Sunday, 25 December 2016

Installing Ubuntu touch emulator in Linux

I'm still waiting for an Ubuntu phone release in India after Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition went out of store in a day before I could buy. So, I tried my hands in installing Ubuntu Touch Emulator in Linux to try out how the OS works and to get familiar with Scopes and Softwares. The below steps to install Ubuntu touch emulator in Linux has been tried on Linux Ubuntu 16.04 running as the primary OS on a Lenovo hardware. 

Steps to install Ubuntu touch emulator 

1. Open terminal and type the following command :

sudo apt install ubuntu-emulator

It will ask for your root password and the packages will be downloaded and installled. Wait for the download to finish.

sieger@sieger1604:~$ sudo apt install ubuntu-emulator
[sudo] password for sieger: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  android-tools-adb binfmt-support libboost-random1.58.0 libboost-thread1.58.0 libiscsi2 librados2
  librbd1 qemu-block-extra qemu-user-static qemu-utils sharutils ubuntu-emulator-runtime:i386
Suggested packages:
  debootstrap bsd-mailx | mailx
The following NEW packages will be installed
  android-tools-adb binfmt-support libboost-random1.58.0 libboost-thread1.58.0 libiscsi2 librados2
  librbd1 qemu-block-extra qemu-user-static qemu-utils sharutils ubuntu-emulator
0 to upgrade, 13 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
Need to get 23.4 MB/23.4 MB of archives.
After this operation, 153 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y

Once the packages are installed, you will have to create an instance for Ubuntu Touch Emulator. Type the following command in terminal:

sudo ubuntu-emulator create myinstance

where myinstance is the instance name. You can name it anything you want.

sieger@sieger1604:~$ sudo ubuntu-emulator create myinstance
Creating "myinstance" from ubuntu-touch/devel revision 2
2.25 MB / 2.25 MB [==========================================================] 100.00 % 364.73 KB/s 
41.52 MB / 41.52 MB [========================================================] 100.00 % 984.67 KB/s 
352.92 MB / 352.92 MB [========================================================] 100.00 % 1.81 MB/s 
Setting up...
Setting up a default password for phablet to: '0000'
Creating snapshots for disks...
Succesfully created emulator instance myinstance in /home/sieger/.local/share/ubuntu-emulator/myinstance

The myinstance instance has been successfully created. Once you are done, you can run this instance from the terminal by typing the following command:

sieger@sieger1604:~$ ubuntu-emulator run myinstance
emulator: autoconfig: -datadir /home/sieger/.local/share/ubuntu-emulator/myinstance
emulator: Found target ABI=x86, architecture=x86
emulator: Found target API level: 19
emulator: using core hw config path: /home/sieger/.local/share/ubuntu-emulator/myinstance/hardware-qemu.ini
emulator: writing default keyset file to /home/sieger/.android/default.keyset
emulator: trying to load skin file '/usr/share/ubuntu-emulator/skins/EDGE/layout'
emulator: skin network speed: 'full'
emulator: skin network delay: 'none'
emulator: Using initial system image: /home/sieger/.local/share/ubuntu-emulator/myinstance/system.img
emulator: autoconfig: -initdata (null)
emulator: WARNING: no Real SD Card found at '/home/sieger/.local/share/ubuntu-emulator/myinstance/sdcardprime.img'
emulator: Physical RAM size: 512MB

This will take some time and a mobile interface will open up. It will take some more time before the screen appears. 

Once the screen lightens up welcoming you, you will be asked a few questions before the homescreen comes. Choose the languages and how you want to unlock your phone. Swipe is for no password, passcode which contains only digits and passphrase which is a mix of digits and letters. In the next step, choose the passcode. Connect to Wi-Fi in the next step. Clicking one or two more Continue will end up teh first time boot process and homescreen comes up. 

You can unlock the phone and try out the various features. 

Let me know in the comments if you face any problem in installing Ubuntu touch emulator in Linux Ubuntu system. 


  1. Everything regarding installation went well but the size of the phone(emulator) is too big and half of the lower portion is not visible. So I cannot proceed further. How do I make the phone(emulator) smaller?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. You can use --scale=0.7 option while starting ....we’re scaling down the UI to be 70% of the original size (useful for smaller screens)