Ubuntu Touch, the recently launched mobile version of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, has been generating quite a buzz for the past year. Ubuntu community have shown interest in the project and the development of core and third party apps have been going at a swift pace. Several developers and enthusiasts have installed Ubuntu Touch on their phones and have given positive reviews for the initial builds.
If you are one of those enthusiasts who wants to try out Ubuntu Touch on your Nexus phone/tablet without removing your primary mobile os, you can dual boot the two operating systems on your phone or tablet just like your desktop. Don’t be deterred by the word as dual booting can be achieved easily using MultiROM Manager app.
MultiROM Manager, an Android app, available for free from Google Play store or from xda developer forums, allows booting of more than one mobile phone operating system on your android phone. All you need to do is download the app and install it on your Nexus 4 or Nexus 7. The app makes it very easy for anyone installing Ubuntu Touch by getting rid of any command line usage. You also do not require to connect the phone to the desktop/laptop via usb. Only requirement is a rooted Android v 4.0 and above (also supports CyanogenMod 10 ROMs).
Note: The app currently works only on Nexus4 and Nexus7( 2012/2013) wifi.
As you can see from the screenshot on the top left , the app has a clean interface where you can view the system status, the requirements and the available downloads for Ubuntu Touch system images. To get going, install each of these requirements one at a time before going for the installation of Ubuntu Touch image. Trusty builds are the ones currently in development and ones which should be installed.
Booting into Ubuntu Touch
Once you finish the installation of the Ubuntu Touch image, reboot and select Ubuntu image from the menu to boot into Ubuntu Touch. To boot back into Android, turn off the phone and turn it back on, or open the terminal app on Ubuntu Touch and type sudo reboot.
UPDATE: Efforts to port Ubuntu Touch to Nexus 7 (2013) has been stalled until further notice due to lack of contributors. Canonical has also mentioned on their Ubuntu Touch wiki that they currently do not support Nexus 7 (2013). They may add support when they get closer to Ubuntu 14.04 release. As it stands now, dual booting of Ubuntu Touch with Android will work only with Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012) wifi & 3G.