Ubuntu announced at CES their plans to release a version of their operating system for phones. As it turns out, one of the first phones they intend to officially support is the Galaxy Nexus - an Android phone.

Does this therefore qualify questions about Ubuntu for phones as on-topic for our site? Should we handle them or direct users elsewhere?


My opinion, which I've expressed in the past:

Although the Galaxy Nexus is an Android phone off-the-shelf, I don't think that installing or using Ubuntu for phones is within the scope of our site. Questions related to running Ubuntu along side Android (in a chroot environment with VNC, for example) seem okay to me since Android is involved in the process, and we've handled a few here in the past.

Using Ubuntu for phones requires completely replacing the Android OS with Ubuntu. At that point I think we've left the realm of Android Enthusiasts and entered into the realm of Ask Ubuntu. We're built around the Android ecosystem, and though the device may have been originally intended to run Android, using it for a completely different purpose seems beyond our expertise and our scope. I wouldn't expect a Microsoft support forum to help me install Ubuntu on a desktop because it originally came with Windows - I'd expect an Ubuntu community to help me.

  • Interestingly, at Ask Different, asking about putting an Apple OS on non-Apple hardware is specifically off-topic. – ale Jan 29 '13 at 20:42
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    @user1: Interesting. I wonder if that's because of the licensing nastiness that comes with Apple's operating systems. Using it on non-Apple hardware is (from what I understand) explicitly forbidden in the EULA, even if you were to, for example, go buy a physical copy of OS X. – eldarerathis Jan 29 '13 at 20:53
  • @user1 I guess that is because it is a "hackintosh" question, as explained above by eldarerathis, it is definitely a growing community however. In fact Michael Dell asked Apple if he could sell Dell computers preinstalled with Mac OS, which they denied. Apple is a "closed ecosystem", whereas Ubuntu, Android, are Open Source highly customisable environments. IMHO Ubuntu on a phone should be asked on the Ubuntu site, for one simple reason - it is Ubuntu, doesnt matter which device it is running on – Simon Jan 30 '13 at 12:18
  • Oh, I know the whys and wherefores. I was just pointing out how another site in the network handles a very similar situation. – ale Jan 30 '13 at 13:25

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