Getting started with Ubuntu for phones on 12.04

What exciting news! Ubuntu is coming to phones in the near future, and they are already pushing forward for developers to get started on apps for the upcoming OS. The really great part? It is actually Ubuntu running on the phone, so making apps will be pretty much like making applications for Ubuntu on the desktop. Even better? They have chosen Qt and QML as first-class citizens for app-development together with HTML5.

Since I’ve been developing Nanoparticles and Journey Planner for Norway in Qt and QML from before, I’m very excited to again have a platform where these toolkits are at home. With Qt working on Android and the upcoming Sailfish too, it is finally becoming more platform independent in the mobile world as well as on the desktop, where both Windows, Mac and Linux are already well-supported.

The mobile team at Canonical (the guys behind Ubuntu) have already put up a few pages to help us get started with development. You find them here. At first glance they seem pretty useful and easy to grasp, so I look forward to delving deeper into them.

A tiny speed bump kept me from getting started

However, I was faced with a problem when trying to start out going through the steps, and that is the PPA for the QML examples and componants is missing packages for Ubuntu 12.04, which I’m currently running. This lead to the following error messages upon doing “apt-get update”:

W: Failed to fetch  404  Not Found
W: Failed to fetch  404  Not Found
W: Failed to fetch  404  Not Found

I figured these packages are likely not really dependent on anything special in Ubuntu 12.10 that is not already in 12.04, so getting around this problem was as easy as to go to the Launchpad PPA directory and download the packages directly: UI Toolkit PPA

After doing this, I’m now ready to get started with the rest of the tutorials.


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Svenn-Arne Dragly

I'm a physicist and programmer, writing about the stuff I figure out as I go.

9 thoughts on “Getting started with Ubuntu for phones on 12.04”

    1. Wow, I didn’t expect anyone to reply this quick to the post! Glad I could help you out. 🙂

      I’m currently playing around with the SDK myself. Looks good so far, although I’m looking forward to some proper integration of the SDK in Qt Creator (currently using 2.6.1). At the moment, it is complaining about some QML components it can’t find, but it runs fine in qmlscene though.

  1. The issue is they only have packages for Quantal and not Precise so this fix works as well while still getting updates.

    Replace precise with your version of ubuntu.:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ui-toolkit/ppa
    sudo sed -i ‘s/precise/quantal/g’ /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ui-toolkit-ppa-precise.list
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install qt-components-ubuntu qt-components-ubuntu-demos qt-components-ubuntu-examples qt-components-ubuntu-doc notepad-qml

  2. I managed to solve this problem, but after installing Qt Creator, I can’t import the modules specified in the tutorial. I’d hate to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10 but it seems like the only choice.

    1. That’s likely because your installation of Qt Creator cannot find the right Qt libraries. If you are running Qt Creator 2.6.1 (the newest version) you must go to Tools > Options > Build & Run > Qt Versions and add the qmake binary found in /opt/qt5/bin/qmake.

      After this you need to go to Kits and add a kit and set the Qt version property to the one you just made.

      In older versions of Qt Creator I believe you only need to add a new Qt version based on the qmake binary in /opt/qt5/bin/qmake.

      This will hopefully be automatically resolved in a future version of the Ubuntu Phone SDK.

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