Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bodhi ARMHF Alpha for Nexus 7

Earlier this month we collected enough donations that I was able to pick up a Nexus 7 to do some development work on for Bodhi. Today I would like to share our first public images for the Nexus 7. They install, they boot up, and they are semi functional. By that I mean the touchscreen and wireless work OOTB and the interface runs smoothly on the device. I haven't had time to try and make audio work fully yet - but I have gotten some noise to come out of the speakers.

With the help of my lovely fiance I filmed the following short demo video of Bodhi running on the device:

Anywho - installing Bodhi on the Nexus 7 follows the same process as installing Ubuntu on the device. I don't have an automated installer finished just yet so you will need to install the Bodhi images using a manual install process. This can be done using the following steps:

Step 0 - Getting the Tools

Installing Bodhi on the Nexus 7 can be done from any Linux distribution so long as you have the proper android tools installed (if you are using Bodhi on your desktop the Android tools can be found in our repositories). Namely you need the fastboot command.

Step 1 - Unlocking your Nexus 7

The bootloader on the Nexus 7 needs to be unlocked to accept other operating systems. Start with your device off, then while holding the volume down button power the device on - you will soon see the bootloader screen. Attach the Nexus 7 to your computer with a micro USB cable and run the command:

sudo fastboot oem unlock

After you run this command your Nexus 7 will ask you to confirm you want to unlock the bootloader - do so. Then run:

sudo fastboot reboot-bootloader

to finish the unlocking process.

Step 2 - Get the Bodhi Files

You need to download and then extract both the tarballs found here.

Step 3 - Writing the data to the Nexus 7

Open a terminal to the directory where you extracted both the files you downloaded above. Then run the following commands in order:

sudo fastboot erase boot
sudo fastboot erase userdata
sudo fastboot flash boot boot.img
sudo fastboot flash userdata rootfs.img
sudo fastboot reboot

After you run the last command your Nexus 7 will reboot and automagically extract and install the Bodhi file system on your device (this will take a few minutes). When it is finished it will boot right into the Bodhi desktop for you.

User Information

Default username:

Default password:

The default user has sudo rights.

Getting Support

Please, please, please do not make a comment on this post asking for support with an issue you encounter with installing/running Bodhi on your Nexus 7! Comments asking for support will be removed from this post. Instead please open a support request thread in the Nexus 7 section of our user forums. It is much easier to manage/search/solve issues in a message board format than a comments section.

Other Notes

I do consider this an alpha quality release. As noted above the sound still doesn't work by default and I am sure there are some other minor niggles that need to be worked out.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Looks awesome. Bet Samsung won't out do this!

  2. Dude that is down right sick! I think is worth mentioning on a few big android sites out there. Not to mention this certainly will help get your name out there even further.

  3. This is awesome! Especially considering the short time you've had the device.

    I've got Bodhi running on my main desktop and a netbook. I have no doubt it's going to be equally spectacular on my Nexus!

  4. Thats great! I'll install it right away!

  5. Author-dev may want to check this out and speak with its dev for possible addition so this can be booted multiboot. I think many more would install it and help development along if they can still access their fully functional android installation. BTW, awesome work with bodhi!


  6. Jeff: I would love to try this with the multiboot that the other user is referring to. Would you mind to speak with that dev to see what kernel patch would be required?
    I think you would get a lot of users wanting to do this

  7. Запелите на asus transformer prime/ бля пж.

  8. Jeff, is there an instruction set for backing up/restoring the android system before installing Bodhi you can point me to?


    1. I don't have a clue sorry - I didn't use android at all so I had nothing to backup.

    2. All your apps will be backed up in Google play store. Maybe factory reset will do the rest if that part is not erased by installing Bohdi, I dont know?

    3. All you have to do is a nandroid backup using clockworkmod recovery. search for instructions on how to install CWM on your device, install quickboot from the market and run it to boot into recovery and do the backup from there.

  9. By any chance is the bluetooth working? I could not seem to find it. I will assume no, just curious.

    1. Things of this nature are my TODO list for the device. In the mean time, perhaps try installing blueman and see if it sees the internal bluetooth chip?

  10. Just saw the latest show of hak5 with nexus 7 and ubuntu installer. Try to contact them! It would boost bodhi linux if they would make a show of bodhi and nexus 7 version!

  11. Wow, very impressive....one question though...would 3D gaming or at least access to the Tegra 3's 3D capabilities be possible or did you implement some "software video" solution?

    1. As I just mentioned in a recent post 3D is still a WIP for these images.

  12. I never heard bodhi before but i found it from xda forum multiple rom. I'm going to try it after review the introduction about bodhi. =).

  13. I tried a couple of different Distros and this was the only one that actually worked properly, based on the "type these commands into fastboot" system. Nicely done!

    Currently only issue I have is that I can't "right-click" to make installation via the gui, and will unfortunately have to do some reading. (I'm being sarcastic here.)