Install Ubuntu on Motorola ATRIX

We’ve seen how the world’s most power smartphone can turn into a laptop with NEtbook experience. Of course we know that Motorola has created a custom Linux that runs inside Motorola ATRIX 4g.

ATRIX is a high end android-based smartphone that leverages power of Nvidia Tegra2 Dual core processor and 1GB of RAM. If it can run a custom Linux, sure it can Run Ubuntu Linux too.

XDA developer Sogarth has figured out how to install Ubuntu on Atrix. The installation isn’t perfect, but it’s close enough to be used by public.

Important/ Warning:
You can easily brick your ATRIX or get it into an infinite reboot loop. We are not responsible for any damages, do it at your own risk.


  • Root your Atrix with SuperOneClick
  • Terminal access to device. LXTerminal on webtop does fine.

Few Troubles:

  • A lack of disk space to do anything (only having ~80 MB free really hurts).
  • An unwillingness to create a third Linux-based environment.
  • A non-functional apt/aptitude (easy to fix).

You can start by downloading this Ubuntu Package that has automated scripts (.bat files) that you can run on your windows PC while having ATRIX connected via USB.

The process is automated, you don’t have to interfere much. Once the script is run successfully and completed, move onto running the aptitude:

1.     Aptitude

There will be chances of the aptitude complaining about some of the files being broken. Well, you can’t do much about it since Motorola built it that way, anyways, keep hitting the “next” button until you hit the solution that uninstalls nothing and then executes on that.

You can now go on playing and tinkering with aptitude to install packages you want as per your needs and likes.

Here are some of the packages that have been known to have an issue with being installed, so avoid them:

Known package issues:

Be careful upgrading any of the -mot/~mot packages, as that can break functionality. I’m still compiling a list of which packages can be upgraded versus which can be left alone.

Can be upgraded with loss of functionality:

  • libnautilus-extension1-1:2.26.2-0ubuntu1-mot1
  • nautilus-1:2.26.2-0ubuntu1-mot1
  • nautilus-data-1:2.26.2-0ubuntu1-mot1
    • Upgrading these packages plus at least one additional package I’ve not yet fully identified breaks viewing mountable storage and the ability to unmount it.
  • xserver-xorg-core-2:1.6.0-0ubuntu14
    • Using the stock xserver-xorg-core 2:1.6.0-0ubuntu14 that’s already installed without recovering /usr/bin/Xorg appears to lead to a loss of the status bar at the top. However, upgrading to the stock 2:1.6.0-0ubuntu14.2 appears to fix that.

You can checkout the complete guide at the source including troubleshooting.

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