Sunday, December 25, 2011

Linux (Ubuntu) on the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket.

I recently received a Galaxy S2 as a gift, and thought I would share how I rooted it and then proceeded to install ubuntu on it. Before I begin, I would like to note that I did this out of curiosity to see how it would perform, and not actually as something I would use day-to-day. In reality it's just for kicks, which is why I took the path of least resistance and installed Ubuntu.

Step 1. Rooting the Phone
Rooting the phone was easy thanks to the great people on xda-developers. I followed this guide, and the whole thing ran smoothly. (If you have trouble, the users there are happy to help) Here is an alternate link.

Step 2. Removing Bloatware (ie. system apps)
Now, this isn't exactly related to installing linux, but I would like to share some tips about what I learned. DON'T DELETE ANYTHING, and by that I mean don't go into terminal and mount system as RW and then run rm /apps/<bloatware>. While this may work, it's not the safest solution and can break the phone (I realized this late, so don't make that mistake - luckily I didn't delete anything important). Instead download AntTek App Manager and FREEZE the apps that you want to get rid of. This allows you to bring them back should you need them later.

Step 3. The Meat
I followed this guide here. However things didn't smoothly the first time. Some key points, when in terminal when it says "WARNING.... Apps.... You have to go... Please wait...", all of these are normal, none of them are actually errors. When it says "Please wait..." it's done, so press "Home" and let it run in the background. If a "#" appears at the end of the terminal, something went wrong. If it doesn't work the first time do this:
3.rm -r /data/local/mnt sdcard
That fixed it for me, and hopefully will fix any other problems you might run into.

VNC is awful. Ubuntu actually runs fine, with good speed and usability, however the VNC client just wasn't up to the challenge. It's painful to try to run things via command-line, and its pretty much impossible to do anything that requires constant keyboard input. Maybe one day things will change, but from what I'm seeing, this is just another flashy trick to show off to your friends.

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