Open Source Subnet An independent Open Source community View more

Ubuntu for Nexus is just the tip of the OS iceberg

With new options for mobile operating systems emerging, it's a good time to be a nerd.

Some people buy phones and tablets because they want one operating system or another. This one runs iOS, that one runs Android. But isn’t it even more awesome when there are several options for operating systems that we can toss on our devices? Who wants to be limited to just one?

Luckily, for owners of Nexus hardware (such as the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7), the number of OS options is exploding.

First up, the KDE crew has done a great job of getting the Plasma Active environment up and running on the Nexus 7 tablet, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The performance is smooth and the various apps and widgets work fantastically via a touch interface (at least for the most part).

You can get instructions on installing KDE’s Plasma Active system - including instructions on using it as either your sole system (replacing Android entirely), or running it in a sort of "dual boot" scenario with Android and Plasma Active living together in semi-harmony.

KDE not your thing? How about Ubuntu and Unity?

Later this week (Thursday, February 21st to be exact), Canonical will be making available a "Developer Preview" of Ubuntu for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 phones.

How cool is that? In the past we have seen some pretty cool, Linux-based systems for phones and tablets appear...only to be almost instantly shelved due to a lack of hardware for anyone to run these uber-cool systems on.

But nowadays, things have changed. And the availability of the Nexus devices has provided an open piece of hardware with a large (and nerdy) install base.

Of course, these systems are not exactly ready to be used by the mass populace just yet. There are bugs. And there are features left that need to be fully developed for touchscreen devices. In short: You really only want to use these systems if you are a true nerd (which I am... and, if you are reading this...chances are you are too).

Are you brave enough to install "Developer Preview" grade software on your phone or tablet? If so, now is a very good time to be a Linux nerd.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.