's finest co-conspirators and pulled out my shiny new Nexus 7, freshly (that morning) flashed with Ubuntu 12.10. He asked, "So, what do you think of Ubuntu on the tablet?" I was just about to launch into a rant about how difficult it was to use the touch interface, the lack of automatic screen rotation, and the dreaded "button 1 lock-ups", but then my inner voice said, "Randall, this is a proof-of-concept, an alpha. Be nice." Also, there was a kind looking gentleman sitting across the table from us who looked quite interested in the device and our conversation. Who was he?

So, instead of answering my friend's question I said, "Try for yourself." He played with it for a bit and then handed it back to me with a smile. We both knew what that smile meant.

That turned out to be the right move. The gentleman across the table soon identified himself as one of the developers on the Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. Face-palm averted. More importantly, a demotivating whine from a community member likely wouldn't have helped morale.

The next thing that happened was what I call a "classic Ubuntu moment": The gentleman mentioned that he had observed our interaction with the device and noticed several things (tweaks) I could do to make my Ubuntu tablet experience more enjoyable and usable. I thanked him for that, and I also thanked him for his hard work to get Ubuntu up-and-running in the first place. He encouraged me to find more bugs and to help the team.

Here I am.

I am testing Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. I'm using it everyday. And by doing so, I am trying to help the project even if in a small way. I attend the weekly Nexus 7 team meetings on IRC. I demo the Nexus 7 at Ubuntu gatherings in my city. I gather friendly people to pose for pictures.

Friendly Ubuntu Nexus 7 team meets the Ubuntu community at UDS-R.Friendly Ubuntu Nexus 7 team meets the Ubuntu community at UDS-R.

Even though the first functional Ubuntu Nexus 7 image represents a baby step towards the goal to have Ubuntu on all form factors by 14.04, these are exciting times for Ubuntu and I feel invigorated (and honoured) to be involved in a really big thing. I am not Canonical. I am part of the jedi force that is often called Community. You are part of that community too. I'd love for you to get involved.

Oh! I almost forgot: As of today, Raring Ringtail is now available for the Nexus 7. Re-flash and have a great time! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7/Installation

Ubuntu is not just software.


(additional photo added Dec. 8, 2012, based on comments)
Awesome tablet people!Awesome tablet people!


That was a funny memory.

Congratulations for getting involved. This is a big step for Ubuntu. I'm glad that there are people working on this by participating in the project instead of ranting on the sidelines and creating noise.*jernerlersts*

My the force be with us all!


Thanks so much for blogging this. What we traditionally called our "OEM Team" at Canonical is full of really amazing people.

It's always bugged me knowing how awesome these guys are, and at the same time knowing they usually work on things with vendors that unfortunately can usually never be public until after something ships (the nature of the beast).

I'm so happy to see that this team can work out in the open on something people are really passionate about. They've been very responsive on IRC, askubuntu, and other community avenues; it's great to read how these guys are working it and the amount of progress being done. Thanks for participating!

Pity about Chris Wayne's head not being in the picture, the dude is a brutal workhorse of awesome.


Poor Chris, his head is totally hidden!


Posted another picture :)


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