I’m sure everybody is already up with the news of Ubuntu for Phones, or to be more precise; Ubuntu for Android (as of now). But unfortunately, only a few Nexus devices (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 & Nexus 10) are supported yet which definitely excludes Nexus S. You may also visit the Ubuntu wiki for Installation Instructions for the supported devices.

So, to make it fortunate, we have our Developers at XDA who combine their brilliant minds with the codes to provide some unexpected things. One of these brilliant minds; woorim98 from Team Bridge has made it possible to compile Ubuntu for Phone, from the sources and get it working. According to the developer, the release is in an Alpha stage which is definitely not usable as a daily driver. But if you are an Ubuntu fan, then you must be willing desperately to experience Ubuntu OS on your Nexus S and here you come at the right place. We shall guide you step by step to Install this OS on your Nexus S.

Before we proceed any further, it would be better if you, the users know of what isn’t functional in this port yet.

  • Phone/SMS (works for some users)
  • Volume ButtonsA bit of more is expected to be not working, but the developer assures to fix all of’em very soon.

Beta 3 released on 25 Feb, 2013 has fixed WiFi and Backlight Control completely!

Refer to the XDA thread for more information and direct developer support!


  • These Instructions are meant to be applied and used only on the Google/Samsung Nexus S (I9020T/ I9020A / I9023)
  • Read and Understand the Instructions carefully before performing any actions
  • DroidViews Community or any of its members are not responsible for any damage to your device


  • Compatible USB data cable and USB drivers [LINK]
  • Unlocked Nexus S device and Custom Recovery like CWM Installed [Follow this Guide]
  • Backup Device Storage, Text Messages, Contacts, Calender & Organizer
  • Battery level above 60%

Installation Instructions

  1.  Download the Installation files.
  2. Connect your Nexus S to the PC via USB data cable and switch ON USB Mass Storage.
  3. Transfer the downloaded files viz ubuntuns-2.zip, ubuntu-preinstall.zip and ubuntu-rootfs.tar.gz to the root of your storage (not in any folder)
  4. Disconnect the device from PC.
  5. Power off the device.
  6. Press Volume Up and Power buttons altogether until you see the bootloader screen.
  7. Use the volume keys to highlight Recovery and select it using Power button.
  8. Tap wipe data/factory reset and select Yes.
  9. Tap wipe cache partition.
  10. Go to mounts and storage and tap format /system, format /cache, format /boot.
  11. Go to advanced and tap wipe dalvik-cache.
  12. Go to install zip from sdcard, tap choose zip from sdcard and select the ubuntuns-2.zip placed in the root of your storage.
  13. Flash ubuntu-preinstall.zip, using the same method as in step #12. Make sure ubuntu-rootfs.tar.gz is placed on the root of your storage.
  14. Tap reboot system now.

See Ubuntu Running of Nexus S:

Your device shall now reboot itself into new OS and will begin the setup. Tell us about it, how do you feel using this new OS on your Nexus S? Are you expecting something more out of it? When do you think this could be made a daily driver.


  1. Okay, good news for everyone out here. We have managed to get the files from the server and I am also trying to mirror the links too. So, just hit the downloads and follow the instructions 😉

  2. Hi,
    Am interested in this. Can you please guide me to port the Ubuntu Touch for my nexus S.

    I have downloaded all the source code.

  3. Apologies to everyone for the dead links. Our server is down since a while and is being fixed. I shall re-upload them to a suitable hosting site and update the links. Stay tuned till then 🙂

  4. Hi, I’m really interested in your project, but your links a dead, can’t download the installation files.

  5. Hi, after choosing “recovery”, all I see is a robot lying down with a “!” sign on its belly. What might I be doing wrong? I cannot reach the 8th step.

  6. Hi
    I really thank you for it
    I’m using beta 3, but Volume Button and some app ( like Music – Media Player …) does not work
    Please continue your work
    Thank you again

  7. very very nice … not working phisycal keys… that’s a problem.. now i try reflash!!
    good work!! thank’you

  8. Yeah, this is exactly what I did, but it didn’t work. I’m I9023 not NS4G and I’ve wiped everything before copy them.

  9. Make sure you have all the three files.
    Wipe everything and flash ubuntuns-2.zip and ubuntu-preinstall.zip in order. Reboot and see if it works now.
    Make sure you are trying this on Nexus S and not Nexus S 4G.

  10. Waiting for 30 min, nothing at all. Tried several times. Just put 3 files in the root without doing anything?

  11. Doesn’t work for NS4G just in case that’s the case. Also if it doesn’t work. go back to recovery, delete data/factory reset. Reinstall. Reboot. . . rinse repeat if necessary.

  12. Was a little bit tricky to install ubuntu but it seems to work. But it seems not to work 😉
    Can’t make a call. I miss many settings. AND: I didn’t have to enter my simcard-PIN… Crazy.
    However: first look was pretty enough to follow this work.

  13. Hello @niteshrijal:disqus
    First of all, Ubuntu for Phones doesn’t have a boot animation. It will directly take you over to the Homescreen after first boot/reboot.
    I assume, you’re doing something wrong here or you might have been confused with the files.
    So, could you please confirm that you have “ubuntuns-2.zip”, “ubuntu-preinstall.zip” and “ubuntu-rootfs.tar.gz” on the root of your device’s storage? (All the 3 files are of equal importance)

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